<![CDATA[Annie's Aprons - Blog]]>Sat, 19 Aug 2017 17:14:11 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Five on Friday!]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:46:45 GMThttp://anniesaprons.net/blog/five-on-friday6178128
This week I'm sharing my five must try's from Trader Joe's. 

This summer I got to go to Trader Joe’s and do some grocery shopping. This was my first time ever going and having the time to look around and shop all by myself. I went once before but it was an in and out trip to pick up some of their cookie butter cheesecake for dessert. 

I was actually surprised at how reasonably priced food is there. To me their pricing is similar to Publix if not a little bit cheaper. Anyhow these are five things we tried and LOVED!

ONE. COOKIE BUTTER. This seriously is a must! Go ahead and get yourself a couple jars of it. I’ve tried creamy and crunchy cookie butter and BOTH ARE AMAZING! My favorite though is the crunchy one. Also, grab a box of their cookie butter cookies! They are pretty much two shortbread cookies put together with cookie butter in the middle. We ate the whole box in one day! 
TWO. TAMALES. These are perfect for a quick easy meal. We tried all of the flavors they have to offer and my favorite is the cheese and green chile one. I was afraid it would be spicy but it’s actually not and has great flavor. Second in line is their chicken and salsa tamales. Oh, and their Mexican Street Corn is good too! 
THREE. FRESH RAVIOLI. In their refrigerator section they have a variety of stuffed ravioli. We tried the truffle and mushroom ones and they were delicious! I also think they are very reasonably priced! I want to say one package was around $3.00! 
FOUR. WHIPPING CREAM IN A CARTON. I thought this was so cool. I am a huge fan of whipping cream. It makes things taste so yummy. At Trader Joe’s I found it in a carton that can be kept in your pantry until opened. How awesome is that? Most whipping creams have to stay in the fridge and expire pretty quickly. 
FIVE. NOVELTY ITEMS. Trader Joe's has a lot of cool novelty items such as candies, chips, salsa’s, marinades. If you’ve never been before make sure you go and give yourself time to slowly walk down every aisle and check out the different novelties they have to offer. Here are a few things I picked up that day that I’ve enjoyed.
  • Trader Joe’s salsa verde
  • Trader Joe’s pineapple salsa (great for tacos, chicken, shrimp, etc)
  • Mango Chutney (great on chicken)
  • Sponge Candy 
  • Caramel Popcorn (They have so many different kinds)
  • Everything Bagel Seasoning (I haven't tried this one but I've heard it's really good and goes great on veggies, meats and even in pasta.)
Have you been to Trader Joe's? What are some of your favorite things from there?

Happy Friday Everyone! 

<![CDATA[Thursday Thoughts...]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:45:49 GMThttp://anniesaprons.net/blog/thursday-thoughts
If we were to sit down and chat over some coffee I would tell you...

​That today is Ava’s birthday. She turned 2 today and it’s true what they say about children growing up so fast. 

The past two weeks have been tough. Ava is in a tough phase right now. She’s waking up in the middle of the night crying, getting up at 4:30 am, and not napping at daycare. She has been extra whiney, has temper tantrums daily (several times a day), and loves to say the word MINE in a not so very nice tone! I’ve tried to figure out what’s going on and this is what I came up with. It’s either… 

a. The transition back to school is tough for her (maybe she misses us)
b. The terrible two’s 
c. She’s teething 
d. She’s sick and doesn’t feel good
e. She needs to learn how to share

It’s just been tough with her lately, but I keep telling myself it’s just a phase. 

I would also tell you that I LOVE being a middle school teacher and my first week back to school has been amazing!  

I tried black fingernail polish this week to hide my stained cuticles (from my DIY project) and I am actually obsessed with it. I think I will keep black for a while. 

I feel like going back to work has helped with my anxiety. I guess I have less down time to think about things that cause my anxiety to flare up. 

I wish the show Nashville had more episodes and I still cry over Rayna. 

If we were to chat over coffee I would ask you what's new with you? How do you handle your child’s temper tantrums and what nail color are you loving these days?

<![CDATA[An Easy Date Night In]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:54:30 GMThttp://anniesaprons.net/blog/an-easy-date-night-in
Having a date night doesn't always have to mean finding a baby sitter and leaving the house...

​Ideas For the Perfect Date Night at Home! No Babysitter Required.

FOOD: Food is definitely on the top of my list! For date nights in I like to have a meal that I don't have to cook that way I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with my husband. One of the easiest things is to order pizza. You can get delivery and never have to leave the house. We recently ordered pizza from Papa John's and tried their NEW Gluten-Free Crust with Ancient Grains. It was so good and beyond what I expected! The crust is crafted from never-frozen dough and ancient grains, including Sorghum, Teff, Amaranth, and Quinoa that leaves the pizza thin and crispy with a uniquely delicious flavor. There is definitely no compromising flavor with their NEW Gluten-Free Crust. 

QUIETNESS: Put the children to bed before your date night in starts. This might mean eating later than usual but a quiet dinner every once in awhile without any children is worth it. 

GAMES: My husband and I love having game night. I've included some of our favorite games below that can be played with just two players. 
  • Pass the Pigs
  • Yahtzee 
  • Sequence 
  • Battle Ship 
  • BINGO 

MOVIES: Pick a new movie or an old classic that you'd both like to see and watch it in the comfort of your own home. 

DIY PROJECT OR CRAFT: Find a project or craft that you and your significant other can complete together. 

PICNIC OUTBACK: Set up a picnic in your backyard or eat on your back porch with some fun porch lights hanging or light some candles and play some music. 

DANCE IN YOUR KITCHEN: End your date night in with some soft music playing (so you don't wake the kids) and dance the night away in your kitchen. 

Can you tell I'm a hopeless Hallmark romantic? Seriously though, how awesome does a date night in sound? You can dress up for fun or stay in your yoga pants or leggings, all in the comfort of your home without trying to find a babysitter! 

What are some date night ideas you have? Planning on having a date night in soon? Make dinner easy and try Papa John's NEW Gluten-Free Crust. You can use thisPROMO CODE for a small 2-Topping Gluten-Free Crust Pizza $9.99 : GLTN2T  
<![CDATA[Meat Lovers Breakfast Quiche]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 21:26:09 GMThttp://anniesaprons.net/blog/meat-lovers-breakfast-quiche
Today, I'm sharing this yummy meat lovers quiche recipe. I love quiche! Especially ones with lots of bacon and sausage! 
Last weekend, we were busy finishing our big DIY Wood Wall project so I didn't get around to cooking dinner. On Sunday, I wanted to cook a good breakfast for my husband since I slacked on dinner and as a token of my appreciation for all of the hard work and sweat he put into getting our project completed before Ava's birthday. 

I decided to make this delicious meat lovers breakfast quiche. It was a big hit! I think this recipe is great to make during the holidays when you have guests over or maybe for a brunch or just because. You can cook your bacon and sausage the night before and then throw everything together the next morning.

We LOVE using this easy method to cook our bacon. It's seriously the best with NO greasy mess to clean up. 

One of the things I love about quiche is that you can make so many different varieties. If you're a meat lover you definitely need to give this one a try! 

Meat Lovers Breakfast Quiche Recipe 

1 (9 inch) refrigerated pie crust
5 large eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 lb of cooked breakfast sausage
6 strips thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Beat eggs with whisk until well blended. Add cream, salt, and pepper.
  3. In the bottom of your pie crust layer half of the cooked sausage, then layer half of the chopped cooked bacon, and half of the shredded cheddar cheese. Layer once more, sausage, bacon, and cheese.
  4. Pour egg and cream mixture into the pie crust. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until egg mixture is firm and the top is golden. 
  5. Serve warm and enjoy! 
<![CDATA[Weekend Recap! The start of my biggest DIY project.]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 21:08:49 GMThttp://anniesaprons.net/blog/weekend-recap-the-start-of-my-biggest-diy-project
This weekend we worked on my latest DIY project. This is probably the biggest DIY I’ve ever done and of course I decided to start it on the last day of summer.

​This weekend we worked on my latest DIY project. This is probably the biggest DIY I’ve ever done and of course I decided to start it on the last day of summer. 

See what happened was, I went to a friend’s house and saw her wood wall which was beautiful! On my way home I started brainstorming where I could put one in our house. I got home and found the perfect spot! I looked on Pinterest and discovered it could be done in a few days (not true). 

After a little convincing my husband agreed to my DIY project. I got back on Pinterest to do some more research and found a DIY natural wood stain (I’ll blog about that soon). I tried it and at first I wasn’t sure if it was the look I was going for. So I tried a couple different stains, all to discover that my first trial run ended up being my favorite. We spent the rest of the week staining 60 1x4’s (it’s a big wall). 

My husband was such a huge help! Working in a garage during the middle of summer in Florida is not the brightest idea. We were drenched in sweat from the hot, humid air and covered in mosquito bites.  Saturday, my brother came over to help and by the end of night all of the boards were stained, cut and ready to go on the wall. 

​Sunday morning, my husband started putting the wall together. I have to say that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE our pallet wood wall! It was worth every bit of the sweat and hard work it took to get it completed. I will blog about it soon once my house is back in order. 
This little one did so good! She helped out with the wall, read books, played and relaxed as we completed our DIY project. 
I hope you all have a great week!
<![CDATA[Five on Friday!]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:54:09 GMThttp://anniesaprons.net/blog/five-on-friday2942595
I'm a firm believer that using good hair products results in healthy hair with hair styles that last all day (even in Florida humidity).  So this week I'm sharing my five FAVORITE hair products. Actually my six favorite!Bonus this week! 
  1. Kenra Volume Hairspray - This is the best hairspray ever. I have thick heavy hair and with the Florida humidity my hair doesn't always hold tight curls. I love how this hairspray holds really well, gives volume, and DOESN'T have that sticky hairspray feel. When my hair falls it's still smooth and flowy. 
  2. Bastie Dry Shampoo - Dry shampoo is my go to thing! I can go 5 days without washing my hair with dry shampoo. This is by far my favorite dry shampoo because they have tinted dry shampoo for all hair colors. It's a little more expensive than others but to me with my brown hair its worth not having that white gray haired look that you get from other dry shampoos. This is another one  of my favorites that doesn't have a tint.
  3. Redken Dandruff Control - This is one of my favorite shampoos and helps with my dry scalp. 
  4. Redken Mega Mask for Damaged or Distressed Hair - I LOVE this stuff! I use it twice a week and it has helped improve my hair. It leaves my hair smooth and healthy and now it grows like crazy. I use this instead of using a conditioner and it has helped remove the "waxy" feel that the cheap shampoo products gave my hair. 
  5. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day  5 in 1 styling treatment - I use just a little bit of this in my damp hair before styling. It helps keep my frizzy hair under control and helps so much with styling and heating tools. 
  6. Windswept Defining Whip Hair Gel - I use this when I want to achieve the beachy wavy hair look with loose curls. It does wonders for that look! 

<![CDATA[Five on Friday!]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 11:23:52 GMThttp://anniesaprons.net/blog/five-on-friday9351457
This post contains affiliate links, when you click on certain items you are supporting Annie's Aprons Blog
This week I'm sharing some awesome back to school must haves for toddlers and teachers or parents, a delicious 10 minute homemade alfredo sauce and more...

This week I made my favorite 10 minute Alfredo Sauce and I thought I would share the recipe this week. This sauce is SO good and SO easy to make. You'll never want use the store bought Alfredo sauce again! 
Homemade Alfredo Sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or dried parsley
  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.

TWO. This year I was thinking about getting Ava one of these Bento Lunch boxes for school. I've seen some of my friends use them for their children. What are your thoughts? Does it make things easier? I like that it says "leak proof" and "dishwasher safe.  I also like that each compartment has its own top to it so things don't spill over into each other. 
THREE. Ava has the matching Skip Hop backpack to this little unicorn lunch box. I LOVE our Skip Hop. They are the perfect size for toddlers, especially for one as little as ours and they are easy to throw in the washing machine to clean. I have washed Ava's several times and it still comes out looking brand new and is still holding up well. They have so many cute designs for boys and girls. This year I would like to get her this matching lunch box to go along with her backpack. 
FOUR. One of my friends shared these bendable silicone straws on her Insta Stories and I fell in love with them. I have been wanting a soft bendable straw for my Yeti Cup. I think these would be perfect as back to school gifts for teachers or great as stocking stuffers for Christmas. I think I need to get me some for the new school year! What do you think? 
FIVE. This week on the blog I added another teacher survey with a FREE PDF printable and I wanted to share it again here. These are great to give your child's teacher at the beginning of the year to learn a little about them for when you want to do something extra special for them or for the holidays and special occasions. As a teacher myself I would love to fill out one of these. You can find the FREE PRINTABLE HERE or click on the image below. 

Happy Friday Everyone! 

<![CDATA[The BEST Places to Eat in Boulder, Colorado]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://anniesaprons.net/blog/the-best-places-to-eat-in-boulder-colorado
My family and I recently returned from our vacation to Boulder, Colorado. These are the restaurants that we feel are a must try in Boulder.  
ONE. Pizzeria Locale.  
The Pizzeria Locale serves authentic Napoletana style pizzas in an elegantly casual setting. We dined during their happy hour scene which they have 7 days a week from 3:30-5:30. During their happy hour they offer a discounted menu that includes some of their wine, cocktails, appetizers, signature pizzas, and desserts. Their happy hour scene is very family friendly and if you can, I recommend sitting at their pizza bar. It's such a neat experience. 
At The Pizzeria Locale it's all about the dough! I was able to get a behind the scenes look at how their delicious dough comes together. The dough begins with the mixing process and then ferments for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, the dough is cut and balled into individual serving sizes and then ferments for another 24 hours. 
After 48 hours of fermenting the dough balls are ready to be made into a delicious authentic Napoletana style pizza with cheeses imported from Italy and fresh produce from local farms. Each pizza cooks in a wood fire oven at 1,000 degrees for 60 seconds. 
The Pizzeria Local is definitely a must try in Boulder. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

TWO. The Next Door Eatery.
Next Door is an urban casual American eatery serving affordable real food sourced from American farmers. They work with farmers they trust in order to get the best ingredients possible.  Many of their menu items include a gluten free option which makes things easier for gluten free diets. 
Their potato smashers are a MUST TRY! These were seriously the best potatoes I've ever had. They were so good that we went back a second time and ordered them again! 
We enjoyed our food from the Next Door so much that we returned the next day. This visit we put in a to-go order and took our meal to the park for a picnic. 
THREE. Pasta Jay's. 
If you're in the mood for delicious Italian food you must stop in Pasta Jay's. They have some of the most delicious pasta dishes and offer a variety of Italian favorites. Their marinara sauce is really good and is sold by the jar or by the scoop. That's right! You can bring in your own vessel and buy their marinara sauce by the scoop. 
Several weeks before we arrived in Boulder I looked at Pasta Jay's menu and drooled over their Meatball Stroganoff. I am happy to say this dish did not disappoint! It was SO AMAZING! As an Italian Pasta Jay's dishes made me feel right at home. 
FIVE. The Sink
The Sink is Boulder's oldest bar and restaurant and has been a locals' favorite since 1923. With almost 100 years of perfecting their recipe, The Sink has been known for generations to have the best burger in Boulder. Their burgers are made with 100% grass fed beef or Certified Angus, and have over 10 specialty burger options to choose from, there’s a little something for the burger lover in everyone! Joey and I tried their BBQ Bacon Burger and their Breakfast Burger. Both were delicious, juicy, mouth watering burgers! 
Another one of my favorites and a must try is their Buffalo Mac and Cheese. Oh my word! It's by far the best buffalo mac and cheese I've ever had. 
So if you're ever in Boulder give these restaurants a try and let me know what you think!