Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October...Like a Leaf on the Wind...

This month seems to have flown by with fine frenzy.  Its been so busy that I haven't had much time to sit and breathe, and (most days) clean my house...

Between my birthday, Faith's birthday and Halloween its just been GO GO GO.

I won't lie, I felt a little guilty about Faith's birthday.  I did make a pretty decent birthday cake, something I haven't done in a few years...

but the decorations I'd planned and my hopes for trying to make the day seem much less like every other day seemed to be thwarted at every turn. Jeff kept reminding me that she was only turning one and that she wouldn't remember it...in hind sight, I wish I would have stopped worrying so much and would have allowed myself to drink in little moments of the day more.

In the end, I think she had fun eating cake off of my fork (we did let her get messy by trying to encourage a cake smash, but, true to form, my little diva HATED getting her hands dirty. She managed to eat so much icing off the top that the sugar made her gag and after that she cried and begged to be cleaned up.) and thoroughly enjoys her new little piano toy.  Its not as annoying as I was worried it would be. She chooses her moments to play it and moves on to something else.

All in all, its been a wonderful year getting to know my Little Diva.  Its so funny how much you can learn about someone who can't even talk yet.  She is so expressive and its fun to see how much her looks can say. Yesterday we took her for her 1 year well child exam. The nurse shyly asked if we would allow Faith to have a lollipop. We'd let her lick them before, but never just full out given her one. I, of course, said yes. After getting poked, everyone deserves a little prize, right? 4 shots later, it was funny how fast her tears were gone when we opened the lolly and put it on her tongue.   It took her some time to figure out that you hold the stick and the colored part is the tasty part (let's just say she got VERY sticky) but she started to get it like a pro by the time we were out the door of the pediatrician's office.  Of course, since it was her first lolly and I didn't want to sit in the back to supervise to keep her from biting off the candy and choking or getting everything in the car sticky, we had to take it away while we drove to our next destination...The look, coupled with the alligator tears that formed in her eyes, was priceless. I should be ashamed to admit it because she was so CRUSHED, but I was amused and giggled as I got into the car.  Her look said it all:

"You just let them put 4 of those sharp, pointy things in my legs, and that REALLY hurt. You give me this delicious thing to make me feel better, but now you're taking it away?!?! WORST DAY EVER!!!!"

Never fear, she only cried for about 30 seconds... and then was over it. However, the smile we got when we got to the grocery store and gave it back to her was just as priceless.  We had tears again in the grocery store when we had to take the last bit of it away because she was down to mostly the stick and I didn't want the now sharp candy to be bitten off and choked on...that would have been fun (NOT).  Again, 30 seconds of discontent and she was over it.  I'm grateful that our work at home not giving in to her random temper tantrums (yes, she's already started having them) has helped her to realize that tears are fruitless and that the mamma and daddy's wills will be done! (We can only hope that this realization sticks and makes the Terrible Twos not so terrible!)

My birthday was next on our list of fun.  It totally ended up being one of the best birthdays I've had in a while, and was filled with completely unexpected surprises.

The biggest surprise came the day before my birthday. Jeff asked if I wanted my present a day early. I was a little taken aback because I thought we had agreed that I was getting my haircut as my present. I told Jeff that if he had gotten me something else that I wanted to wait so that I had something to look forward to, but he was insistent that I get it that night.

Jeff brought in a box. I opened the box to find a box for the fancy pants camera that I've been wanting for months! Its basically a point and shoot with all the functions of a DSLR ...and then some.  Not only does it do what a DSLR does, but it will do it at the touch of a button...I don't have to sit and mess with ISO and aperture to get certain affects (I can if I wanted to...),  for example, it has settings to automatically blur the background of images, and to shoot fireworks...I just have to go to the menu and select the setting I want.  My camera also can automatically photoshop out blemishes, can shoot with just one color and the rest in black and white(meaning those fancy pics in  black and white with one color (like a red rose) highlighted won't take tons of time in photoshop to produce), and will wait to take a picture when you click the shutter until all the people are smiling, or will wait until all CHILDREN are smiling...I'm still learning how to use all the settings because it really does SO MUCH...the honest to goodness truth is, I don't need to be able to change lenses with this camera because besides the nifty menu settings, it also has a lens that is the equivalent of 3 DSLR lenses...

I was shocked and almost started crying when I saw the box. This camera is NOT cheap. In fact, it costs as much as an entry level DSLR.  I was thinking we wouldn't be able to afford it until January...and even that thought was disappearing as Jeff was talking about us moving into a different apartment and using his extra paycheck to pay for that...needless to say, I wasn't expecting to get it any time soon.

Of course, Jeff being Jeff, he couldn't just give me the present, get me teary-eyed and leave it at that...I sat for a few minutes to soak it in, and then I picked up the box to pull out my new toy...it seemed awfully light, but I didn't think much of it...I opened the box to find.... my old, crappy camera staring back at me...

Thinking that Jeff had played a cruel prank and hadn't really gotten the camera, I told him I hated him (of course, he is proud of himself for that...) Then Jeff said, "Do you not like it?  Well, maybe you want to see what the Munchkin and Boo Boo got you."  He pulled out a camera bag...which had my camera in it.

He then explained how we were able to afford it.

Jeff got a second job fixing audio/video equipment by contract.  Instead of contracting for an amount, he asked that they purchase my camera before my birthday as payment for his services.  His bosses were happy to do it.  They offered to get me a more expensive DSLR, but Jeff knew that this was the camera I wanted and said that he wanted me to have what I wanted (I would have been happy with either of them, but I am happy that he stuck to his guns. Yes, I could have had a more expensive camera, but I wouldn't have had all the fancy features to play with and figure out...LOL).  I just have to say, that I seriously have the sweetest, most thoughtful husband in the world. Yes, the money for his services would have been nice since we have 3 hospital bills we are trying to pay off right now, but he knew we would have the money to pay our payments and wanted to make sure that I got something that I'd been really wanting for a while instead of settling for what was practical like I normally do.

Jeff then informed me that I should have the girls ready by the time he got home from work the next day because he'd already found a babysitter for the girls and we had to drop them off to go on a date...I was dumbstruck and, of course, asked my signature question, "Are you sure we can afford it?"  Jeff said, he was sure.  He also informed me that I was STILL getting my hair cut on Saturday.  I asked my signature question again, he laughed and said, "I wouldn't say that you could if we couldn't."

I jokingly said that he should really spoil me and use one of his PTO days to stay home on my birthday and snuggle with me...Jeff decided that was a good idea too.

In short, I was thoroughly spoiled. We spent the day doing everything and nothing. We went to the park and tried to do a photoshoot with the girls. Of course, it was right before Faith's naptime, and Phillie decided to be hungry, so it didn't work out so well, but I did get a few good shots...
parenting is hard work...LOL

Later, we dropped the girls off with the Bloods (thank you again to all of them for loving me and my family enough to watch my girls at bedtime!) and went to dinner at a place we hadn't tried before called the Elephant Bar. We actually enjoyed the ambiance quite a bit. The food wasn't AMAZING, but we liked it enough that we want to go back and try some other things on their menu.  The restaurant is located in an outdoor shopping complex called The District. For those of you from Southeast Idaho/Northern Utah, or familiar with Salt Lake, it is somewhat like the Gateway Mall...it seems to have mostly high end stores that WE wouldn't really shop in, but it was fun to window shop.  Of course, they did happen to have one of my favorite clothing stores on the planet, Downeast Basics.  I usually walk past a Downeast, drool over the clothes in the window, and keep walking because in general it is a little more pricey than I like (you're talking to a girl who sometimes thinks that Ross Dress for Less is too expensive...)  Jeff surprised me again and made me go in the store...and then told me to try on the things I liked.  I had a small moment of glee when a size 10 dress fit (it was tight, and Jeff had to zip it up for me, but it fit)...He then made me pick my favorite thing I tried on and he bought it for me. I walked out with a VERY cute wrap around mustard yellow gingham print shirt.  ( I will also say that clothes shopping with my husband is always a pleasant experience. He always gives me an honest opinion, so if I'm struggling to pick something out, he always knows what to say to make me feel confident in going one way or the other. I love you babe.)

We thought about seeing a movie, but realized we hadn't seen the previews for ANYTHING that was in the theater, so we had NO CLUE what any of the movies were about.  We laughed a little about it as we walked out of the theater and headed for some cheesecake and to get the girls.

Our ward Halloween party came next.  We went shopping for stuff to make our costumes on Thursday night (the party was Saturday). Jeff didn't disappoint and had some really good ideas for how to make the costumes easier to make and cheaper.  We were Mr. and Mrs. Pacman and Faith and Phillie were the ghosts.

I hand sewed the little handkerchief style dresses for Faith and Phillie on Friday (since I don't own a sewing machine...) and then made the T-shirts by attaching the felt pieces using an iron on applique fusing sheet. The way the T-shirts turned out was Jeff's idea.  I was going to go to Goodwill and try to find a black t-shirt for each of us, but Jeff thought that may be a tall order. He suggested we take advantage of Jo-Ann's sale and get a white T-shirt for $3 and some black felt to go with the yellow I was already planning on purchasing...in the end we spent just under $20 cumulatively for all costumes, making each costume cost about $5.  SCORE!

Of course, I need to show you my new 'do!
SO MUCH BETTER than the last haircut. I'm glad I have good friends who told me where to go this time around. I think I found my new "place" here in Henderson. I was worried I never would find anyone to replace my awesome stylist friends that I left behind in Idaho.  (P.S. notice how awesome my skin looks in this picture...No, its not a new skin regime...its my camera's anti-blemish soft skin technology...take that Photoshop! LOL)

The picture makes it look shorter than it is...it actually still reaches my shoulders on the sides. I do wish the bangs were a little shorter and a little more angular, but I figure it will make them easier to trim when the time comes (since I will have to do that myself).

Well, motherhood calls.The Notorious Pacifier Bandit (a.k.a. Little Diva, a.k.a Faith McKynzie) has struck again and I now have two crying children (because she always gets scared and cries when Phillie cries...)

Happy Halloween darlings! Hugs and Loves until next time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Creatively Lazy: Christmas Tree Edition


Saturday, we went out yard selling....

And we managed to pick up this monster for a steal of a deal

A 7.5 foot Christmas tree that usually retails for close to $200 for $10???? Ummm...yes, please!

Well, on Monday, Jeff decided to set it up to make sure our steal of a deal wasn't too good to be true...

It wasn't. Besides needing to tape up some of the ends to keep the string that is wrapped around the branches from unraveling, it was in pretty much perfect condition.

Then, Jeff said the words that got my wheels a-turnin'...

"I'm just going to leave it up. I really don't want to have to haul it out of the closet again. It's heavy."

I couldn't just leave an empty Christmas tree sitting up in the corner of my living room.  When guests come over what do you say? "We were just too lazy to take it down..."?

My brain worked in its brilliant fashion and I not only came up with an awesome excuse to put the Christmas tree up in October and LEAVE it up....but also some really neat family traditions that I'm pretty sure we're going to carry on...

So...for all of you that want to space out your holiday decorations, these ideas are for you.

Why not have a Halloween Tree?  Stay with me here...

Think of the movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Watch the movie and put up your tree along with some Halloween ornamentation so that you can please Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King.  on Halloween Night, you can even take it one step further and leave some gross out candy under the tree or something. (Our kids are too young to appreciate it this year, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it WILL be happening when they are old enough.)

Decorations don't have to cost a million dollars either. If you have a steady hand, you can do what I did and, using some craft foam, draw some caricatures of Nightmare Before Christmas characters or, if you're less steady with a sharpie, you can print out some Nightmare Before Christmas or Halloween coloring pages, color them and, using the sticky back foam, make some Halloween ornaments that will last for a while.

Since its mostly for your family enjoyment anyway (and to stop guests from wondering why on earth you would set your Christmas tree up at the beginning of October), you don't even have to cover the whole tree.  I'm still planning on making a few more with my husband when he gets home (since he enjoys drawing, I wanted to let him in on the fun...) but you can see that it looking pretty decent and I've just covered a section of the tree. A few more ornaments and some artsy fartsy fun with my hubby and we will have made it look all the way decent...

And, because I figured you should see some of my free-hand artwork, I decided to zoom in and take a picture just for you (because I know you're just dying to see it!)

So, what do you do for November?  Simple...you do a Thankful Tree.  Everyone in the house takes a piece of construction paper and writes on it what they are thankful for that day.  You can either wrap it around a branch and staple it, add some string, or make a chain that will snake around the tree or along the front of it.  At Thanksgiving dinner, remove the "thankful notes" and read them at the table. It will be awesome to see all the things you've had a chance to be thankful for throughout the month.

My family tradition has always been to decorate the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving dinner.  It was one tradition my biological dad had started with us before his death, and one that my step-dad really enjoyed and kept up after he joined our family.  So...you can just pull out the Christmas decorations and let the kids go to town...

A big hello to all my creatively lazy peeps out there...I hope you enjoy using this idea...and YOU'RE WELCOME...LOL

Hugs and loves until next time darlings!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2 princesses, 1 month, 1 tired mamma

Its hard to believe its already been a month since Phillie joined our family.  The first few weeks were tough as I was trying to adjust to almost NO sleep (since Faith was still waking up at night too) and feeling like I had little to no control over my household. I was super grateful for the help of my parents and Jeff's mom, but I also was stressed over it. I felt bad that they were doing everything in my house and taking care of Faith and I also felt somewhat helpless...if Faith started being testy, because other people had been taking care of her, if I was out of my room and trying to spend time with her, I didn't know if she was hungry or tired or teething...and with SO many cooks in the kitchen, I would ask and ask and ask and it would seem like no one knew...it became a guessing game like it was when she was a newborn and to have to deal with that with two babies was a lot to handle. (My hat is off to all those mama's of twins out there, really.)

So, in this last month there have been changes, and we've been learning. Learning how to navigate life with 2 babies at different stages of development with different needs and learning more about both of them as individuals and how to meet their emotional needs as we meet their physical needs.

I'll start with this little princess:
Its hard to believe that my Little Diva is almost a year old.  Its equally hard to believe that I looked down at her little 2 1/2 month old face in fear and panic when I realized that Heavenly Father had already decided that it was time for her to be a big sister.

I have to say that I couldn't have been blessed with a more easy going, happy baby.  I was so grateful for this as I went through horrible morning sickness, and later, a HUGE belly getting in the way of everything. For the most part, my little Faith is patient, loving and kind. We're human, and we all have our moments where we aren't as awesome as we can be, but I can honestly say that her less awesome moments are so split up that I never can remember and look back to remember the last time she was difficult.

Lately she has been my little shadow. When she's been awake she has wanted to follow me everywhere. This is difficult when I'm headed into rooms that haven't been cleaned the way they need to be in order for her to safely follow...she still tries to eat everything she finds on the floor, whether its food or not...we have at least 1 episode where she chokes a week, but we're also getting smarter about what we leave laying around, and are doing better about making sure floors are vacuumed either during a naptime or after she goes to bed at the end of the night.

 We've been working on trying to get her in to see an allergist, but so far we haven't had much luck. They either take our insurance but aren't accepting any HMO patients right now, or don't take our insurance and, unfortunately, we can't afford allergy testing out of pocket.  Until we can get her in to see an allergist, we are under strict rules from her pediatrician not to give her anything new, as we now know that she is prone to severe allergic reactions. This makes dinner the toughest part of the day. She wants so badly to be a "big girl" and gets super frustrated with her inability to communicate what she wants, or our inability to give her what she wants. Part of her quest to be a "big girl" involves eating what mommy and daddy are eating and, unfortunately, we can't allow that right now.  There have been many meals where I've thought, "I would love to grind this up in the baby bullet a bit and give her a chance to eat it." but, in order to keep her safe, I can't.

Hopefully, after we relay our plight to the pediatrician at her 1 year appointment, she will be willing to just do some allergy testing in office to tide us over until people are ready and willing to take HMO patients. Unfortunately, I didn't have much luck getting her receptionist to be helpful when it came to figuring out what to do...

Another way we're trying to help her become a "big girl" has been the ever so difficult task of making her cry it out at night.  I know that the topic of "crying it out" is a controversial one for a lot of parents. I went back and forth about what to do.  Faith was waking up twice a night expecting a bottle...before this, we'd had stretches of a couple of weeks where she had slept through the night, so I knew she was fully capable of making it. After talking to my older sister, who is a nurse, it became clear that the reason she was waking up expecting a bottle is because I was giving in and it had become a habit.  So, I bit the bullet and decided to stick with it- I'd tried before, but after being awake while she screamed for 2 hours, I gave in and gave up...part of me wonders now if she just wasn't ready yet). So far the first night was the worst, but she has pretty much slept through the night every night since. I have also gradually weaned her down to only wanting a bottle first thing in the morning. She used to wake up at 10, 1 and 5 wanting a bottle.

I took away the 1 AM bottle first, and, after that first horrible night of listening to her cry for 45 minutes, she has slept through until 5 AM. The last 2 nights, I've taken away her 10 PM bottle and, so far, as with the 1 AM bottle, the first night was the worst (she cried for about 20 minutes),  and last night she only cried for a few minutes and then went back to sleep.  I still give her the 5 AM bottle, but that is merely for my own selfish purposes. She sleeps longer in the morning after she's had it so, while its an interrupted sleep, I get to sleep in a little bit.  So far, its only been one night of yucky and now she sleeps...of course, it leaves me wondering why I didn't do it sooner, but I think I wasn't ready to have to listen to her crying for an extended period of time...now, its happened out of necessity. If she wants a functioning mom, she needs to sleep.

(Its a fair trade, I decided not to breast feed Phillie because I knew I couldn't be unavailable for 45 minute periods several times a day with an 11 month old to chase (believe me, it was a hard decision to make, but my panic attack when I got home from the hospital when it was time to feed Phillie was the final push I needed...) If Phillie has to miss out on something, its only fair that big sister had to give up her night time feedings, that she really didn't need anyway.)

She has also entered the almost toddler phase of her babyhood...she is getting into everything and learning boundaries...or should I say, we're trying to teach her boundaries (emphasis on the TRYING).  We've been utilizing "time out" to try to teach her the meaning of the word "no,"which, unfortunately, we are still trying to conquer.  I discussed it with Jeff and told him that we may need to change our "time out" tactics.  I usually give her a warning using the word "no" and try to give her a chance to remember what we'd learned the day before. Then, if she persists, I remove her from the temptation, say "no" and walk her to "baby jail"...aka the pack and play that she sleeps in when we go out of town.  Sometimes when frustration occurs, one or both of us forget to give her a warning or to say the word no as we remove her from the temptation...so she just gets put into "baby jail" and probably doesn't understand what the deal is. We have agreed to do better at making the discipline more consistent so she can grasp the meaning of the word "no", especially because we need her to learn it to keep her safe.

For now, we say "no", she looks up at us and smiles her 4 toothed grin and we have a hard time being mad at her...I'm telling you, that cheeky little smile makes it really hard to take her to time out, but she has to learn that "no" means business!

She loves her baby sister. Sadly, she also wants to play with her so badly that her 4 little teeth are aching. She tries so hard to play with her when we have her on the floor for tummy time, and what usually ends up resulting is both girls screaming- Phillie because Faith hurt her unintentionally and Faith because Phillie's screaming has scared her...
Daddy had some luck over General Conference weekend getting them to "play well" with each other. Faith would try to hold Phillie's hand and Phillie would try to eat Faith's hand...I suppose you could say that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

Hopefully, in a few months, they will be able to interact a little more safely and there will be less screaming in the house...LOL

Speaking of fun over Conference weekend...Jeff had his favorite blanket out and Faith wanted to snuggle up in it...Don't leave it to daddy to just share the blanket...
 I give you....Burrito Baby Faith...Since she stopped liking to be swaddled at 2 months old, both Jeff and I were surprised by how much she liked it.  She spent the better part of the second Sunday session of Conference chilling in her burrito on our Flip Flop couch that had been pulled out into the bed position...
She dug it...

Now onto this princess:
Its hard to believe she is already a month old!

When we first brought her home, she was so sleepy and chill and didn't want to eat much (most of the time we were lucky if we could get her to take a half an ounce at a feeding and we were really lucky if she'd take an ounce). She also wouldn't wake up and let me know she was hungry.  After taking her to the pediatrician, we were told that since she had already gained quite a bit of weight between birth and our appointment, they weren't worried about her consumption...I was just told to set an alarm for every 4 hours in case she didn't wake up so that she was getting enough. 

Her pediatrician would have been right on board with lots of people who suggested I just let her sleep through the night if she was going to sleep if she had been eating more than a 1/2 an ounce in a feeding...she didn't want us to start on a downward spiral when my efforts to make sure she was eating what she would when she was supposed to were making  so much progress.

After 2 weeks, she got to the point where she finally started crying when she wanted to eat...but she was still only taking 1/2 to 1 ounce at a feeding and was now waking up to eat every hour on the hour and was getting really REALLY gassy. I remembered a conversation I'd had with my little sister when she gave us all her Dr. Brown's bottles. She had mentioned that the reason why she didn't want or need them back was because of her experience with her daughter B. Apparently, if your child doesn't have colic, the Dr. Brown's bottles tend to make their gas worse because they get tiny little gas bubbles that they can't work out...also, the vacuum insert that is supposed to help remove air can make it harder to suck on the nipple and get food out, which means they tire out before they eat when their fill.  We decided to go buy some of the bottles that she had found worked really well for B.  We did it, and problem solved....so thanks Kiersten. Its nice to know that our random "mommy" conversations are always memorable for one reason or another so I can draw from your wisdom.

Phillie is now on the verge of eating 3 ounces at every feeding (which is quite an accomplishment) and sleeps for 4 hour spurts at night usually...I say usually because she still has her nights and times when she is a little gassy and her tummy gives her trouble (since she is only formula fed, let's just say we don't have ENOUGH poopy diapers in our house)...I did, however, find an awesome, AWESOME link with baby massage techniques and the ones that are aimed at the tummy all help with upset tummies.  

I actually decided to give her a full massage from head to toe last night because she had decided that it would be fun to be WIDE awake and keep mommy awake too. Every time I tried to lay her down she would scream and then magically stop when I was holding her...hey, we all have our needy days... 

It took 2 attempts of massaging her from head to toe, but she finally fell into a deep sleep, allowing for mom to sleep too...what could have been a really, really long night was merely a really long night...LOL

We are still learning quite a bit about Phillie's personality. She is very easy going...until you make her angry. The ongoing joke in our house is that Phillie is a baby Hulk...as you can see, we're not far off in our assessment...one minute she seems a little worked up and on edge and the next...:

But, her Hulk moments aren't every day or all the time. She seems to be as easy going as her sister...

Besides, we can forgive her for her Hulk moments because she's just so darn cute...

All in all, I can say its been easier than I thought it would be.  I still have frustrating times when they both need something at the same time. I've just had to remind myself that its okay if one or both of them have to cry for a little while as I figure out how to give them both what they need in the quickest way.

I am so blessed to have such a caring, loving, and helpful husband...and two easy going babies. So far, we're doing just fine and I'm looking forward to getting to know both of my girls better and watching them build a friendship.

Hugs and loves until next time darlings...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sesame Orange Chicken Salad

I found a few recipes on the 'net and decided to piece them together tonight for dinner. I wanted something light, but I also didn't want to be hungry again in an hour...

Jeff, who isn't much of a veggie lover said the following comments about this recipe:

Me: "This is actually really good"
Jeff: "Well, it definitely isn't bad!"

Jeff: "We need to open a restaurant."

and the coup de grats:

Jeff: "That was a REALLY good salad"

Considering that getting him to eat anything green is an accomplishment in and of itself, I was pretty darn ecstatic that he really, really liked this salad and actually had 2 helpings! If there had been more, he probably would have had another.

SO....here's what you need (makes 4 servings)

For the dressing:
6 TBS honey
3 TBS rice vinegar
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 TBS sesame oil
1/2 c mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients together or shake in a spill proof container. Put in the fridge until you're ready to top your salads.

For the chicken:
2 lbs chicken
1 cup flour
1/2-1 cup milk
1 TBS cajun seasoning
1/2 TBS seasoning salt
Cooking oil

Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Place into a dish and pour milk over the top so that the pieces are about half covered (I needed anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 cup...I eyeballed it..)  Let the chicken soak for about 5 minutes in the milk. While the chicken is soaking, put the oil on to get hot (you'll want enough in the pan so you can fry the chicken pieces and have them covered about halfway), mix the flour, cajun seasoning and seasoning salt. After its soaked, put a handful of chicken into the flour and use a spoon to stir and coat the pieces.  Add to the heated oil and cook until browned and crisp. Repeat for the rest of the chicken.

For the Salad:
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2-1 cup broccoli slaw
1 can mandarin oranges
2 green onions, chopped
Chow Mein Noodles

Toss the lettuce, broccoli slaw, green onions, and mandarin oranges together. Place in a bowl. Top with chow mein noodles and chicken. Top with the dressing... and voila!

This dish literally took me 15 minutes to throw together...it tasted like I'd been working on it for longer than that, that's for sure.

Make sure to bring the dressing to the table. I thought I'd put plenty on our salads, but the chicken soaked in a lot of it (Jeff and I were most impressed with the chicken, actually. It soaked up the dressing, which was delicious, and stayed SUPER crispy! Jeff said I will have to use this chicken recipe to make orange chicken, buffalo chicken, and sweet and sour chicken in the future- its definitely an "all around" recipe. The breading didn't piece off, it crisped and browned and was delicious!)  In short, someone at your table, may want to add more dressing.

When my husband says something is on the "make again" list, I know its good! Give it a whirl, you may like it. :)

Bon appetit!

Hugs and loves until next time darlings!