Joey and I have started to eat more lean proteins like fish, shrimp, and chicken. I love fish (my husband…not so much) and I also love Chipotle bowls. So I thought why not make a healthier version of a Chipotle bowl and add fish to it. Surprisingly we both loved this meal and needless to say there were no leftovers. It was delicious and has my husband would say, it’s a keeper!
If you aren’t into fish, especially the kind that has the really fishy taste then I recommend trying sway. It is a very very mild fish and almost taste like chicken. We found frozen sway filets at Publix and actually used those instead of the cod or tilapia.
You can also fill your bowl with whatever filling you'd like. Peppers, onions, guacamole or some salsa would add a nice touch to the bowl.
Fish Taco Bowl
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons cumin
• Dash of cayenne pepper
• Pinch of garlic powder
• 3-4 cod fillets (or other white fish such as tilapia)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup frozen corn, thawed, or fresh corn cut off the cob
• 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
• 2 cups cooked brown rice
• Avocado, cilantro, and lime juice for garnish (optional)
Lately, Ava has become a non-napper. When she was younger and I stayed home with her she napped a couple times a day, everyday. Then I had to start back at work and she had to go to daycare. When she first started attending daycare it was just her and two other babies. During this time she still napped. Now the daycare has 8 babies…that’s right EIGHT!! And Ava doesn’t nap at all! She goes all day without at nap. My mind has been going crazy lately as to why she isn’t napping and I have had mixed feelings about it.
My first thought was she is a baby, she needs to nap. How does a baby go all day without napping?
My second thought was, well maybe that’s just her. Maybe she’s just not a napper and we shouldn’t force her to be one. She sleeps through the night so it’s ok if she doesn’t nap.
My third thought and how I am feeling right now is that she NEEDS to nap. She is only 7 months old and babies whether they sleep through the night or not they need naps throughout the day. In fact I read that sometimes not being able to nap during the day can cause a baby to wake up throughout the night due to restlessness.
I was on spring break last week and worked on getting Ava on a napping schedule. It was very hard but by the end of the week she was taking naps. But now she is back at daycare. I went to pick her up early and they said she took her morning nap but wouldn’t nap in the afternoon. I guess one nap is a start and is better than none. I think what happens is they will rock her to sleep, put her in the crib, and then two minutes later she starts crying and instead of trying to sooth her and get her back to sleep they take her out of her crib. Now this is just my assumptions and I could be completely wrong. But I have a feeling with so many babies (including newborn twins) it is a lot of work for them to teach her how to sooth herself and get herself back to sleep. The joys of daycare. I know that they love Ava and do their best to take very good care of her, but I also know that no one will love her like I do and that a room filled with 8 babies can be overwhelming. So that’s where I am at right now.
Lately my mornings consist of a curling iron in one hand and my phone in the other scrolling Pinterest for ways to get your baby to nap. I have two and half months left until summertime and then I can work really hard to get Ava on a schedule again and back to taking naps. For now, I am going to encourage Ava’s teachers to sooth her in the crib and get her to the point where she is putting herself to sleep. When I pick her up from daycare I can try and get her to take an afternoon nap. Here are some things that I have discovered so far in my “Pinterest” research and from talking to other fellow mamas out there...
Creating Bad Habits
Teaching Your Child to Put Themselves to Sleep
My Game Plan: I figured the best thing I can do right now is teach Ava how to put herself to sleep. I believe this will benefit her, us, and daycare. Maybe she will get to a point that even if she wakes up two minutes after they put her down she could still get herself back to sleep.
Step # 1. Watch for baby’s sleep signs- yawning, rubbing eyes, slower motions, appears disinterested or fussy. As soon as you notice some of these signs and you see the timing is right for a nap, start with a step #2.
Step #2. Establish a good wind-down routine- It is important for babies to have quiet time before they sleep. Younger babies usually need less time to wind down than older babies. Wind down can be 5-10 minutes and it’s important to be consistent with this. Eventually your child will understand that sleep time is right around the corner. Wind-down can be anything that calms your baby. Some examples are reading a calm story, singing a song, carrying or rocking in your arms for a little bit, etc.
Step #3. Introduce a lovey- A lovey is a transitional object that your baby will associate their sleep with. It can be a small stuffed toy, or a special security blanket. You can start introducing lovey as early as 4 months of age. They suggest giving it to your baby only when it’s time to sleep. At first your child won’t understand what is it for, but over time they will get the idea. Ava is 7 months old and I have currently introduced this to her. She is slowly getting the hang of it.
Step #4. Put baby in crib awake:
(This is the one that we are currently working on having the patience for. It's easier said than done.)
Research and other mamas say that if you have followed all the above steps, by the time you put your baby down in a crib, they should be calm and ready to sleep . However, if your like me and got into the habit of rocking or nursing her to sleep, most of the time, don’t expect your baby to respond well to this step. If she starts crying, get close to her ear, whisper long shhhhh sounds and rhythmically but lightly pat her on her back. If crying escalates, you can pick up the baby, calm her down and lay back into her crib. Repeat the previous step if baby is still crying. When the baby starts to calm down in her crib, you can keep shushing-patting, but as soon as you notice baby start to fall asleep, stop shushing. You want her to fall asleep on her own and not become dependent on shush-pat.
Now Let's Be Real
These are the steps that I am going to start trying. I know the key to this being successful is consistency. Right now my goal is to keep doing the best that I can at home, ask the daycare what methods they use to try and get Ava to nap and encourage them to try some things that have worked at home. I will keep you posted on our progress.
I have no judgement towards anyone and the way they put their children to sleep. I strongly believe that every family has to do what is BEST for THEIR family!
Have you experienced something similar? What are some things you have tried with your little one to try and get them to nap better? Any suggestions, tips, tricks, or advice you could share?
This Easter Sunday was absolutely wonderful. We are so truly blessed and thankful for the many blessings the Lord has given us. We started our day off with a wonderful Easter Service at church where we celebrated our Risen Lord. They sang a song called, "Because He Lives" and the chorus is just so true. Because he lives I can face tomorrow, because he lives I have no fear. I wrote these words on our chalk board at home as a reminder. These words bring peace to my soul.
So I have to say that I love everything about this recipe! Peeps, Robin Eggs, M&M's, white chocolate, easy, and delicious! What's not to love? It's like an Easter basket thrown into one piece of candy! Another great thing about this recipe is you can really make it for any holiday and add whatever you want on top of your bark.
I made a few batches to package up and give to Ava's teachers for Easter. There may or may not be a few craters in their pieces where a piece of a Peep might have been. I just couldn't help myself. I love Peeps! Especially these featured with cake batter flavor. That's right...cake batter! Delicious!
For this recipe I tried it with chocolate morsels and also tried a batch using Bakers Baking Chocolate Bar. To me they tasted the same. The chocolate morsels are much cheaper and you get more bark out of one batch verses the Bakers Baking Bar. The chocolate might not stay as fresh as the baking bar...but honestly...it won't stay around that long.
The key to working with chocolate is how you melt it. You have to melt it slowly and not let your chocolate get too hot too quickly otherwise it will mess up the texture of the chocolate. You can choose to melt your chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment until it is fully melted or you can use a double boiler (the method I recommend using). Don't have a double boiler? No worries, neither do I. I just make my own double boiler. I take a medium sized pot and fill it with just a little bit of water. Maybe an inch deep or so. Just enough to boil and create some steam but not touch the bowl sitting on top. Then I place a stove top safe bowl on top and put the chocolate in that. Cook on medium-high heat (enough heat to boil the water underneath) and stir constantly until the chocolate has melted. It the bowl is getting too hot you can remove it for the pot and keep stirring the chocolate and then add it back to the pot when needed. It might sound complicated but it really isn't. Below is a picture of my self made double boiler.
I have made three batches of this bark this week. The first one had semi-sweet chocolate on the bottom layer and white chocolate on top.
The second batch was just all white chocolate.
The third batch (the batch I kept for us) has milk chocolate on the bottom layer and peanut butter and white chocolate on the top layer. To make this I added two big spoonfuls of creamy peanut butter when melting the white chocolate. The third batch is my favorite!
After we finished making the bark we packaged it up and made little treat baskets for Ava's teachers. Ava was a big help!
Ava and I both loved the grass! I found these little containers at Hobby Lobby to put the treat bags in, then used some Easter Egg sticks my mom gave me last year (sorry mom), and then found a Happy Easter printable on Pinterest. Now, our treats are all set and ready to be delivered!
After all that hard work Ava needed a nap!
If you don't get time to make this for Easter I highly recommend pinning the recipe and then make for the next holiday..or heck make them just because! I think next time I might try crushed Oreos on top. Oh my!
Easter Chocolate Bark
Wrapped with bacon and drizzled with a brown sugar glaze these green beans are bound to become a family favorite. They're absolutely delicious! My family normally had the traditional green bean casserole during our holiday dinners. Then one holiday I offered to take care of the green beans and brought these instead. Needless to say everyone loved them!
I don't have any pictures to share because I haven't had a chance to make them but I still wanted to share the recipe with you incase you would like to add them to your Easter Menu. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Bacon Wrapped Green Beans
This year Joey and I are having his parents and grandparents over to our house for Easter. This is the first Easter we will be hosting at our house. Tons of things immediately rushed through my head like table decor, the menu, dessert, etc. I think I have finalized the table decor (which I am sure will change a little bit by Easter Sunday) and the menu is almost done. We just need to decide on dessert.
Here is what the table will look like with two more place settings added to it...
1. Big Girl Chair: Last weekend we headed to IKEA and purchased a high chair for Ava. A few things I love best about this high chair are it was only $19.99, it's not big and bulky, and it is super easy to clean. So far Ava loves it too!
Mom! Isn't this thing supposed to come with food?!?!
2. Coloring Easter Eggs: This week we colored Easter eggs with Ava as she turned 7 months old. It was so messy and so much fun! You check out that adventure here.
3. March Madness: Ok, so I will be the first to tell you that I have no clue when it comes to college basketball or even professional basketball for that matter (except that I get tired of hearing about Lebron James 24/7). However, since last year my husband makes me fill out a bracket for March Madness. Last year, he gave me a list of their rankings and I went off of that. This year I did it cold turkey and based off of what college teams I heard on ESPN. Apparently I was doing really good! I was in first place for the first ten games which was really exciting! Then Purdue lost (which was a great game) and then that messed me all up. Either way it was fun while it lasted!
4. Greek Yogurt: I am not really a big fan of plain greek yogurt. I think it has to do something with the texture or how acidic it is but the other day my husband found this greek yogurt and it is delicious! It doesn't really have that greek yogurt taste to it which I love, and it has 0 added sugar, 0 artificial sweeteners, 0 fat and 15 grams of protein in it!
5. Spring Break: At 2:35pm spring break will officially start for me. I absolutely love my new job and I honestly don't have that feeling of, "Oh I can't wait for spring break!" which is so nice. However, I am very excited to have time with Ava and to see family and friends. On Monday we are headed to Orlando to spend the day with my mom. Then on Tuesday we are headed to Bushnell to see my bestie (it's been waaayyyy too long). After that we are hanging around the house and relaxing! It will be very nice!
Ava turned 7 months old today and this is her first Easter. Of course during Easter time you have to have colored eggs! I thought that dying eggs wouldn’t be too exciting because she can’t really be fully involved in that process. So I had the idea to finger paint the eggs. Hahaha!! That was an adventure! Probably not one of the best ideas I've had but it was a good try and we still had a blast.
I bought white plastic eggs from the craft store so we could keep these eggs year after year. First, I taped wax paper to cover her high chair tray hoping that the clean up would be easy. We put Ava in the high chair while we got the rest of the supplies and within seconds the wax paper was ripped into pieces. Luckily, the paint came off her plastic tray very easily.
When we went to dip her hand in the paint she created a fist. We were able to get some paint on her hands and handed her an egg and away she went. Paint was everywhere! Eggs were everywhere! We laughed and laughed! The eggs might not look as I had hoped but we still had a great time and we have these beautiful eggs to keep for many years. As a family tradition they will be on our table this year for Easter (you always have to have homemade colored eggs on the table for Easter).
I look forward to seeing what next year will be like when dying Easter eggs! Something tells me it will still be quite the adventure!
Join me in my journey as a wife, new mom and a baker as I learn to balance all of life's aprons.