Friday, November 21, 2014

WE EAT | Weekly Toddler Menu Planner

Here we are- the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I'd LOVE to say I am 100% ready for this, but I'm about 90% there.  We do have out Christmas decor on display, complete with a metallic purple and hot pink tree. I decided to coordinate with Parker and Jolie's birthday party theme.. and I think Jordan just might kill me.  Their theme this year has NOTHING to do with Christmas.. but, the tree is out.. and as apposed to clashing.. I just went for it.

What do you think?
I don't have words really.. and so it is alright if you don't either.  I sent this picture to Jordan (he was at the fire station last night) and all he replied back with:
'I want my tree back next year.'
Better reaction than I thought.  But I have also promised that we can take all the 'color' down after the 6th of December.  
Maybe.

This week's meal plan is - again - EASY.  I didn't want to be dealing with leftovers all week since we will be living off them all next weekend.  We are all home all week (Jordan and I are both off- yippee!) so we will need something to snack on, so the beef stew (which totally warrants leftovers) is on Sunday night - mostly because there is nothing better than to come home from church on Sunday to have dinner already prepared - but also because it is early enough in the week that we will eat whatever leftovers there are.
Oh.  And donuts are in honor of the Black Friday madness we won't be taking part in.

What I want to know.. whats on your Thanksgiving menu?  I have a rough draft of what I'm preparing.. and I did get to 'practice' on my Supper Club last weekend, but I'm still nosey and wanna know.  Give me inspiration! 
Happy Turkey WEEK!
Recipe Clickables

Recipes
Leftover Turkey Pesto Panini
Cooking spray
4 thick bread slices (I used ciabatta)
1/2 cup prepared pesto
sliced mozzarella cheese
2 cups chopped/sliced leftover thanksgiving turkey
Tomato slices
Sliced avocado  
--
Spread 2 tablespoons pesto over 1 side of French bread and top with mozzarella, turkey, tomatoes,
avocado and top half of bread. Repeat with remaining slices of bread. 
Add sandwich to hot grill pan or panini maker and grill until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes.

Tuna Pasta Salad
serves 2
1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup water packed tuna
1 hard boiled egg, diced
1/2 cup Greek yogurt or mayo
salt & pepper
--
Stir all together to combine.  Chill until ready to serve.


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Shop Small This Holiday Season | DISCOUNT CODES

I cannot believe this time of year is upon us.  I am always one of those that wishes so badly to have her Christmas shopping finished before Thanksgiving.. but never that is me.  I don think I'm alone.  I think more shopping is done in the weekend after Thanksgiving than any other time, because, hello - sales. We easily recognize Black Friday - you crazy freaking people that I secretly wish were my friends so that I would have SOMEone to go out at all hours of the night on that day to shop with.  I have been one time.  Alone- because my husband refused and I had no friends to go with.  I went to Target and it was the most dangerous night of my life.  ZERO exaggeration. I watched two women argue over a rug.  A rug.
Not even a cute rug.  
SO- I do A LOT of shopping online.

We also not ever forget November 29th. The Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Also known as Shop Small Saturday. Truth be told, it wasn't very often I shopped small before Parker and Jolie came along. I wasn't well read on Etsy.  I didn't know there were such places other than Nordstrom, Loft, Charming Charlie.. you know - all those bigger stores - to purchase quality items for a really great price.  Since becoming a mom, I've been introduced to about a bazillion amazing shops and the people behind them and have been so encouraged by their hard work and individuality that I cannot even hold a candle to with how amazing they all are.  I have even started to branch out and seek product for myself - not just hair bows and baby fashion - although so much cuter on them than me. 
The number one question I get asked - and I mean the number one - is where do you shop for Parker and Jolie?  I get this question from boy-moms, too.  Truth is that outside of hair bows, everything I have bought from a small business is pretty gender neutral - total justification to Jordan that 'our future baby boy can wear this, too!' That being said - I finally have pulled together some of my favorites to share with you today.  This post has been a long time coming- BUT - it imperfect timing with Shop Small Saturday coming up next weekend.  Perfect time to introduce you to these shops (if you aren't familiar already).  If you follow me on Instagram (masseya), you have definitely seen these shops tagged in my pictures more than once - but this list is limited!  After coming up with my list, it was LONG.  I kept coming back to it with another couple to jot down.. a few more.. a few more.. 
Really, I love everyone:)  While I find new a fun shops everyday, these have been some of my very favorites for Parker and Jolie.
** This Post is LONG - but I promise for a reward at the end:)

THE reason why I became hair bow obsessed.  Serious.  This girl, Chelsea, is a rock star.  She has the most creative brain and can make any hair bow vision you might have come to life.  I'm not even sure how I found her, but she was the first small shop I started following on Instagram and fell in love with everything she had to offer.  I have an entire 'favorites' list dedicated to her etsy shop - NO JOKE.  The first 'wrap' Parker and Jolie ever wore came from her shop.  For our family photos last year I emailed Chelsea about three days before on a whim because my vision changed and I desperately needed something custom.  She totally nailed it.  Dont you think?
also to make note of.. my children have changed.  so much.
Every single hair bow we owned for the first 9 months of her life came from Jameson Monroe
I never knew there was such a thing as this perfect.  She also frequently hosts sales (HUGE sales) on GroopDealz, and I am always sucked in to purchase. I cannot pass it up!  
Most recently.. the baby scarfs.
bub & bug studios bows
Love this shop.  Period. 

This is a shop I stumbled upon recently, and I'm so glad I found her!  She is so creative with baby fashion, and the moment she posted a picture of her little girl in the buffalo plaid kimono, I knew Parker and Jolie had to have them!
hat by sweet eloise designs
She has scarfs, kimonos, vests, skirts, head wraps..you name it. She can make it!  Such a sweet girl behind the shop, too.  I just about want everything that comes off her sewing machine.  If money grew on trees, ya'll.

Sweet Eloise Designs
WHILE we are talking about money growing on trees.  I need a little more.  I think I found Sweet Eloise around the same time I found Camden & Kate.  These two shops go back and forth in support over IG (love it), and so I couldn't help but find myself swooning over Cristina's woven designs.  Super high quality- this girl could sell her baby knit hats and cowls for a pretty penny.  I cannot even imagine the work that goes into each handcrafted piece.  When we received our knit beanies, I about fell over and died with 1.) my kids looks WAY too flipping cute.  I mean.  C'mon.
and B.) I couldn't believe how thick and warm these hats were.  Really, really beautiful work!  The moment I threw them on Parker and Jolie's head, I knew I would be purchasing more in every single color!

Another baby fashion genius. We received a skirt over the summer, and I was hooked.
jameson monroe head wrap  
Baby tunics, skirts, and her bloomers.  OH. MY.
Ruby Blue headwrap
Perfect for summer weather, but now that it has gotten cooler out, I've been throwing tights or leggings under them and getting more wear through the fall and into the winter.  We were in church last week and happened to be doing the whole tights under the bloomers thing, and the amount of compliments my children received was out of this world.

I started following Veronica almost two years ago on her personal page.. she has a little girl, Shelby, that is Parker and Jolie's age, and loved her sweet smiling face.  Veronica was a cake decorator in her former life, and holy geez she was good.. and then one day she shared a bow she had made for Shelby.  The rest is history.  Aside from Jameson Monroe.. I have about 1,000 bows handmade by Veronica.  She exploded in popularity - started with her sparkle bows, and then her poolside wraps (I had girlfriends DYING to get there hands on one over the summer), and now she's come full circle with the most amazing line of Sparkle Bows for fall and winter.  SERIOUSLY - I die over them!!

I have about a bazillion pictures I could post.. 

Another amazing woman behind the sewing machine.  I started following Chrystina simply for her creativity..and those highwaisted skirts and pants.  Wishing every day for 'mom' sizes.  Until she posted this cardigan.
bub & bug studios bows

Holy moly, I died and was frantic to find their size to purchase.  I've also got a couple pairs of her handmade leggings waiting to be worn (I bought them big) and the quality- let me tell you something about quality.  DLC knows it.  Love and appreciate her sweetness and thanks with every purchase made.  So much live goes into this craft and it makes me continue to come back to buy from her

I think I found this shop through a random post of a friend of a friend or something.. but how impressed and over the moon I was with their bold and genuine love for Jesus.  It blew me away, and I needed a piece of it. 
As you can see.. those size 12 month tees are growing shorter and shorter, but I totally do not care.  We are going to get the wear out of them that they deserve.  If you follow me on IG, this shirt is no stranger.  Such an amazing outward expression of love from this shop for their love of The Lord. Doesn't get much better than this.
pieces to peaces rockabilly bands

I have been following Amy, who is also a twin (girl) mom, since she went into the hospital to deliver her sweet girls almost two years ago.  when she started to make hair wraps and bows, I totally hoped in to support her - and to get some amazing bows - and she has seriously become outrageously busy.  With every new print seems to come mass chaos to get their hands on them, and I love it!  I love seeing other success, and I LOVE that I am able to be apart of it. We have MANY bows from two Little Bees.
odarling leggings

Trilogy Design Co
I 'met' Andrea early this year and fell in love with her style.  Her SWOON tee was what did me in and I had to grab a couple ASAP.
pieces to peaces head wrap
Since then her shop has expanded to many designs and styles and I LOVE every bit of it!  Her YO! tees and trucker hats.. not to mention her (never in stock) nerd glasses that fly out the moment she stocked them back up. We became brand reps for them several months ago and have been blessed with her design every time!

If ever you questioned the monogram.. look no further.  I never thought I would want my kids to have their name written all over everything, until I saw them on these two booties.  
Leggings, skirts, hairbows, wraps, and beanies, blankets..and most amazing - yoga pants.  YOGA pants for babies.  I can't even.  No, really.  And Kristyn is the sweetest soul.  I absolutely love working with her.  Those leggings in the picture above were hand crafted by Kristyn after I gave her my 'vision'.  Such an awesome thing about shopping small.. they can create what you can't.  We have been wearing these yogas for this entire second year of their little lives and they still fit well - they wash well, too!  Can't beat that quality.
shelby chic wraps

Another craft mama.  SUPER crafty.  They all are.  Again, another shop I stumbled into several months ago and fell in love with her creations- mama and mini bracelets.  I was searching for something special to accessorize for our upcoming Fall Family Photos and couldn't help myself.  Not only do I love it, but P&J get a kick out of matching their mama, too! I love that she also encourages these not only for your mini, but for your bestie, too.  Would my besties love one of these for Christmas?  Probably.
odarling leggings / whistle and flute tees

Whistle & Flute
While we are at it with these precious pictures (c/o BFaith Photography) I'll go ahead and mention Whistle & Flute.
bow by Ruby Blue
Another Instagram phenom -I have fallen in love with everything!  If the Pandas weren't enough.. Go ahead and throw some gold Odarling leggings in there and make the outfit complete.  Canada based (but never fails for quick ship - AND offers free shipping often!) Whistle & Flute has been featured in Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine, the Style section of The New York Daily News and online on the Oh Joy blog.  Hello- big time.  Like huge.  Another unisex brand that falls perfectly across the board for boys and girls alike.  Grey, White, and Black- I dont think I can have enough of that in the little's closet.

One thing I LOVE about these small businesses is the love they have for each other.  Always lifting each other up, and rarely voicing frustration in competition.  I was introduced to Danielle by another favorite shop, and then Danielle introduced my to Lovey Lake.. and so on.  They love each other, and it makes it more encouraging to shop small, doesn't it? ANYway.  Pieces to Peaces has been a favorite of mine - we are brand reps for this shop, so of course it is a favorite. I stand behind my brands 100% :)  Danielle is another sweet soul and her handwork shows it.  She sells hair wraps, and scarves, and her new line for the fall- fleece lined beanies, scarves, and clothing. 
Good gracious she is hitting all the bases and definitely going for the home run.  Many of my favorite pictures of Parker and Jolie include these head wraps.. several pictures that I've already shared above have P2P featured.
bear tee trilogy design co

LOVE her Rockabilly Headbands.  For serious, tho.

I SO appreciate this shop.  Emma is the handwork behind her creations, which by the way are amazing.  Leggings, harems, hats, and headbands.. she is actually the first shop I purchased leggings from other than store brand.  Print leggings for less than $15?  A twin mom's dream.  I think I pair $13 each for the fist pair of leggings I purchased for the girls - and we still wear them as, well, capris these days.  High quality fabric, and super fun and unique prints.  Usually you will find the same or similar fabrics across some of these alike shops, but Emma never fails to bring the best.  When we became supporters of the brand, I have never been so proud to rep a shop with such strong ownership.
Love it, and you should, too!
jameson monroe hairbows and riley clay tee
two little bees head wraps

Tessa is the bomb. Another shop I have been following since the beginning.  Her graciousness and ability to create is, again, amazing.  I came to her for Parker and Jolie's first birthday, and she nailed it.  Glitter crowns, anyone?
THE cutest thing I had every seen when I opened up that package.  Since then, her shop has exploded with amazing creations.  I LOVE her headbands for myself, too!!
You can always catch me in one of her halo bands (the gold wave is my FAVorite).  
Another shop I stand behind 100% as her adult brand rep!  I never thought, but when I was selected, I was over the moon.  We've got something special coming in December for my readers, so stay tuned:)

Bub & Bug Studio
Another twin mama I adore. I have been following Kelly since forever it seems, and I absolutely adore everything that comes into her shop.  I always scold her via social media for being so dang creative. I WANT everything she makes.  I do believe she was the first the throw glitter on my babes heads AND offer the smallest head bow they wore in their entire life.  and I'm hooked.
kid + kind shirt
 jameson monroe scarf
You may have seen Kelly's bows on the amazing Jessica Garvin's littles a times or two - which is out of this world amazing!  Such a hard worker and seriously the fastest turn around time ever - I have messaged her with a request needed in just days and she has shipped it out in the same day.  Really.  Doesn't get much better than that, you guys.

Big Bows are an understatement for the Miss behind Ruby Blue!  The original Messy Bow Wrap came about through the brains of sweet Trisha (That I have some to ADORE).  Her bows are a statement piece, sparkle, t-shirt, metallic, and lace..but you cannot forget the other amazing things in her shop!  She is the creative brain behind Parker and Jolie's 1st birthday outfits - those bows.  LACE leggings.. ARG- they were perfection. ARG- they were so chubby!
riley clay tee
Worn front or back these wraps are still amazing!  I have them in nearly every color and its still not enough.  Perfect accessory for your little girl!

bloomers by lovey lake / glitter bow by two little bees
Such a strong message behind the two Colleen's that founded this shop.  Their mission to spread love & kindness across the hearts of children, and doing our part to not only teach our children, but make the world a little bit brighter for them! I mean- seriously.  How can you not fall in love with appreciation for the motive behind their business.  They are a new and growing brand - and supporter of all small busnieses.  I love seeing them on my IG feed (@mamasaidtees) - always, ALWAYS inspirational.

I told you I had a special 'reward' at the end to share for making it allllll the way through this post: All of these shops SO graciously have offered up a special discount code for 3 Ladies and Their Gent readers
AMAZING, right??  Just a little kick start to shopping small on November 29th.
Codes are valid today through Sunday!
Camden and Kate - 15% 
shopsmall15
Sweet Eloise Designs (shop is closed until Friday 11/21)
WINTER
Lovey Lake - 20% 
shopsmall20
Shelby Chic Boutique -25% 
shopsmall25
Two Little Bees - 25% 
3LADIESANDTHEIRGENT
Dandy Lion Co.- 20% 
holiday20
Riley Clay - 15% 
AMBER15
Kennedy's Collections - 15% 
TWIN15
Hazel Love Designs - 20% 
HLDC20
Pieces to Peaces - 20% 
shopsmall
Sweet T Shoppe - 20% 
THREELADIES
Odarling Handmade - 10% 
shopsmall10
Bub & Bug Studio- 10% 
THREELADIES
Whistle & Flute- 10% 
MASSEYA
Ruby Blue - 15%
BLOGLOVIN
Jameson Monroe- 20% 
MASSEY20
Trilogy Design- 20% 
THEMASSEYSPOT 
Mama Said Tees- 15% 
3Ladies

Big HUGE Thank You's to these shops for being so gracious.  Another reason to shop small.

Where are you shopping this year??  I'd love to hear it!
Check out these small shops (and don't forget to use your discount code!)

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WE EAT | Stuffed Spuds

I mentioned last week that I was planning a post all about stuffing potatoes.. well.  Let me tell you.  I had to bring myself under control because the options became endless and my family was eating a different stuffed potato every night (almost) and totally loving every bite.  
Jordan said it was his favorite kind of meal.  So simple and fun.
I realized the possibilities when I made my BBQ chicken stuffed sweet potatoes for the bazilyionth time and you all LOVED it.  Serious raves and tags throughout social media and I dig.  I love getting to see your meals!  Thats most likely the dietitian in me.. but there is also something about having your family meals brought to the tables of others.  Much joy.  Much. 
So - although this list is limited - here are some stuffed spud hits in this Massey house!
 FIRST
Lets talk about how you cook your potatoes.  I prefer to bake them - without foil - so they get the crispy skins.  Wrapping them in foil will cook them just fine, but they will be steamed and with soft skins.  You want steakhouse style potatoes, skip the foil.
I took some AWESOME tips from The Kitchn (click) when trying to figure out how I wanted to bake my potatoes.
Oven-Baked Potatoes
Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Rub the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and prick them with the tines of a fork. You can lay them directly on the oven rack or place them on a baking sheet. Cook the potatoes for 45 to 60 minutes, until their skin is crispy and sticking one with a fork meets no resistance.
→ Bottom line: Crispy potato skins!
Alternatively, make foil-wrapped potatoes: Follow the same directions as for oven-roasted potatoes, but wrap the potatoes in foil before cooking. 
 Bottom line: Softer skin, plus the potatoes stay warm in their foil jackets if you're still working on the topping or need to save a potato for a late family member.
Microwaved Potatoes  
Rub the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and prick them with the tines of a fork. Place all the potatoes on a microwave-safe dish and microwave at full power for five minutes. Turn them over and microwave for another 3 to 5 minutes. If still hard in the middle, microwave in additional 1-minute bursts until cooked through.
→ Bottom line: Super-fast cooking time with soft skins.
Slow-Cooker Potatoes
Rub the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and prick them with the tines of a fork. Wrap each potato in foil and lay it in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the lid over top and set your slow cooker to LOW for 8 to 10 hours. 
→ Bottom line: Potatoes that bake while you're at work.
I always go with the first method.  What you your go-to?  
Onto the Stuffed SPUDS

Spinach, Cheddar, & Ham Stuffed Potatoes 
An original Cooking Light recipe (click) - and the only thing I changed of the original recipe was the Ham and the way the potatoes was cooked.  I baked a small spiraled ham in the oven.  Hello honey sweetness!
BBQ Chicken & Cheddar Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
(click
SO delicious and a major hit.  I have actually served this meal at a dinner get together with Jordan's family.. I think it was Christmas!  You could alternatively use regular potatoes over the sweet potatoes, but even the non-sweet potato lovers enjoy this one.  I'd venture to challenge you to try the original version first:)
Chicken Sausage & Sun-dried Tomatoes with Pesto
An experimental winner right here.  Just a mixed of your favorite sausage (I prefer chicken or turkey), oil packed sun dried tomatoes, a couple of teaspoons to a tablespoon of prepared basil pesto, salt, pepper, and I mixed in plain greek yogurt for a creamy texture to hold it all together.  Top with shaved parmesan cheese - DELICIOUS! 
 Broccoli Chicken & Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes
I've seen versions of this recipe floating around Pinterest forever and have never tried it. We loved this one!  Pulled chicken breast (cooking in the crock pot on low for 6 hours), cheddar cheese, and steamed broccoli.  Salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and a few spoonfuls of greek yogurt (again) and we called this a meal! 
 Beef Fajita with Vegetables Stuffed Potatoes
Store bought prepared fajita beef (in the meat section of your grocery) made this meal come together really quickly!  I was afraid if I ask Jordan cook the flank steak on the grill and then NOT let him wrap it in a tortilla, we would have a problem.
Steak, sour cream, your favorite tomato salsa, roasted bell pepper slices (I used red, yellow, and orange), and Mexican blend cheese.  
Spinach & Hummus Stuffed Sweet Potato
(click
I wanted to find another recipe for sweet potatoes and whilst doing so I was snacking on hummus.  So there you have my Google search.  I came upon this one, and it is delicious!  We had them on the side of grilled chicken - and even my girls gobbled this one down.  Really unique and easy recipe! 

If you have a yummy recipe you would love to share, I would LOVE to have it! I am always looking for new idea for meal planning and cooking for my family - and typically what works at one table could have potential success at another.
Email me: ambermariemassey@gmail.com 

In the meantime- get some of these potatoes on your table:)
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

When Dad Is Away

Girls nights are my specialty.  You wanna know how I know?
I get texts from Jordan every time he is on shift "I wish I was there with ya'll'. 
Everyone does..because duh, babies.  CUTE babies. 
#youalreadyknow

But really, when daddy is away, its all about girl time.  
On the days I'm home we run errands (Sonic, Starbucks, Target, Target..mostly Target), go to the park, have picnic lunches, lots of princess movies, and playing dress up.

We love to play dress up.  And by WE I mean ME.   
They are so good to play along, too.
During the week I get home late afternoon.  Just late enough that it isn't worth going anywhere without having to be rushed home for make dinner for these two, but thankfully we have the space in the backyard to run. 


They don't even know I'm around these days.  












We play.  We play HARD.  Then we eat our hearts out at dinner.  Sometimes its chicken nuggets.  Cereal and milk is a high demanded request via Parker Jane.  Mac and Cheese is Jolie's favorite.  But one thing is for sure - most of the time I do not make something 'solid' at dinner on the days J is at work.  

Then it is off for a sister sleep over - school night or not.
We sure do miss daddy when he is away, but girls night is our specialty. 
Thats the life of a firefighter wife, I suppose.

buffalo kimono / camden and kate
band tee / the wild feathers
leggings / target

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