cook it: balmasic-garlic crusted pork tenderloin and roasted parmesan green beans

This past weekend I had my family up for Christmas Dinner and Brunch.  I know that you're not supposed to attmept brand new recipes when you have company coming over, but Pinterest really got the better of me.  And what do you know, the recipes were a total success!
Here are two recipes that were a total hit at dinner:
Balsamic-Garlic Pork Tenderloin (recipe and photo from http://kitchenconfidante.com)
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (about 1.25 pounds each)
2 tablespoons canola oil

1) Mix garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt pepper and olive oil.  Rub onto pork and let marinate over night.
2) Heat canola oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat.  Working in batches if necessary, add pork, and brown all over, about 4 minutes
3) Transfer pan to oven. Roast pork, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, about 20 minutes. 
4) Transfer pork to a cutting board, and try to let it rest 10 minutes before slicing. 

Roasted Parmesan Green Beans (recipe and photo fromhttp://www.skinnytaste.com)

2 oz green beans, trimmed (make sure they are dry)
2 tsp olive oil
kosher salt + fresh cracked pepper to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder1 1/2 tbsp shredded parmesan
1) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum for easy clean-up. 
2) Lay green beans out on the baking sheet and drizzle oil over them. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and toss to evenly coat.
3) Spread them out on the sheet so that they all lay flat and place on the lower third section of your oven. 
4) Bake 10 minutes, shake the pan to turn; bake 5 additional minutes. 
5) Remove from the oven and sprinkle with grated cheese.


craft it: a merry little banner

I have been seriously M.I.A. lately.  I'd like to take this opportunity to blame said absence on my dear husband.  See, Josh got an iphone about a month ago and since then he's been posting pictures of our fab life all over facebook and instagram.  I feel like everything I'd like to put on the blog has already been scooped by Josh.

I vow to do better about posting  though.  Because really, who wants to live via Instagram or Facebook anyways?  Exactly.

So, here's a little banner craft to get your creative juices flowing this dreary Wednesday.  You can use this craft to decorate a door, mirror, hallway or even use it to tie on top of a gift.  You can follow the tutorial HERE that I posted when I made the "give thanks" banner earlier this fall.

My office at work was in need of some serious holiday cheer.  Here's a few places I tried out the banner (excuse the poor photo quality, left camera at home and had to take pics on my cell!)

who needs curtains when you have a sweet banner?!

reminding me to be merry before going into work

a banner over a painting?  perfection!

And how could this banner making get any easier??  Click HERE and HERE and you can download PDFs of my banner to print out yourself.  I aim to please!


elliot weekly: week 37

elliot helping me wrap presents

what we've been up to this week:

Anticipating Family Time: We're celebrating Christmas with my family this weekend, which means my sisters are coming to town!!  I love having two sisters and I love Elliot getting to spend time with them.  This Christmas celebration is especially exciting because my older sister Lauren (the doctor) is moving out to Portland this summer.  I hope to burn up the skyways with Elliot while she's under two years old (they still fly babies for free, right??) but I still hate the idea of the Rollins Sisters being so spread out.  Boo.

Reach-Scoot-Fall-Roll:  Elliot has been more and more interested in items that are more than an arm's length away.  She'll reach and reach for it (toy, book, bug, etc) and then kind of scoot her bottom, fall over (either head first, sideways or on her back) and then roll over.  She'll them get distracted by her new vantage point and play with whatever toy/book/bug/etc is closest.  It's like watching ADD in action.

Real Baby Food, Almost:  Elliot is about to start real baby food this weekend.  We're going to make her baby food (it's cheap and organic/no preservatives) but I went ahead and picked up some pre-packaged stuff at the grocery store so we'd know how "runny" to make ours.  Dr. Mark (our pediatrician) said to start her out on yellow vegetables first.  Well, the only vegetable I could think of was squash, which isn't exactly in season down here in the Carolinas.  So, Josh and I think that orange is pretty dang close to yellow, so we're starting Elliot out on carrots.  We'll let you know how it goes.  

Dream Feed: We're still giving Elliot a full bottle around 10:30pm.  She's asleep and we're not sure if she totally needs it to sleep through the night.  BUT, Elliot is only weighing in at the 25% mark, so we're going to keep giving her this full bottle until she's up to two baby food meals per day (which is another week or so.)

Stats:  I work right across the street from our Children's Clinic, so I took Elliot over there to get weighed.  She weighed in at 15 pounds 12 ounces.  One more reason I love living in a small town: the clinic's front door is a little less that 75 yards from my desk at work.  Yes, I am spoiled by small-town convenience!       


elliot weekly: week 36

helping with laundry
what we've been up to this week:

Hungry Lady:  Elliot is doing great with her rice cereal!  Last week she was doing 1/2 a serving and wasn't too interested.  This week she's up to a full serving and is practically slurping it down.  

Flapping her wings:  Elliot does this funny arm-flapping-thing when she gets really excited or sees something that she really likes.  She flaps her arms up and down like she's trying to fly away....or conduct an orchestra.  Trust me, it's funny.

Family Time:  This past weekend we were able to drive down to Columbia, SC and visit Grandmother (my grandmother, Elliot's great-grandmother.)  It was a sweet time with the family, lots of playing, giggling and baby-cuddling.
snuggle time with grandmother

four generations.  love :)
Creepy Old Men:  Elliot met Santa today.  We aren't so sure that we're going to do the whole "Santa" thing at our house, but we took Elliot to visit Santa with Merrin (Elliot's bff.)  Merrin was digging the whole experience, Elliot....not so much.


elliot weekly: week 35

what we've been up to:

Wallow:  Elliot isn't crawling, but she sure is into wallowing.  She'll sit in my lap and wiggle and roll all over the place.  She just reaches and grabs for everything in sight, always trusting that we won't let her fall off our laps or off the couch/chair.  She loves looking at things sideways or upside-down, but she likes to that mostly while you're holding her.

Peek-a-Boo: Elliot has finally gotten the hang of peek-a-boo.  We play it mostly with her blanket, because it's small enough for her to grab.  She likes it when we hold it in front of her, completely hiding ourselves, and she smiles hugely when we say "where's the baby? where's elliot?" and then promptly rips the blanket away.  She's even gotten into holding the blanket up herself when she's ready to play (she even did it in the grocery store the other day!)  It is SO cute.

Outdoor Babe: Baby Girl is still loving the outdoors.  Only problem?  Yeah, the fact that it was 34 degrees and Elliot was crying to play outside.  How exactly do I know she wanted to play outside?  Because we were at work and she was so very fussy until I walked her over to the glass door leading to the backyard and she started panting.  Like a dog.  I'm pretty sure she would've wagged her tail if she had one.  So, like any brave mama, I strapped her into the stroller and bundled her up with a hat and blanket and we walked the 1.2 miles to the post office.  Why the post office?  Well, duh, I was at work and needed an excuse to take the babe on a walk.  Multitasking folks, it's what being a working mama is all about!

Xylophone: My friend Sherry gave Elliot a wooden toy set at a baby shower last fall.  The set is meant for babes 18 months and older, but Elliot loves the xylophone!  We've played with it enough now that she knows how to hammer the keys.  Or she just spazes out and the note-playing is just a byproduct of flailing arms.

Not So Yummy:  We started Elliot on rice cereal yesterday.  She took a few spoon fulls and was interested in the whole deal at first.  She wanted to play with the spoon more than anything, but she quickly got the hang of the whole keep-you-arms-down-while-we-feed-you routine.  After a few minutes thought Elliot seemed to lose interest in the whole project and was getting more down her face and on her bib than in her mouth.  My last resort was to let her sip it out of the side.  Turns out she loved that method.  I know we're supposed to be teaching her how to use a spoon, but I just didn't want to waste the breast-milk that we'd mixed in with the cereal.  Yep, I'm cheap, even with breast-milk.

happy 8 months elliot!  we love you baby girl!!
Images by Freepik