Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The way to a mans heart is through his stomach..

Adam was a very picky eater when we first started dating and it stayed that way through the beginning of our marriage.. He didn't become more open to foods until he moved to Korea and there he started to try things. Adam was so picky but the reason he was picky was because he THOUGHT he didn't like things. How can you dislike something you have never tried??

Thankfully he has changed a lot and isn't as picky but his love for Chicken Alfredo has stayed the same. So a very regular meal in our house is, Chicken Alfredo.

I found this recipe at Plain Chicken one afternoon a few years ago while I was searching Pinterest for new dinner meals. I knew I had to make it and it became Adams favorite meal I cook. As time went on I made a few tweaks to it. This feeds our family of 4 and we ALWAYS have leftovers.
Cheese Bread, Banana Pudding, and the amazing Chicken Alfredo!!
Chicken Alfredo Recipe
- 1 box of Penne Pasta
- 2 containers of Alfredo Sauce(you can either make your own or I just buy the alfredo sauce by the spaghetti sauce, so whichever you prefer)
- 1 small container of Sour Cream
- 1 small container of Ricotta Cheese
- cooked Chicken(you can use as much or as little as you'd like)
- 1 Egg (sometimes I put this in and sometimes I don't it really doesn't make a difference)
- 3 cups of shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Optional
- Minced garlic or garlic powder
- Parsley
- Pepper

Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow the directions on the penne box on how to cook it, while the penne is cooking shred the chicken. Drain the penne once its done cooking and mix together the penne, cooked chicken, Alfredo sauce, sour cream, ricotta cheese, egg, and 1/2 a cup of mozzarella cheese. You can also mix in some garlic, parsley, and pepper but that is all up to you. I only put a small amount of garlic, most of the time I forget to put Parsley in, and I just sprinkle some pepper on top before it goes in the oven. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray and pour the mixture in the pan the top with the rest of the Mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven and cook for 25-35 minutes depending on your oven. I normally cook it for 25 minutes and if its not done cooking I will continue cooking it for 5 minutes until it looks finished. It will be bubbling and browning a little on the top. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

ENJOY!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hi my name is Kayla and I am....

A Teen Mom....

I can't say I was a teen mom because I had a child as a teenager and even though I am not a teenager anymore I will always be a teen mom. It's not something that just goes away.

Being a teen mom was a very difficult moment in my life.

I still remember thinking about how I was going to tell my parents. I wanted to just hide it for as long as possible but I knew it was best to tell them sooner rather than later. Not only my parents but what about my Grandparents. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins.... My FRIENDS! You see all these movies about girls getting pregnant while still in high school and her friends end up turning against her.. I was terrified.

I walked into my moms room one night with Adam(my husband now but boyfriend at the time) and told her I was pregnant. I don't think I said a word, I couldn't get a word out. We just showed her all 10 test I took. Then she left. I knew she was extremely disappointed in me because being a teen mom was not what my parents wanted for me. My mom knew first hand how hard it'd be for me. THEN I had to tell my dad. I would have rather cut off my right arm instead of tell my dad I was pregnant.

Being pregnant in high school was difficult. Adam had already graduated and he had a full time job. I went to school during the day and worked after school. My best friends stuck by my side through out the pregnancy and were there for me through it all. Even though Adam and I had our ups and downs he was also by my side for the pregnancy and birth. I got the looks, the questions, the statistics, and all the advice. BUT I had all the support I needed.

My biggest thing with becoming pregnant as a teen was I did NOT want to get married. I knew having a child as a teen would be hard, I did not want to throw marriage in their too. Thankfully our parents didn't force us to get married either. People still ask me to this day why we didn't get married right away? My only answer is because we didn't want to and I am very happy with our decision. I told Adam to not propose to me while I was pregnant because I'd say no. And thankfully he waited :) Adam and I ended up splitting up a few months after our son was born and that was EXTREMELY hard on me. But I was so glad we weren't married and didn't have to deal with a divorce. Over time we ended up working things out and getting back together but I think we needed time apart to realize that we really wanted to be together.

Being a teen mom does not make someone a bad person, it isn't a mistake, or something to regret. No I didn't want to be a teen mom that is not something I planned for my life but my son is the best blessing I could have ever asked for. He did come a little earlier than planned but life doesn't always go your way.. I didn't do drugs, get arrested, drink and drive, or something like that. I got pregnant.
I was so thankful for my best friends for being there for me through everything. My parents for EVERYTHING they did for me and my family. And Adam for being an amazing father to our children.

When I became pregnant I told myself I was going to be the best mother I could be. I was not perfect. I'm still not perfect but my kids are my world. I raise my children. I still remember being a teenager with a baby and friends would invite me to parties but I just couldn't. It's not that my parents wouldn't let me, I just didn't want to ask. Every once in awhile I'd go out but it wasn't an every weekend thing. I was not letting my parents raise my child on the weekends while I went out and got drunk every weekend.


Looking back now here are some things I have learned:

Don't be too hard on yourself.. You are not perfect and neither are moms in their 20's, 30's, or 40's.

Your life is not over. You are now just on a different course.

You will lose friends and you will make friends. My biggest tip when it comes to friends is make the right friends. Don't try to make friends with people who are going to ask you to party every weekend, sleeping around, or making bad decisions. Become friends with people who are going to respect that you're a parent.

Don't be afraid to ask for help... Do NOT be afraid to ask for help.

Be the parent you NEED to be. You are the one who got pregnant, not your mom, dad, grandma, or baby daddy's (btw I hate that word) parents. You need to step up and take care of your responsibility. Being a mom is not Monday-Friday 8am-6pm job. You can't just dump your child on someone for the weekends and expect to pick back up with parenting on Monday. I'm not saying NEVER go out. I had nights where I went out with friends. Sometimes I'd go for a weekend trip. But it wasn't an every weekend thing or even once a month. The thing is I didn't miss anything whenever I was at home spending time with my son. BUT whenever I went out... I missed being with my son. So go out... Have a good time but make sure when you look back on things you don't regret the decisions you made with your child. Just because your child is a baby doesn't mean he/she doesn't understand. Babies understand a lot more than you realize...

In a couple months we will have a 7 year old and a 5 year old. We now live 1600 miles away from family. My husband is in the military, Brett is in 1st grade, and Brynna will be in kindergarten soon. We have lived in another country and 3 different states. We paid off a car and bought a new one. I am currently enrolled in school online and my husband is a Sergeant in the Army.. We have come a LONG way from the "teen parents" we use to be.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My First VoxBox!!

A few days ago I signed into my influenster account just to see if anything had changed. Sure enough I had a surprise waiting for me! A VoxBox was on its way and in that box was Reese's spread. Funny thing is 2 days prior Brett saw a commercial about the Reese's spread and asked me if we could get some. So it was perfect! We had never tried this before and I didn't see it as something that could go on food too often.

So Monday rolled around and I was so excited to see if it was in the mail! Since it was like -4 degrees Fahrenheit out, I decided I'd wait until my husband came home for lunch and he could go out to see if it was in the mail. He walked in and I KNOW what he was thinking.... "What did she buy now?" Before he could even ask I blurted out "IT WAS FREE!!!" Then I grabbed my camera and started snapping away. Brynna was also my little taste tester.




My very first thought was this box is MUCH smaller than I expected but I have seen the product before at the store and its not that big of an item, so the box was a perfect size for the container inside it.
Then it was time for Brynna to figure out what was inside of this box. Once she realized what it was she was so excited to give it a try! We picked out a few different items to try with the Reese's Spread, but the main way Brynna wanted to eat it was on her finger right out of the container... Go big or go home..
Each one is a graham cracker with Reese's Spread.
The top left has marshmallows, top right plain,
bottom left has apples, bottom right has banana's.
We created a few of our very own masterpieces that were very tasty. Originally Brynna only wanted to lick the Reese's spread off her finger but then I pulled out the crackers and she was pretty pumped about eating it on crackers. She wasn't too pumped about trying the fruit with the reese's spread but I told her she had to take at least one bite. I looked away for a few seconds and she ate the WHOLE thing! I asked her which one was her favorite and I'm sure you already know... The one with the marshmallows was her favorite! I didn't put all the marshmallows back up and sure enough she ran off with all of them.

Even though my daughter helped me with the review my son came home from school that afternoon and when he saw the "Reese's stuff" he said, "YAY! You got it!" He had to have some and he loved it. I may surprise him with some in his lunch box every once in awhile. The Reese's spread wouldn't be something we will eat every day but every once in awhile is okay. It is very sweet, like a Reese's(DUH...) and it is kind of gritty so if you only like smooth peanut butter then this probably won't be for you. For our next big get together I may try and make a dessert with the Reese's spread. Personally it was very sweet for my husband and I but my daughter and son LOVED it.


This evening I decided to go ahead and make some no bake cookies with the Reese's spread. We had all the ingredients it called for so I gave it a go. Brett LOVED the cookies! When he comes to ask for another cookie he says, "Can I have another one of those delicious cookies?" It's hilarious. So they were a huge hit with the kids. To me I could taste more of the honey, so next time I will probably not add so much honey BUT with the recipe they weren't nearly as sweet as I expected them to be.

No bake Reese's Spread Cookies
- 1 cup oatmeal(I just used old fashioned oatmeal)
- 1/4 cup Reese's Spread
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

In a bowl mix all the ingredients together, roll into a bite size balls, refrigerate for about 10 minutes(honestly I ate one before I even put them in the fridge and it was fine haha). This recipe makes about 12 cookies. If I were to make these again, I'd probably do 1/3 cup of Reese's Spread
*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes but all opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Special Giveaway

The other day I was talking to my great friend, Kelly. At the end of our phone call I asked about Vito. Vito is an amazing little boy who is battling brain cancer. This is Vito..
Look at that adorable little boy
Normally I am not one to share things like this because I am scared it's fake but this little boy is the godson of mine and my husbands really good friends. Vito was diagnosed with cancer in August 2014 and was given the diagnosis of Medulloblastoma. His family has been so strong while fighting this battle with their little boy. This giveaway is for him. I don't want to give too much info and end up giving the wrong information, so if you would like to read more about his battle or follow his journey you can follow his facebook page Valiant Vito. He also has a gofundme account Valiant Vito's gofundme.

What you can win..
 
The Body Shop coconut shower, scrub, and moisture set
The Body Shop face wash, moisture cream, and night cream
 
I thought I'd share something Vito's mother wrote and shared on Vito's facebook page

Dear New Cancer Mom-

I wish we never knew each other. I wish this was a journey you never had to embark on. I'm still new to this journey. We've only been on it... for 4 months. I just want you to know you are strong.

You won't feel strong. When you kiss your child goodbye as they head to surgeries. A surgery they are going to cut into your child's head and enter their brain. That same head you cradled as you nursed him. You won't feel strong, But you are.

You won't feel strong as you run your hand on your child's head which was once filled with thick luscious curls. It's now sticky and holds scars. Scars from surgeries. Scars from where they put screws into your child's head to hold it in place during surgery. You won't feel strong then but you are.

You will be presented with papers. Papers for treatment. Where you read about toxicity, secondary cancers, low counts, infections. You won't feel strong then. But you are.

You will watch your child struggle with withdrawal, breathing, chemo. You won't feel strong then, but you are.

You will hold your child as he retches for hours, screams in pain, his hair will fall out in clumps. You won't feel strong then, but you are.

You will collapse in agony. Agony and fear that cuts to your bone and being. You will sob deep sobs that echo through your soul. You won't feel strong then, but you are.

You will hold your other children briefly and watch other people raise them. You won't feel strong then, but you are.

You will hold your oldest, as he screams in rage and anger about how he hates cancer. As he cries over fears his brother is going to die. You won't feel strong then, but you are.

You will stare at your son. Unable to hold him for days. When you finally hold him you have more pillows around you and you need two nurses to get him in your arms. He will get distressed and needs to be put in bed to calm down and get him safe again. You won't feel strong then, but you are.

You will watch your child struggle to cry and communicate, however he is mute and makes no sound. His heart rate will soar as frustration fills his little body. You won't feel strong then, but you are.

You will wait for scans with your breath held each time. You won't feel strong then, but you are.

You will look at a stack of bills, a low bank account, and an empty fridge. You won't feel strong then, but you are.

You will hear your son cry after three weeks of no sound. You will hear your child giggle. You will watch in awe as he learns to sit again and reach again. You will hear him say mama. You will get kisses. Your friends will hold you as you cry. You will push your son down halls with his tricycle as he blasts shake your groove thing. You come up with creative games with syringes that make your son giggle until your stomach hurts from giggling with him. Your son will place his head on your chest and cradle his face in your neck. You will feel strong then, and you are.

Sincerely you, in four months.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Valentines Day Giveaway + Blog Hop

Love is in the air y'all!! Valentines 2015 is creeping up fast. Do you know what you are getting that special someone? Maybe your single and just want to get yourself something special. Or are you going to host an I Hate Valentines Day party? Either way you probably need a gift for yourself or someone else..

This year we are celebrating Valentines Day a little early with a Blog Hop + Giveaway. Myself and about 50 other awesome bloggers have picked different items to giveaway. Each blog is giving away something different so you have lots of items to choose from.

I will be giving away a very cute Valentines Mug and a $20 Victoria Secrets. You are able to enter to win this item up to 8 times... And then after that you can come back each day and enter 3 more times. All you have to do is log in by using your email OR using your facebook and then you are ready to enter the giveaway :)




Giveaway ends January 19th at midnight

 


Welcome to the "Gifts of Love" Giveaway Hop hosted by Heather from Mommy's Favorite Things and Michelle from Mama's Baby Cupcakes.  This hop has a Valentine's Theme, which means anything family friendly is up for grabs that you would give to someone for Valentine's Day! Each blog has a minimum prize package of $25 per winner and after visiting my giveaway, make sure you use the linky below to take a look at the other blogs to see what they have to offer for you!




DISCLOSURE:
Mama's Baby Cupcakes, Mommy's Favorite Things and the "Gifts of Love" participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.