Officially Homeowners!

So it's been a long year. We started the process of building a home last April. We looked a round, went fact finding, took the new homeowners course, ect. We found a plot of land in a cute little development that was mere minutes away from my husbands boat, which is perfect when he has to be on it at 4:30am to go lobstering.

We got all of our ducks in a row and approved last September. We had bids out for all aspects of the build and finally broke ground in December. We figured since it was the winter things would slow a bit, but they didn't. On April 10th we moved in to our beautiful new home - only one caveat: WE DIDN'T OWN IT! Nope, we hadn't closed on the house because the Title company didn't feel like we were a priority at the time. They were dragging their feet, so to speak. But we were running out of time since the lease on our townhouse was quickly running out. 

That's when we decided to get a Certificate Of Occupancy, which the town gives showing that the house is habitable, they handed over the keys and we were able to move in before we closed. It has been a stressful month because we were living in a home we didn't own. I was scared to do anything, like hang photos, get settled in. Because who knows, perhaps the whole thing would fall through and we'd be kicked out of our house! I already had a plan for that though, I'd be ripping out my beautiful soaking tub and sleeping in it. No way anyone was going to get that besides me!

The day we were handed over the keys...even though we didn't own it yet!
But as of last week we finally got the call we were waiting for: the closing date! Even though we had the closing date, there were still a few things that hadn't been finished on the house yet. We still don't have back steps off of our second story deck and we didn't have our paved driveway. Living in Maine, a lot of these things are so weather and temperature dependent so we had to wait until the frost was out of the round then get in line with everyone and their brother who has waiting all winter long for the same thing. 

This is why yesterday, our closing day, was so exciting. Not only did we close on the house, when we were headed out the door the paving company had showed up and was hard at work! We will have to wait on the back stairs until the lawn has settled so they don't tear it up, but I'm okay with that since the money is happily sitting in escrow. 

Let me tell you a little something about closing on our particular house. Sure there was lot of paperwork and we weren't allowed to use our "normal" signature, you know the kind no one can read. We actually had to use cursive, but the closing was so incredibly anticlimactic! There was no big celebration and the handing over the new keys. No tears while driving to our new house. Nope, it was a handshake, all of us saying "finally!", and going back home. 

I did manage to run across the street and get myself a bottle of Champagne to make it somewhat special. But in the end, I would much rather not live out of a cardboard box waiting for the closing date just to have the excitement of the keys being handed to me, and are so happy we were able to move in an month early. 

Pesto Caprese Chicken

If you know me, follow my blog, or have glanced at my Instagram, you would know that I love anything caprese. Whether it be a caprese panini, caprese salad, caprese caprese, I love them all! For those of you who don't know what caprese is, it is a simple Italian dish that consists of sliced fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and sliced tomatoes. Simple, right?! It's also so incredibly fresh and tasty and will compliment many dishes as a side, or adding it to the main dish!

Another little tid bit of info about me is the fact that I love pesto and recently, chicken. When my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Maui three years ago I had this delicious mozzarella chicken panini at Cain & Taro. I mean what's better than those three ingredients? When they top it all off with pesto! Mhmm, that garlicky basil spread goes good with just about any dish as well. 

So I figured, some of my favorite ingredients should marry and become one main dish! So here you have it: 
Pesto Caprese Chicken

This dish was so easy to throw together that it makes the perfect middle of the week, hectic dinner throw-together. All you need is chicken breast, store-bought pesto, whole tomatoes, a fresh log of mozzarella (or shredded if you don't have the fresh kind laying around) and fresh basil. 

Layer the chicken with pesto first which will basically glue all the other ingredients onto the chicken and prevent them from sliding off. 

Next layer the basil leaves. If you can get fresh basil from your garden like I did, that is the best! 

Next you will slice the tomaotes in 1/4" slices and place on top of the basil and pesto and finally top off with a thick slice of mozzarella cheese.

Then just pop it in a 400º oven for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear / it reaches an internal temperature of 165º

21 Day Fix
Serving: 1 Chicken Breast
1 Tsp

The Glamorous Life Of A Stay-At-Home-Mom

When I decided to quit teaching and become a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) I got a lot of flack from people and comments like "what will you do all day?" "don't SAHM's just sit around, go out for coffee, have playdates?" "oh how nice that you don't have to WORK". 

Well, I felt it was time to truly expose what SAHM's really do all day. 

We sit at home on Pinterest!
Yup, you heard me! I take about 30-45 minutes a day either in the morning or the afternoon during nap time and I spend it on Pinterest. Can you believe that?! If I were working a 9-5 I wouldn't be able to do that during the day. But before you start shaking your head thinking "see I knew SAHM's have it easy!" let me tell you what I am Pinning. I am spending that time looking for activities to further my toddlers education. I am scouring the recipes so I will always have food on the table. I am looking for hacks and tips to save money since we do only have one income! 

I am not pinning the newest fashion, meme's or other non-productive things. Pinterest to a SAHM is a massive resource to help us stay organized and give us ideas to help our families. 

We Go Shopping!
... at the grocery store with our babies in tow. I'm not hitting up Macy's or Sephora. HA! Not only would I never make it into that store with a child, we are living on one income... clearly not being able to afford a $32 bottle of mascara. Wait, what's makeup again?? 
Nope, we're at the grocery store picking up all the essentials for the recipes we found on Pinterest so we can meal plan for the week. And then we are hitting up Sam's Club to stock up on diapers, wipes, and bulk peanut butter and jelly. All of this while we are trying to pacify our children who really want to run ramped through the isles, picking out new toys that we can't purchase, with a full diaper and a missed nap! So. Much. Fun.

We Go On Playdates!
That might sound fun and all and I'm sure you're picturing two or three mom's sitting there sipping on their Starbucks iced coffee while the little ones play quietly together. Oh, I would beg you to join a real playdate where the mom's get about 30 seconds of chatting that is being interrupted by a full diaper, a child who got his toy stolen, spit-up, a little one that is exhausted and just wants to cling, and kids who just don't want to be there. And when we do get to talk mom to mom we are 99% of the time talking about our kids! Do not get me wrong, I do love playdates, the very few we get, it is a chance for the kids to interact, but it's a lot of hard work.

We just sit around during nap time
I love this one. As if we do not deserve a break while our kiddos are sleeping. No but it's true, at least for me. Yup I sit around. I sit and fold laundry, I sit and make important phone calls to the doctors, bill companies, my mother, ect. I sit and fix the broken toys laying around the living room, and half the time I sit in the rocking chair with my baby napping ON me! So yes, we do sit while they sleep 

Sound glamorous yet? Let me tell you how us SAHM's view ourselves. We see it as such a privilege that we get to stay home and raise our babies. It's not easy though. I know in our family we are living off of one income, and that income is from being self employed, so it's not always guaranteed. But that has made me such an ingenious wife and mother. I have found ways to stretch the dollar much further than I would if we were both working. My toddler gets to see his mom working around the house. He has learned to help me cook, do the laundry, and plant herbs in the garden (see, saving money!). 

But as a SAHM, I don't get to clock out and come home to play. There is not start of end time. It's ever going. It can be a hard concept to grasp, but there is no delineation between days or weeks. Oh, and we don't get to pee alone!

I do not think that being a working mom is harder than a SAHM, nor vise versa. They can't be compared. In just a few short months my job as a SAHM will be ending as I head off to Nursing School. I will soon be working, and be on the other side looking in. As for now, I am appreciating every moment I have, even if it is chasing my son down the isles at Sam's Club as he screams "I need that!!" towards the 5 gallon bucket of mayo. 

Cucumber and Dill Summer Salad

It is a beautiful sunny Sunday and later on my family of three is hosting a small BBQ with my mom and her Husband. We are providing the burgers and fixin's and they are bringing corn and adult beverages. As I was making sure we had enough buns I got to thinking that the feast was missing the quintessential BBQ side: pasta salad! Too bad my husband already nixed that option the night before. So I got to thinking what else can I make? Then the idea came to me to use my fresh herbs I planted yesterday!

BINGO! I'll make a cucumber and dill salad! This super easy and yummy side is not only a crowd pleaser but it's super healthy too! No mayo or pasta and no need to spend hours with the oven on during the hot summer day. 

All you need is a large cucumber, fresh dill, half a sweet onion, greek yogurt, and salt and you will have yourself a nice and light BBQ side!

Take your large cucumber and cut it in half length wise. Then take each half and thinly slice it.

Next, take your onion and cut it in half length wise and slice one half of that very very thinly and toss in the bowl with the cucumbers.

Sprinkle in about 2 tsp of salt. I use Himalayan pink salt, but any will do, and toss it all together.

Next add 3 table spoons of non-fat Greek Yogurt and mix.

If you have fresh dill from your garden that is great, if not take some fresh dill from the store and pluck it off the stems. Finely chop it and toss it in with the rest of the salad.

You can either serve it right away or toss some saran rap over it and serve it later on.

This is such a great side to bring to any sort of gathering. It's very fresh and light, healthy, and easy to prepare!

21 Day Fix
1 Cup Serving

Home Baked Tortilla Chips

I don't know about you, but besides the delicious margarita's I get served, my favorite part of going out for Mexican food is the never ending bowl of tortilla chips they place in front of you. The crispy, slightly salty, corn chips that can be devoured in mere seconds is the real draw. By the time my meal and my third margarita comes, I am so full of those crispy triangles. 

Although I love going out for dinner, my wallet does not. I had to come up with an alternative way to get my chip fix. I don't like store bought tortilla chips at all so I decided how hard can it be? That statement usually get's me in some sort of cooking catastrophe , but not this time! Making your own baked tortilla chips is not only super simple but a lot healthier than the fried version at your local Cantina!

All you do is get a pack of 6" corn tortillas (not flour! I tried turned out like a baked pile of flour!) and spread some sort of oil on them. I used grape seed oil because it has no taste.

Cut the tortillas in half then in thirds. This will give you 6 chips per tortilla.

Place on a cooking sheet that has been sprayed. Making sure they do not touch or they won't get as crispy. And after all, that's what we're going for. Then sprinkle with a little salt (I use Himalayan  Pink Salt) and pop in a 350º oven for 12-15 minutes!

Serve with your favorite pico del gallo, salsa, gooey cheese, or just munch away at night when you're craving chips!

21 Day Fix:
12 Chips = 2 tortillas

Fun Family Time!

Where did this week go? Actually, where did April go? It flew by so fast for us. Perhaps that is because we moved into our new house and Bub's turned two. Thankfully my husband and I were dead set on getting settled in right away. Within the first few days we had almost everything unpacked and stored. Our house quickly turned into a home. I guess it helps that we had a brand new house so we didn't have to spend time fixing or changing anything. Just a few cans of spray paint and my no-sew curtains.

This was great because this week the weather has been beautiful. Well, semi-beautiful. It was still in the 50s and our house is located right in the middle of a wind tunnel, so it's always windy. I think I will appreciate that more when it's 90 out and there is no breeze up town but my house is going to fly away like Dorothy's. Bub's and I were able to get out and enjoy our back deck and the "beach", aka our yard that hasn't been excavated/seeded yet due to the frost. 

Bub's and I planted our first pots of flowers, ever! That's if you don't include the mandatory pot of Marigolds everyone pots for their mothers in second grade. After the potting, it was still so nice out that we had ourselves a little picnic on the back deck!

We've been able to grill this week, which is wonderful! My husband is even getting into the summer mood and stopped and got my (Killian's) and his (Bud Light Platinum) favorite beer. Good thing we have a big fridge! And it paired perfectly with the local burgers and my delicious Avocado & Black Bean Salad!

I needed that beer after Bub's had decided to take a bright red crayon and draw all over my brand new white cabinets. Good thing i had my All Natural Homemade Cleaner! It got it right off!

Bub's also had his 2 year check up on Friday. I prepared him for 2 days. He knew our wonderful pediatrician was going to look in his ears, eyes, and mouth. I prepared him for his two shots and the fact that he was going to cry, but it was okay. He checked out healthy as could be and ever growing! He handled his shots pretty well but was hurting that night. Which meant lots of snuggles for momma. The next morning I went into his room and asked him how he was feeling and his response was adorable, "hurt go bye-bye". Perfect!

Since his "hurt go bye-bye" we decided to take him to the Maine Wildlife Park. I have gone there since I was his age and knew he would love it. It is a State park in Maine where they take in and rehabilitate animals. It's not a zoo with elephants and such. No, it's a park where they have Maine animals. He was able to see and feed the deer, get within 5 feet of 4 moose, throw food at the bears, and see trout swimming up stream. And of course, he went home with a stuffed moose. 

He was so tuckered out, but I was super hungry that we decided to stop for pizza on the way home. Bub's rose from his quick car nap to squeal "PIZZAAAA!" and I think he ate more than I did!

And since we live out of town now, we decided to take advantage of the fact that we were near the store. We got Bub's some much needed new shoes and I stopped at a local store, Reny's, to get some great house accessories. 

With all this family time, I have found time to take for myself and I started PiYo again. I hadn't worked out since we moved since I have been so busy. My body is so sore, but I feel amazing! 

I love spending time as a family and I am so fortunate to have these opportunities every weekend. During the summer it is hard because my husband fishes so much so we take advantage of this time when we can! 

I cannot wait for this up coming week! Not only will I be entering into my last year of my 20's we will also be taking our first ever trip to IKEA!