Friday, January 30, 2015

foodie friday : cowboy beef

not pictured : 2 lb chuck roast, I also just realized I used regular corn but was supposed to get corn with sweet peppers
Ya'll.  This is amazing.  It popped up on my Better Homes and Gardens Facebook feed a couple of weeks ago for 5-ingredient slow cooker recipes.  It is possibly my new favorite meal both for ease and flavor.  This is serious comfort food.  But not ridiculously heavy either.  GO MAKE IT RIGHT NOW.

The recipe calls for 2 lbs of beef roast.  I knew no matter how delicious it might be, we would never eat that much food ourselves, so I mixed the canned ingredients (you only use a tsp of the chipotle!), divided the mix in 2 and cut the beef in half and packaged up half of everything for the freezer.

The recipe says to just dump everything in a slow cooker and be done, but I have been watching too much of The Chew lately and their motto seems to be "the flavor is in the brown", so I seared my beef on all sides for about 2 min each side on med-high heat.  You probably really don't have to do this.  So really if you are following the recipe religiously, this is probably less than 5 minutes to throw together in the morning.  

I had mine cook about 10 hours on low, it was smaller amount of beef so I probably could have put it in at noon and been fine to eat at 6, but Myles slept in so I did it as soon as I got up that morning.

To serve I just strained the veggies into a bowl and chunky-shredded the beef.  I spooned it up on a pile of mashed potatoes and went to town!  This is so amazing.  I might add a little more of the chipotle peppers next time to add a little more spice.  It was a total winner with the boys as well.  Even halving the recipe, we still had enough left over for Myles and I to have lunch the next day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

what we're wearing wednesday

Now I love Myles in most of the clothes he has.  He is adorable in his little sweaters and jeans, but my heart just pitter-patters whenever he wears his little flannel button down shirts.  

This kid refused to put the broom down.  I really need to head over to Toys R Us and get him his own mini version.  He is always hunting them down at friends' houses.  

This shirt was a Christmas present from his great-grandmother.  I believe it is from Wal-Mart.  How adorable is this?!  It is really thick and soft too.

This second shirt is a baby-Gap button down that I found for $5 at a local consignment shop.  I just couldn't resist the elbow patches!  This is a definite favorite... I have a hard time not putting it on him every time it is clean.

This kid is really finding his balance and speeding up.  I was super shocked when he was handling our hills in the back yard with ease the first time out.  Even when he was carrying around his ball or frisbees.  I'm happy to say he is finally keeping his shoes on when we get out, and even has started trying to figure out how to put them on, which turns into whining, then handing them to me so he can wear them in the house for a few minutes. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

crafting : bibs


Sew I have this new hobby...

Well, not that new.  I challenged myself this summer to learn how to sew.  I was inspired by a bib I purchased at a little local store here... In order to make myself learn, I challenged myself to make as many as I could before a collaborative yard sale so I could try to sell some... 

I ended up making about 12 or so... and sold a grand total of 0.  The day of the yard sale, it was a yucky post-rain mess, and we didn't really advertise that there would be kids stuff there because we weren't sure who all would bring how much.  Oh well, I have had several friends have kids this past year.  

Sew inside out first with a decent margin, leaving a gap to later flip it correctly.  Cut triangles out of the curved areas and slits in the neck area so that the bulky felt can lay flat once you flip it.  Then sew a close edge to complete it.  Add a button hole and hand sew your button.

So this is my new go-to baby present.  Because like I have said before, in those early months, you just can't have enough bibs.

This week alone we have a boy almost ready to be born into our small group, and a girl coming in March to another resident couple.  The wolves were left over from my last sewing extravaganza, the other 3 I used up parts of about 3 morning naps to complete.  So much fun to be able to give these to friends!

Generally, I use felt as a structural/sort of liquid barrier from the front.  And the front is whatever cotton print I find in the fat-quarters or clearance section of various craft departments.  I try to stick to colorful prints that won't show baby food stains so terribly.  And I always prewash before I craft so that they don't shrink up after I hand them out.

As for the button closure, that was the cheapest option I could figure out without having to buy any special hardware.  I originally wanted to do magnets but those are ridiculously expensive.  And I could not be happier with how the button functions and looks.  It is super easy for parents to fasten, but secure enough that baby can't just rip it off.

Myles never complained about his...  Unfortunately he almost completely stopped wearing 
bibs right after I learned how to make them!  But he was a pretty good model for me anyway.

I love just having this to do on occasion to take care of my DIY cravings in these long days of residency.  It is a little hard to find enough time to do anything bigger like build furniture or paint a room.  Getting to do this to love on our friends is a major bonus, and making myself learn how to sew is so so so fantastic.  I have since managed to make my own pillow sham for the couch, a small curtain for the kitchen window, and a crib rail protector when Myles started chewing the crap out of his.  What have you been crafting lately?

I'm linking up at this crafting Blog Party!

Friday, January 23, 2015

foodie friday : sausage and lentils

Yes, I know I skipped Wed.  Myles was semi-sick and his nap was almost non-existing.  So I took the day off.  That post needed more thought anyway.  

I watch the Today show every morning. The other day, they had Padma Lakshmi on to share a family meal for under $20.  I am always a little interested in those types of recipe segments, but they are usually not something I am particularly interested in trying.  This one though, I rewound a couple of times and immediately had the recipe on my phone and bookmarked.  I couldn't get to the grocery fast enough to buy everything.  You can find the recipe here.

I don't think I really had any real idea of what this would turn out to taste like, it just sounded so good!  None of the ingredients were difficult to find, except the chicken and apple sausage.  Padma did say that you could substitute any smoked sausage but that she liked the sweetness of the apple in this.  So I went to 3 different groceries one afternoon before I found them.  Poor Myles.  I really should have just bought the regular smoked sausage.  It would have been cheaper and would have worked just fine.  The flavors are so complex I don't think I really tasted any special flavor from buying the chicken and apple.  You could even drop the sausage entirely to make this a vegetarian dish.

Don't get me wrong though.  This was amazing.  Thankfully Myles went down for his nap right when I needed to get started on it though because it was time consuming.  A lot of it was just set it and forget it (the lentils, and I chose brown rice which takes about 50 minutes on its own to cook).  What killed me time wise was the chopping.  Although after the comments on my Instagram photo, I seem to have been a bit too meticulous!  The ginger was also just difficult to deal with so I would definitely buy pre-minced next time.  I got my rice going and then chopped everything while getting my lentils boiling (25 min).  Chopping took almost an hour.  I'm so slow.  

The final verdict was that I completely loved it but might only make it again if our parents are here and can help speed things along.  Myles said "mmm" and ate a bowl full despite the spice.  I would probably cut back a bit on the chili flakes next time.  Kyle's response was what it always is on new recipes... "meh.  Its not bad".  Which means he is eating it because I made it.  Lentils just aren't his thing.

Definitely, definitely try this one weekend when you have someone to help juggle it all.  No joke, this is amazing.  I had a ton of leftovers and have had it several times this week.

Don't forget, if you want to see what else is to come, just follow me on Bloglovin to the right!

Weekend Recipe Link Up Party

Monday, January 19, 2015

Myles' favorites

Since Myles is over one year old (14 months!), I thought I would share a few of HIS favorite things right now.  He is getting super active and that personality is a hoot!  I can't rave about #3 enough!  Have you found any awesome apps out there for toddlers?  

1.  for sipping : the Nuby Super Spout cup is his, and my, favorite that we have tried.  It does drip out of the spout if he holds it upside down, but major spills are not an issue.  Another type that he uses doesn't have this issue but has an extra part to regulate the flow which you have to make sure to clean and not lose, and prevents him from getting the last ounce of soy milk from the cup.

2.  for breakfast : Having an egg allergy makes breakfast a bit difficult.  Mostly he has oatmeal in the mornings fixed with water and soy milk, but a special treat on occasion is the Vans gluten free waffles which are egg and dairy free as well.  The blueberry ones are a hit with a little bit of butter on top.  But a little more involved breakfast food we just tried today are these eggless avocado blueberry muffins by Averie Cooks that Anne shared last week on her blog.  Myles was a fan, and I kinda am too. 

3.  for the Kindle : This app was a freebie about a month ago through the Amazon App store on my Kindle Fire.  It is Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer by Sago Sago.  It is now $2.99 on Amazon, but is still free for the iPhone and iPad  through iTunes.  This company has several other animated apps, I just downloaded the currently free Sago Mini Friends, but it looks like it is definitely for a slightly older kiddo (but glad to have it free for the future!).  The Ocean Swimmer lets your kid poke around on your touch screen and make the fishy swim around where you want.  Along the way he will stop at certain spots and an animation will happen.  Myles LOVES this app.  He hasn't been super intrigued yet with other kiddy apps, but he has quickly figured out how this works, and grins at me every time certain animations begin.  I have never paid for any of the apps on my device but am tempted to get a couple more from this company.

4.  for bedtime : this is Doggie.  Myles loves him.  Mostly we only allow him during naps and bedtime but sometimes Myles sneaks into his room and pulls him out of his crib to carry around the house.  We also have a sock monkey inspired one that he is just fine with using if we are washing Doggie at bedtime.

5.  for play : Myles got some pretty awesome Christmas gifts this year, but this seems to be the toy he plays correctly with, the most.  He really loves the animals that came with it, but he does really put them in the barn and pull them back out a lot.  It is by Melissa and Doug, which seems to already have a different version available.  I like that the only "pieces" on this version is the animals though.  Second runner up is the Green Toys shape sorter from his birthday.

Friday, January 16, 2015

foodie friday : quick apple pie

I mostly decided that I wanted to include a foodie friday into my rotation because I want to push myself to try new things.  I get into a rut fixing the same things over and over, but I tend to play it safe with a picky husband to feed.  I promise to be totally honest.  I would prefer to only share recipes I really did like, but sometimes this might be- well I did try something new, but we didn't really like it. Or, it might just be me sharing the recipe to one of our staple dinners from time to time.

This week, I am sharing a semi-homemade pie I threw together this past weekend.  No particular reason except that Pillsbury crusts come in packs of two and when I make a chicken pot-pie I only need one.  I'm really tired of having that second crust sit in my fridge for another month and sometimes go bad.  So I chose to make a pie!

I am way too lazy to make an apple pie from scratch, but I did have all of the ingredients to make a crumble topping for the top.  Inspired by a Trader Joe's cherry crumb pie we had a couple of weeks ago, I decided to use my more shallow pie plate, only one can of apple pie filling, and of course the homemade crumble.  It was the perfect ratio of everything for us, Kyle LOVED it and even said the crumble would have been just fine alone with ice cream.  This will be the new go-to quick dessert plan. 

Quick Apple Pie

1 Pillsbury crust
1 can of Apple Pie filling. Your choice.

Crimp the crust into your shallow pie plate.  This is particularly important if you are only using one can of filling.  If you don't have a shallower one, then just use 2 cans of filling.  I just didn't want a super full pie.  Pour your filling in.


1/4 C quick oats
1/2 C All Purpose flour
1/2 C lightly packed brown sugar
4 Tbs melted butter
About 1/4-1/2 tsp freshly grated cinnamon.  It really does taste/smell different than what you buy already ground.  I just like the spicier scent of it but I'm sure regular ground cinnamon would be just fine.  I just kinda grated until I was tired of grating some I'm not real sure on the amount here.

Mix ingredients together.  It should be just wet enough to incorporate all of the flour, not sticky.  Crumble onto your pie.

Bake on 425F for 40 minutes.  Make it easier on yourself and put your pie on a cookie sheet so you can pull it out of the oven more easily.  Let cool on a wire rack for about 2 hours for easier slicing.

Seriously.  Make it.  Eat with some vanilla ice cream.  It is heaven.  You don't have to tell anyone its barely homemade.

Today I am linking up here and here.

Check back next week for a healthy dinner recipe that I am trying out tonight!  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

what we're wearing wednesday

Don't worry guys... I don't imagine myself to be some super fashionista that wants to become a style blogger by any means whatsoever.  Which is why I'm only doing this twice a month.  But sometimes I wear something, or I put something on Myles that I am just darn proud of.  So that is what this space will be about.  A skinny mom with her own body issues, post-baby-post-breastfeeding, that is sharing moments when she feels honestly "pretty".  And sometimes it won't be about me at all, it will be the cute outfit I pieced together on my mini-man from thrift shop finds and random gifts. 

This dress was a post-Christmas sale find.  I have wanted to have a comfortable dress with sleeves for a while.  I think this Old Navy one fits the bill.  I got it while it was 40% off so paid about $21 for it the Saturday after Christmas, but I just noticed it is currently only $18 online (maybe in-store too?)!

"Hillary?" You ask.  "Why does the photo say "What-not-to-do edition"?"

Because when you are a mommy-blogger of a toddler, you shouldn't try to be more complicated than you originally plan on being.  Just do what you originally planned on doing, and share the exact way you wore the outfit when you felt pretty wearing it.  Don't try to show how you can wear it dressed-up and dressed down, never wearing the shoes you originally wore with it.  And definitely don't do this without someone to give you a thumbs up on your choices-because you can't really see it all put together because you still don't have that floor length mirror you want.  And really, really don't do this all during the aforementioned toddler's possible only nap time- the same nap time that you are also feeding yourself much needed calories and showering during.

Because you will have things go wrong (the tripod is trying to break which would have sent the camera falling to its death on concrete from 5 feet in the air).  And you won't realize that you don't like your outfit in the photos, because of the shoes you have never been able to see with the dress, until the toddler is toddling around in his crib wanting you to pick him up.  And since he is a toddler, you are not guaranteed a 2nd nap, the day before you want to post, to get all fixed up and redo the whole self-timered photo shoot in your damp carport while the elderly neighbor tries to figure out what in the world you are doing.

But thanks to talking to a friend, instead of letting the world melt down around you while your toddler cries, because he really needs that 2nd nap but is trying to be a big boy and power through without it, you are convinced to, instead, share the imperfect outfit photos that you have.  Because that is real life.  That is not-Pinterest worthiness at its finest, with a big lesson thrown in the middle.  And instead of ever showing the fully put together outfit that you should have photographed in the first place, you use your time wisely and rush out to the carport while the toddler is blissfully snoring in that much needed 2nd nap and snap a quick picture of the shoes that you didn't spend 30 extra seconds hunting down underneath your bed in the beginning.  

And use that picture, of those shoes, as your title photograph.  

Today I am linking up at ReasonstoDress and ThePleatedPoppy

Monday, January 12, 2015

I am a planner

Thank you Target Dollar Spot.  I couldn't find a small calendar like this anywhere!

I like lists.  I like planning.  I drive Kyle insane with all of my "plans".  If I have a goal... like most people, that goal will fail/fall through the cracks without planning.  So when I decided that I really want to be more consistent with writing in this space, I really needed to sit down and brainstorm and plan it out.  The best way for me to do that isn't just to jumble it down, but to put it into a calendar so that I can see my To-Dos a month at a time.   

This blog was started so that I could share all of our life changes, and to connect and offer our experiences to others in the medical life.  Then I had a kid, and the blog became all about him.  I have to be honest.  While I love that I have each month of his first year of life documented, I was SO GLAD when I wrote that 1 year post.  It felt like a weight was off my shoulders; I felt like I had earned permission for myself to go back to writing about more than just my kid.  Don't freak out family; Myles will still be on here, just not the main event anymore.

My goal for a while is to get back in the routine of writing on a regular basis.  Mon-Wed-Fri is what I hope to accomplish, and what better way to do that, than to have specific things to write on those days of the week? 

While I still have some brainstorming to do, and this space will continue to evolve as I go, I do have some things thought out that I will be making a regular occurrence around here.  
  • Mondays are a wildcard.  Adventuring, photos, thoughts, projects...they will probably be here.
  • The first Wed of the month will continue to be the spot for "currently" link-ups.  
  • The 2nd and 4th Wed will now be "What We're Wearing Wednesday".  
  • Fridays will now be Foodie Fridays.  
  • Something med-life related every now and then.
I will miss days, I will move some things around on occasion.  Maybe I will get wild and post on a Thursday.  Who knows.  I will extend grace to myself when I fail, my goal is never for this to be a source of stress, but wholeheartedly a place for me to have something for myself.  I think that is important for a stay-at-home mom.  

Let me re-welcome you to homegrown in ky.  I love hearing from people and try to respond in a timely manner so please don't be shy.  

Hello 2015.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015



planning :  to take this painting of my grandmother in my hometown and have it reframed so that it can go up in the dining room.  My Aunt painted it years ago; for a while it hung in my parents' entryway but then I wanted it.  Yay Christmas money!

hoping :  to get a little more serious about this blog.  I would LOVE to try to post 3 times a week... I am still trying to figure out a direction I want to take in those regards.  This blog started out being about our move and medical life, and then went almost exclusively to Myles, so I need to do some more dreaming and thinking about what I want this to be.

baking :  tonight's dinner was inspired by a recent trip to Macaroni Grill last week.  Myles LOVED the spinach and cheese manicotti and so I thought I would attempt to make such a thing Kyle friendly by throwing in some ground chicken to the filling.  So these are my chicken, ricotta and spinach manicotti with a basil and garlic tomato sauce.  Semi-homemade for the win.  (Boxed pasta and jarred sauce).  I tried to get it assembled during Myles' afternoon nap but had to finish with him crying in the floor.  Yay toddlerhood and teething.

wearing :  I really do love the look of long tops and leggings during the fall/winter when I can but unfortunately I just don't really own any long-enough tops (and having a terrible time finding any).  So out comes the summer too short (for me) to wear as a real summer dress so I wear it as a bathing suit cover-up, and since it is some great muted colors... turns into a long top with a cozy sweater and boots for the currently not too freezing SC winter weather.

resolving :  to be more present.  To put the phone down more often.  To take in what is happening instead of trying to find that perfect angle for the perfect photo.  To listen more and talk less.

As usual, I am linking up with Anne and Jenna today!  Thanks for hosting ladies!