Motherhood

    Charley Marie Lynn

    Welcome to the world…

    Name: Charley Marie Lynn

    Birth Weight: 7 lbs. 3 oz.

    Birth Height: 20 in.

    Birth Date: August 21st, 2018

    Birth Time: 8:23 a.m.

    We have been in a sweet haze for a week and a half, but finally I am putting it out into the world that we have welcomed our sweet Charley into the world. It’s going to be so hard for me to get the motivation to keep up the posts on both here and Youtube, but I am going to try my best.

    I feel like my labor was pretty simple so I will quickly talk about it here on the blog. We went in for my c-section at 5:30 in the morning. I got prepped with my IV and a cath and basically waited around till my doctor and nursing team made it in. We were supposed to start right at 8 a.m. but the anestisiologist wanted to run an ultrasound. My doctor was confused on why, but ran it anyway making jokes along the way. We did find out Charley was breeched, which was actually reassuring to me that I would of had to have a c-section no matter what.

    My spinal injection went great and I was numbed and ready to go, and at 8:23 a.m. I heard the sweetest cry in the world. My doctor peeked her over the curtain and I saw a head full of dark hair, which was the complete opposite of her big sister, both the amount and color. Devin followed the nurses over to the station where they check her and the nurses were concerned about the fact she had an extra finger, Devin just laughed, walked over to me and pointed to his hand signaling she had an extra pinky. I was so excited. Polydactyl runs in my family, I had an extra toe. She is the first of her generation to have an extra digit. They easily removed it with a clamp, it was barely hanging on by just a thread of skin.

    Charley did great in the hospital and slept so much. We had to basically wake her to feed. Breastfeeding was a little stop and go for us at first, but I will talk a little more about that in my postpartum update I plan to do on my YouTube channel.

    Scarlett was and still is obsessed with her little sister. She wouldn’t go near her the first day, but after the initial meeting she couldn’t get enough of her. We are in baby girl heaven with our two beautiful girls. Can’t wait for all the fun memories and times ahead for us.

     Photo credit goes to K & B Photography.

    Motherhood

    Scarlett’s Third Picnic

    I can’t believe my little girl is three years old. This year I decided to do a picnic theme and it turned out better than I ever dreamed. I wanted to make this birthday party a very easy one and thanks to my mom and her boyfriend it was. We were going to have it at Devin’s grandparents farm, where we usually have it. But after attending my niece’s birthday and barely surviving the heat and the flies attacking our food, I decided if I wanted to not give birth to Scarlett’s sister, that an indoor birthday party would be the best option. It was a hot day, so I was happy with our choice. I tried to keep everything super simple from the food to the decorations, mostly for ease, but also cost, because I had spent more money on the first two birthdays and Scarlett would of been okay with basically a balloon and that’s it. So I definitely downscaled, but it turned out to be one of the more enjoyable birthdays all together.

    Decorations

    Like I said, I kept it pretty simple. I used old mason jars I had already decorated Scarlett’s previous birthday with and put some Dollar Store sunflowers in them. I  also bought a roll of checkered table cloth from Hobby Lobby, which was probably the most expensive thing I bought. Then I got these red mini buckets from Wal Mart to hold all the food toppings in them, which ended up not being the greatest because the liquid of the toppings leaked out, but it was still cute. I found red striped and polka dot napkins at Target, along with a gold number three balloon and that was it. All and all, I think it cost me about $30 for all the decorations. My number one tip is keep all of your party decorations in some kind of storage bin. I reused a lot of my previous year decorations, which saves a huge amount of money.

    Food

    I’m not going to lie, my pregnancy cravings picked the menu for Scarlett’s birthday, but I also new it would be very easy. We did a Chicago Dog and brat bar. My mom manages a bar, so she was able to order a large amount of brats, jumbo dogs, and poppyseed buns from a food vendor. I had an assortment of condiments, along with chips and dip, and amazing watermelon my in-laws brought. I usually have my cousin make cakes, but she goes above and beyond, that she slightly retired because she always stressed herself out making beautiful cakes. She also just had a baby, so she wasn’t an option. I am not much of a baker and my other favorite cake shop closed, so to keep it simple we did a ice cream float bar with root beer and orange soda. It was amazingly refreshing on a hot day.

    Venue

    Our venue was absolutely perfect for Scarlett’s birthday theme. After I decided to not have my party at Devin’s grandparents house, I asked my mom for suggestions and she suggested the campground site that her boyfriend manages. Their theme is Yogi Bear, so like I said a perfect compliment to Scarlett’s picnic theme. Dustin, my mom’s boyfriend, went above and beyond for us and did so much to make us all have a great time. His venue was super accommodating and made set up so easy. He himself dressed up as Yogi Bear and the kids loved it! He also set up a hayrack ride around the campsite and it was the perfect ending to our party!

    As usual I didn’t get any family pictures. Can you say worst blogger mom ever? But anyways, with my mom and Dustin’s help, it turned out so awesome and was so easy on this pregnant mama’s body! We had fun all weekend for Scarlett’s birthday. Friday, my dad did a fish fry at his house for his side of the family. Then Saturday, my brother and sister-in-law were nice enough to invite us over for a swim, since Scarlett talks about swimming at her Uncle’s house 24/7. Then Sunday was her big party with my mom’s side of the family, Devin’s family, and all of our friends. It was a great weekend and I know for a fact Scarlett had the best time ever!

     

    Life

    Why I Blog

     

    If you’ve been a long time supporter of mine, then you may remember this blog is not my first one I’ve started. My very first blog Smokin’ Chix, I started with really no idea how to run it. I posted mainly food related content. I did it for fun, but what I should of done was used a free domain. Once my yearly fee needed renewed, I ended it because I couldn’t afford to keep it going. After Scarlett was born, I got the bug to start another one again under Paige McDivitt Blog. I had a lot interest in food, makeup, and obviously lifestyle and motherhood posts. I saw my amazing friend flourishing with her blog and I wanted to do the same, again not realizing what really went into actually running a blog. I thought, all you had to do was write content and the rest just came naturally. After a year, I was very discouraged, not receiving the viewership I wanted. So yet again, I did not renew my blog subscription. After awhile, I really missed sharing my recipes and my random tidbits to anyone who was reading my blogs, so I decided to start a YouTube channel. My thought process was all you had to do was get behind a camera and film, easy right? I thought it would be a much cheaper startup than getting another blog up and running. But, yet again, unexperienced Paige forgot about something rather important; quality. In anything you need quality equipment to run a successful business. I had nothing really for filming equipment, so I saved up my money and bought the cheapest “vlogging” style camera I could get. I started filming recipe videos and “What I Eat in a Day” vlog style videos. But just like my blogging it wasn’t getting the viewerships I wanted. So yet again I got the blogging bug and started My Little Irish Rose aka this here blog you are reading. I just needed an outlet to write things. I went through stages. I stopped creating YouTube videos and went blog post crazy, then I’d stop writing blog posts and film a bunch of videos. Now I feel like I am getting a better understanding of how all this works so I am trying my best to keep a steady stream of both. If you are coming from my Facebook, you sometimes may get annoyed or completely pass over the frequent status updates about all my new content. So I thought I would write a post geared towards you and tell you why I blog.

    PURPOSE

    As many of you know, I am a stay-at-home mom. I love being a stay-at-home mom. But, when you don’t have a career (even though being a mother is a full-time job) and are strictly known as Devin’s wife or Scarlett and Charley’s (soon-to-be) mom, you kind of lose your own identity. I actually wrote a post awhile back about how my children gave me purpose, which is true they did. Being a wife and mother are my two greatest reasons for existence in this world. I always pictured myself as a mother, but still envisioned more for myself than what my life was starting to be. Just like being a mother, blogging and YouTube give me a motivation and a purpose to get up everyday. I feel if I help one person by either providing them a recipe for dinner or sharing my story to comfort someone telling them “they are not alone”. I feel like I have been successful in my day. I love that I get to incorporate my passions like cooking with the things I am known for like being Devin’s wife and Scarlett and Charley’s mom.

    ENJOYMENT

    Going along with my sense of purpose; I get enjoyment out of both YouTube and my blog. If you don’t personally know me, you may not know that talking and writing are two of my favorite things to do. I could talk your ear off if you let me. So why wouldn’t I enjoy two forums that allow me to do these things? I love every aspect of blogging and YouTube. I love to wake up to e-mail responses from companies either seeking me out or responding to me to do collaborations (talk about excitement overload when I received my first one). I love coming up with topics to either write about or film. I love creating and editing videos. I’ve come to a better understanding, that this is truly an outlet for me. Some days I get really down that a certain video I worked really hard got seven views or a post didn’t do as well as another one. But as long as I still enjoy what I am doing I am not going to give up on it.

    POSSIBLE INCOME

    I will be honest here, I am nowhere near this scenario. But I know if I stay dedicated and work hard, I hope someday this dream becomes a reality. My husband works his butt off, so I can stay at home with my girls. If I am devoting this much time (I probably put in the same amount of hours as someone who works 30 hours a week at a job), I hope that I can eventually start financially supporting my husband and children. Social media forums are hard freaking work. I rely almost solely on my friends, old acquaintances, and family members for views. Which is why I spam my Facebook with new content. I am trying to gain an audience outside of this group (even though I am so thankful for those who already do read my blog or watch my videos). But, I have found that Instagram (aka the best way to promote yourself to the masses) is an ugly monster. I have been stuck at 215-230 range of followers since I started my blog ONE YEAR AGO.  After months of trying to promote myself, I realized if you don’t post high quality pictures, catchy captions, and often (at least 3 times a week) no one will follow you, or worse they’ll unfollow you almost instantly. So far this has been the biggest thing that has gotten me down about trying to make this a possible income. The biggest way to self promote yourself is the hardest, so I have been slow to gain views, readers, subscribers, and followers. Once I did figure this out, with some major helpful tips from my friend, I have been able to double my views on my blog and slowly gain more and more views on my YouTube channel. I am still a long, and I mean long, way from making money. But I have had a couple companies reach out to me and ones that responded to my own inquiries and have done a couple amazing collaborations. Which gives me the motivation to keep going to hopefully start making an income.

    I really want to stress how thankful I am for each and every person who reads my blog or watches my YouTube channel. If you are someone that gets annoyed by my frequent postings, I hope this better explains why I am cluttering your newsfeed. I truly love doing this and I hope I can eventually make this a thriving career because it truly does give me a sense of purpose and enjoyment. I’m also motivated because in my life I have always quit when it gets hard. I am determined to not let this happen. So stay tuned for the big things I have planned for my two forums.

     

     

    Motherhood

    Scarlett as a Big Sister

    I feel like I know exactly how Scarlett is going to be as a big sister. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, and I have seen glimmers of hope. But, for the most part, I think she’s not going to handle it well. Now I don’t think this period will last long at all. But when people ask her if she is going to be a big sister, her go-to answer is “NO!” I hope she completely surprises me, and I’m sure she will since I am writing this. I’m not just guessing this, she definitely gives me a few reasonings to believe she isn’t going to be too keen on her new baby sister.

    DADDY

    Scarlett’s daddy is just that, her daddy. Now I thought I had a very strong bond with my own daddy, but I truly think there is no other relationship in the whole entire world that is as intense and as strong as Scarlett’s love for her daddy. The first time Devin held his new baby niece, Scarlett about lost her marbles. She was very territorial with Devin. I think she is going to have a really hard time when Devin holds Charley. I think she’ll be absolutely fine with me holding her baby sister, but daddy, that’s a whole other story.

    ATTENTION

    Scarlett will be an only child for three full years, before we have her baby sister. She has had both of our attention 100% for those years. Even when we go to grandparent’s houses she usually has their 100% attention as well, as long as her other cousin’s aren’t there. I think it will be an adjustment for her to realize it’s not all about her. When she asks for stuff, she expects it to be done right at that moment. We have been working on this for quite some time. She’s going to have to realize that when her sister is here, mama can’t drop everything to start up her Paw Patrols every time it ends. She is also still very clingy for being a toddler, liking to be carried a lot. We have also been working on this, just because of me being pregnant and not being able to lift her as easily. But, I feel as soon as baby Charley is here, she’s going to revert back to wanting to be held all the time again.

    We have worked really hard with her on continuously talking about her little sister. We ask her all the time what her sister’s name is. Where is her sister? Are you excited about your sister? She’s had a few of the most precious moments ever involving her baby sister. She excitedly showed off Charley’s ultrasound pictures to some guests of ours “look at my baby sister, she’s so cute!”. She has also kissed her “baby sister” aka my belly a few times and it’s melted my heart! Like I said, I think eventually Scarlett will be the best big sister there is, but, I don’t think it will be an immediate thing. I’m so looking forward to the adventures of Scarlett and Charley though. I think we are in for a wonderful ride!

     

    Motherhood

    Things I Swore I Would Never Do

    There are so many things I swore I would never do as a mother. I had all these great expectations of this amazing mother I was going to be with how I disciplined, how we raised our child, etc… I am the complete opposite mother than what I thought I would be. I think it’s unrealistic to put these expectations on yourself, before delivering the baby. For one, I was a first time mom, and I had no clue what I was doing. Secondly, the child you raise could have a completely polar opposite personality than you thought you’d have. These were both big factors in why I did some of the things I swore I would never do.

    The first thing I swore I would never do, was co-sleeping. I have nothing wrong with co-sleeping, personally. I was just following the advice of others on this one. Like I said first time mom. But I was adamant about having my child sleep in her own bassinet or crib or whatever kind of sleeping vessel there was. What I didn’t count on was a c-section. I have mentioned my c-section in I think every post I have talked about my children in. So, as any of my readers know, it wasn’t expected. Being a first time mom and recovering from a unexpected c-section, we were just trying to survive.

    The way my delivery took place, I had help for two days, before my husband had to go back to work. Since your weight lifting restrictions basically limits you from even lifting your newborn child, that meant I just basically sat in a chair and held her until Devin came home from work. Also at night time, I couldn’t lay flat, so I slept in a chair. My husband worked early mornings, so even though I did do it some nights, I never felt right to wake him when Scarlett would cry in her bassinet or for a feeding. So I just basically held her 24/7. This screwed us, because she was never and I mean never happy in any type of bassinet or pack n’ play, because she wasn’t being held. We finally got her a sleeper swing, once I was able to actually sleep in my own bed and that was a godsend. She slept great in that, then we transferred her to a pack n’ play, than finally her crib. We had zero issues with night time sleeping until maybe about seven months ago, when she got her first and only night terror. Just literally this week we have gotten her successfully to sleep in her “big girl bed” for three nights in a row, for the first time since the night terror.

    The next thing I swore I would never do is use bribery as a way to get my child to do something. I was very very very stern on this one. I saw the effects of what bribery did firsthand in other kids. It gives you what you want that instance, but the child is strictly doing it for a reward. Not because she or he wants to or is listening to a command. This can seriously cause several issues not only with disciplinary cases, but also if you use a form of sweets or candy, can cause serious effects to the the child’s health and weight gain. My husband and I are both guilty of this, and every time I do it I want to hit myself. I tend to bribe Scarlett more with people; “if you are good we will go see Meemaw (or whoever is at the top of her must-see list)”. Devin tends to use her favorite sweets; “if you pick up your toys you can have a milkshake”. I don’t think rewarding your kids for good behavior is bad at all, but I think it should be the end result of a child’s good behavior, not a way for them to be good. This is something we really need to work on together as parents.

    One of the last things that comes to mind I swore I would never do is overindulge in unhealthy foods. I don’t think I can be totally blameful in this aspect. When Scarlett first started trying food, I never let her having anything sugary (although other family members would often sneak it for her). When she was first starting real food she ate sweet potatoes, bananas, and a variety of baby puree foods. But even as a baby, she was very picky. If it was green in color she would not go near it. As she grew, her foods she liked got smaller and smaller. She will not even try anything I make. If it isn’t a peanut butter sandwich, frozen chicken taquitos, quesadilla, french toast, or cereal, or anything sweet; she will not touch it. I really tried, I tried so hard to make her eat only the healthiest foods. But it became so hard to get her to eat. I basically had to sacrifice my wants for her, so she would just actually eat. We try to hide healthy things here and there in her food, so she’s at least getting some good stuff. Eventually when she actually understands the concept we will be pushing the same thing my parents pushed onto me and I am the least pickiest eater on the planet; “if you don’t eat what’s in front of you, you don’t eat at all.” Obviously, I am way too concerned with her nutrition at this point to start this, but I totally plan to do it!

    With all this being said, I think it’s going to be okay. What I have learned for the next baby is to not put so many unrealistic goals on myself and if I do, not to be upset with myself if I don’t reach those goals. I’m sad I didn’t stick to the things I was so adamant on doing, but in my eyes I think they are easily corrected offenses. We are already on the way to correcting the co-sleeping, we realize our wrongdoing in the bribery, and hopefully with time Scarlett will develop a better appetite. Our child is completely her own person and as long as we are guiding her to be the best version of herself, if we don’t get it right 100% of the time, that’s okay. I think even with her little quirks, she is still the best little human ever and I’m happy with who she’s becoming, no matter how feisty she can be at times!

     

    Food

    Easiest Sun Dill Pickle Recipe

    When I was younger, my dad always planted these massive gardens at our home. He had cucumbers, jalapenos, and banana peppers coming out of his ears. He decided to start pickling them, and they quickly became a crowd favorite. I remember our outside fridge was jammed packed with them, so packed he started giving them to all our friends and family. I usually have a decent sized garden and do the same every year, continuing on the tradition. But since I am pregnant, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with a full garden, but I did plant two cucumber plants, a tomato plant, and a jalapeno plant. Although, my cucumbers have taken over the garden, so I don’t think my little jalapeno plant is going to make it. I make the easiest sun dill pickle recipe ever, so I thought I would share.

    All you need is pickling cucumbers, onion, garlic, pickling salt, fresh dill, and white vinegar. You will also need water and mason jars. My cucumbers are on steroids, so I only needed about one for my two 1 quart jars. I am going to do more, but I had already overdone it that day with my nesting mode, so that will be saved for another day.

    These measurements are for two 1 quart jars, so if you are doing more than that make sure you adjust accordingly. In a medium bowl I mixed 3 1/4 C water with 1 1/2 C + 2 TBSP of vinegar and 1/3 C of pickling salt. I stirred that with a whisk until the salt had completely dissolved. I cleaned my cucumbers and cut them into two different ways. I had a wide mouthed quart jar and a normal jar. So for the wide mouthed one, I cut the cucumber in quarters for pickle spears. For the regular quart jar I cut the pickles in slices. I used about a half of my large cucumber to do the spears and half for my slices. I would think 2 medium sized cucumbers would give you about the same results. I stuffed my jars with the cucumbers first. Then used half of a white onion for each jar and added the chopped onion to the jars. I added about 3 cloves of garlic and a nice sprig of dill. I then poured the pickling liquid over everything in the jars until the jar was pretty full and everything was covered.

    You just place them in the sun in a spot that gets a good amount of it and let them sit for about 4 days, if you are getting sunny weather. It’s super easy and they turn out delicious!!! I can eat them as is or goes great on sandwiches or burgers. It’s so easy to turn your garden yield into something so tasty. These are a must try, especially if you have an overabundance and don’t know what to do with all those cucumbers.

    Easy Sun Dill Pickles

    Ingredients

    • 2 1 quart mason jars
    • 3 1/4 C water
    • 1 1/2 C + 2 TBSP vinegar
    • 6 cloves garlic three for each jar
    • 2-4 medium sized cucumbers depends on how you choose to cut them
    • 2 nice sprigs dill
    • 1 medium onion chopped and split in half, half of onion in each jar
    • 1/3 C pickling/canning salt

    Instructions

    1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix water and salt until salt is completely dissolved. Set aside. 

    2. Prepare cucumbers by washing and cutting whichever desired way, either in spears or slices. Stuff clean mason jars with pickles. Make sure to leave a little room for the rest of the ingredients. 

    3. Chop onions, half of the chopped onion gets added to one jar and the other half to the other jar. Peel garlic and add that to the jar, as well as one good sized sprig of dill.

    4. Pour pickling liquid into each jar until everything is covered. Screw lid on tight and place outside in the sun for 4 days or so. 

    Motherhood

    Struggles with Breastfeeding

    I am working with one of the three mama’s; Zoe at the Think Baby blog on this post. After reading my post, go ahead and head to her post she did in collaboration with me. I especially like her post listing all the must-have third trimester items.

    breastfeeding

    Before I had Scarlett, I knew there was a small chance that breastfeeding was not going to be in the cards for me. That’s always a possibility when going under the knife at nineteen to have a breast reduction. I have written about this in another blog I once had, but would be happy to re-write something to go into more detail about what I went through with that whole ordeal. I was told there would be a small chance that I would not be able to produce milk when I decided to have kids after having the procedure done. The doctor, in my opinion, downplayed it and made it seem like a very small chance this would be the case. Well, in my experience I should always take a small chance, as it will most likely happen to me. The reduction, followed by a traumatic c-section really affected my supply and me.

    In most cases, a women’s actual milk supply does not come in right away. But, they do produce colostrum, which sustains the baby until they do start producing milk. We thought that was my case. After my first night in the hospital and feeling like I was constantly feeding, I had so many questions for the lactation specialist that was coming the next morning to meet with me. My big one being Scarlett never seemed satisfied. When I expressed my concerns and told her I didn’t think I was getting the hang out it, she decided to set me up with her pump and see how much I was producing. I sat there pumping for thirty-five minutes and not one drop of milk or colostrum came out. I wasn’t producing anything!

    The next two days in the hospital, Scarlett was bottle fed, while I still tried to nurse. But I knew she wasn’t getting anything. After we got home, it took another two days before my milk supply finally came in. But at that point it was pretty much too late. I still tried my very hardest though, because I was going through so many “pregnancy blues”, I felt like a failure. Scarlett just never got the hang of actual breastfeeding. She was already used to a bottle nipple at this point, so when I did breastfeed, I had to use a nipple shield. Most of the time though, Scarlett would nurse to pacify herself to sleep.

    I tried pumping as much as I could, but pumping is not fun or pleasant, and I would get really discouraged sitting in my Lazyboy for forty-five minutes and not evening pumping an ounce of milk. With recovering from an unexpected c-section, being a first time mom and having no clue about what was going on, and dealing with hormones and a little touch of postpartum depression I stopped trying somewhere around the five week mark.

    I struggled so much with this decision, but I was struggling even more with my body not being able to do something that a majority of mothers are able to do. It was especially hard in the months to follow, when friends and family members started having babies and they were able to breastfeed. I felt so left out of conversations and just a lot of negative opinions about myself. I got asked why I didn’t breastfeed a lot and was told why it’s so beneficial. Something I didn’t need to be reminded of.

    So this time around, I have already been doing so much research on ways to work up a supply. Even though my doctor didn’t recommend it, I talked to a lactation specialist and she suggested to start self-pumping a little everyday at about 34 weeks. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you talk to a professional. I take it easy on this because I have been getting a lot of contractions and pumping can cause contractions. I also am pinning a ton of lactation smoothies and tips on Pinterest to help when Charley is home. I am super dedicated, because I know what the outcome is if I don’t succeed; a ton of disappointment in myself and an astronomical amount of money spent in a year on formula (I would say the first 6 months we spent $120-150 a month and after that maybe $80-120)

    I plan to set realistic goals for myself to not cause stress on myself. I am going to do a month-by-month system. I want to exclusively breastfeed for a month, after that month I will continue if I still have a good enough supply. I want to go as long as I can exclusively breastfeeding, and once I notice a drop in supply I still want to get every ounce I can and just supplement with formula. I would be so ecstatic if I did the first six months exclusively breastfeeding. If I accomplish this goal, I will definitely do an updated post of everything I did to help me keep my supply up. Until then wish me luck as I try to conquer this task with a newborn, c-section recovery, and a crazy toddler at home.

    Food

    My Go-To Summer Night Recipe

    There is nothing better than grilling on a beautiful summer night in the Midwest. I usually leave the grilling job to my husband, but tonight I decided to take over. When I grill I usually grill one of two things; a delicious beer can chicken or an even more delectable steak.  Tonight was the ladder. I also did some meal prepping today for a friend, and she picked to have a delicious stuffed mushroom, so I thought that would be the perfect accompaniment to my steak, so I made extra for us, along with some yummy grilled asparagus.

    The stuffed mushrooms are fairly easy to put together, but a lot of prep. They are awesome though, because you can make them beforehand and store them in your fridge till you are ready to cook. summer night recipe

    First off, I cleaned the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. I broke of the stems and reserved those, and spooned out the innards. I put the spinach in a paper towel over a bowl and rung out all the liquid After than I shred both the cheeses, food processed the artichoke hearts. I sauteed the mushroom stems with a white onion and garlic. Let that cool, then added everything but the mozzarella into a mixing bowl and combine well.

    This filling is so delicious, you can also cook this in an oven safe dish and turn it into a dip too. I made a ton of extra filling, because I was working on measurements. So I plan to make a spinach artichoke dip later in the week. Then all you have to do is spoon in the mixture into mushroom caps, sprinkle over the  mozzarella cheese, and they are ready to get grilled.

    The steaks and asparagus are simple. I drizzle them both with olive oil and season generously with pink hymalaian salt, fresh ground black pepper, truffle dust, and garlic powder. 

    I preheated my grill to 400 degrees farenheight, and placed my mushrooms and asparagus on the grill first. I let them cook for about twenty minutes, stirring the asparagus at the ten minute mark, before placing the steaks on the grill. I had a little over an inch thick NY strip steaks, and grilled them to about medium (for pregnancy reasons). So I did about eight minutes on one side, and five minutes on the other because they were on direct heat and they cooked a little quicker than I expected. I should of done maybe six minutes on both sides.

    You can find the awesome wire grill pan here. It is perfect for grilling asparagus, but works well for any vegetables! I was seriously so happy with this meal, everything was seasoned to perfection. and the Shrimp, Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed mushrooms were amazing.

     

    Grilled Steak with Asparagus and Shrimp, Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms


    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Cook Time 35 minutes
    Resting Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
    Servings 2 people

    Ingredients

    • 2 NY Strip
    • salt to taste
    • fresh ground black pepper to taste
    • garlic powder to taste
    • truffle dust optional & to taste
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 LB asparagus

    Shrimp, Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

    • 1 10 0z bag frozen spinach
    • 4 Lg portabella mushrooms cleaned, stems reserved, & innards removed
    • 2 TBSP sour cream
    • 1/2 C Parmesan or Asiago cheese shredded
    • 4 oz cream cheese softened
    • 1 small onion chopped
    • 1 4 oz can small shrimp drained
    • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 14 oz artichoke hearts drained & chopped
    • 3 oz mozzarella cheese shredded
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • creole seasoning to taste

    Instructions

    1. Drizzle steaks and asparagus with a TBSP each of olive oil and season generously with salt, fresh ground black pepper, truffle dust, and garlic powder. 


    2. On a preheated 400 degree fahrenheight grill,  over direct heat, grill steaks for six-eight minutes on each side. Grill asparagus in a wire grill pan for about 20-30 minutes, depending on desired doneness. 

    Shrimp, Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

    1. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Then remove stems and reserve for later. Removed innards and set aside. 
    2. n a small skillet heat olive oil and add mushrooms stems, garlic, and onions and cook still softened. Set aside to cool. 
    3. In a large mixing bowl add the shredded asiago or Parmesan cheese, sour cream, softened cream cheese, drained frozen spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, cooked and cooled onions and mushroom stem mixture, drained shrimp, and seasonings. Combine well. 

    4. Take a cookie scoop and spoon mixture evenly into each prepared mushroom cap. Sprinkle over mozzarella cheese. 

    5. On a 400 degree fahrenheight grill, place mushrooms and cook for about 30-35 minutes until mushrooms are softened and inside mixture in melted. 

    Motherhood

    Little Girl’s Name Reveal

    I think it’s finally time we reveal our baby girl’s name to anyone interested in it. I’m not sure if anyone else finds name reveals as interesting as I do, but I figured what the heck! I wanted to reveal it before  I actually deliver her, because I wanted to be able to explain her name’s meaning. Girl names have always been very difficult for me. When we I was pregnant with Scarlett, and before we knew what we were having. I had a boy name picked out, even though I desperately wanted a girl. When we did find out she was in fact a girl, Devin and me could not agree on a name at all! When I was talking to my friend about it, she said her and her husband also didn’t agree on a lot of names. She told me she loved the name Scarlett, but he didn’t. Well, I loved the name. I asked her if I could run it by Devin and it so happened he loved it too. That’s how our little Scarlett Rose came to be.

    Before we found out what we were having for our second baby, it was extremely important to me that we named him or her after a family member, one family member in particular; Devin’s grandpa, Burdette Ray. This meant I had another boy named picked out. One that I loved so much. Wyatt (a name Devin came up with) Ray Thompson (after a family middle name that my grandpa, dad, and brother all share–aka my favorite people). I loved this name not only because it honored so many important men in our lives, but it also mirrored Devin’s name who also has two middle names. When we found out our little bean was a girl, I was a little upset because we weren’t going to be able to use that name ever, especially since Devin didn’t like Wyatt for a girl, even after I told him that Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis named their girl Wyatt.

    So again, I was stumbling to come up with another girl name. I still very much wanted to name our girl after Devin’s grandpa, but Burdette is not the easiest name to name a girl after and it’s very old fashioned (even though I absolutely love his name). We entertained names like Aleda (after grandpa’s mother) or even just using his middle name and naming her Rey. But the more I thought about it, I just didn’t see our child being named Aleda and didn’t like any of the middle name combinations we came up with for Rey. After telling Devin I just didn’t see those names for our little girl we were back to square one throwing out names. I told him I always liked the name Charlotte. But we both realized Scarlett and Charlotte were way too similar. Devin came up with just nicknaming her Charlie. I still wasn’t keen on her full name being so much like Scarlett’s, then it finally hit us. I’m not sure the reasoning, but Devin’s grandparents pet name for each other is Charlie. You will always hear grandpa say, “well, are you ready to go Charlie?”.

    I was pretty much set, because I still desperately wanted to name our child after grandpa in some way and what better way than to be able to name her after BOTH Grandpa and Grandma. I love them both dearly! They have impacted my life so much in just the short time I have known them, not to mention how much they have impacted the lives of their own kids and grandkids. When we were coming up with the middle names, I wanted to still give her two middle names like her dad and I wanted them to still be named after family. So what two better people than both our mom’s? The two women that raised us and put their everything into their grandkids. So we took Devin’s mom’s middle name and my mom’s middle name and came up with Charley Marie Lynn McDivitt. We are so excited to meet you little Charley!

    name reveal

    Meal Planning

    Week Two: Budget Friendly Meal Plan

    weektwobudgetfriendlymealplan

    I hope everyone enjoyed the first week of meals, whether you just read about it or incorporated them into your own meal plan. I’m back with the second week of the budget friendly meal plan. I will go ahead and just dive right in for our meal plan for Monday, June 11-Sunday, June 17th:

    *Disclaimer: I have recently been going through my Pinterest boards and trying the thousands of recipes I have pinned, so a lot of these meals are not my own recipe!

    Meal Plan (recipes linked):
    Monday:
    buffalo chicken enchiladas
    Tuesday:
    buffalo chicken enchiladas
    Wednesday:
    dinner at my in-laws
    Thursday:
    burgers & tator tots
    Friday:
    burger & tator tots
    Saturday:
    chicken, sun-dried tomato, & mozzarella sandwich with asparagus pesto
    Sunday:
    chicken, sun-dried tomato, & mozzarella sandwich with asparagus pesto

    I completely forgot when I was making this week’s meal plan that we will actually be out of town on Saturday seeing a WWE NXT paper view for my hubby’s belated birthday gift. Along with that, we will most likely be celebrating Father’s Day with my dad and Devin’s dad on either Friday or Sunday or both days. With that being said, I will most likely not be making either Saturday or Sundays meal, but will leave it up for those who will be home and cooking those days! That meal will probably be reappearing very soon, because I was excited to make them.

    Grocery List:
    sour cream
    chicken broth
    1 jalapeno
    1 Rotisserie chicken (or 1 lb. of your own cooked chicken)
    Frank’s hot sauce
    frozen corn (I am omitting this from the recipe because my husband isn’t a corn fan)
    Mexican blend cheese (enough for 3 Cups)
    flour tortillas
    store-bought pico de gallo (or follow the recipe and make homemade)
    ground beef
    buns
    burger toppings of choice
    burger cheese of choice
    frozen tator tots
    1 additional lb. boneless skinless chicken
    asparagus
    garlic
    block of parmesan
    slivered almonds
    bunch of basil
    (or buy a store-bought pesto to save on cost instead of the items I italicized)
    bread of choice
    jarred sun-dried tomatoes
    fresh mozzarella cheese
    red onion

    Per usual, I do not list items that are usually pantry or fridge staples (i.e. butter, spices, milk, flour, etc…), so make sure you pay attention to the recipes in case you are out of those staple ingredients. Also I highlight what I actually buy to give you an accurate amount of what I spend.

    *I’m going to be honest with you, our last week’s meal plan did not get completely made. So I won’t be making ANY of these meals now. I also won’t be buying any of the groceries, but I am still going to keep bold what we would of bought. But I don’t have a price for you. I was sick, meals lasted longer than I planned, etc… So meals did not get made, but I wanted to still post something for you if you actually stick to a meal plan, unlike me!

    Bon Appetite and I hope you enjoy this week’s meal plan!

    (my heading photo is from the Belle Vie blog)