Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

Gluten Free Malibu Chicken

Friday, April 24th, 2015

I feel like a winner when a gluten eater loves one of my gluten-free dishes!

Here’s a favorite we are loving in our house…

boxwood clippings gluten free Malibu Chicken Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts

2 slices gf bread (udi’s is my fave)

1/4 c parmesan

1 tbsp garlic powder

2 eggs

4 slices cheese (any, I like muenster)

4 slices deli ham

fresh pineapple

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a baking dish.

To make breadcrumbs place bread, parmesan and garlic powder in blender/food processor and pulse. Salt and pepper to taste.

Beat eggs in a shallow bowl and place breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl.

With a fork, dip chicken in beaten egg and flip so chicken is coated. Next, move to the breadcrumb bowl and repeat so chicken is coated in breadcrumbs before moving to the baking dish.

Repeat with all chicken breasts and bake for about 35 mins.

Place ham, cheese and pineapple on top of baked chicken and broil for 5 mins.

This dish is so versicle and can be served with anything. I like to add some kind of dipping sauce…even just ranch or honey mustard.

Hope you likey!

Quiet Bag

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Church, meetings or special events…there are those special times we need to keep the little ones quiet.

It’s all about the art of distraction and a designated ‘quiet bag’ ready to grab works wonders.

Here’s what we’re towing around…

boxwood clippings_quiet  bag

1. Snacks and water. We know how it feels to be cranky pants when thirsty or hungry. A snack bag of cheerios and our fave lollacups keep the girlies amused for a while when meetings run long.

2. Links. The best toy ever!

3. A cute tote to carry it all.

4. Plastic photo album. The girls love flipping through these and looking at pics of the family.

5. Mini board books. THESE ones are a family favorite…those illustrations!

6. A diaper or two + wipes.

7. Finger puppets. These ones are hand-me-downs, but THESE are an amazing deal.

8. Straws and plastic utensils can double as a toy to keep the babies occupied for a few minutes.

Do you have any great tips for keeping babies amused on the go?
Please share!!!

Nordies Knock-off Salad

Friday, April 17th, 2015

One of our favorite places to lunch is Nordstom’s Cafe, they have the yummiest salads…and fries :)

Here’s our stay-at-home version that is almost as tasty as the real thing…

boxwood clippings salad

Ingredients:

arugula

roasted chicken breast

granny smith apple

candied pecans (instructions HERE)

craisens

shavings of parmesan/sharp white cheddar

Dressing:

3/4 c canola oil

1/4 c champagne vineagar

1/2 shallot (about 1/4 c diced)

1/2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp sugar

dash of salt and white pepper

Directions:

Blend dressing ingredients together and refrigerate for 2 hours prior to serving.

Slice apple into extra thin slices and layer onto a bed of arugula.

Layer chicken, craisens, candied pecans, cheese and dressing.

Top with s+p and serve.

Enjoy!

A Broken Mirror, Fixed!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

<<<   Thanks to Jones Paint and Glass for sponsoring this post  >>>

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Do you guys believe in the whole ‘7 years bad luck thing’ when you break a mirror?

It took me 7 years to get pregnant with our girls, so I’m constantly trying to think back on what mirror I broke! Ha! Kidding…but only kind of!

 

I found this mirror years ago. It’s beautiful, apart from the middle was totally broken. Still, at $20 I thought it was a deal. When I got home I looked it up and discovered it was this one (see HERE) from Williams Sonoma, priced at $395! Score for me!

It sat in my basement for years, until one day I took it over to Jones Paint and Glass. I think I sat on it so long because I thought it was going to be pretty pricey to fix, but it was under $30!!!! Including clean up and installation! Wahoo!

 BEFORE:
mirror 2

AFTER:

mirror makeover boxwood clippings

It’s really one of the “wow” features in our new master, and adds the glam factor.

(Jones also cuts glass to custom size for all those random photo frames you may have lying around. I used them a ton in college when I was too afraid to cut my own glass in my framing class!!!)

Moral of the story: Fix things and enjoy them asap, rather than clog up your storage. Ugh, I’ve got a couch next on my list. How about you?

Dressing up Plain Yogurt

Friday, April 10th, 2015

We are big fans of yogurt around here and even more so now the babies are around!

Rather than buying individual expensive and sugar-laden flavored yogurts, we are opting for the big tub of plain and dressing it up with our own toppings…

boxwood clippings dressing up plain yogurt
We start by adding fresh fruit for the babies, but for ours we are coming up with all sorts of flavor combos with nuts, sunflower seeds, honey and granola.

Our favorite is 1/2 c yogurt mixed with apple, raw sunflower seeds, a dash of lemon juice and a sprinkle of cinnamon…so satisfying and refreshing!

Kroger stores seem to have the best price around for yogurt at about $2 for 32 oz.

We dare you to trade to plain!

Worth the Splurge: World’s Best Sippy Cup, Lollacups!

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Do you guys watch Shark Tank?

Love that show.

Anyhow, a few years back they had on the inventors of the Lollacup, a sippy cup with a weighted straw that allowed it’s young users easier accessibility to their drink. I was sold on the spot (as were the Sharks) and made a mental note to get one when I eventually had a baby.

Fast forward to having TWINS! With double the fun comes double the cost, and since these lil bad boys run at $16 each, I dragged my feet. Fortunately, Santa knew best and my girls got theirs at Christmas. Then 10 months old and still not successfully using any sippy we introduced the Lollacup. After just a couple of ‘practice sessions’ they got the hang of it and haven’t looked back.

boxwood clippings lola cups

We just use it for water, but it’s seriously the girls favorite treat of the day. They just love using the straw, and I love their independence.

They make the cutest faces while sucking too, and have to come up for a big gasp of air!

boxwood clippings lolla cup

We’ve officially added this to our list of “must-haves” and would much rather have one good cup than a dozen crappy ones!

Find out more by popping over to their website HERE, or to see on amazon HERE.

PS. Just a reminder that this WAS NOT a sponsored post, I just got really really giddy about this find! Nerdy Mama! 

Favorite Breakfast: Easy Cheesy Eggs!

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

What can you make for breakfast that’s packed with protein, veggies, super cheaps and always in your fridge? Scrambled eggs!

Eggs have fast become our favorite breakfast. They are packed with nutrients and are high in choline which is important for fetal brain development..hence making eggs the perfect breakfast for pregnant or nursing mamas!

Here is our favorite way to prepare them…

boxwood clippings cheesy eggs

INGREDIENTS

3 eggs

1/8 c milk

salt & pepper to taste

2 handfuls of spinach

1 slice  of havarti cheese (you could sub for your favorite)

salsa

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DIRECTIONS

Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper and cook on medium-high, tossing occasionally until they start to cook.

Add spinach and cheese and cook until firm.

Serve with salsa on the side.

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What’s your favorite way to serve eggs?

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We hope you have an eggcelent Easter weekend!
(hehe, sorry, we couldn’t resist)

DIY Kid Party Hats

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

What is cuter than a baby with rosy cheeks and pearly teeth?

All of the above plus a party hat!

boxwood clippings_party hat

After a failed attempt to find cute hats for the twins’ first birthday party (HERE), we decided to make our own.

We used THIS template from Oh Happy Day and attached ribbons to help the babies keep their hats on.

boxwoodclippings_kid party hats

Of course, the paper hats were way too tempting for the one-year olds, but the older kiddies loved them for all the birthday festivities.

Oh Hannah, you are a cheeky baby girl and somehow even more so in your little party hat!

EASY Homemade Gluten-Free Granola Bars

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Breakfast has become increasingly harder with the babies on board. Does anyone else have this problem?

We need something we can literally grab on the way out the door on a busy morning that will give us energy to start our day. These simple granola bars are perfect!

boxwood clippings homemade granola bars

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 c rice cereal

  2 c oats

1/2 c peanut butter

1/2 c honey

1/2 c brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Add ons:

1/2 c raisins/dried fruit

1/2 c chocolate/yogurt chips

nuts/seeds

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl measure out rice cereal and oats (we like THESE gluten free ones).

In a saucepan on med-high heat stir honey and brown sugar until a rolling boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla.

Pour liquid mixture over dry and stir to incorporate. Add desired mix-ins and press mixture into an ungreased 9×13 pan.

Leave to set at room temperature for about an hour before cutting. Makes 16 bars. Store in air-tight container for up to a week.

Do you have a simple recipe you’d like to share?! Please email us!

mail[at]boxwoodclippings[dot]com

Thanks to Suzy and Becky for the amazing recipe!

Bright ‘Bees and Bugs’ Easter Baskets

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Easter is less than two weeks away…eeek! We cannot wait!

It’s time to start prepping those Easter baskets as you know as well as we do that every store runs out of our FAVORITE Easter chocolate the week of!

We’ve gone bright for our little bugs’ Easter baskets this year…

boxwood clippings small child easter basket.png

boxwood clippings small child easter basket

Jellycat stuffed animals HERE

large chocolate eggs HERE

Lindt chocolates HERE

basic watercolor set HERE

fun crayons (similar HERE)

Do you have something you love to add to your baskets every year? Please share, we love a good tradition!!!

Power Smoothies

Friday, March 20th, 2015

We are loving smoothies more than ever! They are fast, delicious and a great way to pack in those fruits and veggies!

boxwood clippings power smoothies

We keep our freezers stocked with bulk fruit from Costco, but also stock up when we see smaller packs of smoothie starters and fruit medleys on sale.

We loved THIS peach, carrot and mango combo, which we just added a cup of orange juice and half a banana to.

THIS kale, strawberry and blueberry smoothie wasn’t quite as sweet, but had all of the good stuff!

THIS is still our go-to simple green smoothie recipe we use almost every day, and Sarah found THESE wide straws that are cheap and perfect for smoothies!

Seriously, THIS blender has changed our lives!

Do you have any smoothie tips? We’d love to hear!!!!

Swim Time for Baby

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

I am a sucker for a cute swimsuit, and with all these baby girls I am in trouble!

Swimwear has hit stores, and here are my favorites…

boxwood clippings pink baby products

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

1. Really? Mini polka dot flip-flops for $2. Sold!

2. A sunhat is a must for baby. Old Navy has us covered for $7.

3. Love this Burt’s Bees hooded towel to bring to the pool. Love THIS Skip Hop one too!

4. THIS is my pick from Nordstrom, but it is sold out! Hopefully will be back soon.

5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS fringe swimsuit!

6. Isn’t THIS ruffly tankini the cutest?

7. See how much we love Saltwater sandals HERE. Can’t decide which color?!

8. THIS pineapple Honest company swim diaper is adorable!

Swim sells out fast, so make sure to buy your favorites now!!!

EASY Mini Chocolate Easter Eggs

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Did we over-face you with too much chocolate yesterday, or are you ready for more?!

Either way, THIS mini egg mold makes the cutest little chocolate Easter eggs you ever did see!

boxwood clippings easter for gygi_4

We filled the mini molds full with melted chocolate (milk HERE and white HERE) and put them into the freezer to set.

We then popped them out of the mold and drizzled them with chocolate in different designs.

boxwood clippings easter eggs

This is the perfect Easter activity to do with kiddies…EASY, EASY, EASY!

We’ll be putting a few in cellophane bags and tying them up with pretty ribbon for Easter gifts.

We love a good five-minute, affordable and adorable gift idea!!!

Guest Post at GYGI: Large Chocolate Easter Eggs

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Good morning friends!

Today we are guest posting on Gygi’s blog today talking about how we made these large chocolate Easter eggs!

boxwood clippings chocolate easter eggs

We hope you’ll stop by and see how easy they are HERE!

Chocolate Chip Cookies to Die For

Friday, March 13th, 2015

In an effort not to consume all the chocolate chips in my house before baking, I decided to bake.

I quickly ‘googled’ a recipe for the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie, when I came across this one (see HERE).

And fell in love.

boxwood clippings chocolate chip cookies

They are heavenly.

You HAVE to try.

Whip up a batch this weekend, and blame the calories on me!

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*Tip: Use Guittard milk chocolate chips. That’s what makes the ‘heavenly’ effect!

Dressing up Costco’s Chocolate Cake

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Last week was my birthday, so I asked Brock to get me my favorite cake from Costco. Usually we make our cakes but this one is just too good not to indulge in at least once a year.

It is so decadent and beautiful on it’s own, but as it was my birthday I thought I’d dress it up a bit.

I used some wooden skewers and scraps of ribbon and made little flag-like decorations.

boxwood clippings costco chocolate cake and cake easy topper

boxwood clippings costco chocolate cake and cake easy topper

boxwood clippings costco chocolate cake and cake easy topper

 It was so pretty, but we had to be careful where we lit the candle!

This is such a versatile idea, and can be made to go with any color scheme or theme.

We love a simple spruce!

Worth The Splurge: Mustela for Mommy and Baby

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

One of the nicest compliments we get is that our babies smell so good! It makes us feel like at least we are doing something right in keeping our babies clean and fresh.

We owe it all to our favorite baby products by Mustela. They are gentle, smell delicious and are super concentrated so they last a really long time.

Our favorites are THIS hair and body wash and THIS Musti “baby perfume”, which is perfect for a quick refresher in between baths.

boxwood clippings

Nothing beats picking up your baby in the middle of the night to a yummy fresh baby smell…heaven! One thing is for sure, you will love these baby products so much, you’ll want to use them too!

Have you tried any Mustela products? Please share your favorites!

Cilantro Lime Soup

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Are you ready for a taste-bud explosion?

This soup is insane, it received five stars from our family!

boxwood clippings: cilantro lime soup

Ingredients

2 TBSP olive oil

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

80 oz chicken broth

14 oz can diced tomatoes

7 oz can diced green chilis

4 chicken breasts

4 limes

2 c cooked rice

1 bunch fresh cilantro

ground cumin, salt and pepper

tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado, cheddar cheese to garnish

Directions

Cook chicken and shred, or to save time use a rotisserie chicken! Next warm olive oil in a large pan and cook diced onion and garlic. Add cooked chicken, cooked rice, chicken broth, tomatoes (not drained), chilis, juice from the limes (about 1 cup) and bring to the boil. Season with salt, pepper and ground cumin to taste. Add chopped cilantro before serving, top with avocado and cheese and serve with tortilla chips. Thanks to Kumari for the wonderful recipe!

Tips for Traveling with Baby

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

If you follow us on Insta you saw that we went on a last minute trip to Hawaii!!! We got super cheap flights we couldn’t pass up, but the deals all had connection flights making for long travel days for six-month old Jane.

Here’s a few things that really us make this an amazing and happy trip for all of us.

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1. Do Your Homework

We made a doctor’s appointment two days before we traveled to make sure Jane didn’t have an ear infection. Landing in particular is sometimes uncomfortable for infants even without an infection, so we wanted to make sure she didn’t need an antibiotic. It takes about 24 hours for an antibiotic to start working, which is why I made it two days prior to travel. Luckily we got the all clear, and the doctor even gave us a travel size Ibuprofen just in case we needed it while traveling, yay for leaving the large one at home!

Flight rules and restrictions are changing all the time. Check your airline and TSA for rules for traveling with baby. Airlines can help you decide where best to sit on the plane and even put an ‘infant block’ on a seat, which won’t be taken unless the plane is 100% full. Most airlines allow you to check a car seat and stroller free of charge. Woot, woot!

boxwood clippings

2. Pack Smart

The less baggage you have the less you have to keep track of and the easier it will be to move around the airports and planes with your baby.

This is obviously way easier to do when you are traveling to a warm climate, we managed just to bring carry-ons for the three of us.

While packing light for you is ideal, packing extra for baby will give you extra piece of mind. I stocked my diaper bag like always (HERE) and added extra snacks, water and extra outfits.

Bring only baby gear you will need. Most places you visit, you’ll need a stroller, I think a beach vacay is the exception. We managed great just with the baby bjorn.

3. Dress in Layers

I dressed both Jane and I in lots of layers. Sometimes on planes you can be freezing or way too hot, it’s always a guessing game. I dressed Jane in a onesie, and jammies, mostly so I didn’t have to keep track of socks/shoes etc. I also packed both a muslin swaddle and heavy fleece blanket in the diaper bag.  I wore jeans, basic shirt, a swing cardigan which was perfect to keep me covered while nursing Jane. I also wore my comfiest, slip-on loafers, which made security a breeze while holding Jane.

boxwood clippings

4. Arrive Extra Early!

Easier said than done right?! There’s always an unexpected blow out/spit up and being stressed out worrying about missing your flight while baby is being fussy is the worst! It’s worth waking up early for extra time. I have to add 30 mins to the time I think I need with this little one. On the way home from HI we couldn’t find the car rental place and ended up arriving later than we had planned to the airport, so stressful!

boxwood clippings

5. Love Your Layovers

Usually I despise layovers, but I actually loved them traveling with a baby, even LAX! Layovers give the perfect opportunity to change, nurse and have a little play time. On our way to HI we stopped in San Jose, CA which even had nursing rooms…perfect! On the way home, we stopped in LAX which was crowded and under construction. I found a quiet corner and nursed and changed Jane there and even let her have a little floor time on her changing mat. 1.5-2 hours layover was about the perfect amount of time we all needed.

Traveling with Jane was a great experience, everyone was extra nice and accommodating.

Try to remember even traveling is part of the vacations, and I realized when I was relaxed and enjoying myself Jane was too :)

How we Organize our Diaper Bags

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

So far, we’ve discovered everything our mother taught us about parenting is true! “Being one step ahead” is something we’ve heard our whole lives, but now we understand how much easier and smoother our day is when we’re prepped!

We try (emphasis on try) to re-stock our diaper bags every night, so it is ready to grab in the morning without even thinking what the babes might need for the day.

Like organizing anything else, every item has it’s place so can be easily found and to equally easy to see when it needs to be replaced.

boxwood clippings_em's diaper bag organization 1

MAIN COMPARTMENT

plastic changing mat

several diapers

small refillable wipe case and back-up wipes

diaper sacks kept in plastic wipe case (we love THESE ones)

antibacterial wipes (for baby and surfaces HERE)

wallet and sunglasses (we love our Hobo wallets HERE)

sippy cup

security blanket

THESE muslin blankets are perfect. Sold in a two-pack, one for home, one for diaper bag.

SIDE POCKETS

Extra complete outfit (onesie, clothes, headband). When our babies were younger we’d keep two extra outfits.

In the other side pocket we keep food and snacks.  Two bibs, baby food in pouches, and a bag of baby puffs (HERE) for easy on-the-go snacks.

In the two end pockets we keep one stocked with toys, and the other with a water bottle or two for mama and for baby’s sippy cup.

boxwood clippings_em's diaper bag organization

These hand sanitizer cases from Bath and Body Works are perfect to attach to the side of our diaper bags.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 10.15.17 AM

We love THIS diaper bags from Pottery Barn Kids. It is large, comes with a changing mat and has so many pockets so things don’t get lost.

boxwoodclippings_potterybarn diaper bag

Keeping our babies clean, fed and happy is a big task away from home. Having our diaper bags organized and stocked is key to starting a good day!

How do you keep on top of it all? Please spill your secrets, we need all the help we can get ;)