Tuesday, March 24, 2015

guest post // eggs benedict with antlers and roses...

Friends! As you know I'm currently taking some much needed mommy/baby/daddy time after the birth of our little one :) Aggg guys, we're parents!!!! So during this transition into our new season of life, I've invited some of my most beloved and dear blog friends to help me out, in the form of unique and wonderful guest posting! Today, I'm honored to have Heidi of Antlers and Roses take over. 


Hi there! This is Heidi, I blog over at Antlers and Roses Blog. I am a mom of 2, wife, photographer, coffee lover and reality show junkie living on the Central Coast of California. I love to blog about a little bit of everything- life, kids, projects I am working on, photography and recipes. I was so thrilled when Christina contacted me about sharing something with her wonderful readers. So thank you Christina, if feel so special to be here on your beautiful blog.

Today I will be sharing a recipe with you. It is a recently new one to me, and I absolutely love making it- and eating it! Back in December while on a mini vacation with my husband, I had tried Eggs Benedict for the first time ever. I don’t know why I waited so long, it was so tasty. I was excited to have a new option I knew I would like for dining out and then my mom had me over for breakfast and whipped up a new version which has now become my ultimate favorite breakfast meal. This recipe was adapted from Danielle Walker’s cookbook Against All Grain with a few tweaks. And don’t be intimidated by making hollandaise sauce, once you get it the first time it’s really simple.


EGGS BENEDICT
Serves 4
For printable recipe, click here

For the hollandaise sauce:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup melted ghee (or canola oil if you don’t have ghee)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of paprika

For the remainder of recipe:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • sliced turkey (or your favorite sliced meat)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (or butter) for sautéing


To make the hollandaise sauce

1. Place the 2 eggs yolks and lemon juice in a glass bowl and whisk vigorously. 

2. Place bowl over pot of bowling water to make a double broiler. Whisk over heat for 5 minutes. 

3. Slowly pour the melted ghee (or canola oil) and continue to whisk- sauce should become thick and double in size. Stir in seasoning and remove from heat. Cover until ready to use.

**If the sauce starts to curdle, whisk in a teaspoon of water at a time until sauce is smooth again.

To poach eggs

1. In a saucepan bring 3 inches of water to a boil. 

2. Crack the eggs into separate bowls. 

3. Add vinegar to water and turn heat to low; bring water to a simmer. 

4. Slide each egg into the water. After about 5 minutes check eggs, remove with slotted spoon and set aside. You can opt for over easy eggs too.


To finish:

1. Quickly sauté the baby spinach followed by the turkey.

2. Divide spinach between 4 plates, then top with a few slices of turkey, 1 egg and drizzle with the hollandaise sauce. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Danielle Walker's Against all Grain

Thank you again Christina! I am so excited for you guys and can’t wait until your little one is here!

Xo

Heidi


Thank you so much Heidi!! Ok 1, I FREAKING LOVE Eggs Benedict. We had it in Virginia at a little Bed and Breakfast on our first year anniversary and I could have died. I love, love Hollandaise sauce! This sounds amazing. 2. Don't you just love Against all Grain!? I got that book for Christmas and haven't been able to put it down. I literally have every other page tabbed. 3. I'm all about that Ghee! We got that same kind a few weeks ago and I just thought it was the tastiest thing ever!!! This is just fantastic! For amazing DIYs, more on motherhood, and some super awesome photos to inspire you big time, please check out Antlers and Roses!

Although I'm not around here as much as I'd like to be, you can still stay in touch (and ooooh and ahhhhh with me at HOW CUTE OUR BUNDLE OF JOY IS!!!) via FacebookTwitter and my favorite- Instagram!



Friday, March 20, 2015

guest post // new mom must haves with tomorrow with a smile...

Friends! As you know I'm currently taking some much needed mommy/baby/daddy time after the birth of our little one :) Aggg guys, we're parents!!!! So during this transition into our new season of life, I've invited some of my most beloved and dear blog friends to help me out, in the form of unique and wonderful guest posting! Today, I'm honored to have Katie of Tomorrow, with a Smile take over. 



Hey guys! I'm Katie and I blog over at Tomorrow, with a Smile. {You can also find me sharing daily snippets here}. I started my blog a long time ago as an online journal, but its slowly become a fun place to share recipes and DIYs and heart things. The basic details about me? I'm closer to 30 than 20. I've lived all of my life in Indiana {despite my best efforts to move towards the coast}. I married my college sweetheart. I am a social worker, by trade and by heart. I have two dogs that I am really in love with. We welcomed Caleb last summer, but I really became a mama a few years ago after a miscarriage.

But really? Those are just details. I love people. I love Jesus. I love finding ways to reach out and love on others. I am passionate about choosing joy, no matter what life looks like today. Also, I'm far far from perfect at all of those things, but I keep working at them.


There are probably a hundred posts about pregnancy or newborn must-have's. You know, with favorite pregnancy and baby gear. So, why not add my own to the mix? Similar, but different. This one is focusing on new moms. During these last seven months with our little guy, I've found a handful of things to be invaluable. Yes, I do have a particular baby carrier I love and putting Caleb to sleep in his own room from the very beginning has been such a blessing. Those aren't the things on my list, though. I wanted to share the non-baby gear things that, as a brand new mom, I've loved. I started this list a few weeks after Caleb was born and have added to it now that he's older and I've found my groove. Maybe these will help you, too? Or maybe you have some things I should add to my list? Do share!

//a great pediatrician. Well, duh, right? This seems like a no-brainer, but it is worth mentioning. We love our pediatrician. We chose her based off of lots of recommendations from friends, but hadn't met her until a few hours after Caleb was born {at 6am, when we were both trying to squeeze in some sleep and our baby was in the nursery- parents of the year.} We hit the jackpot with her. She is so, so reassuring but honest. When I had a mini breakdown in her office {well, with the NP} while I was battling mastitis {high fever, chills, body aches} and feeling like a terrible new mom- she stopped me on my way out of the office and gave me a big hug. And let me know I'm doing great and so is Caleb and that I would get through it- and she was right. Most recently we've been battling RSV and she's stopped me after each appointment to put her hand on my shoulder and simply say, "You're a great mom. Keep doing what you're doing." I don't know, maybe all doctor's are that kind and intentional. But either way, she has been key in reassuring all my new mom emotions and concerns about our baby. With so many doctors to choose from, I think it's worth working to find one that is the right fit for you and your baby.

//worship music. {my current go-to is the Rend Collective pandora station} In those really early newborn days, I found that I loved the time Caleb and I got while I nursed him. Really early on {our first night together maybe?} I found that playing worship music was relaxing for both of us. It gave me a chance to take time to pray and just unwind from all the busyness and goings on {think hospital rounds, visitors, hosting out of town visitors}. And in those early days, there were a lot of mornings I didn't crawl out of bed early enough to get time in the Word, and on those days I especially loved my quiet time with Jesus and Caleb and worship music. 7 months later and that hasn't changed much. He's a much faster eater and it's tempting to watch the news or scroll through my phone while he eats, but I make myself slow down for at least one feeding or just for some quiet time with him each day. It changes and effects my whole day, truly. 

//food. No matter what season of life I find myself in, food always seems so important. Adjusting to parenthood has been no exception. Between my mom stocking our freezer with treats and homemade meals, goodies from my cooking club ladies, and our amazing friends and family who have jumped on this website {if you know someone having a baby, sign them up for this!!!} to bring us meals in those early weeks- we didn't really have to make a single meal for the first couple of months after coming home from the hospital. That was such a blessing, especially since Justin went back to work after one week {and we had out of town visitors that entire week before he went back= no alone time}. He only gets a few hours with Caleb each day, so coming home to a delicious homecooked meal without either of us having to put it together was really special. It protected our evenings and let us focus on family time instead of cooking and cleaning. 

//friends. Having a small handful of friends {who are also moms} has been so helpful for me. From the million newborn things to crawling and laughing and sleep training- this has been so great. Not everyone wants to hear about your hormones or milk supply, but having people to talk to about those things is essential. I think that becoming a new mom can be isolating, if you let it. Some of my mama friends and I get together a couple of times a month for 'play dates', which really means we wrangle our kids {who don't play with each other at all because, babies} while talking about every single mom thing we can think of because we've been waiting for that very afternoon to have someone to talk about it with! Even outside of playdates, I have friends I can text or call about any silly baby thing and it's been the best.  

//getting out. I'm sure everyone is different, but I loved regaining a sense of normalcy pretty quickly. I love, love, love hanging out with my little guy all day and I'm glad that, from the beginning, we tried to keep doing our regular life things with him. When you have a baby, your need for intentional community and self care don't change. 15 minutes trips to Target, dinners out with girlfriends, whatever it is. I think it's good for mom and dad- dad's gain more confidence in being alone with the baby and mom's get a breather they didn't realize they needed. I've kept up with my monthly book club and cooking club and that has been so, so good for my heart. Every month, the ladies ask if I'm bringing Caleb and I never do. After seven months, I've found that it does my heart a world of good to be me {not mom me} for an evening every once in a while! 

//self-care. In the same vein as making an effort to get out and maintain normalcy after baby, I think overall self-care is essential. And looks different for everyone. I found that still making daily time for Jesus was necessary for me after Caleb was born, though it looked different from day to day. Some days it looked like praying while nursing or taking a walk, and then as we got into more of a routine I could get back to Bible study and prayer in the mornings. But self-care is so so important for everyone, and especially so once you have a new life that depends solely on you. What is you do to recharge? Bake, read, exercise, spend time with friends? Whatever it is, you have to keep making it a priority after baby. Especially then! And while it is so tempting in those newborn days to put those things off, I say don't. Find a way to ever so slightly include them in your new normal. 

//time with your man. In the first week or so, it was hard to find time alone with Justin. Between visitors staying at our house and time in the hospital, we were just rarely alone. Once the dust kind of settled, though, it was so nice. We both really need regular time to connect and just be together. Now that our little guy is in bed early every night, we make that our time to talk and catch up. Even in those early days, we'd make ourselves turn off the TV or stay up a little later no matter how tired we were. We had our first date without baby only a few weeks after he was born, and it was the best. It has been really important to us both that we not lose each other in our new roles as parents. It just seems like if we keep investing in our relationship and making it a priority, we'll be better parents to Caleb, you know? No matter how much we love time with him, we want to keep making regular time for just us. 

What did you find to be lifesaving in the first days and weeks with a newborn? Any other essentials Christina should add to her list?


Thank you so much Katie!! Holy cow are these tips and suggestions great. I so agree with you on the worship music and food parts (actually all of them, really, hehe)! For more on motherhood and fun DIYs, please check out Tomorrow, with a Smile!

Although I'm not around here as much as I'd like to be, you can still stay in touch (and ooooh and ahhhhh with me at HOW CUTE OUR BUNDLE OF JOY IS!!!) via FacebookTwitter and my favorite- Instagram!


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

honey sweetened chocolate macaroons...


I was a little skeptical at first about making these chocolate macaroons. 

I was in need of chocolate big time (surprised?). But guys, I'm really trying my hardest to get back on track and not go for candy bars and so forth, that are like, SO bad for me! It was so embarrassing- yesterday I needed chocolate again so bad that all I could do was eat a few handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips...standing...munching...making piggie noises I'm sure. Whatever. Then when I went to sit at the computer there was chocolate all over the keyboard, mouse, my hands AND AROUND MY MOUTH! Like I was a two-year old. That friends, is the first sign of a serious problem. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

guest post // diy ribbon garland with rivers and roads...

Friends! As you know I'm currently taking some much needed mommy/baby/daddy time after the birth of our little one :) Aggg guys, we're parents!!!! So during this transition into our new season of life, I've invited some of my most beloved and dear blog friends to help me out, in the form of unique and wonderful guest posting! Today, I'm honored to have the cutest thing ever- Meg of Rivers and Roads, take over. 


Hi Sweet Lavender readers! It's so fun getting to hang out with you today while Christina is away taking care of her sweet babe. Let me introduce myself! I'm Meg, and I blog over at Rivers and Roads. That small space covers topics like my love for adventure, DIYs, Disney, community, and so much more! I hope you'll drop by for a a visit sometime. :)

I co-hosted a bridal shower last spring, and all of the decorations were made by a friend and myself. We wanted to create a cute garland to hang on the wall as a focal point during the shower and happened upon this pinspiration. It was so simple and turned out so well, I just had to share it with you!


Follow these little steps to create your very own!


What you'll need:
-- fabric | colors of your choice
-- string | I used baker's twine
-- scissors


One | Measure your space and cut your string accordingly. I would add a little extra on both ends just in case you have an oops moment.

Two | Begin cutting your fabric into strips. I cut mine 1 - 1 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long. I purchased 4 colors of fabric and got 1 yard in each of them except for the gold. I didn't need as much gold, so I just bought 1/4 yard. There was plenty enough to make two garlands!


Three | Tie the fabric strips around the string. As you do so, push the fabric together so that the garland looks full. It's very easy to move the fabric around if you need to insert other colors. Don't worry about it being perfect...it's supposed to have a messy look.



Four | If you have a color you are using less of (like the gold), add that one in last. It's easier to figure out the placement for it once you have the majority of the garland completed. Also, try to be semi-random about your fabric placement. I think it's helps the overall aesthetic if the colors aren't too organized.



Five | Hang your garland and enjoy! I told you it was easy! This is a DIY I'll definitely be making again!


Thank you so much Meg!! What a super easy (and sewing machine free) project! I freaking love projects where I don't have to sew (because I can't! Shhhh....) For more amazing DIYs and inspiration please check out Rivers and Roads!

Although I'm not around here as much as I'd like to be, you can still stay in touch (and ooooh and ahhhhh with me at HOW CUTE OUR BUNDLE OF JOY IS!!!) via FacebookTwitter and my favorite- Instagram!


Monday, March 9, 2015

guest post // candied jalapeños with mrs. olson's kitchen...

Friends! As you know I'm currently taking some much needed mommy/baby/daddy time after the birth of our little one :) Aggg guys, we're parents!!!! So during this transition into our new season of life, I've invited some of my most beloved and dear blog friends to help me out, in the form of unique and wonderful guest posting! Today, I'm honored to have Mackenzie of Mrs. Olson's Kitchen take over. 



Hello dear readers! Today I am posting for my dear friend Christina, while she cuddles her sweet bundle of joy and disconnects for a while.

I was thinking about what on earth I could make and the reality is that strange things just sounded so good. We were out of jarred jalapeños and I decided that candied jalapeños would fit the bill. Instead of making the world's largest batch, I made a 1 liter weck jar portion, it just seemed much more managable. 

What on earth do you do with them you ask? Put them on your sandwiches, top your favorite soups, top your wontons or pot stickers and my personal favorite... spread a ritz cracker with cream cheese and pile the cowboy candy high. Just trust me, it's drool worthy.


CANDIED JALAPEÑOS
Makes about 1 liter
For printable recipe, click here

  • 1.5 lb. fresh jalapeños, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

1. Using a mandoline (or a very sharp knife) carefully slice your jalapeños thinly. 

2. In a medium size saucepan, bring your apple cider vinegar to a boil and add in your sugar and spices. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add in your sliced jalapeños and simmer for about 4 minutes and remove from heat.

3. Scoop your jalapeños into a weck jar with a slotted spoon,and pour the remaining liquid over the top until the jar is filled. Seal tightly and place in the fridge. Wait about a week and then devour on your every whim.


Thank you so much Mackenzie!! These sound amazing and right up my alley. I'll be for sure making a batch! For more yummy recipes, please check out Mrs. Olson's Kitchen!

Although I'm not around here as much as I'd like to be, you can still stay in touch (and ooooh and ahhhhh with me at HOW CUTE OUR BUNDLE OF JOY IS!!!) via FacebookTwitter and my favorite- Instagram!