Friday, October 30, 2015

5 on Friday!

Happy Friday my beautiful people!  I hope that this weekend finds you with some fun tricks and even more treats! I cannot wait to dress our littles up and parade around are adorable little neighborhood.  Brooke is so excited and I think it will be so much fun!   I wanted to jump on here and share a few things this lovely Friday.

I have been really focusing on our budget and trying to save as much as we can, so that when we go to build, the money part won't be stressful.  The universe is working its magic, and I joined a FB group with likeminded ladies who want to save extra as well.  We are doing a "No Spend November" and by that, no extra spending unless it's necessary. Stay tuned! If I learn and good tips and tricks, I'll be sure to share!

My daughter is my husband's clone.  Seriously! I try to get her to smile, say cheese, and she gives me this face.

She is super funny and lately wants to snug on the couch.  I'll take it!

Our babysitter interview worked out--she is AWESOME and I was able to sneak out for 3 whole hours!  I am loving my new dark nails. Yay!

Seriously still on a cooking streak= I can't stop! 
We were loving grilled chicken wings, but now that the weather is getting yucky, 
it's time to move indoors and use the oven.
2 dozen organic wings.
Slather with sauce.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Slather more sauce.
Bake another 30 minutes

I threw together a pesto, tomato, cheese pizza too.  So tasty!

Have a great weekend, and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Vlogging Again

Chatty Vlog-

I busted out my new phone and shot a little video while the kids were napping yesterday!  I ramble a bit, but I want to start vlogging more, for real!!  I was playing around with iMovie and I would really like to start making more videos, so that we can look back as a family and see what was going on.

Topics discussed in my random vlog-

  • Life updates
  • Halloween costumes
  • Budget (saving $)
  • My hair cut
  • Staying positive with difficult situations

Feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel, for more updates!

Stay beautiful xo

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What I ate Wednesday

I'm always intrigued to see what other people eat.  I feel like I get into routines/ruts of the same old same old, so I enjoy when others post what they're eating!  I will be 100% honest and say that I am not the cleanest eater, but I do watch my portions and have been pretty good at working out lately.  I have recently changed up my health routine and am no longer taking any supplements.  I needed to see how I felt with these changes, and so far so good!  I love food and I hate being hungry.  Finding that balance of how much to eat and when is really different for every person.  

This is what one day looked like for me.

Hot water with lemon

 I try so hard to get it in my system first thing, before I eat anything.  Sometimes it happens, and sometimes I'm sipping it while eating my cold eggs. Life happens!


Whole wheat toast. 1/4 avocado. 2 eggs scrambled. Salt/pepper. 2 slices of organic turkey bacon.

9:00 am: 

I began splitting the fruit--I used to eat this with my eggs, but I realized I was full and didn't need it.  I will eat it about 2-3 hours after I eat the eggs.

This was a simple organic deli meat sandwich, lettuce, slice of cheese & tomatoes.

Post Workout Protein Shake
I've been good about getting kids down and then working out!


Late evening snack

I'm not a Dr, dietician or anything else for that matter. But I have really learned to listen to my body's cues of hunger and try to fill my diet as best as possible with real whole foods.  I am not perfect and there are days where I eat some Halloween candy or even pizza and wings.  Life is about balance and once I learned to not feel guilty over enjoying some food, but not eating like that all the time, I've become a lot happier and healthier.  

Comment below if you've shared a "what you eat" post! I'd love to see.  

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Home Talk Tuesday: Comfort Food {recipes}

With the weather really starting to get cooler, I tend to start craving comfort (like most) but also being in the kitchen and cooking. It's a lot trickier now, with two littles needing me, but I feel like I'm getting into the groove with them.  It's not easy, by any means, but I've learned to multi-task and start things earlier in the day than I used to. I figured I'd share some of my cooler weather cravings with you today!

Tried & True:

Better than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice -- I just made this Monday night and it was fantastic! I had no idea what to make, and now that Joe gets out at 8pm Monday/Wednesday, it makes bed time/cooking his dinner a little tricky! Still trying to figure it out, but by the time I got the kiddos tucked in, garbage to the curb, I had about 20 minutes and this was perfect!

Cowboy Casserole -- We love this easy and tasty meal, thanks to Nikki!

Vodka Penne-- "You won't be single for long" Good old Rachel Ray, who really inspired my love of cooking long ago…I remember making this dish early on for Joe and he was really impressed!

Pork Stuffing & Apple Pie Filling-- a Fall favorite from my friend Ann and literally 3 ingredients and no thought.

Over-the-Rainbow Macaroni & Cheese-- something about this just screams L-O-V-E.  My mom made it for us when we were living in our new house and we all just about died over how good it tasted! I still make it every year.  Usually just once though, as it's pretty fatty…but it's ok every now and then!

I have a few dishes I want to try too!  I have my eye on two new cookbooks, [Happy Cooking Giada & Laura in the Kitchen] but until I can get my hands on them, I will just scour the internet.

To try:

Mummy Hot Dogs -- with organic hot dogs, I think Brooke will love these!

Apricot Chicken Stirfry -- It just sounds scrumptious

Chicken Florentine Pasta-- I've never made it and you cannot go wrong with the Pioneer woman!

Chicken Pie -- My friend Amie gave me this recipe and I definitely want to give it a whirl!

On another random note, I still have this urge to host a reoccurring friends & food night.  I am so inspired by this article Friday Night Meatballs, (that I read last year) that I just need to bite the bullet and host! I think a lot of us with young kids really miss getting out and about, but it can be so tricky with sitters and restaurants..and kids! So no more excuses, and more to come on this idea!

What are you cooking this Fall? Please share your delicious Fall favorite foods!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall Favorites Tag!

Backyard View
I had hopes of making a video, but I didn't get a chance. I have seen this "tag" on You Tube and just love seeing everyone else's responses.  It's fun to get a new tip or idea from others.  This time of year is so full of change, it's literally a breath of fresh cool air!  Feel free to "tag yourself" and join in on the fun!

Favorite Candle- I don't use candles a lot right now, because of the kids. I do love warm scents, apple and cinnamon for sure!  Pumpkin Pie. Anything that smells like food haha.

Favorite Lip Color- Lucky by Younique

It's so pretty!! I love the texture and it's not gloppy or sticky at all.  Perfect color for Fall!

Favorite Drink- Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I will shamelessly admit, I have gone to 3 different Starbucks in my area, HOPING for a fun Fall leaves cup and no luck!! I see all the girls on insta all over, holding their cuteness…and no shot for me.  I'll keep trying! haha or I've been making them from Tastefully Simple and I make it with Cashew Milk!  I just love warm beverages in the cold.

Favorite Blush- "Mocha" by NYX

I went to the grocery store on a Saturday night, as my husband wanted bacon for Sunday morning. He told me to buy myself something nice with the change…haha!  So I did. I love this!

Can't be the drugstore price and I love that it's not "too pink" or too bronze.  It gives the perfect glow for these chilly days that are becoming more frequent.

Favorite Clothing Item- My plaid button down. It's cozy, easy, mom friendly and super cute! If we are going out and about, then I love to wear dressier items, but for every day? I try to keep it simple. OR my blanket scarf. I am trying to not buy them all out at Target--gimme all the plaid!

Favorite Fall Movie- I don't have a specific Fall movie, but I love love love holiday specials. Right now, the kids are still so little, we watch a lot of cartoons.  I just love getting them all excited for each little season/holiday!  Brooke didn't love Charlie Brown, but she did love the Toy Story Terror cartoon!

Favorite Fall TV Show- Scandal.  I'm not a TV person at all really, I barely even watch anything other than this, Modern Family (with Joe) and we are still trying to finish How I Met Your Mother!

Favorite Thanksgiving Food- I love it all. The turkey, gravy---ok I probably love my dad's gravy and mashed potatoes MOST!  I make cranberry bread and my grandma's buttercup squash as well.

Favorite Halloween Costume- Hands down, the one I literally just wore over the weekend.  I am not one to love Halloween, usually, I hate spending money on costumes and try to do the cheapest thing.  But this year? I threw caution to the wind and Joe picked out a wolf mask, so I went all out and did Little Red Riding Hood.  It was so fun getting all dressed up!  We haven't ever really gone all out like that before, so in 8 years, I spent a little money this year.  The amount of fun we had? Couldn't put a price on it!  I'll share more pics of our costumes on another post.

Happy Fall!! 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Five on Friday

Lifting weights for workouts.  I FORGOT how much I missed and loved lifting weights. I've focused on different parts each day, and legit was too sore Thursday I had to take a rest day. I feel better today and can't wait to do shoulders!! I love me some cardio too, don't get me wrong, but man there is something about dumbbells that just feels awesome!

Simple chicken. I was craving mushrooms--odd?? So I threw a pat of butter, some EVOO in a pan and browned chicken breasts, both sides.  Removed chicken. Added mushrooms--should have added onions and garlic too--then some white wine, cook down, add chicken back in to cook through.  I also added some lemon caper sauce on top.  Still nice and juicy, and leftovers for lunch/snacks! 

Family Pumpkin Patch visit!  We went to a one I had never been to, and it was SO much fun!  We rode a tractor/hay ride, picked pumpkins, got a little spooked and had a ball just being together.

Big boy learning new things.  He is sipping from a cup and just learned how to clap. Good job bubs!

Staying with my current vibes and letting go of fear, opening myself to new and BIG MAGIC!  This is not a book I'd read cover to cover, which I can barely do these days anyway, but rather pick it up, read a few chapters, feel awesome about life and then go do something with it.  I snagged it at BJ's for $13, which is about what it goes for on Amazon.

I have a ton of ideas coming up for future posts, and we have some good times ahead this weekend, so stay tuned my friends!! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Stay beautiful!!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tasty Thursday: Recipe

If you've been with me for awhile, you know we love some Giada up in here.   Her recipes never seem to fail us, and Joe loves anything pasta…so when I saw this last year, I couldn't wait to try it when I wasn't prego!  I decided to give this a whirl over the weekend. Boy, it did not disappoint!

Giada's Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese 

So yummy!

It doesn't require much, just some simple fresh ingredients.

1 box penne pasta
1 onion
1 butternut squash, cubed and seeded (my store has it all ready in a container!)
1 cup goat cheese (I personally only used 4 oz, as it's pretty powerful!)
it calls for walnuts, but I omitted those since Joe can't do nuts…
I cup packed basil leaves*
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese

425 degree ove-- 
Place sliced onion & squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with EVOO, a little salt & pepper.
Bake 40 minutes.

While they cool, boil a pot of water for the pasta, cook as per directions.
Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water.

In a bowl, place goat cheese, basil and add pasta.  
Mix and stir in the pasta water, which should create a creamy mixture.  
Add in the squash/onion.  
Toss with the parm cheese & walnuts if used.

It's a warm, hearty and meatless dish.  Perfect for cool weather in the Fall.  The basil and butternut squash bring a sweet element that mixes well with the goat cheese. 


*my friend Alison made the suggestion of trying this with sage, as it may be even better! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WILW: Random

What I'm Loving Wednesday!!

I figured I'd just share some of my favorites this past week.

Starting with the good stuff: Red Wine.  It's a Fall/Winter staple, let's be real.  My step-mom had the two on the right, both were very good!  I am a huge fan of the one on the left, Cocobon.  It runs about $9 a bottle and is a smooth finish.  It's funny because everyone seems to have different tastebuds it seems! I don't like sweet wines, and I don't find this to be sweet at all.

Lately I have been in a salad making rut. Meaning, I don't want to make salads, but I want to still eat them!  Although these are not organic, they are SO yummy.  We have an awesome grocery store, so I'll grab a few ready made bags and eat them throughout the day. My system definitely runs best on 2-3 salads or veggies per day.

Girls' Night!  We got together last night at Kristin's.  It's literally the only time I seem to get out of the house with friends and no children, so I am loving that.

We also enjoyed a harvest salad.

And I was the bad influence who brought the pumpkin roll---totally not pictured because we were too busy shoving our faces with it!  We finally snapped a picture, and it's crazy to think we've been having these (almost) monthly for quite a few years now.   Next month we are dining out! yay!

I love my XM radio and what I really enjoy, is this station!  I feel like it's always speaking to me in some way…I would love to find this message #645 again, as it really was awesome.  {side note, yes my xm stations are SO random!  I love listening to jazz music, country…and there's a bunch of rap too haha!}

These quotes from my chiropractor's office: How unbelievably true are BOTH of these?  I believe that when we bring children into this world, it is our #1 priority and duty to love them with everything we have.  That means different things for different people, children, situations etc.  But I just loved this quote.  And of course, "improvement" begins with "I".  It's the hardest step but the most important. Work. ON. YOU.

I also must say, that I am LOVING Amazon Prime as always.  I have already begun Christmas shopping and I am super happy about that.  I really want to enjoy this season as much as possible, without the hustle and bustle of S-T-R-E-S-S.   I am not skipping over Fall, as I love this season too, but I am making sure I get a head start on shopping for all of our loved ones.

Happy Hump Day!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What I'm Wearing & Hair

Hello lovies!! I'm just loving Fall Fashion right now, and even if it's just to get dressed for a few hours in the day to go out, only to come back and put on yoga pants, I'll take it!! I thought I'd share a few of my faves today.


Typical casual mom OOTD:
Plaid shirt & jeans.  {Marshalls}


I find laying out my outfits almost therapeutic! It's fun to "design" what I'm going to wear.  Truth be told, I didn't end up leaving the house, so the booties weren't worn, but if I do go out in the future, I'll have this in my head!

Irma Top-LuLaroe
Leggings: Express
Boots- Target

I added an apron and a glass of cab instead, and made dinner.  #housewifelife

Thursday night we went to a nice little restaurant for hubby's birthday.
Black top- Marshall's
Cassie Skirt- LuLaRoe
Cardigan-Lucky Brand TJ Maxx

Friday I got to get my hair done!!

Sweater-Old Navy
Scarf- Old Navy
Jeans- Express skinnies
Necklace- Stella & Dot
Boots- Aldo (similar)

When I got home, I thought since it was nice out, I'd ask Joe to take some fashion photos of me with the good camera. I loved my outfit and wanted to show it to you!  Unfortunately, I didn't specify that and I ended up with closeups…of my face. DOH!

 He didn't seem too apologetic when he muttered, "I didn't get your boots. But you look so beautiful." I can't get mad at him for that.  We'll try again soon!

Oh well, you can see my new hair really well.

Stay beautiful!!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Mommy Monday: Enjoying Fall

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a fun Fall weekend.  Finding balance on this blog has breathed such a breath of fresh air into me; I am super inspired and have so much that I want to share!  I am so encouraged and uplifted by so many wonderful women in my life and I am so very grateful for that.

I just wanted to share a little of how we've been enjoying this beautiful Autumn.  Brooke is at the PERFECT age to want to go out and do fun things and really soaks up every bit of our play/learning.

Last week I took them to a little nursery right near our house. It was perfect, as there was no one there! No crowds or tons of screaming kids, other than my own :)

She loved the "Straw Crawl" and kept saying, "take my picture mommy!"

She didn't really get the whole "teepee" concept, but she loved running around in it.

I gave her the task of picking out a pumpkin to paint, and she insisted we needed 4.  (One for each of us!)

I also purchased a little bail of straw, hoping that it would provide a super cute little photoshoot background.


Is it just me, or can you see my babies as teenagers in this picture?!  My little loves.

"Smile for Mommy!"

She insists she is a dog most of the time, and I believe she was howling in this photo.   I couldn't believe how good Bradley was just sitting there holding the pumpkins! 

I think the BEST tip I can give, is divide up all of your 'projects' or activities.  Getting the pumpkins was just enough, so I saved the actual painting for the next day.

He is still putting everything into his mouth, so I wasn't ready to deal with him and paint. If I do whip cream painting and he can eat it, I would be okay with that! But for now, I just put a little paint into a bag and let him squish it.  He tried it eat that too, so it was short lived.

He loves holding the little baby pumpkins though!

I also did a super quick google search on easy toddler Halloween crafts…so we now have a jackolantern, a bat and some ghosts!  My mom sent this little spooky Mickey she painted too.  I love hanging the kids' artwork up!

Brother got a hold of the bat…

She loves tracing hands, so we did a few ghosts.

What fun activities have you been doing or have you done with your littles?  There's still more of this spooky season to enjoy!  

This is played daily in our house.  Both kids love it and I love that it's teaching that spooky things can be fun and not too scary.