Follow by Email

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole


 This has become a favorite at the Pennewell house! We love all things cheesy! This is similar to a frozen prepared meal from the frozen food section at the grocery store but this is WAY better! This recipe can be made a head of time then just thrown in the oven when you are ready to eat! This is also a great recipe to make for someone who has just had a baby or is going through a hard time. Casseroles are the best for that! :}


  • 2 cups of diced rotisserie chicken {or any other cooked chicken}
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, broken down into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can cream of "anything" soup (I love Mushroom or Broccoli)
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 1/2 cups or 1 block shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup crushed corn flakes
  • 2 Tbls butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients into a greased 9x13 baking dish. I use a 9x13 because we like extra room for our corn flakes {more crunch!} but this recipe will fit into an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish.
  2. Mix up all the ingredients except corn flakes and butter right in the baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle the crushed corn flakes over the top of the casserole.
  4. Drizzle melted butter over the top.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until casserole is heated through.
    Live, Laugh, & Love With,

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Shrimp Scampi (cheesecake factory)

 So let me just say this shrimp scampi is amazing!!! I personally have never had it from Cheesecake factory, or any other restaurant for that matter so I cant say weather it compares. BUT I can say it is sooooo good I cant imagine Cheesecake factories to be any better. This recipe is super simple! I have made it twice now and as I'm typing this I think Ill add it to my grocery list!
1 -2 lb fresh shrimp, cleaned and deveined, and butterflied
1 lb angel hair pasta
1 diced tomato
6 -8 whole garlic cloves
1 shallot, diced
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup dry white wine
olive oil
5 -7 leaves fresh basil
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated

For the shrimp

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Pour enough olive oil in a large sauce pan to cover the bottom, turn to medium high heat. This is the only pot you'll need for the sauce so it should be big. Soak the shrimp in milk and combine the dry ingredients (flour, 2T cheese, salt, pepper). Coat the shrimp with the dry ingredients and let them fry in the olive oil, About 2 minutes per side until golden brown. The Flour that falls off the shrimp will add great flavor and consistency to the sauce. Add more oil as necessary, between batches of shrimp. Dab the shrimp with a paper towel, cover and set aside on range top to keep warm.
Add the garlic to the oil, stir for a few minutes, then turn the heat to medium low. Now add the wine and bring it to a boil. Then turn the heat to low and cover, let the wine reduce, about 10-15 minutes.
In a separate pot, bring water to simmer. (for pasta later).
Add the cream, and bring it back to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer for 10 more minutes. While it is simmering dice your shallot and tomato, and chiffonade your basil. Now add the Basil, diced tomato, and remaining 2T Parmesan cheese. Stir for a moment then add the fried shrimp, and remove the pan from heat. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
Bring pasta pot to a boil and add angel hair and cook.
To plate, pour some sauce on a dish and arrange the shrimp around the bottom (10 or so), then take a ball of the pasta and plate that above the shrimp. garnish with a little parsley.

Live, Laugh & Love with,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Paxtons Nursery Tiki Hut / Surfer Dude

We made the tiki hut and skirt and painted the crib :}

We just love how it all turned out

This was my husbands toy chest as a child. It had a circus print on it. Justin was able to remove it and paint "surfs up" on it for Paxton :}

Zoey looking in on her 10 day old baby brother

Lucky little guy has an awesome daddy who hand cut and stained this surfboard for him
The message Justin left for his son on the back of the surfboard he made him :} So sweet

My momma (Paxtons Granny) made these awesome pillows for his tiki hut

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Unassisted Home Birth {freebirth} of Paxton

Oh where to begin.....
Well it all started when Justin and I decided to try for baby Pennewell number 2! We couldn't wait to expand our family but needed to wait a little longer than we hoped due to changing insurance policies. So when we could finally begin to "try" for another baby it took exactly three months just as it did with conceiving Zoey. On that third month I took a test 2 weeks after my "conceive date" and sure enough it popped up positive!! We were stoked! So finding out at 2 weeks along  (just as we did with Zoey) made for a long anxious pregnancy. We announced the news at Zoeys 2nd birthday party where all of our parents, close friends and family would be. She opened this as a gift from her parents :}

 As much as I couldn't wait to hold my baby I wanted pregnancy to last forever. I lOVE being pregnant and thinking this COULD be our last child I didn't want it to end. I knew I had only 9 short months to carry my 'last' baby and knew I had the rest of my life to love him so I wanted it to last just a little longer. We found out we were having a BOY by doing a gender reveal with our family while on a camping trip.

We were convinced it was a girl since the pregnancy was smooth sailing just like my first pregnancy with Zoey was. So when that blue silly string came flying out it took us a few seconds to even focus on the fact that it was indeed blue and not pink. The look on my husbands face was priceless!!!!
His eyes instantly filled with joyful tears as he was finally getting the son he longed for.
 Our gender reveal video Click here
Ok so fast forward a few months to Labor Day (the holiday) when I literally started having contractions the moment it turned midnight on labor day. Apparently Paxton is a jokster because I had Prodromal labor ALL day on labor day that led up to nothing. They were gone the next day. I had a few more contractions on and off all week. We went in on our due date to have a check up and they ordered an ultrasound to check his status and to make sure he was in position and had enough fluid to stay in a little longer. Everything checked out beautifully and it helped to set our minds at ease to continue with our home birth plan!
Our due date 9/9 came and went. I secretly loved that he gave his momma a few extra days of holding him all to myself. :] Sweet boy!
 This was at 40 weeks and 1 day
 Now its Friday 9/12, 3 days past my due date and I start having regular contractions all day and night as I walk the Isle of white county fair with family! In labor walking the fair, picture with my momma! :}
It was such a fun night for Zoey to have as her last night as an only child.

The next morning 9/13, 4 days past my due date I was still having the same contractions as the night before. I went on about my day and decided to nap while Zoey napped wondering if that would make it stop. NOPE, I couldn't even nap and got up around 3 and texted my mom at 4 to tell her she should probably come over with her overnight bag and plan to stay the night. Not even 10 minutes later I text again and said "no, you should come now"!! She called and said "is it time?" and I replied " I think so!" and burst into tears. We got off the phone and I ran to the bathroom and sobbed. So much emotion came over me and hearing my moms voice was exactly what I needed. The thought of Zoey no longer being an only child, the thought of seeing my precious baby boy, the thought of delivering my son at home surrounded only by family, and of course fear, a little fear set in and all I wanted was my mom to get there. On her way she called both of my sisters to let them know it was time!!!!
When my mom arrived we embraced and sobbed together.... Big babies :}
They were all there between 430-5 and contractions were getting more intense and fast but I was still able to talk between them. This is everyone that was there for the labor and birth (including my sister Adena who took this photo)
I over heard my mom telling Justin that I wasn't close yet because I was still chatting between contractions. So as soon as 6 o'clock hit I noticed I was no longer talking to anyone and realized OH SHIT, I'M CLOSE.
 Then its like my sister read my mind and she said "if you plan to have this baby upstairs you need to get up there" I tried to resist as I was scared I wouldn't be able to get as comfortable as I currently was laying over the couch. But they convinced me to go. Zoey and my sister Adora were busy little bees playing downstairs while we made our way to the bedroom.
I was sooooo happy to be at home laboring with my husband and family by my side and knowing Zoey was downstairs and I knew exactly what she was doing and knew she was close by. There is nothing like the comfort of your own home. I had envisioned my birth for months. I had read story after story of successful unassisted home births and I KNEW that is what I was going to do. My strong mother delivered 3 of her daughters at home unassisted with only my dad and her mother. I knew I wanted to be as Strong as her and I knew this is how labor and delivery should be. I KNEW I did not belong in a hospital and I knew the hospital was only 7 minutes away should I need medical assistance. I believed in myself, I believed in my body and I believed in my baby. I KNEW we would have the birth I envisioned and I told my mind and body what to do. I studied the Bradley Way of childbirth and I used those techniques to get me through it. I kept a relaxed face and body and it helped labor move quickly.

If you fight labor it will only last longer. As I now realize was what I did with Zoey. I envisioned the exact spot in my house I wanted to bring him into this world I planned every detail and went over it with Justin a month before.This set up on the floor is what I planned and how I wanted my labor to go. My sisters, husband and mother were exactly what I needed. They were there and they were silent. I was in my zone and moved about as I was getting through every contraction.
I would turn to my mom and whimper in a sense knowing she knew exactly what I felt and would sympathize with me. Then I would turn to my husband and get this strong power lift and want to do it for him, I wanted to be strong, and I wanted him to be proud! He would encourage me and tell me exactly what I needed to hear. He would remind me to breath and to relax and let me know it is going exactly as I had dreamt it would go for the last 9 months. I kept waiting for the moment when I would feel like giving up but it never came. I had been told "just when you want to give up, know that you are almost done" But that feeling never came, I wanted this home birth so bad, more than anything I ever wanted in my life. I couldn't wait until the moment I would have Paxton in my arms and snuggling me on my chest. So I thought about that over and over and I fought through all the pain. I only had hard labor for about an hour before I started to push. I pushed standing up, leaning on my husbands shoulders for support. Then I was guided by my sister and mom to move to the floor for a different position. I ended up laying against my mom and having Justin and Adena help in coaching me and letting me know just how close I was. I pushed for about an hour and then finally my husband says "he is right there, he is right there. Come on, you are so close" And I gave it all I had and out comes his head!!!!! I was elated! I stopped pushing for my sister to grab the camera and capture this moment. Then I gave one more push and he was out and in his daddy's hands. He unwrapped the cord from under his arm and around his body and handed him to me. This was it, this was that moment I dreamt about, the moment I longed for, my sweet sweet baby boy in my arms!! I immediately exclaimed " I love him, I just love him" and then said "where is Zoey, call Zoey, ZOEY" I called for her to come quick. She ran in and came straight over to her baby brother. She kissed his wet head and immediately wiped her lips off LOL it was too cute! She sang Happy Birthday to him

 and started bringing in toys to give him to "play" with. I don't think it was possible to be any happier at that moment. I laid there, Just laid there in my mothers arms, holding my baby boy and took in every breath we made together. I was on a high, a mommy high. I laid there with my sweet boy while we talked about how small we thought he looked and compared features on his sweet little face. I laid there for about an hour and a half waiting for the placenta to come with the cord still attached. It wasn't coming so we decided to go forward with the cord burning. My husband set everything up and he burnt the cord which took about 10 minutes. Paxton just laid in my arms so calm and still just looking around. Once the cord was detached Daddy was now able to hold his son!!! He weighed him and with a shock to us all we discovered he was 9.2lbs!! We all thought he was around 7lbs. We then measured his length and everyone took turns snuggling their sweet nephew/grandson. After another hour and half I delivered the placenta in the shower and bagged it up for Jessica to pick up and make placenta pills :}  The night was over, Zoey was tucked into bed by her aunts and Granny and we were now snuggling our sweet boy in our bed. Did I just dream that? Did that really just happen? Is this real life? I was in shock and I couldn't sleep. Justin looked exhausted and all I wanted to do was lay there and admire this perfect little being that I just brought into the world. So I did.
So here we are....... Happy and healthy and doing great! I hope you enjoyed this LONG birth story. I couldn't wait to share it with you all and feel free to share with others. I hope maybe it can inspire just one mommy out there to take charge of her birth. Do your research, know the facts. Childbirth does not have to be scary, childbirth doesn't have to an emergency. Know your body and do what your mommy gut tells you to do.

Here are a few pictures from our special day!

Big Sister waiting on her little brother to arrive

Martini giving love while laboring

The whole family

Getting intense
Moved upstairs

Being a goof pretending to catch a football
My rock
Couldn't have done it without him
He's here!!!

"good job, mommy"

First moment as a family of four
"I love him, I just Love him"
Martini and Zoey checking out their baby brother


There is no one else I would rather have leaned on during one of the hardest moments of my life than my momma

Pennewell Family

My happy ever after

Sweet "P"

First time nursing

Cord Burning

Cord heals faster and less chance of infection.

His cord fell off at 3 days old

Zoeys face is priceless

swaddled up by daddy so he can be weighed

Sweet kiss from sister

And a hug

In love!

Proud papa

Weighing our boy

We were all shocked at his weight 9.2lbs

21 inches long

Happy Granny with her 7th Grand-baby

Remember that moment I longed for...... This is that moment 

Day before delivery (40weeks 3days) : 5 days post delivery! Amazing what are bodies can do! 

 Vidoe of Zoey holding her brother for the first time (click here)

Now 3 weeks old

Live, Laugh and Love,