Weekly Dinner Plan + Sweet Potato Curly Fries

Happy Monday!  Here's what we'll be eating at our house this week.  Can you tell I'm a huge SkinnyTaste fan? 

SLOW COOKER 3-BEAN TURKEY CHILI | The weather is cooling down, so I'm excited to try out this crockpot chili.  I bought a huge supply of ground turkey at Costco last month, so I'm always looking for recipes with ground turkey.  The turkey burgers from two weeks ago were a hit!

SPIRALIZED SHANGHAI BEEF AND BROCCOLI | I'm always excited about Asian food and breaking out my spiralizer.  I have a very small kitchen, so I don't usually like to acquire new kitchen gadgets, but I use my spiralizer a few times a week.  I have this one and I love it!  It's very easy to clean and to switch between different blades.  Darby loves to help.

I made curly sweet potato curly fries to serve with the turkey burgers and they were amazing.  They are so easy to make.  Simply preheat the oven to 450 degrees and then spiralize your sweet potatoes.  (I do one sweet potato per person.)   Next, spray a cookie sheet with coconut oil spray and place the spirals on the cookie sheet .  Spray the top with a little extra coconut oil.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are a little crispy and salt and pepper to taste.  So yummy!

Have a great week!

Weekly Roundup + Fall Shift Dress


I watched the first episode of The Good Place this week and I really like it. There are so many good shows starting right now, it's hard to find time to watch them all. I may have to cut Married At First Sight from the lineup because that one's not really doing it for me anymore. 

I've been trying out this technique to get Darby to tell me about her day at school and so far it is working like a charm!

Round up five friends or two other couples and head to this remote villa on Rose Island in the Bahamas. Pricing starts at $133/person/night.  If you're looking for privacy and relaxation, this is the place.

Mark and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary at Metzger Bar and Butchery located in Church Hill. So yum! I highly recommend it. It's small and cozy, my favorite type of restaurant.  Definitely order a charcuterie board with one or two of the house-made meats if you go.

I had no plans on buying a dress anytime soon, but I saw one of my girlfriends try this one on and I fell in love.  This picture does not do it justice, unfortunately.  Darby tried to take one as well, but it was terribly crooked. 


The dress is at Nordstrom in six different colors.  Mine is sapphire - the picture online looks lighter than it is in person.  The brand is Cece and there are a bunch of other great, classic dresses for fall at Nordstrom. 

Darby is Five + Recent Eats

Happy Hump Day!  I went to bed last night as the mother of a four-year-old and woke up the mother of a five-year-old.  All of the sudden, Darby seems so grown-up to me!  I asked her to stay four, but she declined.  She wants a pull-up bar for her birthday to practice gymnastics in her room.  No dolls or dresses in this house, folks! 

Oh, and evidently there's this rule that only one adult can come to the preschool class to eat cupcakes during snack time and she already asked Mark.  She finally did come clean and say that while it was not a rule, she did not want Baby Sloan to come because she cries all the time.  Fair enough.  I need some time to hunt down a pull-up bar anyways.

That's Darby in her "gynastics babin suit."  Mark and I purposely stopped correcting her pronunciation mistakes because we want her to stay little forever.  She will be the eighteen-year-old ordering "pan-a-cakes" for breakfast and putting her loose change in her "pop-ckets."

I'm finally back in the groove with meal planning.  After vacation we did a few weeks of Hello Fresh because I was out of dinner inspiration and I didn't want to end up eating out every night.  This week I picked some good recipes, so I wanted to share.  In general, I make 3-4 dinners a week and we eat leftovers or eat out the other nights. 

SHRIMP TACO TOSTADAS | I used about half of the mayo and doubled the lime juice in the slaw.  It was just too much mayo for my taste.  I did not cook the corn tortillas - we prefer plain old soft tacos. 

I went ahead and made the whole bag of spicy slaw (about triple the recipe) and used it in wraps with turkey for lunch the rest of the week.  Amazing!  If you've ever been to Little John's in Charlottesville, this is a healthier take on their nuclear sub which is my favorite sandwich on this earth.  The chipotle pepper in the slaw gives it such a great flavor.  From now on, I want it in all of my slaw.

SKINNYTASTE STEWED CHICKEN WITH CORN | I always love Skinnytaste recipes and this one is no exception.  I used chicken thighs instead of drumsticks.  I ate the chicken over cauliflower rice and mixed Darby's white rice with cauliflower rice and she didn't even notice (and Darby can spot a zoodle in her spaghetti from a mile away, so that's saying something).  I made the cauliflower rice myself (here's a how-to), but I need to make it out to Trader Joe's to pick up a bag of theirs.  It was not my favorite thing to do. 

Southwestern Steak Salad with Cilantro Avocado Dressing | I haven't made this one yet, but the picture makes my mouth water!  Also, all three recipes use cilantro so no leftover cilantro wilting in my fridge.

BEATTY'S CHOCOLATE CAKE | And this cake is the reason for all of the healthy eating going on this week.  I made it for my daughter and grandfather's joint birthday celebration.  Can Ina Garten do any wrong?  Not in my book.  The secret ingredient in this cake is coffee.  I don't drink coffee at all, but I LOVE this cake.  I started making it when I was newly married.  The first time I made it, I think it cost me over $100 because I had to go out and buy a coffee maker and a mixer, but it was so worth it.  I saw her make it on the show and I immediately had to have it.  This is the only thing I will take the time to bake and it's worth every calorie.

Where I've Been + Recent Reads

Happy Monday!

Sorry for the posting hiatus!  I'm back, and hopefully for good this time.  There are a few reasons why I fell off of the wagon.  Reason one: I am currently computerless.  And, I'm computerless because I decided to take a few years off from the mortgage business (I was using my work computer to blog).  

Though it was stressful, I absolutely loved my job.  It was just getting really hard to manage both home life and work life.  My husband has started traveling a lot for work and we decided this would be the best thing for us to do right now (for my sanity).  I'll be back at it in the next couple of years (I forgot who it was, but someone told me I would know when it is time), but for now I'm excited and grateful for the break from pulling two shifts (mortgage lender + mom).

Reason two: Without work to worry about, the girls and I took an extended vacation to visit family in the Pacific Northwest.  (I had planned to buy a computer before we left to blog the whole time, but that did not happen.)  Let me tell you, with the weather still in the upper 90s in Virginia, it is amazing to be out here where the high has been upper 70s and I get to wear jeans, booties, and sweaters out at night because it gets so chilly.  I'm hoping when I get back later this week that fall has reached Virginia, but I doubt that will be the case.

The girls and I hit up Seattle for the first week of the trip to visit my brother-in-law.  My girlfriend also planned to be out there with her two kids for the same time so that we could do some exploring together.  I will do an entire post on Seattle later, so stay tuned!

From there we headed down to Bend, Oregon, where my father-in-law lives.  The hubs met us there and we also had a Watson family reunion.  It was so much fun as Bend is really neat town.

And here's our annual family photo.  This year Mark's aunt made us matching tee shirts.  They say Butteful Bend | Watson Reunion 2016.  I'm wearing these white jeans (which I absolutely love - and they are a steal), these booties, and this top from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (Under my reunion tee, so I need to take another picture for you soon.)  The top is so perfect for fall.  My color is currently sold out, but they still have black and green.).  I'll do a full Bend post as well with the things we did there.

Now for some recent reads.  I've really gotten on a roll with the books.  It's so nice to have the time to read again!

I finished All the Light We Cannot See a few weeks back, and I really loved it.  A great piece of historical fiction if you're into that genre.  It's a little sad, though, so be prepared.  

After finishing All the Light, I needed an easy, happy book.  While If I Could Turn Back Time was not a book I'd sing to the rooftops about, it was an easy read and it was a happy read. Think the movie 13 Going on 30, but in reverse.  Great for the beach!

Loved The Taliban Cricket Club!  If you were a fan of The Kite Runner, you must read this as well.  Full disclosure: I did have a nightmare that the Taliban was after my family one night, but we were all able to escape...except my husband.

The Summer's End is another good mindless beach read although cheesy at times.  I didn't realize it when I checked the book out (because I was at the library and both girls were breaking down so I just picked it up without reading the inside), but it's the third book in a trilogy.  (You should start with The Summer Girls and then read The Summer Wind if you're up for some Low-country reading.  Evidently The Summer Girls was a New York Times bestseller, so it may be a little less cheesy.)

I have had Where'd You Go, Bernadette for a couple of years.  I started it once, but couldn't get into it - mainly because I didn't have the time and most of the narrative is told through letters and emails which sometimes puts me off.  I picked it up for my trip and realized the setting is Seattle.  I read it just following our week in Seattle and the book came alive.  If you ever go to Seattle, you must read this book immediately after your trip!  If you just want a clever, funny read, pick it up as well.  You won't be disappointed.

I ran out of books to read in Bend, so my father-in-law loaned Outliers to me and I really like it. It was time for some non-fiction.  The book explains how people's cultures and environment contributes to their success or failure.  

A Very Bad Cycling Experience + Workout Inspiration

Happy Hump Day! 

I just started working out again for the first time in about four years and I'm so glad to be back.  It doesn't hurt that the gym has free babysitting and I can shower after my workout without worrying about whether or not the baby has woken up or if Darby has eaten all the Pirate's Booty in the pantry (what do they put in that stuff??--she practically inhales it). 

I've been loving the classes at the new gym I joined...until Tuesday.  Tuesday I took cycling and everything was just bad.  Bad music.  Bad teacher.  It was painful.  I couldn't put my finger on it until the end of the class, but I realized what was missing: the ride narrative:  "Now we're climbing a big hill, raise the gear level by three...now we are on flat road, lower your gear level by four...big hill coming, stand up in the saddle...now we're downhill, lower the gear again."  This instructor just barked "up 3, down 2, up 4..."  How am I supposed to cycle my heart out without being able to visualize where I'm going?  Puh-lease.  Will not be back to that class.  (It was pretty empty, by the way.  Obviously others feel the same.)

Zella Tank | Sleek and Strong POPSUGAR CircuitZella Leggings | Amazon Cardio Playlist | Nike Shoe

On Sunday I did a little at-home workout which will be perfect when the kids are sick or there's a snow day and I can't make it to the gym.  I loved these circuits and you only need a set of light weights.   The cardio playlist is from Amazon Music.  If you are a Prime member, you can download the app and have access to tons of free music, stations, and playlists with zero ads.

The tank and leggings are my favorite right now --I picked them both up at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  I'm wearing the top below.  It looks great with a fun sports bra.  Mine is from Target (similar).

A Watson Weekend

The weekend has come and gone again.  Why do they fly by so quickly?  On Friday night we had some friends and their kids over for dinner.  We had burgers, salad, and this amazing Mexican street corn.  It was super easy to make, and I I highly recommend the recipe.  We also tried out the rosé below.  I picked it up from Kroger -- the bottle was gorgeous (and, let's be honest, that's how I pick out wine).

Every time we have kids over to play, our play area always ends up looking like this.  Totally worth it to keep them occupied so the adults can hang, though. 

On Saturday morning I worked out with my girlfriend.  She brought this Melt Fat, Build Muscle POPSUGAR workout from Pinterest.  They have tons of great workout plans if you need some ideas for what to do at the gym on your own.  They print easily on one page and she says she always keeps a few with her when she goes to the gym so that she has a plan.  I think I may start doing that as well!

On Saturday night, I went to see Bad Moms.  It was hilarious.  Even though it was so hot outside, movie theaters are so cold, so I wore my new white jeans (on sale right now) and this navy and white striped swing top.  Both are from Old Navy and I love them.  The top would work well as a maternity top as well.

These are meant to be my interim jeans until I can button my pre-baby jeans again so I didn't want to spend too much on them, but I have been very impressed with the fit and quality. They are higher-waisted so no muffin top issues.  I would say go up a size because they run small. I am sure I will live in this outfit in the fall.    

In addition to the jeans sale, Old Navy is offering 30% off your entire order over $75 with the code ENJOY.  See below for some other super cute stuff from Old Navy right now if you need help getting to $75.


Jeans | Tee

On Sunday we went to church and then relaxed at home and ate leftovers.  Very eventful.  I hope you have a great week!

Happy Friday + Links

Happy Friday!

This week I put together our tailgate signup for Richmond Spiders games and I'm getting so excited for fall and football season.  I found these adorable tailgate napkins on Etsy. 

I think we should trick our husbands into doing this.

Keeping this age-appropriate chore chart for kids handy.

Loved The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, so I'm looking forward to reading this book as well. It's the former teacher in me, I think.  (Thanks for the recommendation, Christen!)

Planning on testing out this recipe this weekend.

Sloan Is 2 Months Old + My Favorite Infant Stuff

Sloan is actually 2.5 months old, but close enough.  Things have been so much easier the second time around.  I remember we went to the emergency room last time because Darby wouldn't stop crying (turns out she just had really bad gas!).  This time we are relaxed and more rested and haven't really missed a beat.  We go out to restaurants, the pool, and pretty much have stuck with our normal routine.  Sloan naps in the car seat or stroller at least once a day, but she has to keep up with big sis!

I took some time to think about what we have really needed during the infant stage as I have been trying my best to live with the fewest number of things possible (because #obsessedwithminimalism).  I also read this book recently and donated or threw away tons.  Life. Changing.  Sometimes I get carried away and start chucking Mark's stuff and he gets mad, but most of the time he doesn't even notice. ;)

Back to infant stuff - we haven't used much more than the items below so far (other than our car seat, crib, clothes, diapers, and wipes). With the exception of the dresser, everything was leftover from Darby or given to us from friends.  My friends did throw me a small shower for baby #2, but all I asked for was diapers and wipes.  It's been 11 weeks and I haven't had to buy a diaper or wipe yet.  I highly recommend a diaper and wipes shower if you are in pursuit of minimalism as well.

  1. Rock n' Play - This was our crib up until about 10 weeks.  I had a c-section and the nursery is on the second floor, so Sloan slept in this downstairs during the first few weeks so that I only had to go up and down once a day.
  2. Dresser - Perfect for all your baby stuff!  (Other than the fact that you have to put it together.)  I ordered these drawer pulls to spruce it up.  Mine is pictured below.
  3. Diaper Changing Pad & Covers - No extra changing table needed...just stick this on top of your dresser.
  4. Monitor - If you have a really small house, you probably can get away without it, but I wear mine when I do yard work or play fetch with the dogs so it gives me a little more freedom. (I really enjoy mowing the lawn and yard work, so this is a must for me.)
  5. Sound Machine - I swear by these!  It signals to the baby that it's time to go to sleep and you don't have to worry about being as quiet around the house during nap time.  
  6. Snap and Go - I didn't have this last time, but I have used it almost everyday with Sloan.  I keep it in the trunk of my car and my car seat snaps in for running errands, shopping, and going to the gym.  It's so much lighter than my main stroller and you don't have to wake up the baby during transfer.
  7. Bouncy Seat - Great for awake time before the baby is mobile.
  8. Baby Bjorn - This is my favorite.  Great for the witching hour in the evenings when the baby is fussy.  I wear Sloan around while I prep dinner, vacuum, tidy up the house, and grocery shop.  
  9. Gender Neutral Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets | Girl - Boy - Love these!  I use them as swaddles, burp cloths, and to shade from the sun during stroller walks.  They are so soft and light!  Perfect for a summer baby.  Darby still has two of hers and she loves them.
  10. SwaddleMe Blankets - My mom calls these "straight jackets" but they work so well to keep the baby's arms and legs still so they sleep well.

Healthy Popsicle Snacks

I'm always trying to come up with healthy snack options for me and the kids. (Mark is on his own.) Right now we're in a rotation of sliced apples and peanut butter or cheese, strawberries and Nutella, Pirate's Booty, or Goldfish crackers.  Sometimes Darby gets bored of those options, so I bought this Popsicle maker a few months ago.  Another thing I did not go to Target for...

Koji Popsicle Maker

I take whatever fresh fruit we have on hand and use a blender to combine it with almond milk, just like I was making a smoothie.  This week I did a banana and strawberry combination and a peach and strawberry combination. Darby always helps and I find that she's so much more interested in eating healthy food when she's involved in making it.

Here are some other neat Popsicle molds I found.  Here's a link to 100+ Healthy Popsicle Recipes on Pinterest if you need some inspiration.  Enjoy!

Weekending with the Watsons

Happy (or not-so happy) Monday!  This weekend was pretty low key.  On Friday afternoon I walked to Palani Drive with the girls for happy hour with one of my friends.  They have one of the best happy hours in town - $4 for a glass of wine.  It's also right next to Wardrobe, so I got to check out their new fall arrivals.  Just window shopping this time, though.

On Saturday we had friends over for game night.  We played Taboo and Heads Up and snacked on some appetizers.  I haven't played Taboo in a while and I forgot how hard it was.  Heads Up was definitely more fun.


I made a fresh veggie spread and pimento cheese cups.  The pimento cheese appetizers are super simple.  You just spoon some pimento cheese and red pepper jelly into phyllo cups and heat in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees.  My terrible attempt at food photography does not do them justice, but they are yummy!

I found this really good Thai coconut curry hummus at Fresh Market for the veggie spread.  It was a hit!


My girlfriend brought a jalapeno popper dip. I'm not sure which recipe she used, but this one seems pretty similar.  You can use bagel, pita, or tortilla chips as dippers.  It went well with fresh sliced red pepper dippers as well.  

On Sunday, Mark took Darby to play golf and I watched a little Olympic swimming and did some reading while Sloan napped.  I'm about halfway through All the Light We Cannot See.  

It's a long book and I don't get much time to sit and read because there's always laundry and dishes to do during nap time, but it's really good.  (Also, some little four-year-old keeps losing my place in the book and it takes me a good five minutes to search for my current spot.) It's one of those books that switches back and forth between time periods and plots which can been frustrating, but it keeps you hooked.

On Sunday night we stayed in and used OrderUp to have Hibachi Box delivered. They deliver food from so many good restaurants in Richmond.  Life changing for someone with a new baby. You can use code EAT30 to get $10 off your first three orders.  

Have a great week!

Friday Favorites

This week flew by.  I joined a gym two weeks ago and I've been taking a class every single day.  (Yay for gyms with childcare!)  I just discovered the Les Mills' Body Combat classes and I'm obsessed.  I look pretty ridiculous in the mirror and I actually punched myself in the face on Tuesday because my muscles were so fatigued, but I'm soaking wet at the end of the class, so I think that's a good sign.  Here's a recap of my week at the gym.  I'm trying to do something different everyday so that I don't get bored.

  • Monday- Barre
  • Tuesday- Body Combat
  • Wednesday- Body Pump
  • Thursday- Personal Training (they were running an awesome special for new members and I decided on this for my push present instead of jewelry..)
  • Friday- Barre

 On Wednesday night I went roller skating at Roller Dome.  One of my girlfriends is on a roller derby team that practices there and I've been dying to try it out.  The sign on the wall said you can burn 700 calories in a hour and it was a blast.  Suffice it to say, I may become a regular at the roller dome.  

We ended up sweating a lot so next time I'm wearing workout clothes. 

We ate dinner at Kitchen 64 beforehand.  Yum!  Thank goodness you burn so many calories skating!

I am obsessed with this fingernail polish.  It dries quickly and has a nice, smooth finish.  I apply two coats. I always get compliments on it and people think I have paid for a manicure. I picked it up at Marshall's, but I found it on Amazon and I plan on ordering more.  It's Orly French Manicure and the color is Sweet Blush if you look for it in the stores.  

My Anthropologie necklace is on sale!  Here's another link to the dress.  Still love it!  Some sizes are marked down to $40 with another 15% off at checkout.  

Have a great weekend!

Things I Did Not Go To Target For...

I was at the beach from Wednesday through Sunday with my friends, so I took a little break from posting.  The beach with a baby and a four year-old was exhausting.  I had a blast but I was happy to come home and get back into a routine.  

My girlfriend left me a voicemail yesterday morning to let me know Target girls' leggings are on sale for $5.  My daughter lives in this in the fall/winter, so I was excited to stock up.  I ended up buying almost her entire fall wardrobe in less than 15 minutes as most of Cat and Jack brand basics are on sale.  She still needs a sweater or two and a new pair of shoes, but the majority of the shopping is done.  

Cat & Jack Tees (most are $5 each as well)

Still looking for this top online...

Arrow Print Leggings (our favorite!)

Leopard Leggings

There were a few other combinations, but my model was getting hangry.  

So, I went in for a few pairs of leggings and left with a fall wardrobe, a curling iron, mousse, and lip gloss. It always seems to happen that way.  The girls' shoes were also super cute, but my time limit with two kids was expiring so I may order a pair for fall for Darby online.  Check out my favorites below!




Kimchi Fried Rice + What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

A few weeks ago Mark and I went to Foo Dog for dinner.  The waitress recommended the kimchi fried rice and I've been thinking about it ever since.  I've been struggling with meal planning lately, so I decided to branch out from the usual go-tos and try making the fried rice myself.  It was really good and we have plenty of leftovers for the week.  

I used this recipe as inspiration, but I had to wing the rest because I couldn't find one with the exact same ingredient as the Foo Dog one.


  • 2 cups of kimchi (I used the Mother in Law's Kimchi brand pictures below from Fresh Market.)
  • 1-2 lbs of shrimp 
  • 4-6 pieces of bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup of green beans, peas, and carrots (I used frozen.)
  • 2 cups of corn
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 3 scrambled eggs
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • All the kimchi juice you can pour out of the jar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil

Cook the bacon in a pan on the stove-top on medium-high heat until starting to get crispy. Add the kimchi and cook for 5-6 minutes.  Add the veggies and kimchi juice and cook until veggies are done.  Add the rice and scrambled eggs.

In a separate pan, heat up the sesame oil and garlic.  Saute the shrimp for 2-3 minutes until pink.


Below is what I ordered from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  I got the sweater in grey and the bottom tee in white and black.  Another pair of the Zella leggings, this top, and this top were in my cart as well, but before I could check out they sold out.  Hopefully, they'll be restocked soon.  Even if I have to pay full price, I really want the tops!

Weekending with the Watsons

Happy Tuesday!  This weekend was so relaxing.  On Friday I met Mark and some friends at our club for dinner.  It's so nice having dinner there because he can practice chipping and putting with Darby while we wait for our food.  There are also always tons of kids playing on the lawn so Darby can join them when she's finished eating and we don't have to rush dinner.  I wore my 1.State dress and found a great selfie mirror on our requisite trip to the restroom which always takes place as soon as the food arrives.  Do your kids do this too?  It drives me nuts.  She never has to go until our meals arrive!

1.State Dress | Anthropologie Necklace | Sam Edelman Sandals

On Saturday night we got a sitter for the girls and we had a date night.  I wore the dress below which I originally purchases as a maternity dress and wore up until about 34 weeks.  So glad I can still wear it.  I hate wasting money on ugly maternity clothes.

Mara Hoffman Dress | Designs by TBD Necklace | Nine West Jackpot Pumps

On Sunday Darby played more golf with Mark (he gets to play as much as he wants if he takes her along), and then he watched Sloan while Darby and I went to the pool.

Darby swam the entire length of the pool by herself for the first time and dove off of the diving board.  I've been trying to get her to do both all summer and she wouldn't even try.  But on Sunday she decided on her own she wanted to do it, and she did! 

Friday Favorites

I hope you have fun plans for the weekend!  We have nothing on tap other than a date night on Saturday and I'm so excited to be in town with no agenda.  Here are a few of my favorite few things from the last couple of weeks. 

Love and Friendship - I saw this movie on the 4th of July and I loved it so much I want to go see it again.  I love everything Jane Austen and this movie was just hilarious.


I'm newly obsessed with the Sunrise juice at Ellwood Thompson.  It contains strawberry, orange, carrot, and ginger.  Amazing!

The temperature finally cooled off a bit after the Tuesday storm and I braved the pool with both kids.  Sloan and I stayed in the shade. Two of my friends just introduced me to this clip-on fan.  Such a great idea if you have a summer baby!  It is battery operated and clips onto the stroller.  We are going to the beach next weekend, so I know it will come in handy.

My daughter took her first tennis lesson this week.  It was so cute to watch.  Her coach Phillipe is a natural with kids.  

Are y'all on Snap Chat yet?  So fun!  I'm RVAWhitney if you want to follow along.  It's mostly baby pictures and videos. Just warning ya!