Pasta Shells with Chicken Sausage Ragu

Good Morning guys! Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. For all of you affected by last week’s tragedy and continuing to be affected by the wildfires, and life in general, my heart goes out to you. I shared how I am feeling about the current state of things right here on my Instagram account yesterday. And I thought that in light of everything and with the weather finally cooling off, it might be a good time to share one of those comforting, eat your feelings kind of meals!

So I hope you have a fantastic week! Let’s all try to stay positive and take one moment at a time! And enjoy some pasta!

Pasta Shells with Italian Chicken Sausage Ragu

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Category: Entree

Cuisine: Italian

Yield: 8

Pasta Shells with Italian Chicken Sausage Ragu

Comfort Food Heaven, This comforting mix of flavors, and the playfulness of the pasta shells makes this recipe a family hit!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 16oz Box Large Pasta Shells, I prefer Barilla
  • 1 Jar Rao's Marinara
  • 1/2 lb sweet italian chicken sausage
  • 1/2 lb spicy italian chicken sausage
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 handful chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmigiano cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta shells according to directions on the box. I use a dutch oven though, so I can make everything in one pot
  2. Once pasta is cooked, drain and set aside reserving 1/2 C pasta water for the sauce
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in the same pot you used to cook the pasta in
  4. Add both types of sausage and cook through until brown and crumbly
  5. Remove from pan and place on a plate topped with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil
  6. Add onions and and garlic to the pan and cook until slightly translucent (about 5 mins)
  7. Add entire jar of tomato sauce, reserved pasta water, and sausage to the pot and allow to simmer 10 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, chop up your parsley
  9. When you are ready to serve, pour pasta shells into a large pasta bowl, and top with the sausage ragu. Garnish with parsley and parmesan.
  10. If you don't want to dirt another dish, just toss that pasta into the pot and serve out of that!
http://www.flabbutfab.com/2018/11/12/pasta-shells-with-chicken-sausage-ragu/

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Silly Mummy.

Happy Halloween! Our family Loves Halloween and I thought I would share a little insight, and a fun recipe to celebrate!

Believe it or not, I have actually learned a lot about myself and my family over the years about Halloween.

First of all, it is by far our favorite holiday. We decorate the house from top to bottom, and my boys basically wear their costumes every single day the entire month of October.

We are lucky enough to live in a very family friendly neighborhood that gets a TON of action on Halloween. In the past, every year we would have a Halloween party where we would invite all of the kiddos’ friends over to eat and play, then head out to trick or treat.

The past couple of years though, I have dreaded Halloween.

I had gotten so caught up in the idea of the perfect Halloween experience for my kids, that it wasn’t fun anymore.

We would literally try to hit up every single Halloween related event within 10 miles of our house. Ok, maybe that was an exaggeration but you know what I mean.

My oldest son has a lot going on in his little brain, and he tends to melt down when he gets overstimulated. In the past, we would try to hit every carnival or Halloween activity under the sun only to have epic meltdowns and sleepless night afterward.

So this year we decided to just chill. We went to a carnival for the school in our neighborhood on Friday night and just chilled as a family on Saturday and Sunday crafting and pumpkin carving. We kept the expectations low, and honestly, it was so much fun.

Turns out that quality is better than quantity. Who knew? So while the scope of the celebrating has devolved, the enjoyment has definitely increased

Now for the FOOD. Here is a super simple but delicious recipe for some savory roasted pumpkin seeds, let me know what you think!

Savory Pumpkin Seeds and a Silly Mummy

Vegas 2018: Shopping, Basketball, and ALL THE FOOD

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday! Any fun plans for the week? We are recovering from another epic Vegas trip and my Wy Man has his 6th (how?!?)  birthday on Saturday! I wanted to share some fun pics from our weekend and some of our awesome eats and adventures.

As some of you know, every year we meet Tom and Gina in Vegas for the PAC12 Basketball Tournament. Click here for previous years’ posts: 2016  and 2017.

Gina and I at the finals of the tournament.

We love college basketball and all of our favorite teams play in this tourney. There is a very healthy rivalry between us but it is really all in good fun.

This year we decided to go up a day early. We have had a lot going on and Jeremy and I needed a little extra time alone to decompress. We needed to remind ourselves that we are not just two ships in the night passing while raising two boys!We needed to let loose a little and have some fun. And boy did we do that!

We got in on Thursday, checked into our hotel, grabbed a late lunch and a Bloody Mary and headed to a basketball game. I am still recovering from the plague also known as an Ear Infection, Strep, and Walking Pneumonia, so we took it easy that night.

Customized Bloody Mary
Late Lunch

Friday was glorious: Brunch at Mon Ami Gabi, shopping, Drybar, Caviar, and Basketball. Basically the perfect day.

Mon Ami Gabi
Petrossian Caviar Cafe
A little nugget of heaven
All the shoes

On Saturday I woke up feeling kind of meh. I think I did too much on Friday, so we slowed down a bit. Grabbed the most amazing brunch at Herringbone in the hotel, walked around a bit and then got ready for the tournament finals.

Herringbone
Herringbone
Chilaquiles
Lunch at The Venetian
Lunch at The Venetian

Vegas is truly a fatty’s, I mean Foodie’s dream!

After the game, we rallied and hit the hotel bar.

It. Was. Epic.

The calm before the storm

I haven’t let loose like that in forever! I would love to tell you all about the debauchery, but you know what they say. What happens in Vegas…

Let’s just say we were paying for it on Sunday, but it was 100% completely worth the pain.

We had the most amazing time with the most amazing friends, but it was so great to get home to these knuckleheads.

My babes

What are your favorite Vegas hot spots? I would love to hear your Vegas recommendations!

Talk to you soon!

B

10 Helpful Thanksgiving Tips

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away?!?! This year has flown by!

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I have had the honor of taking over hosting from my grandmother who did it for over 50 years. And I wanted to share a few of things I’ve learned.

  1. Keep it simple! This is not the place to get super high brow on your family. Stick to the faves and if you want to add 1 new dish or 1 new dessert to your repertoire that’s cool, but this probably isn’t the time to test out any new techniques you saw on Iron Chef.
  2. Break up your grocery shopping. A few weeks before buy all of your pantry items like the potatoes, onions, frozen veggies, canned goods, etc. Then the Sunday or Monday before, grab all of your perishables and any last minute items. I promise this will make your life much less stressful. While you might think it’s a hassle to make two trips to the store, trying to get everything on your list in one stop is daunting. I guarantee that you will forget something and inevitably have to make another trip to the store anyways.
  3. On Thanksgiving day, all you should be preparing is the turkey and gravy. I know so many people who wake up at 4 am to start prepping for this gigantic meal. But here’s the thing, potatoes, stuffing and green beans are very sturdy sides and can easily hold up for a day or two in the fridge. I make all of my sides and desserts on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then on Thanksgiving Day, I am freed up to hang more with the family and I feel less overwhelmed.
  4. When cooking for a large group, use two birds that are a bit smaller than one giant turkey. It will take less time to cook assuming you have a double oven, and since the bird is smaller it is much juicier.
  5. Dust the turkey with sweet paprika right before you toss it into the oven. This gives it a nice brown crust.
  6. Always pat the bird dry and let stand at room temp 30 mins before putting it in the oven for 15 mins/ lb.  (375 is my preferred temperature)
  7. If you make your own whipped cream, which really is a must: sweeten with confectioners sugar: I️t contains cornstarch which will act as a stabilizer.
  8. Do not reinvent the wheel. Coco’s or Marie Calendars can bake way better than me! So do the semi-homemade hack; buy the pie and make the whipped cream.
  9. I found that the little ones are not big fans of pie, so I always have an alternate dessert like ice cream or chocolates for the kiddos.
  10. Remember, at the end of the day this holiday is about and enjoy spending time with your loved ones above all else. Hiccups will happen, but that’s life!

    (A few pics of past Thanksgiving dinners.)

Are there any tried and true tips you have? I would love to hear them!

Have a wonderful holiday friends! xo Betsy

And That’s a Wrap on Summer (Thank F’ing God!)

“The time has come for the little ones to head back to school, I am so sad that this summer is over!” Said No Mom EVER.

I remember as the school year was ending in June talking to some mommies who were like, I can’t wait for summer! We get to sleep in and spends lazy days at home. Listening to that I thought my head would explode. Don’t get me wrong, props to these mom’s whose children who can sleep past six and play happily together without trying to kill each other within 5 minutes. But that ain’t my house.

When I think of Summer I think about the fact my otherwise well-behaved kiddos become Ipad hungry cranky little trolls who live to drive me crazy. Then there’s camp. Nothing like driving all over the city paying an ungodly amount of money to hear my children complain about wanting to stay home. Hey A-holes, mama’s gotta go to work!

Ok, Ok, it really was a fun summer.

We snuck in a fun staycation at the beach for Max’s birthday, spent a lot of time with friends, and made it to Disneyland twice. We even managed a little time relaxing.

We did find some time to be lazy!
And quite honestly the Summer really did fly by and I am not quite sure that I am ready to see my baby march off to Kindergarten tomorrow.

But I am ready to get back to our routine. All the summer fun definitely has its price. Especially on my pant size. Will probably have to wear those Maxi dresses and yoga pants a little longer before I switch to jeans and sweaters. Thank god it’s still hot as balls in San Diego.

It is such a dichotomy really. I love those boys so much sometimes I think my heart will explode. Other times they literally try my patience to the nth degree. I love being their mommy, it’s my world but I need Betsy time. I need routine. I need order. I guess it’s a fair trade though. 9 months on, 3 months off. I can handle that. And I know sooner than later they will need me less, and I will need them more. Time truly does fly.

I need routine. I need order.

I guess it’s a fair trade though. 9 months on, 3 months off. I can handle that. And I know sooner than later they will need me less, and I will need them more. Time truly does fly.

Sigh.

Anywho, we wrapped the holiday weekend up with a pool party at my mom’s house, today is school orientation, and Wednesday their first day! (F’ing FINALLY!)

Time to start thinking about apple picking, candy corn, and Halloween costumes, ya feel me?

xoxo

Betsy

Vegas, We Meet Again

I think this is my first true photo bombing!

Hey hey hey! Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

We just got back from Las Vegas for the PAC12 college basketball tournament. It was a total whirlwind 48 hours! Last year I posted what it was like visiting Vegas as a mom in her thirties (you can read it here) as opposed to a college student or a bachelorette. I have to say I prefer visiting Vegas with a slightly more sober lense. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy a few cocktails, but I wasn’t stumbling back from Drai’s at 5 am mascara raccoon eyes and my shoes in my hand (not that that has ever happened when I was younger

I have to say I prefer visiting Vegas with a slightly more sober lens. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy a few cocktails, but I wasn’t stumbling back from Drai’s at 5 am mascara raccoon eyes and my shoes in my hand (not that that has ever happened when I was younger ??) I digress.

I want to share a few highlights from this year’s trip with you today:

First and foremost, hanging with these guys all weekend!

In front of the Bellagio fountains.

We haven’t seen them since they moved to Tucson around Christmas time, and it was a much-needed bromance/ bestie visit.

The Caviar Bar at the Bellagio:

my husband LOVES caviar. I was always kinda icked out by the idea of eating fish eggs. Let me tell you, with all the accouterments (and a cocktail) it is ?.

This breakfast:

Eggs Benedict of my dreams.

Mon Ami Gabi is Gina’s favorite Vegas brunch stop and last year we weren’t able to make it. The food was excellent. The French fries, probably the best I’ve ever had. I really can’t pass up on eggs benedict, my Achilles heel. Definitely a place worth checking out when in Vegas.

Blowouts and Dirty Shirley Temples:

Dry Bar Las Vegas

There is a fairly new Drybar inside the Miracle Mile shops in Planet Hollywood, which was right across the street from our hotel. Only in Vegas does Drybar have a  DJ spinning music and a bartender at your fingertips. I love nothing more than having someone else wash and blow dry my hair. Blowouts are not something I indulge in regularly, but when in Vegas right?

Basketball:

At the game.

Although my beloved Bruins did not make it to the championship game this year I will always love watching live basketball, and the fans. I love die-hard college sports fans. Not often nowadays can you turn around and hug it out with a complete stranger simply because you share a love for the same team. So refreshing to see that kind of kinship out of complete strangers. It gives me all the feels.

The best part of my trip by far would have to be;

Time with this guy:

My Love.

 Weekends like this are an excellent reminder of the time we spent as a couple before the kiddos were around. There will come a time when it will just be the two of us in the house. I don’t want to look at my husband in 15 years and say, hey, now what?

Personally, the trip was a great opportunity for me to refocus and re-center. Getting away from reality for just a few days clears my mind of those everyday little things that can seem so big at the moment.

Friends, food, basketball, and booze. I would say that all in all, it was a fantastic weekend.

Did you do anything fun this weekend? How do you relax and recharge?

Now on to preparing for my Wy man’s fifth birthday!

Talk to you soon! xoxo

Betsy

What you believe? What do you have faith in?

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. We got to spend a lot of time together as a family, which is always my favorite.

 

Kid's Snacks
Kid’s Snacks

Friday night I hosted Mommy Happy Hour. Every month or so during the school year a few of us moms take turns hosting a happy hour where the kiddos run around and play while the mommies sip vino and catch up. It’s glorious, especially when you hit that sweet spot where all of the kiddos get along, and you don’t spend the entire time stopping them from beating each other to a pulp.
Saturday was my niece’s birthday party:

 

Wyatt and Elmo
Wyatt and Elmo

and then we played tourist around Old Town San Diego (one of my favorite spots) and met up with some friends for dinner.

 

Gina and I and Margaritas
Gina and I and Margaritas

And of course, in this house Sunday is for football and brunch no matter how many times the Chargers break our hearts.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

 

Brunching
Brunching

I wanted to share with you something that’s been on my mind. On Friday took a yoga class. It was a restorative yoga class that focused on stretching and meditation. The instructor led us through a thoughtfulness exercise that I wanted to share with you because it really hit home with me and I can’t stop thinking about it.

 

Yoga
Yoga

She first asked us: “What do you believe in?” and a few minutes later followed it up by asking “What do you have faith in?”

Lying, eyes closed on the mat wracking my brain, I had a very hard time coming up with any sort of answer. I’ve never been a very spiritual person but c’mon! I had nothing! Even as I write this I cannot come up with a solid set of beliefs or faith in something.

I very rarely take the time to stop and be mindful of my life, the past, my experiences. I tend to just keep pushing through, some days just trying to keep my head above water.

A a lot of things have changed in my life over the past 2 years and lately, I think I have been a bit emotionally paralyzed by all of it. I don’t tend to take the time to process the hows or why’s in life. I just go go go. As we wind down on 2016 my goal is to be more mindful of why things came together or undone as they have. What brought me to where I am right now, and why? What do I believe and have faith in? Am I where I need to be?

Maybe I should first look in the mirror and ask if I have enough faith in me?

So I ask you friends: What do you believe in? What do you have faith in?

Until next time. xoxo
Betsy

My love/hate relationship with Electronics.

 

 

IMG_4414
Our New Board Games

 

 

This is such a double edged sword. On the one hand who doesn’t want to sleep in an extra hour on the weekends? Make dinner? Or God forbid shower in peace? On the flip side these electronics turn my otherwise adorable children into venom spewing trolls.

In our house during school time we have pretty strict electronic rules. No devices Monday-Friday, except for TV while I make dinner or am trying to get dressed. On the weekends we allow 1 hour of iPad and 1 hour of Xbox time a day (which lets be honest, never happens). I’ve starting using the kitchen timer to monitor their useage though.

And this weekend was ROUGH! I mean, I love my kids. They are my world. My everything. That said some times they make me mental. We had a pretty low key weekend with a lot of time at home. My husband and I didn’t feel well so keeping the kids happy and entertained was exhausting. This was the perfect weekend to throw the ipads and Xbox at them. But they get so mean, and as of this morning, the ipads and xbox controls are hidden, aaaaaand it is board game city until further notice.

The other issue is they are off all next week for Thanksgiving break, and I have work to do and Thanksgiving for 30 to prepare for, so who is really being punished here. I hate to say that but it’s true.

Even on our recent vacation to San Francisco, my youngest wanted nothing but to sit in the hotel room and play on his iPad. Then again, when you are trying to enjoy a meal, and the kids are finished, it is so easy to slip them your phone while you get a moment to enjoy your food.

I know I am not the only mom out there who deals with this. The real question is at what point do you risk your sanity to teach them a lesson? Or when is it ok to let them turn their brains to mush on the Xbox?

Ugh. Our kids live pretty scheduled lives with soccer, karate, baseball, or swim after school, and they definitely need down time. The thing is they get so cranky when they have too much screen time.

What are your best tips for eliminating/ managing screen time with the kiddos?

Until next time,

Betsy

Changing Things Up

Hey friends! How are you? I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Ours was low key and fun. We had a cousin’s birthday party on Saturday, followed by some epic ramen for dinner.

On Sunday the hubs and I got in a little brunch/ kayaking date along the bay while my bestie Camille watched the boys.

 

As you may notice I have made some changes to this little blog. I wanted to share with you why.

While I love talking about my struggles as a fatty, and everyone’s feedback has been so amazing and positive, I have found the experience personally quite difficult. I feel that i’m focused obsessed with my weight and getting in shape and putting way too much pressure on myself. In my experience when I am trying to lose weight, the more I talk and obsess about it, the less I actually make better choices but instead rationalize that I “deserve” this cheat meal day week. It becomes a whole issue of what I can’t eat instead of making healthier decisions. So I am going to continue on my diet and fitness journey but keep those successes and failures a little closer to the vest.

 

IMG_4542
Hehe

 

Secondly, there is SO much I want to share with you and I felt that focusing solely on diet kept me from unleashing all of my true greatness 🙂 For those of you who know me personally, you know what a large part entertaining, cooking, and family play in my life. I want to incorporate these parts of my life to into the blog as well, and I look forward to sharing my passions with you!

Stay tuned for lots of exciting things to come!

Until next time,

Betsy

xoxo

One for You One to Give Giveaway!

Hey Friends! It’s Monday!!!! I hope you had a relaxing weekend. We hung around the house all weekend, and it was glorious. Around mid week we realized that we really didn’t have much going on, and instead of making plans we decided it would just be nice to lay low and hang around the house. Sometimes you just need a little re charge time with the fam bam.

This morning I am super excited to share an awesome giveaway with you! In light of yesterday’s tragedy, this giveaway couldn’t have come at a better time. This world could use more kindness.

 

FullSizeRender
One For You One To Give

 

My friends at One for You One to Give sent me two gorgeous sets of bracelets to giveaway. I will be giving one pair away from the blog and one from Instagram.

Let me tell you a little about them. The concept of the company was born out of the genuine passion to give back and pass along kindness. All bracelets and jewelry come in pairs with the intention that you keep one and give another to someone special.

In the spirit of giving the company gives 10% of their proceeds to benefit “Best Freinds Animal Society,” which has also rescued 4 million pets across America to date.

All of the bracelets are designed in the United States, made with real gemstones, and are available for wholesale or retail. Check them out!

In order to win a pair of bracelets you must do the following:

  1. Follow me on Instagram @flabbutfab
  2. Follow @oneforyouonetogive on Instagram
  3. Comment below on who you would give your bracelet to share to and why.

Contest will end Friday June 17 and I will ship the bracelets the following Monday to the 2 winners!