Sunday, December 22, 2013

Blog, Where Are You?

So, this week I've been doing some cleaning and organizing. Exploring new options for this here blog. I'm making the transition over to Word Press. Scary, I know. I've been here on Blogger for almost 5 years now, yikes! Going to give this Word Press a try and see how it goes. Please come over and read along with us. I'll still keep this one active for the time being, until something changes. I will be posting the most current posts over there. So head on over!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Orange BBQ Chicken, Crockpot style

I love being able to throw a couple ingredients in the crockpot and let it cook for a while. And just like that, dinner is created with little effort on my part. Could this apply to other areas of my life?! Kidding.

Found a recipe on Pinterest and decided to make it. I've made it a few times now and it is a hit. Hubby loves some BBQ so it is an instant  hit in this house.

About 4-6 good size chicken breasts, left whole
1/2 a jar of Orange Marmalade (18 oz jar)
1/2 bottle Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce (18 oz bottle ) {I'm sure any other brand will do}
2-4 tablespoons soy sauce
Some seasoning to taste (I used an all purpose seasoning)

Spray the crockpot pan generously with non-stick spray. I've found it helps so much with clean up the more you spray! (Tip: Coconut oil works well with no coconut taste) Place chicken in and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours. Remove any excess liquid that is produced. Make sauce mix in another bowl and to chicken, while shredding chicken. Allow to cook on low for another 30-45 minutes. Add more sauce mix if you like a more saucy meal.

After making this nearly half a dozen times already in the past 2 months, it is a hit and super easy. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cheesy Rice, A Birthday & Stinky Socks

How about a recap of what's been going on in the life of a Dewey this past month?

Lots of fun activities, food making and eating, running, enjoying the outdoors now that it's not 150F degrees outside (hello Arizona). So for your picture viewing pleasure, please enjoy.

Warm tea any time of day is still great. Even if we still have temps in the 90s in October.

Cheesy zucchini rice. I could eat the whole pan. But I didn't.

Oktober Fest at Tempe Town Lake. Had a blast!

Coffee love from my Gal Pal Jess at work. Can't get enough PSL.

Recovering after a 5.5 mile run few weeks ago in my Pro Compression Socks & fueling with Nuun. Addicted, yes.
Someone had a birthday back in September. A 2nd birthday. Oops, I haven't recapped that either?!

Jackson turned 2 in September. When asked how old he is, he's admitted to "Seven".
PSA: Shirt was custom made from a friend. Check out her Etsy shop. Highly recommended!

Now that the summer Monsoon season has come to a halt, I should have more time to do anything I want catch up and write some blog posts. I won't forget the cooking and recipes and I absolutely need to post more pictures of these two guys. Can't get enough of them. Except when they gang up on me :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf {Gluten Free, Paleo}

Lemon poppy seed muffins make me think of coffee chops, brunch, Sunday get together's with people. I'm trying out new ways to bake, gluten free and paleo, and found this recipe. Using coconut flour to bake has been different, but not a total failure! Everything I make, I end up eating because the hubby doesn't like coconut flavor. So this was a perfect little snack and breakfast go-to for me. 

Next time, I'll use lemon zest & maybe some fresh lemon juice. I also want to experiment with almond flour. This wasn't lemon-y enough for my liking. The coconut flour tends to "soak" up all of the moist ingredients but this turned out very moist and did have a slight coconut flavor to it. This recipe was listed as Gluten Free and Paleo. 

{Found on my Instagram}

1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 350. Place all dry ingredients except poppy seeds in a bowl and mix to combine. Combine wet ingredients except coconut oil in a separate bowl and add to dry ingredients and mix well with a hand mixer. Pour coconut oil in slowly, and mix by hand. Stir in poppy seeds. Spray pan with non-stick spray. I used coconut oil spray. Bake for 20-25 min, or until golden brown and center springs back when pressed. Let cool and devour slowly. 
If making muffins, this makes 6 muffins. I made into 2 small loaves.

Applesauce Banana Bread Loaf

Banana bread is good for breakfast and for anytime of day. As we near fall and all the pumpkin goodness that will now start infusing everything in our lives, I still go back to banana bread. This is a bi-monthly thing for me (should be more often) that I like to have around and make. Something about the smell in a house of fresh baked banana bread. And of course that first bite of warm banana flavored bread with hint of chocolate chips.

I'll admit, this isn't my own recipe but a VERY good one that I found. I have used different variations of banana bread recipes over and over again. I usually always sub the oil for applesauce. I find no taste difference and a more moist bread (even if over-baked for a few minutes!). I always sub chocolate chips for nuts, I'm just not a nut-in-the-bread kind of girl. And I usually make banana bread into muffins or mini loaves so they are easier to grab and go for breakfast.

{Found via my Instagram}


3  ripe medium bananas
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large egg whites (1/3 cup egg whites)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 oz mini chocolate chips
Smart Balance baking spray (I used coconut oil)


Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a non-stick loaf pan with cooking spray. Again, I used coconut oil instead of regular. No taste difference.

Mash bananas in a bowl, set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.

In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce, vanilla; beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. 

Add flour mixture, then blend at low speed until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Do not over mix.

Pour batter into muffin pan**; bake on the center rack for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

**I used a mini loaf pan. Bake time was about 30-40 min. I monitored to be safe. Still turned out great.

Recipe credit goes here

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Summa-Random, Summa-Greatness

Summer is full of long nights, days spent being lazy (not hardly actually), lots of playing and so much more. In a word: Randomness.

So I share with you, some randomness over the last few months. Part 1, anyway.

Have you found a Girl Scouts Coffee Creamer? You need to!

Decided it was time, and chopped my  hair off. New change

I donated my hair to help children in need of hair for wigs.

The sunrises + clouds are so beautiful this time of year.

Even without clouds, still a pretty way to start the day.
Playtime is serious business over here! So is his cuteness :)

Drool. S'mores bars.

Chobani Champions yogurt for breakfast

Pool time playing outside.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Storm I Didn't Chase

Every now and then during the Monsoon, I don't work. Surprise, surprise. And on occasion, there is weather going on close by on those days I don't have to work. What are the odds? Balancing home life, being a mommy and all that comes with that, going out to chase storms leaves a pretty small window of opportunity. Luckily for me, sometimes storms come near by and I'm able to witness some pretty cool stuff.

Still learning how to take the right photos of storms and clouds, it's amazing the beauty that can be seen from a distant severe thunderstorm producing strong winds and heavy rain. And paired with a sunset. That's epic!

I did a little post editing, but I'll show the originals too. This storm was south of Avondale, north of Gila Bend, August 27, 2013.



Original, black and white
All photos are mine and were taken by me on a Sony DSLR camera. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Breakfast Anytime {Monkey Bread

Breakfast happens to be my most favorite meal of the day. Scratch that, it's nearly my favorite meal ever. Of course, spaghetti and Italian is a close second. The point is, I could eat breakfast anytime of the day or night. So, having it for dinner is a pretty good way to end the day!

Sundays, or Saturdays, usually are a big family breakfast day (if I'm not at work, then the boys are fending for themselves. I try to make a pretty special breakfast, even if its just scrambled eggs. Waffles, pancakes and omelets are regular cast members. Monkey bread also makes an appearance from time to time. I didn't have a recipe off hand, so went straight from memory.

Monkey-See-Monkey-Do Bread

2 cans refrigerated biscuits
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
About 1 1/2 cups mixed sugar and cinnamon

A bunt pan, greased

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Cut each biscuit into 6 or 8 pieces (the smaller, the more bite size pieces you'll have). Place sugar and cinnamon mix in a bowl. Coat by rolling each biscuit piece in sugar cinnamon mix and place in bunt pan. Mix butter and brown sugar in microwave bowl and melt butter. Drizzle over cinnamon sugar biscuits. Bake for 30-35 min. Will be crispy on top, but make sure it's not too gooey underneath. Yum! Eat warm.

Easy peasy.

There may not be many leftovers if you live with boys, FYI.



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hey Soul Sister, Meet Virginia

Summer concert series! 


This summer I've been lucky enough to attend a good handful of concerts, and mostly accompanied by the lovely Jessica from work :)

Imagine Dragons, Gavin DeGraw, The Script, Train (saw these guys last fall, too!).

Great concerts here in Phoenix. Too bad they have to come when it's so dang hot.  105F in June for an outdoor concert. 107F in August for an outdoor concert. Luckily, we missed the 119F record heat day. That would have been brutal! The only good thing about that kind of heat, is baking cookies.

This was back on June 29, 2013. The official temperature recorded that day at Sky Harbor was 119F, setting a daily record. This is a capture from my phone. It felt that hot! Yowza!

Imagine Dragons concert at Comerica Theater in June 
Gavin DeGraw as an opener at Ak-Chin Pavilion in August
The Script was next in line at Ak-Chin Pavilion in August
Train as a finale at Ak-Chin Pavilion in August
All of these bands were so great to hear live. Imagine Dragons is a new fav group of mine and they have some really great, catchy songs that just make me want to sing as loud as I can. But I won't.  You're welcome.

Gavin DeGraw I'd never seen in concert, but now I want to see as much of him as I can. He's got a great voice! The Script I didn't know much about, but some of their songs I'd heard before. They surprised me and were really good. Train, of course, was no disappointment. This was the second time I've seen them in a year and I'm so excited I was able to see them. I'll admit, I'm one of the people singing as loud as I can (who cares?!) to every single song. They are all great!

I'm thankful to have a friend to attend these shows with. Thanks Jessica :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Baking cookies in 116F degrees, in a car in Phoenix

Normally when it is hot outside, the last thing anyone wants to do is...anything outside. Forecasting temperatures can be tricky. Trying to figure out just how hot it will get. A degree or two can mean a record is at stake, a Heat Warning could be issued, and the general public don't like to see temperature values go up, up, up. Especially when you approach that 120F degree mark. That's just insane!

So, deciding to bake cookies in a car to see if it could be done, why not? Not something that you hear about people doing everyday. So this was done for a few reasons. One, why not? Try it out, see if it will work. Two, a reminder as to just how hot it can get in a vehicle in the summer. So many PSA's out there about vehicle heat and safety with children and animals, this could have been seen as one of those as well. If it's hot enough to bake food  then it is obviously too hot to leave animals or children in a car. Three, just how hot does it get in Phoenix? Well, it was mostly for fun. 

This was done back on June 29, 2013. Phoenix Sky Harbor (official observation location) reached 116F degrees. The next day, we reached a record high of 119F degrees.

The LA Times did a great article on this event, and you can read it here

Our Facebook post went viral, and nearly 100,000 people saw this. That was exciting and hard to believe! 
P.S. Have you 'Liked' The National Weather Service Phoenix Arizona page yet? Check it out!

A couple different news agencies caught on and wrote up some stories. Read about them here: 

Skye-AOL Weather

LA Times

The Today Show (by the way, it wasn't 2 guys!)

Cookies baking away

Cookies after they were baked. And yes, I did eat them!

Look closely and you can see my reflection!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Did ya miss me?

Gosh, it's been nearly 2 months since I've posted on here. You'd think life was busy or something. Well, it has been. And this blog has been the lowest on the priority list. Sorry blog. In other news, we've all been doing well. Some quick updates for now, and with pictures of course, and then we'll start paying more attention to you, blog. 

Have a great weekend!


{Our outing to a splash pad while running errands}

At 21 months old, he amazes us every single day. He's so smart. New words almost every day. He understands so much and can communicate fairly well. We've also hit the tantrums and whiney stages too. Ah, toddler hood. Not every day is like that though. Lots of playing outside in the water, digging in the sand, trying to chase and catch Lucy the Cat and feeding himself with a spoon and fork. Newest words that are funny sounding: "kuck" is stuck, most things are "owie" because we said it once, he says "hi" at very random times, when he says "peeease" = please he usually whispers it or is on repeat until we acknowledge that we heard him. He's such a budding little guy. He loves pouring water from cup to cup and helping Daddy do anything outside, from planting to watering to fixing stuff. Hard to believe he'll be 2 years old in a few months.


Working so much and Mr. Fix-it around the house. He's our favorite person in the world! We had a beautiful garden this spring in self-watering containers built by Josh. We had some huge zucchini squash produce as well as some cucumber and even some small bell peppers. Not many tomatoes or strawberries, but again the heat came in and I don't think the veggies or fruits are too fond of 102°F and hotter. Looking forward to the fall when we can grow some more. A new grill for Father's Day has inspired some outdoors grilling action going on. Enjoyed our first cedar plank grilled salmon along with grilled corn on the cob a few nights ago. Yum!


Watching the weather. Running races. Cooking up new and exciting (ok, maybe not super exciting) meals. And juggling both of these busy boys. Speaking of racing, since January, I've done a race each month, or close enough. February didn't have any, but March had one in the beginning and one in the end, so I count it as Februarch. I think I'm hooked on running major races. I used to run in middle and high school and am getting back into it. Love it! Weather is getting more exciting to watch here in Arizona as our Monsoon has started, though no Monsoon moisture yet. Patiently waiting for the clouds to arrive. I need to get better about posting more cooking recipes and photos. Some things we've been enjoying a lot of are fresh fruits, avocados, strawberries, bananas and apples daily, steamed rice with steamed veggies, grilled chicken, meatloaf, mashed potatoes. Trying to mix it up and not use so much pasta (gosh, I love me some pasta) and incorporate more veggies (as if I need to incorporate more!). Meal time prep is pretty tough when you have two very demanding boys in your life and a schedule that doesn't have much time for myself, but I try to make use of prep time to prepare things I need. And anything that helps is great!

Lucy the Cat

Gotta have a section for her, right? She's doing well. No changes. She eats, sleeps and repeats. Yes, I may be that crazy cat lady. I'm OK with that.

And, if you couldn't tell, I document a lot on Instagram. Follow me there for more craziness. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Crescent Roll Pan Pizza {recipe}

What to do when you want pizza but just can't find time to wait around for a yeast crust to rise? Use refrigerated Crescent rolls!

A last minute decision to make pizza meant I had to use what I had on hand. This worked perfectly! In the can of 8 rolls, I used 6 here as the crust forming as solid a crust as possible with very few 'holes'. The other 2 rolls of dough? I put strawberry jelly in and rolled and baked. Desert!

What's it take?

1 can crescent rolls, only 6 needed here 
1 round cake pan
pizza/spaghetti sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese
chopped bell peppers
chopped zucchini
sliced, grilled chicken
cooked Italian sausage

I used some left over grilled chicken and left over Italian sausage. Great way to use left overs! I had some chopped peppers and zucchini and threw those on. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray pan with non-stick spray. Cover bottom as best as you can with crescent rolls. Layer pizza sauce, cheese, sausage, chicken, veggies, more cheese. Bake for 15-17 min (or what the crescent roll package says). Perfect crust!

What an easy dinner!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Legos, Trains and Trucks

Life changes fast. The day you were born, your daddy and I's life changed so much. So much we didn't even realize. You've gone from eating every few hours to a few times a day. Napping the day away (not as often as we'd thought you would) to only napping once or twice a day (some days, none at all!). You used to just lay there and wiggle your arms, trying to find your face or something to hold on to. Now you walk from room to room throughout the house and are gone in 2 seconds, usually chasing the cat around. Making only a coo or squeak before, to now speaking nearly 10-15 words and even some sign language too. 

How did you get so smart so quick? Keep learning everyday, Jackson. But your daddy and I have one request. Don't grow up.

We love you! 18 months have flown by.