Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Easy and Delicious Ritz Chicken

Good morning friends!! I hope you are all having a good week!  Hard to believe we are already nearing the end of January.  This Winter is just flying by which is a good thing because Winters in Cleveland seem to drag on forever and ever and ever...........  This Winter has been full of its ups and downs weather wise.  All last week we had over 10 inches of snow fall and today there isn't a remaining flake on the ground and it's 65 degrees outside.  I think Mother Nature is a bit confused.

Anyway, I wanted to blog about the yummy Ritz Chicken I made a few weeks ago that I posted on Instagram and Facebook.  Several of you had asked about the recipe so here you go!  I actually got this recipe from watching Fox 8 New Day Cleveland.  They had brought on a Mom to make a few easy, delicious and low budget recipes and I was drooling the whole time she was making it.  It just sounded so good and it was!!  This recipe did not disappoint.  I can honestly say this is the best chicken recipe I have tried in a really long time, and trust me, I have tried several recently because of the wonderful Pinterest era we seem to be living in lately.  I have to mention that the recipe calls for Parmesan cheese, however, I completely forgot this ingredient while I was preparing the chicken. I didn't realize it until I was cleaning up and saw the container still sitting on my counter.  This recipe didn't need it!  It was amazing without it.  I am curious to try it with though next time. I will probably prepare two chicken breasts with the Parmesan cheese and two without and see which one Jeff and I like better.  I will let you know!  Enjoy!!!

 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers - Smashed into pieces for breading
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese {Optional}
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Take defrosted chicken breasts and slice them horizontally so you have 4 nicely thin chicken breasts.  Melt the butter in a flat bowl and set aside.  Take your sleeve of Ritz crackers and empty the contents into a large plastic baggy.  Crush the crackers inside the bag using a mallet.  I often use a soup can, it works well and rolls nicely over the crackers.  Please make sure the bag is sealed tight before you do this so you do not have a big mess when smashing your Ritz crackers.  I may or may not have learned this lesson the hard way!  Add the 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese into the bag of crushed crackers.  Pour out your crushed cracker mixture into a glass pie plate, spreading the mixture around evenly.  Take your chicken breasts and dip them first into the butter and then into the crushed cracker mixture.  Thoroughly coating the chicken in both the butter and cracker mixture.  Place your chicken breasts onto a metal cookie sheet covered.  I placed tin foil on top of my cookie sheet to help lessen the clean up afterwards. Sprinkle chicken breasts with some of the remaining cracker mixture to fill in any gaps and to add some extra crunch to your chicken.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees and then bump up the oven temperature to 375 degrees and cook for another 20 minutes.  This gives the Ritz crackers and extra crispy texture. 

Linking up to these fun parties!

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Target Does It Again!

Hello friends, thank you so much for everyone who commented on my last post about converting my Living Room into a Play Room.  Nothing drastic has taken place just yet!  I was quite surprised to hear how many of you have actually done this.  It sounds like certainly something I may consider in the future.  For now, I continue to shuffle toys around from the Great Room, to the Bedrooms, to the Basement, etc.  I have found some more storage and have gotten creative with turning their second closets into toy storage. I will keep you posted if I decide to do this.  It's a long Winter so I may get a little crazy one day and start the transformation process. 

I wanted to share with you all today about my latest Target finds and obsessions.  If you have followed my blog for awhile, it comes to no surprise that Target is by far my favorite store, my happy place!!! 

Not only do I love Target for it's amazing products and how it just "gets" us women, it is probably one of the only stores I can take both kids to and not have to worry about one of them not fitting into the shopping cart.  I don't know if this is the case where you live, but all of our grocery stores have really tiny carts.  Nicholas's carrier just does not fit into a grocery cart like it does a Target shopping cart.  I rarely ever take both kids to the grocery store unless I am really desperate.  If I do become brave enough, I take our double stroller and look like a shop lifter putting all of my items into the bottom bin of said stroller.  Don't even get me started about Kohl's carts! They are so tiny and not Mom friendly at all if you have two children.   Now Sam's Club has the right idea...

Their shopping carts hold two babies!  I have to say now that I am a mother of two, Target and Sam's are pretty much the only stores I feel comfortable going to without Jeff because of their roomy and accommodating shopping carts.

Here are a few things I am loving right now from the amazing Target:
Mustard Mossimo Cardigan
I mentioned in my 2013 Resolutions that I want to make an effort at being a little more fashionable this year.  I have seen on several blogs this famous cardigan and was thrilled when I found it at our local Target.  I love how Audrey from Putting Me Together has styled it in so many different ways!!!

Crest 3D White Whitestrips - Shimmer White
I picked up a box of teeth whiteners to try.  I have honestly never tried whitening my teeth before.  I am nervous about how the whitener can make your teeth sensitive but I could really use to whiten my teeth a few shades.  I bought one of the more inexpensive Crest Whitestrips that appear to be especially made for Target customers. 
Circo Chevron Fitted Crib Sheet
Have you seen the new Chevron sheet collection in the baby section this week?  Oh my goodness!!!  I own a few gray chevron sheets from Pottery Barn kids, however, may need to pick up a few more at Target.  These are adorable.  I really wish they made these for twin beds, we are just about to move Jillian from her toddler day bed to a big girl bed or else I would be snapping up the pink ones!

Mossimo Jeweled Flats

I am sure you have all heard that Pantone has chose Emerald as the color of 2013. In honor of that, I am hoping to pick up these babies at Target later today....

Threshold Lamps and Lampshades

Have you seen their Spring home collection yet? Beautiful lamps and lampshades caught my eye the other day.
2013 Heather Bailey Chevron Planner
Although I was sad to say goodbye to my 2012 Erin Condren planner, I love my new chevron planner from Target! It's a perfect size and has everything that I love in a planner.
I think we can all agree to this...

So what are you loving at Target lately?  I would love to hear!

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Converting the Living Room into a Play Room...Am I Crazy?

I can not believe I am even typing this, however, I am thinking of converting our Living Room into a Playroom.   I am starting to tackle the organization of all the toys that we received over Christmas and Jillian's birthday and I feel like I am just shuffling toys around from one room to the next.  Putting one toy in each of their rooms, one toy in the Great Room and one toy into the Basement.  I feel like we need one designated space for Jillian and Nicholas to really play with their toys, preferably on the main level of our home which is where we spend the majority of our day.  Jeff once brought up this idea to me last Christmas when I was trying to figure out how to handle all of Jillian's new toys and I said no way.  Boy is he going to laugh when I tell him the thoughts that have been rolling around in my head!  I originally started to convert our office into an office/toy room but it just didn't work out like I wanted it to.  Too much clutter and not enough space for it to be a dual purpose room.  I need my office for my direct sales business and in the process of trying to organize and decorate that space too into something a little more functional.

Here are the PROS and CONS of converting the Living Room into a PlayRoom:


1. The kids will have a space on the main floor of our home to call their own.  We spend the majority of our time on the main level, they need a main space to play.
2. We have a toy area in our basement, but our basement is not finished yet and we do not spend a lot of time down there.  Especially with Nicholas still being so little, I am always feeding the little guy which seems to take up most of my day.  Perhaps when the kids are older and I can feel comfortable with them playing downstairs in the basement independently.  Until then, I really need something more on the main level of the house.
3. It will be a temporary solution, I am thinking 2-3 years tops until we can move all of their toys to the basement.
4. Although my Living Room is one of the only decorated rooms in the house, it is far from finished.  I never painted it and we can easily move the new end tables and coffee table to the Great Room.  The Great Room end tables and coffee table now are hideous and were purchased in a scratch and dent room of a furniture during Jeff's bachelor days.  I will not be sad to move those items to the basement and move the living room tables to the Great Room.
5. We have already moved the chair from the Living Room to Nicholas nursery.  We were in desperate need of a glider in Nicholas nursery, however, I refused to buy another one since we already had one in Jillian's room.  Jillian's glider is white and matches her furniture perfectly, plus we were still using it to read a book every night.  Nicholas furniture is a dark espresso/cherry wood and the Living Room chair matched his furniture perfectly.  It was a win-win situation all around.  The Living Room chair is now sitting in Nicholas Nursery and it looks amazing.  Matches his room perfectly.  So one piece of Living Room furniture has already been repurposed in the house before I even came up with this crazy idea. 
6. So that leaves the Living Room couch and my beloved Starburst Mirror.  I am sure I can find another home for the Starburst mirror.  I have a few ideas.  The couch may have to be moved to the basement for a few years.  That is the only piece that I can not think of re-purposing at the moment which is fine. 
7. I can see the Living Room perfectly from the kitchen and the office, two rooms I am in a lot of my day.
8. It will free up all the toy clutter in the Great Room.  It would also keep  the Great Room carpet from continuing to get trashed.  I can put an area rug down in the great room to protect the carpet that is in there now.
9. Now that I am a SAHM, simplifying my job in this role is a must.  A designated toy room on the main floor would do just that.


1. We are dismantling my beloved Living Room.  Ahhhhh!
2. It's the first room off the right of the house when you walk in the front door.  Doesn't set the tone for a calm and relaxing house.  It may scare my neighbors who stop by and they may never want to come back.
3. It's a very open room with no closets. We will probably have to buy a few more Target storage cubes and cabinets to corral the clutter.

Now that I have typed up all of the PROS and CONS, clearly I am on to something by converting the Living Room since there are so many more PROS than CONS.  I will let you know what I ultimately decide. 

Here are a few inspirational pics I found to help me with my decision.

This Living Room turned Play Room is amazing from Heather Drive Blog

And this one is adorable too from Babycenter.... the windows look like our front windows.

So what do you think, am I nuts?  Have you done something like this in your home? I would love to hear your ideas!

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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Disney on Ice Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations Eileen Lynch on winning the four pack of tickets to Disney on Ice! I hope you and your family have a wonderful time!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

2013 Resolutions In A Word

Happy 2013 friends!  I love welcoming in a New Year, the promise of new beginnings and a chance to start fresh and new!  I also love looking back and reflecting on the past year and seeing how far we have come.  Without a doubt, the best thing that happened in 2012 and the biggest change in my life was the birth of our son, Nicholas. He is has brought our family so much joy, I finally feel like our family is complete. 

I am also excited to get back into blogging in 2013!  I took a bit of a break last Fall, it was either blogging or sleep and sleep it was!  Blogging with one kid is relatively easy, blogging with two, not so much!  Kudos to you that have been able to make it work!  I am looking forward to sharing our family life, recipes, home decor, and all of my latest obsessions with you again.  And trust me, I have plenty of things on my radar lately that I am obsessing about! Ha!

I have been reading across the blogosphere several bloggers summing up their 2013 Resolutions in one word.  My word for 2013 is BALANCE.  To take care of all the important people in my life while also taking care of me too.  I found myself putting me last a lot in 2012 and am going to try to do a lot better in 2013. 

Here are a few Resolutions for 2013 to help me achieve that BALANCE! 

1. Take better care of myself by making time for showering, washing my face, brushing my teeth. It's sad but I will be the first one to admit that personal hygiene seems to take a back seat sometimes when you are a Mom.   Please tell me I am not alone here. I have really gotten on a bad streak when it comes to my bedtime routine. By the time I go through the routines of putting both kids to bed, I have lost all my energy and desire to properly put myself to bed. Well no more, even if I am barely able to keep my eyes open, I will drag myself into the bathroom before bed and make some time for me. I really would like to take better care of my skin too and have been hearing a lot of great things about the Clarisonic. Can anyone share their experience? Have you all tried the Oil of Olay version? I would love to hear from you.

2. Lose the last 10 pounds of pregnancy weight. This is something that I am really struggling with. My body is still not 100% my own yet since I am still nursing.  Dieting is kinda limited right now and finding time to exercise is tough too. I have been blessed so far that I have lost most of the baby weight strictly from breast feeding alone, however, I also find myself taking advantage of my built in calorie burner and have been eating like a teenage boy lately.  I just need to eat better and make better choices.

3. Start blogging again, starting with 2-3 times a week.

4. Make the time to reconnect with old friends and build stronger relationships with new ones.

5. Get out of the house more with the kids by going to story hour, mall play area, outlet mall,  play dates or any other fun area activity at least 1-2 times a week. I find it easier just to hang out at home in our pajamas and need to make a better effort to leave the house more during the week. Now that the cold and snowy Winter is upon us, it's even easier for us just to stay at home.

6. Put the iPhone down by 9pm. I rely on my iPhone for everything, not just for social media. I answer Thirty-One Gifts business calls and emails all day from customers, hostesses, and teammates. Its my lifeline to the outside world. I need to take a few hours out of my day to be phone free and just decompress.

7. Complete one small house project a month. I miss decorating and updating our house.  Do you remember this post?  Yeah, they are all half completed!   I want to start setting small goals for our house for this year and start putting all those Pinterest pins to good use. We are not talking major project reveals here, just small improvements like the photo wall I have been dying to finish and painting a room or two.  I still need to complete a few things for Nicholas's nursery.  Have I even showed it to you yet?  I don't think so......

8. Be more fashionable! It's easy to fall into the routine of wearing velour sweat suits and yoga pants everyday when you are a SAHM. Since I left my Accounting job back in March I no longer need to dress for Corporate America, however, I don't want to completely throw in the towel when it comes to fashion either. I love shopping for clothes and looking for fashionable, I used to have a pretty awesome wardrobe.  My goal is to dress more "Mom chic". I have been recently obsessing over a few Mommy fashion blogs lately and they have been a huge motivation to me that SAHM's can be comfortable and fashionable! If you are looking for some easy and affordable Mom fashion ideas, check out Found in My Closet, Suburban Strut and Putting Me Together. They have awesome taste!

I am excited to live a more BALANCED life this year.  How about you? Do you have a resolutions or a word of the year? I would love to hear about them!

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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Disney on Ice Rockin' Ever After - Is Coming to Cleveland! ~ Enter to Win Tickets

I am so excited to announce that Disney on Ice Rockin' Ever After is coming to Cleveland January 11-21, 2013.  Needless to say, my little Princess is truly excited herself and can not wait to see all of her favorite Disney Princesses take the ice for an unforgettable show!

{About the Show}

Get ready to rock out with some of the most magical idols of all in a musical showcase that features the hottest tunes and talent from across the kingdom in Disney On Ice presents Rockin’ Ever After! Jam to a Scottish jig as a group of royal contenders from the latest Disney•Pixar film, Brave, competes to win the heart of headstrong, sharp-shooting Merida, making her ice debut!

Experience a show-stopping performance as Sebastian breaks out of his shell for one night only to make waves with Ariel. A chorus of harmless hooligans from Tangled unleashes musical mayhem when they get a visit from the sassy and spirited Rapunzel and her charming ally Flynn.

And, get your feet moving as the Beast and his castle’s enchanted entourage take center stage in a spectacular show for Belle. It will be a rockin’ remix of royalty when Disney On Ice brings this superstar line-up to Cleveland! 

{Details About the Event}

Where: Quicken Loans Arena (directions)
When: January 11-21, 2013
Show Times:
Friday, January 11th at 7pm
Saturday, January 12th at 11am, 3pm, and 7pm
Sunday, January 13th at 1pm and 5pm
Wednesday, January 16th at 7pm
Thursday, January 17th at 7pm
Friday, January 18th at 7pm
Saturday, January 19th at 11am, 3pm, and 7pm
Sunday, January 20th at 1pm and 5pm
Mon, January 21st at 1pm and 5pm
Ticket Prices: $70 Front Row, $48 VIP, $40 VIP, $21, $15
To Buy Tickets: Purchase your tickets here.
{Special Event Discounts}
Use promo code ROCK4 to get 4/$44 on weekday performances (M, W, TR)
Use promo code ROCK25 to get 25% off weekend performances (F, S, Sun)
Note: $3 facility fee. Expires on 1/21/13. No double discounts. Not valid on FR or VIP tickets. Limit 6 per order. Not valid on Opening Night.

{Win a Family 4 Pack of Tickets to see Disney on Ice Rockin' Ever After in Cleveland}
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway will remain open through January 8th. Giveaway is open to residents of the US only. Winners will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winners will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.
Thank you so much for entering and good luck!!!
No compensation was received for this post. I received four tickets to show as a Feld Family Blogger. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.
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