Natalie: Four Months


This four month update is a bit late! This girl is already going to be 5 months next week! Oops.

Things for the most part seem “mostly normal” for us now, but we often feel overwhelmed. Things just always seem chaotic in our house. There is just crap everywhere, it’s like a bomb went off and we just feel so tired by the time we finally get them in bed and have zero energy to clean up the house. When I get home from work, it’s just craziness trying to get dinner ready quickly, giving one or both girls a bath, and then getting them to bed. Natalie basically goes to sleep between 8-8:30 and sleeps all night. She could wake as early as 6am, but typically sleeps until around 7:30am which is amazing. She’s getting a bit big for her rock and play though and I think it’s about time to switch her to crib, which was not the easiest transition for us when Maddie was 5 months old. I’m kind of dreading this change!

In the last week, she has finally figured out rolling over! She was able to go from her tummy to her back pretty easily, but now she is able to roll from back to tummy. Whenever we put her on the floor, she immediately starts to roll over. It’s weird though because she does not like being on her stomach unless she is trying to nap. Her tummy is pretty sensitive and she spits up a lot so even though she keeps rolling to her stomach, she gets mad after a minute or so.

Tuna Stuffed Avocado

Tuna Stuffed Avocado

One of my favorite lunches is tuna salad. My whole family loves tuna, including my toddler who is ridiculously picky. Anyway, tuna salad is the perfect lunch because it’s so quick and it’s nice and light on the stomach. While I typically eat my tuna salad on bread or with crackers, stuffing it into a ripe avocado is really the best idea ever. I’m all about finding any excuse to stuff an avocado!

Tuna Stuffed Avocado

The tuna salad for this recipe is pretty basic. Just a touch of mayo or Greek yogurt, some green onion, celery, and almonds. I like it simple, but you can obviously spruce yours up however you prefer! This is the perfect lunch for when you are short on time and is easy to bring to work. When bringing to work, I store the tuna salad in a separate container and then slice my avocado at my desk so it’s fresh. When eating this, I dig into both the salad and avocado together. You can also scoop some of the avocado into the tuna salad, totally up to you!

Tuna Stuffed Avocado

Mexican Street Corn

Mexican Street Corn

One of the things I always miss when summer ends every year is all the amazing fresh corn. We eat it about two times a week in my house and Maddie is obsessed. She’s always stealing it off our plates and the other night she ate two huge cobs all on her own and still was looking for more!

I typically just boil my corn and then slather on some butter and salt, but sometimes it’s nice to kick things up a notch. Enter Mexican Street Corn!

Mexican Street Corn

Mexican Street Corn couldn’t be easier to make. First the corn gets grilled until lightly charred and then you brush on a mixture of sour cream, mayo, and spices. Then you top it off with some crumbles of cojita cheese, cilantro, and lime juice! It’s the best way to dress up some fresh corn and pairs well with all Mexican dishes and even just some grilled chicken or burgers!

If you can’t find cojita cheese in your grocery store, feta cheese is a great substitute! And if cilantro isn’t your thing, try some fresh chopped chives! It’s a great no-fuss side dish for summer grilling! You can also set up a little street corn bar and let guests garnish their corn themselves.

Mexican Street Corn

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Peanut butter is a pretty big deal in my house. My toddler wants all things peanut butter and she wants them all day long. She often says to us, “Peanut butter on a spoon, please!” and just eats a scoop right out of the jar or she will lick it off her toast. She’s also majorly obsessed with peanut butter and jelly jars from Trader Joe’s. She’s a peanut butter fiend. I can’t say I blame her though! And what makes peanut butter even more dreamy? Combining it with chocolate…and cheesecake…

These No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are so rich and decadent, I can barely handle it! And when you don’t have to turn on your oven to make them? Even better!

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

I used Oreo crumbs for my crust, but graham cracker crumbs would also work just fine if you prefer that. When planning for this recipe, note that I recommend making these the day before you want to serve them. I find chilling them overnight is best for all of my no-bake cheesecake recipes, but if you can’t swing that, I do recommend at least 4 hours so plan accordingly!

Like all of my no-bake cheesecakes, the base starts with cream cheese and whipped topping. If you are against the whipped topping, you can always use homemade whipped cream, just know that your cheesecakes may not be quite as thick or stable after chilling. If you are serving the cheesecake in individual bowls like pictured, this won’t be such a big deal since you don’t have to worry about cutting and serving the perfect piece!

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Panzanella

Panzanella

Panzanella. This might be my new most favorite salad ever. Panzanella is a Tuscan-style salad made with BREAD and tomatoes. You guys, a salad made with bread. I mean, whoever created this glorious salad is one of the most brilliant ideas in the history of all ideas. If you like salad, bruschetta, and caprese, this is totally the salad for you!

I mean, I guess you can say eating a bunch of bread kind of defeats the purpose of a nice and light summer salad, but whatever, sometimes you just have to carb it up! While I’ve seen many different versions of Panzanella around the interwebs, I think this version is a more classic Panzanella.

Panzanella

A Panzanella salad is the perfect way to use up day-old bread. Any baguette or sourdough bread works well for this recipe! After toasting the bread, you will mix in the gorgeous tomatoes and of course, the adorable little mozzarella balls. The vinaigrette for this recipe pairs perfectly with the salad and by toasting the bread first, it helps prevent the bread from getting soggy. Serve this with a nice crisp glass of white wine and enjoy it pool-side or outdoors for the best summer meal!

Panzanella. Always and forever!

Panzanella

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Tacos (or Instant Pot)

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Tacos

Tacos, tacos, tacos! Tell me one person who doesn’t like tacos. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love a good taco? I know of nobody who dislikes tacos! Typically for me, I go for just chicken or fish tacos, but sometimes you gotta give the beef a chance!

Traditional barbacoa is made with a cow’s head I believe. Eeeeeek. No cow’s heads were injured in the making of these tacos. So, obviously I guess you can say these aren’t authentic, but this beef barbacoa is darn delicious so I say it doesn’t matter!

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Tacos

I start off with browning the beef because it will give it more flavor. The sauce is just a mixture of broth, chipotle peppers in adobo, and some spices. The chipotle peppers do add a bit of heat to the meat, but after cooking for so many hours, I wouldn’t say these are really spicy at all. You can feel free to adjust the amount of peppers used though if you want more or less heat.

Now, please note that you can also make this recipe in the Instant Pot if you have joined the pressure cooking fan club! I’ve provided directions for both the slower cooker and Instant Pot. Either way, the meat comes out so nice and tender!

While I made this recipe for tacos, it would also work perfectly for really any Mexican dish from burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, nachos, you name it!

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Tacos