{Recipe Files}: Tilapia in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Happy Halloween!! 
I have a spook-tacular recipe for you all today (ok it has nothing to do with Halloween, but it's coming at you on Halloween, and it's freaking amazing, so it's spook-tacular. Go with me here! :)

It's been a looooooong while since I've been here with a recipe for you, but I'm making up for it because this one is SO delicious!!
I saw it while scouring--where else?--Pinterest and knew that a creamy roasted red pepper sauce would probably be good on shoe laces, let alone tilapia so I gave it a whirl and it did NOT disappoint! And to make it even better, it's a one pot meal so very little clean up!

I didn't take a pic of the ingredient list like I normally do because I suck, but here's a list of what you need (it's not a lot):

What You Need:
~1 lb (or more) tilapia filets
~3 Tbsp butter
~1 medium onion, diced
~1 tsp chopped garlic (or 2 cloves)
~6 oz roasted red peppers, chopped*
~6 oz roasted red peppers pureed*
~3/4 C heavy cream
~1/2 cup grated/shredded parmesan cheese
~ salt/pepper
~parsley for garnish

*I bought a 12 oz jar and split it. I pureed the roasted red peppers in my baby food processor. Easy peasy.

What You Do:
1. In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter and then fry up the tilapia for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Once done, salt and pepper the fish and move to a plate.
*My fish ended up falling apart, which I was fine with because it meant that my fish was cooked well.

2. In the same skillet, add in the last 1 Tbsp of butter, and the onions. Cook through (about 5 minutes).
3. Add in the garlic, and the chopped and pureed red peppers and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Add in the parmesan and the heavy cream, turn off the heat, and stir. Ohhh yeah, this is where the magic happens...
Taste test and add more salt if needed.
5. Add the tilapia back into the pan and cover it in the sauce.
Add your parsley, then plate it up and enjoy!! This meal came together SO easily, with very little prep work or active hands-on time. It's perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.

This would be good over rice, too. We had it with veggies on the side and it was delicious! I think the next time I make it, I'm going to double the sauce!

I could also see this being good over chicken, shrimp, pasta...the possibilities are endless because the sauce is just so dang good!
Bon appetit!

Weekending: Wedding and Milestones

Happy Monday friends! We're coming off of a weekend of travel to PA for a family wedding, and I feel like I could use another weekend to recover from our weekend. Travelling with a baby is just more exhausting than regular travel!

Anyway, there were lots of highlights this weekend:

~Friday at work we had Book Character day, where the teachers (and the kids) all dress up as different characters from books. The Special Education team decided to be Where's Waldo, which was a lot of fun as only one of us was Waldo, so all of the kids spent the day trying to find the real one
~Friday night we packed up, had some delicious lasagna soup for dinner and then got Ella ready for bed and hit the road up to PA. The drive was smooth and quick and when we got there Ella was all smiles for my in-laws and then like the good little nugget she is, went right back down to sleep.

~Then that good sleeper decided to surprise us by flipping over in the middle of the night, so when I checked her on the monitor at 530am I did a double take when I saw her face down without a peep. Of course, I immediately thought she was dead and we rushed in to make sure she was ok. She was. After feeding her and putting her back down, I woke up at 730 to this on the monitor:
So, we now have a tummy sleeper. And I basically didn't sleep the rest of the weekend.

~We had a low key morning at home before we got ready for the wedding--Ella napped for an hour and a half (seriously tummy sleep is great!) and we watched the first episode of Stranger Things.

~My niece did my hair and my two SIL's hair for the wedding (she's so freaking talented). We left Ella with my SIL's friend and headed to the wedding with the fam:
She was stunning 
me with my BIL's...we always get our photo together at family gatherings
I love this crew
~After a night of drinking, celebrating, photo boothing and more celebrating, we headed home. The car ride was full of so much laughter we were crying--just the way I like it :)
~My one SIL and her two girls stayed over where we were, and we all made it to bed sometime after midnight

~MG and I woke up at 630 to our tummy sleeper, who we changed and fed and put back down...and she slept until almost 830!! Bring on this tummy sleeping!!

~We had a fun breakfast with the girls before we all started packing up to head home. Ella slept 2 hours of the 2.5 hour car ride home and was a great little travel buddy for the end of the ride
~We unpacked, did errands, and lazed around for the rest of the afternoon, and got in more play time with our little bear

Speaking of our little bear, she's 6 months old today and my heart can almost not take it. Never before in my life has half of a year gone by so quickly! Watching her grow and learn all of these new things has been so fun, and I know the months are just going to keep flying by with all of the fun things ahead. All I know is, our lives are truly more full and completely blessed to have this beautiful little girl in it. Man, was she worth the wait!
In honor of Halloween tomorrow, a sneaky peak of our little 6 month old:
We love her "berry" much! :)

So, that was our weekend--filled with family, fun, and more milestones!
Can't wait to hear about your weekends!

Weekly Wins: October's End

Happy Friday friends!! Hopefully the week treated you well and you have some wins to celebrate alongside me!

My wins this week included:

~Getting the cutest selfie of me and my girl in our matching coral on Wednesday morning
~Ella sleeping through the night every single night this week. Praise!!!

~Trying out a new recipe that turned out to be insanely delicious (recipe coming at you next week!)
~Getting to see family this weekend for a wedding

~Gorgeous Spring-like weather AND Fall weather all in the same week, letting us take family walks after work

~Tackling a ton of things on my to-do list at work

~and this to-do list
{from a friend on Facebook}
~Making it through my solo evening with Ella on Monday and getting her down at night without any issues

~this hand in my hand, and savoring the moments that it still fits in my palm because I know one day it won't.
~Getting back into reading! My Kindle missed me, and I missed it!

~Laughter from e-cards
{via} #trump
~this pumpkin, each and every single day, reminding me that in the midst of the BS that people put into the world, this girl is my happy place, my heart and my greatest joy. Nothing else matters beyond that. Absolutely nothing.

Tell me some of your wins this week and I'll catch you on Monday, lovies!

{WHW}: I Believe

I believe in....

....waking up with no alarm

.....treating others how you would want to be treated

......putting myself in someone else's shoes before jumping to conclusions or making judgments

.....pampering yourself

.....baby snuggles. As often and as frequently as possible.

.....equality instead of "fairness"

.....the power of escaping into a good book

...second chances*

*buuuuut.....believing people when they show you their true colors

....laughter curing a bad day


.....cake for breakfast and nachos for dinner

....kindness and the power of reaching out

.....singing at the top of your lungs

.....things with elastic waistbands

....holding hands

.....working to live, not living to work

....experiences versus things

....gifts filled with thought instead of dollar signs

....calling out mean-doers


....the unconditional love of an animal healing the worst of days


What's hap-"pinning" with you? Or, what are some things that you believe in?

Coffee Talk

It's been months and months since we've had a good coffee talk, and after seeing Brittany's post the other week, I got inspired to do another little coffee talk!
If we were having coffee, there'd be tons to talk about!

~If you're a mom friend, I'd probably pick your brain about this whole "solid food" thing and how in the heck I'm supposed to navigate it. Breastfeeding/milk drinking I've got down. How and when to incorporate foods is tough. I feel like by the time I get home with Ella from work around 5pm, and her starting the bedtime routine around 630 (which includes her last nursing/feeding), I just don't know when to try new foods with her. And it's something I'd like to do instead of putting that off on my friend at daycare, but I just don't know how to manage it.

~I'd tell you how I'm nervous that all of my friends are going to leave my current school next year. And I'd also be honest and say that I've thought about it myself, but my drawback is having Ella's daycare SO close to school (2 minutes), and knowing that she's well cared for by my friend. Plus, we don't pay for daycare during the summer, and if we did another at-home or daycare center, we'd likely be paying through the summer, when I don't get paid. That adds up. But, people at work aren't happy, and there's already LOTS of rumblings that if people could leave in the middle of a school year, they would. I think if my friends leave, I'm going to be that much more unhappy next year. I guess for now, I'll just keep my ears and my options open and weigh out what I want to do closer to the end of the school year...

~I'd tell you that MG had a work dinner last night that kept him out of the house from 630am until 9:30pm last night, which meant I was mom'ing completely solo for the first time yesterday (no moms or MIL's to help), and we both survived. AND there were no tears shed on either of our parts haha

~I feel like a loser because I don't have much Halloween decor, and haven't decorated much of our house for Fall. It's not the end of the world, and I'm trying to give myself some grace because #infant, but I still wish I had more decor in my possession, and could easily decorate our house a bit more.

~MG and I split a bottle of wine for the first time in ages this past weekend, and it was nice to just sip, chat, play with Ella, and unwind with the gorgeous weather we had this weekend. Mama's tolerance is coming back...sorta haha

~I'm trying to make a goal for myself to read a little bit every week, since I totally fell off the reading train when I went back to work. Many nights, especially since Ella had her cold and sleeping was more interrupted, I've been falling asleep on the couch early because I just can't keep my eyes open. But I miss reading and am doing my best to make it more of a priority. 
Any good book recommendations? I'm reading a Diane Chamberlain book right now--hoping it lives up to some of her others that I've enjoyed.

~I have the iPhone6 and it seems to be begging lately for me to upgrade. It's SO slow lately, taking forever to open up apps, or even a picture in a text. I don't want to switch to having to pay for my phone every month (so annoying), but I'm not sure how much longer I can deal with my phone acting like a turd. #8plushereIcome

What would we be chatting about if we had coffee? 

Weekending: The One That Felt like Spring

Wow, the weather this past weekend was insanely nice and made it possible to have windows and doors open, and get in lots of outside time!

Lots of highlights from this weekend:

~The date night we thought we were going to have on Friday went bust because my BIL's sister and daughter decided to go home after their college tour instead of babysitting like they'd offered. It was a bummer, but we got to spend the evening with pizza and Ella instead which is never a bad thing.

~Watched The Big Sick which we enjoyed--cute movie!

~Saturday morning we woke up and decided to go to a local produce and flower market. They made it very pumpkin patch-like and it was the perfect place to take Ella for some fun Fall photos in her super cute outfit that my sister-in-law sent!

~We met another couple and their son while trying to take pics of our families, ended up chatting, exchanging numbers, and making plans to meet up again. Come to find out, the mom went to elementary school with another girl that I went to middle and high school with! Small world
the dads :)
~In the afternoon we decided to walk along the water towards Old Town and saw some gorgeous houses and views along the way
can you see the skeletons climbing up the house? So fun!

~We picked up some burgers at Whole Foods to grill up for dinner since the weather was so nice, and when we got home, we decided to open a bottle of wine on the deck and soak it all up. 
Ella enjoyed her frozen teething ring while we polished off the wine :)
~Ella went to bed at 7pm, woke up around 5:30 and nursed and then went back to sleep until 745 am. ALL THE PRASIE HANDS because I woke up for the first time in a LONG TIME and didn't feel tired!

~We bought this headboard for our bedroom because we moved the King sleep number bed into our room and it just needs a headboard to look nice. Hoping we like it when it arrives

~We ran errands in the morning and in the afternoon our friends Meres and Kurt came over to hang out and watch football (truthfully very little football was watched because we were all catching up)

~After the 1pm games, they went home and we took Ella for a long walk in her stroller because she hadn't napped well that day, so we walked until she slept, and then we kept walking so she'd sleep longer. 

~We ate dinner, and started her bedtime around 615 because she was SO tired from her bad napping that day and she was asleep before 7.

The rest of the night was low key, just gearing up for the week, but I DID manage to read some of my book, which I hadn't touched for months! A personal win for me because I've missed reading.

Hoping the weather was gorgeous where you were!

Weekly Wins: The One and Only

Happy Friday!!! Another week in the books and we made it!

This week has had its ups and downs, but more ups thankfully. My wins this week included:

~Booking our trip to Minnesota. So, we're doing this! Traveling with an infant to a cold weather climate and we aren't turning back! Everyone I spoke with (and got advice from here) has told us to just do it, so we are. We're excited to see our friends for our yearly trip, and the Vikings game will be an added bonus too! Now...do we bring Ella to the game (with headphones for noise cancelling) or leave her at the house with a trusted babysitter for 6 hours?
~Free babysitters tonight! My one brother-in-law's sister and her daughter stayed with us last night and are staying tonight because they had a college visit/practice this morning super early at Catholic University and offered to babysit Ella tonight. We are totally taking them up on it and have a date night planned to get sushi--something I haven't had since before I got pregnant so I'm already salivating! Who knows what else the night will hold, but getting more one on one time with my guy is always a win!

~Ella's cough is getting better and she slept through the night TWO nights this week so far (if you count 5am this morning as all night, which I do). This may seem like a loss because she was sleeping through the night EVERY night but with the cold/cough it's been rough. Wednesday night was the worst because this little girl must be going through a growth spurt. Waking up and eating at 8pm, 9:30pm, 1:30pm...we were thankful for that full night of sleep at least. So, maybe this is a half win haha
~My sister-in-law is so sweet and sent Ella a package filled with adorable Halloween gear and a super sweet card.  I can't wait to put Ella in the onesie and headband (and can I say I'm a sucker for ruffle butt pants?? Oh my word!) Not to mention the cute hand-me-downs from my sweet friend Lynn that her daughter Evie wore. Ella is going to be one stylin' little girl for this holiday!
~We have plans on Sunday with our favorite couple friend on Sunday to watch the football games. We haven't seen them in a while since it hasn't been as easy for us to make it out on our double dates, and we've both been in and out of town on opposite weekends, but we're finally getting together, and even though it will be low key, we always have the best time with them no matter what we do. Super looking forward to it!
Posting this photo of us (the girl and I) and Chris Bukowski since it popped up on my TimeHop from 4 years ago this past week
~I didn't throat punch a coworker the other day who is super annoying and one of the most inconsiderate and inflexible people I know. Yes, not punching him is a win. 
~I posted every single day this week! Hollaaaaaahhhh! Now, don't be surprised if I vanish again next week lol

Even though this isn't necessarily a win persay, I still wanted to mention that today marks my parents' 38th wedding anniversary. Just wishing my dad was here to celebrate it with my mom. 
What are some of your wins this week?? Share some with me!
Have a great weekend, lovies!

Things They Didn't Tell Me About Pregnancy/Birth/Momming

Or maybe someone did tell me, but I didn't listen, or didn't fully appreciate it until I experienced it myself.

*When they "check how dilated" you are, it's not just a look and see. It feels like a semi truck is being shot up your hoo-ha. 
 I experienced this joy when I went to the hospital, in labor, and they checked me. Holy balls, I thought the contractions were bad...
*That after an epidural, you reeeeally can't feel your lower half (and thank goodness for that during!), but even hours later when things are wearing off and you feel like you might be ready to go pee....that bladder is full and you may pee all over the floor when you stand up. 
I don't know this from experience or anything (but I do) #realtalk
*Post Partum hair loss. Ok--this one I knew about, but I did NOT know that it lasts months and months and it is legit LOSS. I brush my hair, and there's hair on the floor. Everytime I look down, there's hair on my shirt, in Ella's hand...all around. Almost 6 months post baby, and it's still happening. 
I originally thought this was kind of a short term, week or two kind of thing. Nope!
*If you have Gestational Diabetes, they check your blood sugar every hour while you're in labor. Finger pricks every hour in addition to labor pain. Blah. And after you give birth, they check baby's blood sugar with heel sticks. Most heart breaking thing ever.
*Breastfeeding is hard, even when it's not horrible. Another one I "knew" people said could be hard, but I never realized HOW hard. I don't think I've met one person who breastfeeding just worked for right off the bat. 
Ella latched right away and I thought we were good. And then she latched again, and again, and again...and my nips! Ohhhhh my nips! They hurt touching your bra, a shirt, the towel after a shower...
The majority of my post-partum tears were surrounding breast feeding. For something that is supposed to be so natural and ingrained in nature...it sure as heck can/does have a LOT of hiccups associated with it!

*Mastitis. I never heard about this until I started breastfeeding and I'd only hear rumblings about it. You didn't want it, it was awful, etc. Well, let me tell you, IT IS THE WORST! You feel like you have the flu, your boob hurts, and the best thing for it is to have baby nurse, which hurts reeeeeeeally bad. 
It's even more fun when you get it on vacation. Ask me how I know this.

*Leaving the house with a newborn is tough. I remember thinking "I'm gonna go out all the time and take baby with me" and basically just live my normal pre-baby life, just with my baby alongside. WRONG! Getting out of the house with a newborn is TOUGH. You try and schedule it around eating, you're nervous about baby crying, or a plethora of other things that could go wrong. It was (and sometimes still is) more stressful than I ever thought it would be.

All of this seems negative, but it's not, I promise!
The whole experience of having a baby is new and uncharted territory. And I'm sure if/when we have a second, that will be uncharted as well, because we will be doing it with more than one.
Even though there are some really tough things, it gets easier, and you just adjust to always being on your toes, because every day is different, and each stage brings its own challenges. I'm thankful for other mom friends to text/call/hang out with because  they help get you through the bumps in the road, offer advice or things to try, or a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes it feels lonely when you look on Instagram and all you see is happy mom/baby photos and you're in the thick of it. So for all of you new, or soon-to-be mamas, you're not alone. 

Ella has been our greatest gift, by far. And I'd do all of this all over again in order to have her :)
(See, I ended on some sap for you! haha)
What were the things they didn't tell YOU about babies/pregnancy/giving birth??

{WHW}: Right Now

Currently, I'm....

Reading ...
the inside of my eyelids. Oh wait, that doesn't count as reading, but that's about the only reading I've done lately. Still totally slacking in this department which makes me sad. I'm gonna make it my goal to pick up my Kindle this week and get back into my latest Diane Chamberlain book.

Watching ...
again, when I'm not falling asleep on the couch (which is basically every night since Ella's had a cold and been waking up inconsistently), all of my Bravo shows (duh), and MG and I started watching BigMouth on Netflix. It's a little crude (ok, some parts are a lot crude), but it's a pretty funny take on puberty and has us chuckling regularly.
On the menu this week:
Monday: Broccoli Cheddar Soup (the first one of the season! Soooo good!)
Tuesday: Tacos 
Wednesday: Easy Crockpot Meatballs, and Spaghetti
Thursday: Sun-Dried Tomato, Pesto Pasta with chicken (and peas, instead of asparagus because I dont want stinky pee lol)
Friday: date night!

Looking forward to ... 
another date night on Friday night. MG's brother-in-law's sister and her daughter are coming down Thursday night-Saturday morning to visit a nearby college and offered to watch Ella Friday night so we could have a date night. Two in two weeks? We'll take it!

water water water...and tea at night because I'm fighting off a cough from Ella's most recent cold 

this gorgeous face. Every day.

the Winter ahead and all of the colds that Ella (and then me) are going to get. We're already at 3 since the end of August which doesn't bode well for the rest of the year. I should buy stock in Nyquil and tissues at this point.

my dad. On Monday morning on my drive to daycare, all of a sudden I started tearing up out of nowhere, thinking about my dad. Gosh I miss him. I see him in Ella's facial expressions here and there. Sometimes a photo captures it and other times it's fleeting, and when it happens it stops me in my tracks and pulls at my heart strings. But it also reminds me that he's still here, even if it's not in the way I'd want him to be.

Needing ...
to make up our minds about whether or not we're gonna go to Minnesota this year. We normally go in October but those weekends just didn't work out, so now IF we do go, it would be in November which is dicey in Minn. It would be our first time traveling in an airplane with Ella, and during cold and flu season (and you read above how well we're doing with colds already). We'd decided that we were going to skip it this year, but then saw our friends' brother and SIL come with their 11 month old and we miss our friends, so we're debating it again. Part of me wants to not worry and just go with it, because we can't live our lives worrying about what could be. And our friends have 3 kids and everything we could need when we get there (plus they understand if things go awry). It's our yearly tradition to go, so maybe we should just do it. Even though I'm worrying about all of the "what ifs", I think we're leaning towards doing it. Thoughts?

In Awe Of...
how many women have posted "me too" in their statuses (and not in a good way). I didn't post on facebook, but sexual harassment (not assault) has happened to me before. The building maintenance guy at the first school I worked at right out of grad school, unlocked my office door with his master key and then cornered me in there, telling me that I "owed him" after we'd had a discussion the day before about something work related and he felt like he helped me with his advice. I brushed it off as a joke and he said "I'm serious" with a serious look on his face and then got up and left, shutting the door after turning the lights off on me and leaving me in the dark. Luckily he never bothered me again, but it was super uncomfortable and I remember emailing my mom to document what had happened, just in case anything else happened down the line. I never said anything to administration because I was young, new, and quite frankly, scared. 
This wasn't assault, thank goodness, but it's still not ok. I don't want my daughter to grow up in a world where this is acceptable or deemed appropriate.

Wearing ...
I wore fleece lined leggings yesterday for the first time because it was in the 40s when I woke up, and a high in the low 60s. Fall is finally here, yall....I just hope it stays Fall for a bit before jumping right into Winter

Grateful For...
friends. Good, solid, always there for you, no-matter-what friends.
And having a date set to see your bestie, because I miss her!
Link up with us below and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!