Hi, hi, hi! So happy to chat after a few days away for the holiday – I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
We had a wonderful low-key week over here. Between Ben and my parents having a few days off, and Lincoln being off from school, it was one of those weeks when I wasn’t quite sure what day or time it was at any given moment. Lovely!
We visited the Festival of Trees and Lights, I traveled to western Iowa to attend a baby shower for a dear friend, Ben and I had a date night (what’s that?!) and we also ended up hosting Thanksgiving dinner last minute!
Neither of my brothers were able to make it and Ben got a Big Green Egg for his birthday in October, so we just decided to smoke a turkey over here with my parents and served it with all the fixins’. FYI, if you’re on the fence about whether or not an egg is worth the investment – go for it. Everything Ben’s been pulling off this smoker has been beyond delicious. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I don’t even like turkey but the smoked bird he made for Thanksgiving was perfection.
We also got all the Christmas decorations out and up (ask me how that’s going with a 1 year old…) and I’m officially in full-force holiday mode over here. Bring on ALL the Christmas movies, cookies, and carols!
Well I guess all that doesn’t sound low-key, and I pretty much just covered what’s “current” in my life, but I’m feeling recharged after a few days away and am anxious to tell you about some fun recent finds in this edition of Currently!
Time and Place: 10:01am at the kitchen counter. Lincoln’s at school and Cameron’s napping. Guys, I can’t even begin to describe the hot mess that is Cameron’s sleep schedule right now. I am newborn-level tired! He’s experiencing crazy separation anxiety right now which means if he’s not plastered to my side for half the night, he’s (we’re) not sleeping. Send coffee.
Blaring: White Noise Machine. Speaking of sleep, I bought LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machines for the boys’ rooms and they are sooo legit! We’ve always used small floor fans for white noise, which is a much more full sounding noise vs a standard noise machine, but I didn’t love the fact that they were just circulating dry dusty air through their rooms. Already long story short, this noise machine is a beast and covers SO much noise. Love it!
Watching: Christmas movies. It’s not even December yet but as far as I’m concerned once Thanksgiving has come and gone, any and all Christmas movies are fair game. We watched Home Alone Thanksgiving night, and Elf and Trolls Holiday are ready and waiting on the DVR. What are your favorite holiday movies to watch?
Rediscovering: One-Pot Red Beans and Rice. I made this dish a couple nights ago for the first time in awhile and was reminded of how easy and tasty it is. We demolished the entire pot in about 10 minutes. So good!
Dining: Cedar + Stone. My Mom and I went on our annual pre-Christmas Mall of America shopping trip a few weeks ago! It felt great to resume the tradition, as we skipped last year since Cameron was so young, though it didn’t feel quite as good getting totally lost trying to get from the mall to our hotel – which is also an annual event. I’m telling you, the roads around the MOA were designed to torment.
Anyway, the highlight of the trip was eating dinner at a new restaurant attached to the JW Marriott within the mall – Cedar + Stone. The restaurant uses 80% locally sourced ingredients and nearly the entire menu is gluten-free – they even have a dedicated GF fryer. Bring on the Truffle Fries!! That is to say, it was one of the best meals I’ve had in a really long time. My Mom’s short ribs were braised for 12 hours then served over local white cheddar grits, and my rare hanger steak was TO DIE FOR. Our service was excellent too – can’t wait to go back next year. Definitely give them a visit if you find yourself at The Mall!
Craving: Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese. Too soon after Thanksgiving to be posting a gooey, cheesy recipe? Didn’t think so.
Using: Norwex Cleaning Paste. Have I shared this magic paste with you before? Even if I have, it’s worth mentioning again. If you have a flat-top stove or places in your house that just get heavily used, you NEED this cleaning paste. They call it “elbow grease in a jar” and it absolutely lives up to it’s name. I’ve tried every product and trick to get stuck on stuff off my glass stove top and nothing can hold a candle to this paste! It’s pricey but I’ve had a tub for 2 years and have maybe used 1% of it. Purchase a netted rag to go with it too. I can’t seem to find the rag anywhere other then the Norwex website so if you’re a consultant feel free to leave your email in the comments section below for interested buyers. The combination of the paste and rag would be a great holiday gift, btw!
Obsessing: Magnolia Sweatshirt. All my favorite grey sweatshirts have officially been replaced by this Magnolia sweatshirt – it’s the end of an era! This sweatshirt is super squishy and comfortable, and I’m obsessed with the fit. I’m a large and loose sweatshirt lover when I’m hanging out at home, but feel too sloppy wearing them out in public. The cut of sweatshirt is trim but not too tight. Cute AND comfortable.
Using: Barilla Gluten-Free Lasagna Sheets. I came across Barilla’s no-boil GF lasagna sheets at the grocery store thinking there was no chance they’d work, and was thrilled to be wrong. I about cried after taking my first bite of lasagna in over four years – it tasted just like the “real thing”! In a nonstick sprayed 8×8″ baking dish I layered a generous scoop of marinara sauce (locals, I used Gino’s) then layered on the noodles followed by 1/3 of 1 pound ground beef that I’d browned and seasoned with salt and pepper, followed by a generous sprinkle of shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat the noodles > sauce > beef > cheese layers two more times then cover and bake according to the noodle package directions. GAME CHANGER. I truly never thought I’d be able to eat lasagna again!
Wearing: Dolce Vita Sutton Bootie. I’ve been searching for a pair of casual low boots for a couple years now and finally found a pair I adore via Living in Yellow (<< this girl is going to make me go broke. I want every.single.thing. she posts!) These Dolce Vita Sutton Booties are comfortable, the heel isn’t too high, and they can easily be dressed up or down. Ob.Sessed.
Crafting: Fruit Christmas Tree. Christmas is one holiday that Lincoln and I really get into crafting for. On our list is a Fruit Christmas Tree (trust me your kids/grandkids will go NUTS for this thing!) a handprint Christmas tree for the Grandparents, and salt dough ornaments for the tree using GF flour. What are you and your kids whipping up?
Making: Fat Bombs. We’re trying to put weight on Lincoln which is tough since he can’t eat dairy – so no full-fat milk, ice cream, cheese, etc – plus he doesn’t love high-fat foods like avocados. Anyway, I made him Fat Bombs from Tasty Yummies and Lincoln thinks they’re peanut butter cups! I used this Cacao Butter and added a big handful of Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels (maybe 1/3 cup?) so they taste like candy, are still low in sugar, and are chock full of good fats. Total win.
Pick a “currently” category and fill us in!
Industrail Training in Noida 04.13.2018
Currently I am enjoying with my friends.
Hi! I live a mile from MOA just curious about cedar and stone! When I went on their site I didn’t see anything listed/labeled gluten free. Was it listed on the menu at the restaurant or were the servers informed?
The site didn’t have the items marked but the menu at the restaurant did (I’m almost 100% certain.) Our waiter was very knowledgeable too!
I love your site! Thanks for the Norwex shout-out! I’m happy to help any of your readers in the Milwaukee area! http://Www.erickastark.norwex.biz
Craving: Tazo Glazed Lemon Loaf tea…..cannot get enough. Also loving Celestial Candy Cane Lane tea.
Have you come across paleo freezer fudge? When I had to go dairy free for my baby I found it and let’s just say it out back on all of my initial elimination diet weight loss pounds. It is super easy—maple syrup, coconut oil, and your choice of nut or sunflower butter boil on stovetop then freeze. Super yummy. I bet your little guy would love it!
Oooo that sounds yummy!! Similar to the fat bombs but no cacao butter – I’ll give the fudge a try when I run out of that. Thanks for the tip!
Kristin Lee 12.03.2017
Norwex gal here in Livonia, MI happy to serve anyone local or via FB/Skype! I love to help women in tossing toxins the home, encouraging kids to be involved in caring for their homes, solving cleaning challenges and mentoring women in their own home-based businesses doing similar!
Any info on where to get the netted Norwex dishcloth? I looked for it on Amazon and can’t tell if any of the options are the same thing. Thanks!
Hi Stacy! The netted cloths are only available via a Norwex consultant – several have left their contact/ordering information in the comments section!
Kelli @ Hungry Hobby 11.30.2017
No kids over here, but I still craft and watch all the movies! Those fat bombs look like something I want to have for dessert!
Yeah girl! Christmas brings out the kid in all of us!
Cassi baker 11.29.2017
Can you talk more about the egg and what your husband smokes on it?! My hubby just got one too and like you said, everything is delicious! But, I’d like to hear new ideas/recipes! Thanks :)
You bet! He has the XL and has been smoking briskets, ribs, the turkey of course, and we also love whole halves of salmon. He uses natural wood chips and usually just seasons with salt and coarse black pepper. The egg in particular has been awesome because it regulates heat so much better then a barrel-style smoker. He’d be out there every 10 minutes checking the temperature, adding coal etc with the old smoker but the egg takes almost zero maintenance during the smoking session.
Please don’t mention LIY….I had to unfollow/delete/unsubscribe. My credit card requested we break up as she was responsible for all of the frivolous spending.
Bahahaha, right??? She kills it!
I am dying – I love LIY and yes, she’s responsible for the increase in my credit card debt.