Thursday, May 25, 2017

Shrimp Fettucine

Truth be told, I could eat pasta every single day of the week and be happy. 

But, since I'm married and a mom of almost 3 kids, and since 7 nights of carbs is not in the best interest of my family's overall health (wah wah), I have tried to stick to cooking pasta only one night each week. 

If you know me, you know that this is sacrifice at its highest form.

I will say though that only having pasta one night/week makes that one night pretty exciting for this pasta lover. I suppose self control can be a good thing after all.

This recipe is so super easy and man is it good! It's a combination of two of my favorite sauces that just so happen to come from a jar, which makes this meal prep extra quick and easy. I wouldn't call it a "lite" meal per say, but it's your pasta night, so just enjoy it and don't think about the calories.

2T butter
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 can Hunt's diced tomatoes, "sweet onion" flavor (looks like this)
1- 25oz jar of your favorite Vodka sauce (I used Trader Joe's Organic Vodka Sauce- looks like this)
1- 16.9oz jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce (I used Trader Joe's- looks like this)
1lb Fettuccine
Pasta water
40-50 large cooked shrimp- peeled, deveined and tale off (I used frozen)

Melt butter in pan. Add onion and saute until clear (about 7 minutes). Add tomatoes and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add Alfredo and Vodka sauce. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to low.

Cook fettuccine in heavily salted water to al dente. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add frozen shrimp to the boiling pasta.

Before draining the pasta, transfer 1/2 cup pasta water to the sauce (use more or less depending on desired thickness). Stir until blended.

Drain pasta and shrimp. Then return to sauce pan and combine.

Garnish with fresh parmesan and serve with your favorite vegetable or salad.



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

They got me GOOD

This group right here. They, along with my sister, mom, and mother-in-law got me GOOD.

This past Saturday, my sister and I were supposed to take my mom out to brunch for a late Mother's Day celebration. My mom found a really cute brunch spot called Mittie's Tea Room and asked if we could all meet there. And since my sister lives about 10 minutes from my house, she offered to pick me up on the way.

So Saturday morning, she came to our house and came in to see the kids and Matt for a bit, and then the two of us set off to go meet mom for her Mother's Day brunch.

Little did I know that ev-er-y-one of my closest friends and family members was in on a surprise baby shower for our sweet baby girl and me.

As the hostess was walking us back to the room to meet our mom, I was commenting on what a cute place it was and how I was so glad we were getting together to do this for mom.

And then we turned the corner and walked into a room with 10 of my closest friends and family members shouting "SURPRISE!"

I was SO confused and surprised and then immediately emotional when I realized what was going on. And then I turned and saw my sweet friend Meagan who had driven all the way from Charleston and started crying even more!

To say that this little outing was NOWHERE on my radar is an understatement. Outside of Matt proposing to me, I have never been so surprised in my life!

Sweet shower hostesses :) Caitlyn (on the far left) and I went to high school together and the other 3 are my college roommates. I am so thankful to do life with these girls!

This sweet friend was even at my house the day before swimming with her son and Ryan while I took Natalie to the doctor, and in all of our catchup time when we returned, she didn't give away the slightest hint that we'd be seeing each other again very shortly.

Sweet mom and sis- as I told mom, now we need to get HER celebration back on the calendar ASAP!

My sweet friend, Laura

Love my mama

And love my sis-in-law, Karen, and mother-in-law too! Karen is right in the middle of moving and still carved out part of the day to be at the shower. Having recently moved, I know that that is no small sacrifice to give up any time of a Saturday!

The day got even better when the girls told me that Matt had planned to be with the kids for the whole day so that we could do whatever we wanted and eat wherever we wanted that night. We ended up shopping, talking, eating out, and coming back to our house later that night and hanging together until after 11:00- which is equivalent to 3am in our younger years, hah. 

It was honestly the sweetest and most fun day. I am so, so thankful for these sweet people and cannot wait for this Baby Girl to meet her family and friends who already love her so much!

And just in case you missed yesterday's post, I shared about a great new small business and Etsy shop that is offering 20% to Notes from the Nelsens readers through this Sunday! You can check out the shop and all of the details here!


Monday, May 22, 2017

Stix Home Goods- homemade wood decor + 20% off coupon code!

I am so excited to share a new shop with you today called Stix Home Goods.

STIX was started by my sweet friend, Caroline, and her husband, Tommy.

As they share on their Etsy page, Caroline and Tommy believe that words matter and that what you listen to will soon become what marks your life.

Their goal as small business owners is to provide you with resources to make your home a place where truth prevails.

"Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night. Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you’ll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth."
- Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (MSG)

From scripture and inspirational quotes, to family signs and blanket ladders, STIX provides homemade and hand written quality art and decor to accent your home and work place. Their products are also great for gifts or to add an extra personalized element to your wedding celebration or party decor.

A few of my favorite pieces include:

Daughter of the King sign- $40
(found here)

Take My Moments and My Days sign- $85 
(found here)

Work Hard sign- $20
(found here)

Minimalistic Blanket Ladder- $29
(found here)

Be Our Guest hanging sign- $23
(found here)

And if you have a certain verse, inspirational quote, or song lyrics you love, STIX will also customize any piece for you. 

Simply click "Request Custom Order" in orange on the left-hand side of the Etsy home page, or contact Caroline directly here.

And the best part is, for the next week, STIX is offering 20% off on all orders when you use code NELSENS20 at checkout.

So take a minute to check out Stix Home Goods and be sure to place your order before midnight on May 28th so that you can receive the 20% off discount!

You can also check out STIX on Facebook and on Instagram @stixhomegoods.

Have a great week, friends!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Natalie Grace- 15 Months

On Wednesday, our little girl turned 15 months old!

She has been the sweetest, most easy-going baby, and has added so much FUN to our family these past 15 months. Her personality is starting to come through more and more and we just can't get enough of it or her.

15 Month Stats:
22lbs 7oz (75%)
29.5in (25%)

A few big changes from the 12 month mark include:

**Moving to the big girl car seat and stroller seat- I'm pretty sure Ryan was out of the infant seat around 9 months because he was such a chunk, but Natalie made it all the way to 14 months! Little peanut. And she seems to like her two new spots!

**Walking with our hands- sometimes she will walk with just one hand and other times she'll stop and reach up for the second one and look as us like we're forgetting something. We'd still love for her to walk on her own before her little sister joins us next month, but girlfriend is on her own timeline, so we'll she what she decides on that front. ;)

**Playing on the play ground- in the last 3 months, she has gotten in on the action at the playgrounds and loves attempting whatever her brother does. She's not quite ready to go down the slides by herself, but she loves when we hold her hands or slide down with her.

**Drinking out of a sippy cup and straw! This one always made me laugh because she just couldn't quite figure it out no matter what kind of straw or cup I tried. So for her sake and mine, I'm happy to say that she can drink out of just about any cup and regular straw now!

** "KKKK" sound- this sound along with a finger point gets her just about anything she needs. We always say the word and she if she'll repeat it back for us, but most of the time she just flaps her arms in excited agreement when we say whatever it is that she wants.

**She has the cutest, most high-pitched and southern voice! Her favorite words are: Bye-bye, Hi, Dada, Papa, and Bubba (which we're pretty sure is for "brother"). Matt and his sister have both heard her say "mama" but I have yet to hear it. She typically likes to call me "Dada" too. :)

**The way she curls up her two hands under her chin when she wants us to hold her melts us every time. And then she flaps her feet and arms when we say, "Do you want me to hold you?!"

**She's understanding SO much these days. She recently started joining us when we build the marble set with Ryan (we used to only do this when she was napping) and will shake her head "no" when she holds a marble close to her mouth and then will put it in one of the slots for the maze. I'm still a little uptight when she's playing with us with the marbles, but she's doing a great job of listening and understanding and loves getting to play alongside us.

**She loves the pool and loved the sand and ocean at the beach!

**She likes climbing up the stairs with us behind her and also likes sitting on the bottom step and dangling her feet, which is so cute. And thankfully the novelty of getting up the stairs all throughout the day has worn off!

**She has become SO snuggly! She loves laying her head on our shoulders and will sometimes say, "ahhh" as she does it. We love, love, love her sweet snuggles.

**She recently started a head-shaking game where she turns her head from side to side and wants you to do it back to her. It's too cute to watch her initiate games with us!

Here's a look at her last 3 months:

First Zoo trip out of the carseat carrier!
First story time where she stayed in the chair for almost a whole book!

Dangling her feet :)

First ride on daddy's shoulders!

Trying hard to keep up with the big kids at the play ground...
...and then opting for help :)

First taste of chocolate!

She loved Chattanooga!

"Hello?! Who is it?!" ...another one of her favorite games

She is very rarely stressed, so when she is, it's actually pretty funny. Sweet girl got a little concerned about the wet sand on her hands when it was getting close to her nap time. ;)

We love you so much, Nonni Girl, and can't wait to continue to watch you grow!