Stories from the lives of Jared, Stephanie, Aubrey, Hannah and Dani Or, Jare-phanie-brey-nah-ni

Monday, February 17, 2014

Little Pleasures

Big shout out to Ali Spagnolo!

What a rockstar. She probably won't ever read this, but that's OK!

I accidently had Jared get an extra gallon of milk for Aubrey. She doesn't drink it fast enough, so it would have gone bad before the expiration date. Ali responded to my Facebook post and we made plans to do a trade. 

So I gave her a gallon of milk, and she gave me a huge pick-me-up!

It's no secret I love diet Dr Pepper and chocolate. I even recently wrote a blog post about my intense relationship with chocolate.

Aubrey and I are feeling pretty under the weather. We're sharing a small cold. She still somehow has tons of energy that I just can't figure out. I would like to go into a small coma and sleep this off, but she'd rather run around the apartment and play ring-around-the-rosie. 

But it's her quiet time and I have a yummy, cold diet Dr Pepper and some amazing Ghirardelli chocolate to complement it!

I really appreciate Ali and her willingness to share little bits of happiness with me! :) Today wasn't going to be a terrible day or anything, but having this little pick-me-up during Aubrey's quiet time will help it become a great day!

Special dresses

When (Aubrey's Nana) found out Jared and I were having a baby girl, it was time to bring out the fun sentimental things.

On one of her trips to see us while we still lived in GA, she brought some old blankets I used as a baby that my grandmas, and I think great grandmas, made for me. Mom also brought the dress I was blessed in and a few little outfits she held on to for me.

The blessing dress is super cute and I love the style. It was a shorter one, not those kind of dresses where it goes a foot past the baby's toes. The blessing dress has been around for years. My Mom was blessed in the same dress!

So it showed a little age, but it was an easy fix. My Mom put a ribbon to hide the aged-ness. I used a cute little hair clip. Aubrey didn't have enough hair for the clips, so I had to use them for something! This was the cutest picture we could get!

Some of the outfits my Mom brought were cute and Aubrey wore them when she was still little.

But my Mom also brought some dresses that I wore as a toddler. My Mom's mom (Grandma Dixie) loved a certain style of dresses, and so she got me 3 dresses. The tags say they are 3T and 4T, but I am SO glad I tried them on Aubrey anyway!

It's so great having these special and sentimental dresses.

We had a little dress up day. I only put 2 of the 3 dresses on and she doesn't stay put for pictures. But she looks so darn cute!!

The third dress is the same style as the second dress. Only the sleeves are a darker pink.

Friday, February 7, 2014


I have an intense relationship with chocolate. 

I LOVE it, but LOATHE it at the same time. 

Does anyone else experience this emotion?

Jared's Mom sent us an awesome Valentine's Day box with fun treats for everyone. Jared and Aubrey got some gummy treats. I got 2 bags of Hershey kisses. Yes, I claimed both bags as mine. Jared, my wonderfully sweet husband agreed. He understands that I will eat the majority of the kisses.

I put them in a cute vase for decoration. I hoped that having them on display would stop me from eating them so quickly. But, I forgot how Laura's knowledge of my addiction to Hershey kisses happened. 

We were at Jared's parents' house over Christmas one year. Laura has all these cute decorations and one of them is a snowman jar that she filled with kisses. I thought, "Hey! There is chocolate in this snowman!" And I began eating them. 

Laura soon realized I was the one eating them. She caught me red-handed about 15 times...

Now, as a tradition, she sends me Hershey kisses in pretty much every holiday box.

Back to most recently. Having them in the vase just seems to make them more accessible. It would have been better just to keep them in their respective bags and have Jared hide them somewhere in the apartment.

I can't just eat one every now and then. I go for rather generous handfuls. 

It's pretty obvious that after a week, the 2 bags are pretty much gone. I can't explain it, but it's just impossible to walk into the kitchen and NOT walk out with about 5 in my hand (after eating 2 while standing in the kitchen).

Chocolate is so yummy! But I really shouldn't eat as much as I do! I understand that the treats Jared gets for his seminary class is off-limits. Those aren't a temptation. But knowing that there is chocolate in our home that I am allowed to eat just makes me go crazy! If I know it's here, I have to find it and eat it. 

The day after Valentine's Day will be a special day. Candy will be on sale and I can stock up for the next few days. 

I do have standards though. I don't eat chocolate if it's mixed or covered in coconut, mint or marshmellow. But if it has chocolate or cherries, it's doomed to be eaten immediately!

One day, my metabolism will shut down. And all this chocolate consumption will be my downfall. Chocolate will be near me when death comes. If I can manage it, I will eat a Death by Chocolate cupcake on the day I die. Then I can legitimately say I was killed by chocolate.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I love crockpots!

Jared and I got married 3 years ago and we got some awesome wedding gifts to start of our lives together. But there were still some things missing that would have been most helpful for us. 

My wonderful aunt Adria gave me a couple things that I use on a regular basis, even after 3 years!

She lovingly gave me a box of plates (I think she got them for her wedding!) because we didn't have any. And she also gave me her old crockpot! It's just a little thing, but I absolutely love it!

The reason I feel the need to post about it, is because I'm starting to use it more and more. Before, I just used it a couple times a month doing sloppy joes or pot roast. 

Now I'm finding all these great things to put in it! For example, just last night I made some honey barbecue pulled chicken. 

Best thing about crockpots is I can put everything in it early in the day and just let it do it's thing while I spend time with Aubrey. She gets a bit cranky when I start working on dinner right before Jared gets home, and when she's cranky, I'm frustrated.

I decided I wanted chicken for dinner that night. So I put 2 pieces out to thaw in the morning while Aubrey had breakfast. Aubrey has her quiet time/nap time from about 11-2. I used that time to put the thawed chicken in the crockpot and mix up the sauce to go over it. 

In a bowl, I put in enough barbecue sauce to coat the pieces and put in 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Mixed it up all nice and happy. Added a tablespoon of water.

Pour over the chicken and make sure it's mostly covered. Add a little water to help with the steam. 

All in all, it was all ready to go by 12:30. Just let it stay on low til Jared got home and we ate at 6:30. I would check on it every now and then. About halfway through cooking time, I cut the chicken into smaller pieces to help the sauce marinate all of it. Added water throughout the day for the steam.

I love cooking in crockpots! In the near future I will try and do a copy cat Cafe Rio recipe. Mmmm Cafe Rio....