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Pasta with Spinach and Tomato Cream Sauce and Chicken

Just a quick dish I threw together tonight inspired by my pregnancy cravings.  It turned out pretty good.  Note I don't actually measure, so these are just approximate measurements...



1/2 onion diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter (or olive oil)

1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste


1 can tomato sauce
4 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes

1/2 c fresh grated Parmesan

1 cup frozen, loose leaf spinach

3 small chicken breasts, flattened to uniform thickness
garlic powder
kosher salt
pepper

less than 1/2 box ziti noodles


1) Cook Noodles according to package

2) in large skillet, cook onion and garlic with butter or oil until translucent

3) While onions/Garlic is cooking, heat grill pan or outdoor grill.  Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt, and pepper and grill until cooked through. 

4) Add tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper to onions and stir

5) add in tomato sauce

6) add in cream cheese and stir until melted

7) add in parmesan and stir until melted

8) add in spinach and allow to heat fully

9) Drain noodles and reserve a little pasta water.  Add cooked noodles to sauce, (if sauce is too thick you can add a tablespoon at a time of pasta water until sauce is desired consistency)

10) Serve pasta topped with chicken, sliced and garnish with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.  

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Decisions

So, as normal, it's been a few months since I've touched this blog.  Life has a funny way of getting in the way of taking time to sit down and write notes down.  I started this blog with the intentions of chronicling my son's moments and milestones, but Facebook and Instagram have proven to be a much more efficient way of getting my thoughts down quickly.  That being said, today I'm taking my blog in a different direction.  Today I'd like to just give my own, personal opinion.  


I want to preface this with saying I am a firm believer that I am my son's mother first and friend second.  I love my son but I want to mold him into a respectful man.  That's a tough job.  There are days I feel like I am being judged for getting angry because my son won't eat dinner or throws a tantrum in the store because I refuse to buy him a toy, but in all honesty I don't care what other people think of my parenting skills.  I have a generally well behaved, albeit rambunctious, four-year-old who is learning the difference between right and wrong.  But let's elaborate on the "respectful" piece I mentioned above.

When I was growing up, I feared my parents.  Allow me to explain.  I was not scared of my parents.  I never felt in danger with them.  I never felt like I was going to be harmed by them.  But I feared what they thought of me if I did something wrong- I feared disappointing them. As I've grown into an adult, I still apply "what would my parents think" into a lot of my decisions I make.  I feel like that was the mentality of kids in my generation and older.  We actually cared what our parents thought because they were (are) our parents and not our friends.

I don't think this applies to today's generations of tweens and teenagers.  Facebook allows me the opportunity to observe from the outside with it's wonderful security settings and the lack of a filter on today's youth. The number children having sex and doing drugs shocks me and the number of parents that are ok with it shocks me just as much.

Here's a personal story about me.  I know I am far from the norm, but I chose to remain a virgin until I was almost 20 years old.  This was a personal choice because of my aforementioned fear of my parents and what they would think if I became pregnant in high school.  I had plenty of opportunities to engage in sex and drugs but I chose not to. Sure, I had a couple of years in my early 20s where I was, in my opinion, a little out of control, but I was grown and on my own and responsible for my actions.  I still, in the back of my mind, feared what my parents would think if they saw how I was acting, but I still made bad decisions but did so on my own turf.  I lived on my own, I had a steady job, and I was independent. If I had done these things when I was sixteen, and my parents knew about it, I think they would have killed me.  (Obviously not literally- they had three other kids to take care of and it's not likely they could have taken care of them from prison). 

Kids today aren't scared of their parents.  When a sixteen year old becomes pregnant and her parents are excited about that, there is something wrong.  When a child (yes, child) is in prison (not juvenile detention- prison) and the parents refuse to admit their child is a trouble maker, there is something wrong.  I'm not talking about an independent adult- if an independent adult makes a bad decision, it's on their back, not their parents- I am talking about a child who is still in school and still lives with their parents and still not legally an adult.  While we want to love and embrace our children we live in a society where when our kids make bad decisions we blame someone else and praise them for doing the best they could.  It's ridiculous.

Please understand me, I will love my child no matter what.  But I will not praise bad decisions- because his bad decisions ultimately are a reflection of my parenting until he is a legal adult and because as a mother it is my job and responsibility to ensure my son is educated and monitored to make good decisions as long as he is a child in my home. I will not be a helicopter mother, I will have to trust him to go out in the world and make good decisions. I know he's going to do stupid things, but I trust that I will instill enough knowledge into him that he knows the difference between good, stupid and bad and applies that knowledge into his every day life.  



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Trips tip Target

I'm actually writing this as I walk aimlessly through Target. I had a moment walking through the electronics section when I saw an endcap of lip balm right next to the video game cartridges and thought "what an odd place for chapstick...ooh thats new... I need this chapstick...why did I come to the electronics section...damn you target." Thats when I realized I should write a book about Targets clever ways to lure suburban women to buy everything except the thing they need.

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Gud

Last week I ran into Target for something. Who knows what I went in for? There's something about that place that sucks you in and before you know it you've wasted 2 hours and a hundred dollars and probably didn't get what you needed in the first place. Anyway, I digress, I was in Target and I walked past the beauty aisle and my eye caught this:

A new line of shampoos from Burt's Bees: güd

Of course, the pretty packaging caught my eye. I'm a sucker for cute packaging with bold colors. Target had 4 scents on display and I spent at least 5 minutes going back and forth between the scents before deciding on this one, Pearanormal Activity. This scent is a combination of Pear and Acai berry. The pear is definitlely the scent that stands out the most. It's very sweet and refreshing smelling and leaves your hair smelling delicious for hours.

I bought this the same day I decided to undergo a major hair transformation- I had about 6 inches cut off into a cute, stacked swing bob. Over the last week, I've used the shampoo and conditioner exlusively. The shampoo has a nice lather and leaves your hair feeling clean without that awful squeaky feeling. The conditioner is nice and light, it makes my hair feel soft and look shiny but doesn't weigh my hair down or make it look and feel greasy. Honestly, my hair has never felt healthier and I don't know if it's because of the new haircut or the new shampoo/conditioner, or a combination of both, although I'm going to go with the latter.

The shampoo and conditioner each cost $5.99 at Target. The line also features a lotion and body wash but I didn't feel the need to buy the entire line that day. Target is the only place I've seen this scent and I think it might be exclusive to the store. The güd website does sell the other scents: Floral Cherrynova, Orange Petalooza , and Vanilla Flame and the line is a full assortment of bath and body products. Next time I go to Target, if I don't get distracted by something else shiny and new, I am going to pick up a thing (or two, or three...) in the Orange Petalooza scent.



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Motorcycle Men

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Recipe

I stayed home two days this week with a sick kiddo. He's on the mend, but I'm exhausted because I've had hardly no sleep since Monday night. Luckily I've learned how to function on minimal sleep.

I threw this together this afternoon and it's been cooking in the slow cooker- nothing fancy but goodness gracious is it yummy!

Creamy Onion Chicken

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 package onion soup mix
1 1/2 c. light sour cream (I prefer Daisy brand)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can mushrooms
1/4 c. chicken stock or broth (low sodium)
black pepper

Pour stock/broth in crockpot. Pepper the chicken thighs lightly and place in crockpot.

in bowl mix soup mix, sour cream, & cream of chicken soup until blended.
Stir in mushrooms.
Spoon mixture over chicken thighs.

Cook on high for 4 hours.

Serve over your preferred noodle.

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