Saturday, August 18, 2012

Homemade Cashew Chicken

So after having an excruiting week of recovery because I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth yanked in one day... and my mouth is small... and the roots were developed...
so really I am STILL recovering.. it's awful.
I still can't open my mouth much, eat ANYTHING that I can't drink/slurp/melt into my mouth, and have to ice and medicate regular..
My husband and I are actually pretty sure they fractured my jaw... haha
sooo I may be in for an even longer recovery..

I figured... why not torture myself more right?
All I've had is bland soup, mashed potatoes, and ice cream for 5 days..
but let's day dream about the most delicious meal I've made in ages
that I made last week.
I figure if it brings some happiness to my friends/readers... why not?

So I originally got this little recipe idea off of pinterest which led me to this blog .
I changed it up a bit and made it my own
here it is..

For stir fry sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • For Cashew Chicken:
  • 3 chicken breasts, diced
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small onion, diced... almost minced
  • 1 cup (5-6 caps) mushrooms, diced super tiny
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup cashews (I just dumped them out of the can into the pan.. you can chop if you'd like)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    For stir fry sauce:
  1. Mix all ingredients making sure to dissolve brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. For Cashew Chicken:
  3. Heat canola oil in pan over medium to medium high heat. Add diced chicken and brown. Remove chicken from oil. Add onions, garlic. mushrooms and 2 teaspoons soy sauce to pan; brown. When onions and garlic are brown and tender, add stir fry sauce, browned chicken, and cashews. Saute mixture for a few minutes and remove from heat. 

This is after it was almost gone

 I served this delicious little beauty with rice and lettuce for lettuce wraps. If you have a rice maker put the rice on before you start chopping and cooking the chicken so that it's done by the time you finish.

We were almost finished eating here haha.

We ate it "family" style so to speak with the meat in a big bowl, the rice in a big bowl, and a pile of lettuce leaves. I really liked it and even better hubby loved it! And even sweet Kaylee, my 2 year old, liked the meat A LOT. I felt like it needed just an extra little kick so I put a tiny bit of sweet red chili sauce on it and it was PERFECT.

 Like I said, we really liked them.. they were delicious as lettuce wraps with the rice and chicken together. You could use any rice or grain really and it would still be tasty.. or even just serve it up over veggies or something. My only complaint is that I didn't make more. I will probably double this recipe next time so we have leftovers for lunches!

xo, amanda

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Using the Tools

If there is one thing I'm learning as a mommy,
it's that I not only desire to be the best mommy possible
but I also desire to teach my children, 
to help my girls know the beautiful God I serve,
to help them know about the ultimate sacrifice Jesus paid
for them, and for me, and for all of us. 

image source: google

On a sweet Sunday morning, just days after my precious baby girl was born,
with a bunch of friends and family present,
we dedicated our sweet Kaylee Jewel to the Lord.
On that day, 
Mike and I both made a promise
to our daughter
and to our God
with the support, encouragement, and accountability of our friends and family
to raise our daughter in the way of the Lord.
To  teach her about God,
to teach her the biblical definition of right and wrong.
but more importantly to teach her to LOVE.

Now we have not only one precious angel, but two, 
we have two beautiful, vibrant little girls full of so much life and love.
Two little girls, that when I look in their eyes, 
I feel the kind of complete the kind of happiness
the kind of undying love
that words can virtually never define.
Except for the way that I feel inside 
because of the love of my Savior. 

image source: google
So, I here I am
honoring my commitment
and it's been surprisingly easy and yet surprisingly scary
I have read several amazing book
that have truly shaped the way that I mother my children
image source: google
image source: google
A lot of things stuck with me,
but something that really hit me
that I knew I could do right now to help
came from The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
She talks about the fact that we can't help our kids learn
if we don't have the tools
and this is also true of teaching our children about the Gospel
we cannot teach our little ones if don't invest in the tools to do so.
Sally Clarkson says that in the early years of her marriage and her children's lives
she and her husband made a decision to put money aside every paycheck
so that they could buy materials to help them teach their kids.
She said they would buy all sorts of Christian resources
music, movies, games, books, toys
all sorts of materials to help teach her children in a way they understand

Which brings me to
image source: google
I can remember watching VeggieTales with my wonderful adopted/2nd family
from the first days I met them (5th grade/10 years old)
and so naturally,
I am thrilled to be sharing them with my little girls.
The funny part is...
I still remember a lot of the words
but I especially remember the songs.
When Kaylee watches them,
(which is all the time)
she gets so excited
but she also tells me "shhhh no shing ma-ee"
in the cutest little voice

image source: google

We have all sorts of movies
and also watch them on Netflix
we also bought a VeggieTales Bible Songs CD on iTunes
which Kaylee loves
so I am planning to burn it to a CD and put it in the car
We have some other great Christian books as well.

And little buy little I will build up our VeggieTales collection
and our Christian Resources as well.
I want to get some games to play with my girls
and other fun stuff
and not just for the girls, but for the whole family.

I am so excited to share my life with my girls
to be the best mommy possible
and to raise my girls up.

Do you guys have any tips on teaching your kids?
What are your favorite Christian resources?


Monday, August 6, 2012

What We've Been Up To...

Hey Friends!

It was really nice to take a long break from blogger. To focus on myself, my family, school, and some fun other projects going on.

So here's some of our fun stuff...

Sierra Joy was born April 25th 2012 at at 8:02pm after 5mins of pushing.
She weighed 7lbs flat and was 19 inches long. 
She had a beautiful head of dark hair and stole her mommy, daddy, and sister's hearts instantly.

Her big sister, Kaylee, is so very in love with her "Her" and spends lots of time doting over her. 
She also likes to pick on her and steal her blankets, but hey what are sisters for? 

We've done some fun things this summer, 
pool time, trips to Richmond, parks and play dates, 
auntie jenny visiting, grandma deb visiting, and exploring DC,
but mostly we are just loving getting adjusted as a family of 4
and spending time loving each other 

We also celebrated my sweet Kaylee's 2nd Birthday -- Princess Style

We have finally come to the end (fingers crossed) of our house troubles
and are finally doing projects around the house that we want to do
like redoing the pavers in the front walk way

and we redid the garage... 
fixed all the dry wall, painted the walls, and did a special epoxy floor

We started leading a young marrieds small group in our home through our awesome church,
and we have been making some really great friends,
both for us
and for our kiddos!

My hubs is in his last class for his degree and in a few weeks
he will his Bachelor's Degree!
He is already set up and will be starting his master's program in December
and I am so proud of him!
I am starting my last year, and will finally have my degree, woohoo

Now, mommy and daddy aren't the only ones learning and moving forward
Kaylee is getting so big and growing up every single day
She's learning, and talking, and blows my mind all the time.
We're potty training... with her leading!
 You can read all about our valiant potty training attempts in my guest post here

Also, I now how a twitter and facebook page for my blog.
Check them out, and follow me.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

All About The Writer

Hi There! I'm Amanda.
Welcome to my Blog!
I'm a 23 year old,
wife, mama, Christian, student, and volunteer.
San Diego born and raised, East Coast transplanted,
With a special love for the Midwest. 
I am married to my soul mate, Mike. 
Mike is in the United States Navy and we met while he was stationed there.
We had a whirl wind romance so to speak
and married in September 2008 after just 4 months after meeting.
It was quick and rash, and one of the best decisions I ever made.
You can read a little more about our story here.

I am a stay at home mama to our two precious daughters,
Kaylee Jewel, who is 2, and Sierra Joy, who is 4 months. 
With my girls,
I see the equation of love
that starts with the love of my Savior,
poured out over me,
and the love in my marriage,
which leads to the love of my sweet girls.
Hence, A Love Multiplied.
It started with a baby, led to a cross and my salvation,
brought along my sweet husband, and ended with two sweeties.
My love, my blessings, multiplied.
More about me later!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Healthy Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Mike and I are on a bit of a money saving kick (or what sometimes feels like we have always been since we got married..) anyways... we have been trying to find ways to cut down any unnecessary spending... One of the ways we intend to do that is by cutting back on the amount of food that he buys at work. You see, my beloved husband leaves for work at a disturbingly early time (at least for me!) and most days I am too tired to make him breakfast, and if I do it's relatively small and soo boring. 2 plain scrambled eggs usually. I also noticed that if we don't have left overs I was just getting tired of making lunches (which we will cover in another post). So.. being at work for breakfast and lunch time every day, even if I made him something.. he was still hungry! So we would easily spend close to 40 dollars [OR MORE] a week on whatever he is purchasing to eat. So I had to come up with a way to get creative and get some yummy stuff made for him for breakfasts and lunches!

It just so happens that while we are on our savings kick aka forever budgetting we are also both making a very conscious effort to be healthier. Mike genuinely tries to be healthy, but he doesn't do the cooking, I do. So if what I am making isn't healthy, then he won't eat healthy. Anyways, while also being on a healthy kick, I am on a "trying to cut out majority of processed food kick" it's not really out of a dire need to be healthy or a "I-just-watched-forks-over-knives-and-am-distgusted" thing. In fact to be quite honest, I have tried to avoid those different documentaries, not for lack of being informed, but because I will basically just myself off and never eat again if I watch them. I am such a weirdo, and just the idea of processed junk really makes me sick. I haven't gone all extreme by any means and there are definitely still "processed" stuff that we eat, but not nearly the same as most. If I can make it from scratch with little issues, I am doing it. I just think that homemade stuff tastes so much better, and 99% of the time it really ends up being cheaper... so it's a win win. Which brings me to these burritos..

I decided that I needed to do something from home that I could make a big batch of, and freeze. So that I wasn't slaving away at o dark thirty every morning to make him yummy food (because it wasn't happening) and that he would have something healthy to eat and enjoy, AND we would save at the same time.. truly a win-win in my book! I have made him homemade freezer breakfast sandwiches before (maybe a future post?) but wanted to try something else... I made the final decision on breakfast burritos, but decided it needed to be with a healthy twist! So this is what I came up with.

Eggs Whites (half pint container)
5 eggs
Chicken sausage
Reduced Fat Cheese
1 small can of Herdez Salsa Verde (for some flavor!)
1 Package of 8 Smart and Delicious Brand Low Carb High Fiber Tortillas

To wrap the burritos I precut 8 pieces of a good size of foil and put them one of top of the other. 
I cooked the eggs and sausage on their own, and then chopped the sausage up for the burritos
and then placed everything in an assembly line.
I took the tortilla placed the eggs, next sausage, then cheese, and topped it with a little salsa and then rolled it up and then wrapped it closed with foil.

I did this until all the ingredients were gone
(some were a tad bigger than others)
And then I pulled out a freezer size ziplock 
and wrote sausage burritos and the date they were made and put them all in,
sealed it and tossed them in the freezer.

blurry pile of burritos
 Mike ate them 2 at a time because they were a tad small.
He just pulled two out, unwrapped them, and tossed them in the microwave together for a minute.
 Mike said they were delicious, and they filled him up.
Perfect money save, healthier breakfast, and I am not up at o dark thirty cooking!
I'd say it was a win win

xoxo, Amanda

Friday, January 6, 2012

To Recontinued Beginnings...

Hey Bloggy world!

Kinda funny to me even still to post to "the bloggy world" and to even believe that people are reading this stuff... not many people... but people are reading it! I decided around Thanksgiving to take a hiatus from blogging... I didn't really put an indefinite time on it.. I just knew that I needed to take a break from it to really think about my goals and priorities and where it all fell.. and I am so glad that I did.

While I truly enjoy my blog.. I enjoy writing about our crazy life and getting my own thought out on paper and just being able to connect and for friends and fam to see little updates on our life... I was beginning to loose sight of WHY I created this blog in the first place.. which is for all of those things... and was beginning to almost feel blogger envy... haha if that makes any sense... wondering how I could get more followers, get more popular, get people to want to do giveaways on my blog, or become a blogger guru diva with people advertizing and tons of people visiting daily, how I could turn it into a business, or how I could win those cutesy little blogger awards... haha it was getting so bad that I would feel so guilty or make myself sick over not being able to write a post! And that my friends is not healthy LOL. I definitely made this sound a little more dramatic than necessary but I think it got my point across.

So I decided to just take a break... to leave the blogging world for a while.. and spend sometime just enjoying things.. enjoying life... and focusing.. Here is my focus... God and my relationship with Him, my husband and my relationship with him, my daughter and our relationship, my pregnancy and being healthy, school and my studies.. truly learning and doing my best and not just going through the motions, keeping my house together... starting with being better about making balance healthy, yummy meals for my family, and my volunteer work (which I am excited to share more with you about), getting more connected and involved in our church, and taking some time for me... be it to read or to sew or whatever. So all in all those 6 weeks off were glorious and exactly what I needed.

So here I am ready to tackle the blogging world again... just for me... just for my family to stay in contact and just to be able to look back at later and reflect on where I was, where my family was, and where God has taken us.

My 2012 goals are to continue to make positive changes in my life and to simply "be my best" I actually had been thinking something similar to this anyways, but I read an article that featured one of my fav bloggers Amber over at Goodnight Moon and she talked about how she is always asking her children to be their best and that that was her resolution this year... not to set some crazy goal she couldn't keep but to simply be her best. I think that that is a great way to look at it, and how I pretty much already viewed things. Being my best is a goal I have been continually refreshing and renewing and trying to continue to stick to. So that's what I am going to do. My hubs and I decided separately that we wanted to focus on being more positive in our life and so that's fun that we get to do it together and really stick with it and we are both working at our goal for reading the entire Bible this year in our chronological bibles we bought each other for Christmas.

Another excited little snippet in our life is that we found out last night that we are having another baby girl!! We are very excited and very surprised because we (and everyone we knew!) were honestly expecting it to be a boy!! No names in mind yet but I will keep you posted when we know! Mike took me last night after the ultrasound and we bought paint for the girls room.. I had been going back and fourth because a lot of our house is different shades of blue/teal and that's what I was leaning towards for a wall color if it was a boy but when she said girl I instantly was like... PURPLE... it just hit me.. we picked out a beautiful color and will probably paint this weekend. Mike also bought me a double jogger stroller and the infant seat that matches/latches in so I am pretty excited about that. We also ordered the crib... we had a little extra money this payday so we were able to get all the big stuff we don't think people will buy since we are so far away.

The baby shower is something I am pretty torn/mixed up about.. I just don't know what to do.. I want to celebrate this precious little girl and what she means to our family but I just don't have a network of people here yet to invite and then do I go to SD or MN? Flying to SD with Kaylee sounds so miserable while pregnant its an all day travel event.. and plus we don't really have the money for the flights.. sooo idk I am going to have to think it through and decide! I just don't feel right not doing anything for her!! Anyways that's enough baby stuff!!

On to the exciting stuff!! I am starting some volunteer work that I am beyond thrilled to share about..

Most people already know that I have been writing for the Homefront United Network since April.. Well, I was named the Communications Director of the site this week! I am so excited about this opportunity to learn, to grow, and to serve my military community. This is a fabulous opportunity and I am so looking forward to the ways that God uses me in this position and grows the HUN to reach out to as many spouses as we can. If you haven't heard of Homefront United please take a minute to go on over and check it out, like our fanpage on FB, and share your support. We offer resources and support to all military branches, Active Duty, Reserves, National Guard, and Vets. I took over the giveaways/reviews portion of the site as well so if you are interested in hosting a giveaway or having a product reviewed please don't hesitate to contact me. The HUN is also always looking for people interested in any PR, partnering with the site, or advertising on the site.

I also began training yesterday to volunteer with the Catherine Foundation Pregnancy Care Center. I will be a client advocate, basically a lay counselor, to the women (and men!) that come in. I get to help with all sorts of things from Material asst. where we provide supplies for people's children that they may need from diapers, to clothes, to blankets, to whatever.. The program is ALWAYS looking for donations so if you are interested in donating anything, sending money to the foundation, or anything like that let me know and I will get you the appropriate information. The center provides pregnancy tests and ultrasounds and counsels girls on God's love through Jesus and offers information on various resources in the community, churches, food kitchens etc. I had a great day yesterday and am looking forward to my training tomorrow. Later today I am going to start reading my training book and I am really excited to learn all about it. The center's main focus is on life and offering support to those that need it without referring for or recommending abortion. God is working mighty miracle in that gorgeous old victorian building and behind those doors and I am so excited to become a part of all of that. Stay tuned I am sure I will be updating. Also look for the CF on facebook to stay up to date on whats going on in the center, prayer requests, and donations we need for our donation supplies.

Well... In the spirit of spening more time with my daughter... since I have 10 more days off of school we are going to go get ready and head out for a fun day... we have a few errands and I want my starbucks tea... definitely going to buy the box and vanilla sweetner and try making it from home!!... but it's pretty warm for a jan day here on the East Coast so we are going to go to the library and head to the park for a little while! I'll get some pics!

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