Sunday, March 17, 2019

Oh My Matcha!

Good morning, friends! This has been a doozy of a week: I got bit by a bee on Wednesday (ouch!), hosted a homeschool party on Thursday, woke up at midnight on Friday only to realize I had Strep (triple ouch!). On top of that my allergies have been acting up which landed me an early doctor's appointment that included a shot and steroids. I normally pass on steroids, but when it comes to Strep I DO NO mess around. I get it every year, and every year I'm amazed out the amount of pain my body can endure.

Anyway, I decided to stay home this morning even though I'm technically not considered contagious at this point, but I felt my body needed just a little more downtime. I've been catching up on a few things like blogging, reading, and thinking about lovely things...which includes another title by my favorite author and a new favorite drink: Matcha Latte! Seriously, where has this amazing cup of green been all my life? Not to mention, its the perfect green accessory for St. Patrick's Day!

Okay, so on to the book I was chatting about. Jennifer L. Scott wrote a handful of my favorite books that satisfy my inner Francofile. After reading Lessons from Madame Chic and At Home with Madame chic twice in the last two years, I finally ordered Polish Your Poise. If you love all things centered on beauty, femininity, and elegance with a dash of good humor, I would highly recommend these books. Polish Your Poise has already had me rethinking wardrobe choices, and commending myself to sit up straighter. Her books have inspired me to fall in love with the arts again (great literature, good books, plays, etc), streamline my homemaking, and learn to curate my closet.

Also, I feel like this blog post would not be complete without one more nod to the Matcha Latte. Think of a fresh, light flavor, subtle hints of fruit, creamy and luscious all in one cup. How I ordered mine at Starbucks: Venti Iced Matcha made with Almond Milk, only one scoop of matcha, three pumps of sugar free vanilla. Perfection!

Hope you have a wonderful day...❤

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Motherhood Thoughts

I learned early on in life that I would grow up to be a very counter-cultural person. I was always the nerd of the group. I spent most of my childhood climbing trees and reading books. I was never allowed my own phone or to watch rated R movies until I was nearly grown and out of the house. Not that I necessarily wanted too, but I was often made fun of for it. Which of course, made me feel bad at times. Looking back, I'm thankful for boundaries that were in place and having a simple childhood. It wasn't perfect, no life ever is, but it was good.

Now, as a mother, I find some of those old-fashioned philosophies deeply ingrained in my heart. I always feel like the odd duck. I don't quite understand my generation. I don't understand why women post pictures of themselves on the toilet and getting hundreds of praises singing to "raw" and "real" (true story). I will never understand why children are allowed to dress and act like adults and being given access to phones or devices that can strip their innocence in less than a second. I don't understand why modesty and common decency are so flippantly mocked.

I keep thinking of what kind of world my girls will grow up in. I don't mean for this to come from a judge-y attitude. Just genuine concern and confusion.

I want my girls to love simple things. To play outside. To wear pretty dresses or overalls. To be feminine, yet strong. To have words seasoned with grace and kindness. To love books and getting lost in a world of make-believe.

There's enough junk out there. I want to be a filter to the best of my ability, but goodness, some days even going to the grocery store can be daunting (hello unsavory magazines and people with crass speech).

All that to say, I am not perfect. I have so much to learn as a parent (don't we all), but I want so much to be the best mother I can be. Starting with simplicity and setting an even higher standard for my self. It really is an ever-evolving journey, isn't it?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Things I'm Loving Right Now

  • We've had a lot of sickness lately (head colds, mainly) which has kept us at home. I've spent my time reading, getting new organizing ideas, Bible journaling and trying new recipes. Egg Roll in a bowl has been my favorite so far!
  • A few days ago, I decided to add a few new sight words and phonics to Evie's reading program. She read three new words right off the bat! Watching her eyes light up as she figured out each new word was priceless. 
  • Ella has been learning her letters. She loves it and gets so excited when she figures out something new. Oh, how I just want to keep her bottled up as my baby forever. ;)
  • I made a cold brew coffee late last night to enjoy this morning, and let me just say every single drop was savored. I bought Bulletproof Beans from our local Whole Foods and I'm officially a new fan!! This will be my new go to for my morning brew! 
  • The daffodils have started blooming which reminds me that spring is just around the corner. I picked a few to put in my kitchen. They brighten the room and make me so happy. I think fresh flowers might be one of my favorite things, next to coffee, of course.
  • And on a rather random note: I started exercising at the beginning of January. I have consistently worked out 4 to  days a week for over 6 weeks, now! This is huge because that is one area I have always struggled with. I went back to an old workout video that I used for years because I loved it so much...and what do you know, I still enjoy it. Sometimes, the girls will even join me. :)
Happy Thursday, friends! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Simple Dark Chocolate Bark (Lower Carb)

One of my personal goals has been to eat less sugar, lower carb (notice that says LOWER not LOW or NON...Haha), and still enjoy life on occasion. Mostly fueled by my desire to feel better health wise. But, let's be honest...this girl still needs a good dose of chocolate. Enter lower carb treats. Until recently, I didn't realized that there was a thing such as low sugar (and sugar free) dark chocolate chips that actually taste good. Scratch that. They taste BETTER. Not kidding!

Anyway, this super easy lower carb Dark Chocolate Bark whips up in minutes and can be ready to devour in half an hour.

Easy Low(er) Carb Dark Chocolate Chip Bark

1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (Low Sugar or Sugar Free --Enjoy Life or Lily's works great for this)
1 teaspoon peanut butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/4 Cup Slivered almonds
Sea Salt (to taste)

In a large microwaveable mug, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in 30 second intervals. Stir between each interval until chips are melted Immediately add peanut butter. Mix well. Spread mix onto wax paper (I lined a square casserole dish with wax paper). Sprinkle almonds and sea salt. Freeze for 30 minutes.

You will want to set the bark out for a few minutes, then break apart and store in the fridge. Mine stored well for three days.

Happy chocolate-ing!!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Hello February!

"Parenthood is an inner change. We ourselves grow, because parenting is so deep and intense." ~Fred Rogers

And just like that, January is over. February is here! It's one of my favorite months. I.E. It's my birthday month and Valentines. It's also an excuse to eat chocolate.

The last month was a bit of an odd duck. I was under the weather last week and promptly parked on the couch. I did however enjoy reading and planning a few house updates. We sold our bedroom set online (within minutes! crazy!) and purchased a new upholstered headboard. I'm excited to simplify and cozy up our spaces.

Also, after months of considering a new paint color for our living area, I promptly drove to Lowe's at 5pm, bought the paint, and between Josh and I we had the entire living room painted by 10pm. And I L O V E it. I went with a soft, lighter color. I'm craving soft and clean and crisp spaces. Simple living at it's finest. At least for me.

We finished our re-do of the girls bedrooms. New beds, complete with quilts that they picked out, curtains and pillows. They have been giddy with excitement and will often be found just sitting on their new beds and giggling away. Their excitement is infectious and adorable.

Slowly, but surely, we are picking back up with little pre-school lessons. The girls love being read to even when they are playing, so I've been working through Little House in the Big Woods. It has brought back so many of my own childhood memories. I hope our time reading together ignites a love for reading and sweet memories for my girls.

Have a wonderful weekend, blog friends.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Life Lately

Last week, we enjoyed a few rare days of warm weather. Which put me in the mood for...

Spring cleaning!

I've spent the last few days going through all of our closets and deep cleaning the girls bedroom. We are officially switching their room over to a "big girl" room. I'm excited to piece together a sweet little paradise for them, but I have to say, packing way the cribs is a bit sad, too.

Their new beds and bedding is set to arrive this weekend, so I'm sure I'll be sharing a peek at that soon. :)

We also had a little celebration for Ella. She asked for a rainbow cake and Paw Patrol party, so that's exactly what we did. Thank goodness for bakeries that ship cakes!!

I confess, when I'm not cleaning doing preschool with the girls, I've had my nose buried in books and coffee. As usual. <3

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Ella Bug turns THREE

What is it about THREE that feels so big? I remember when Evie turned three. It's such a big girl status. I admit, I shed tears this morning. I love my babies so much.

She was born with a full head of black curls and she's kept those curls ever since!

Ella is our feisty, silly, independent little lady. She loves Starbucks, Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, Unicorns, cookies and being with her cousins and Grandparents. Her favorite colors are pink and purple. She hates shoes and doesn't like to have her hair brushed. She's also a snuggle bug.

Happiest of birthday's to our Elleanor! We love you to the moon and back. 💖

Monday, December 31, 2018

Christmas Cuties

“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” ~Charles Dickens

Monday, December 24, 2018

Our Christmas Home

Well, here we are on Christmas Eve...and in the interest of full disclosure, it has been a rough week for us. Between travels, and a tummy bug, our schedule was thrown off track! But, the girls are on the men d, the house is starting to look like our cozy Christmas home again, and I'm ready for Egg Nog. ;)

One of my favorite additions to our Christmas décor this year is our "new" Christmas village! I actually bought the entire set at a flea market. I've always wanted one and finally had a place in our house to set one up. It like a scene straight from a hallmark movie!

Oliver the Elf has been keeping the girls entertained!

Our tree is filled with old world ornaments, hallmark ornaments, and ornaments that we've collected over the years. This year, we added a new Merry Christmas Sign that looked perfect at the top.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 17, 2018

My Leaf Explorers

I just now got around to uploading pictures from last month. For the last two years, we take the girls on a leaf excursion. We drive around town collecting the brightest colored leaves we can find, then finish up with a treat at Starbucks. Evie remembered us doing this last year, and asked to do it again. It blows me away that she is now creating little memories of her own.

My sweet treasures. Yesterday babies, today, big girls.

Hope you all have a wonderful day! I have to buckle down and finish up my Christmas list. <3

Friday, December 14, 2018

Currently Loving (December Edition)

Drinking: My current order at Starbucks is a Grande Iced Cold Brew Coffee with Peppermint & Cream. Ever since switching from iced latte's to cold brew, I've realized I no longer enjoy the taste of their regular espresso. I do enjoy their Blond Roast, though. The cold brew is smooth, almost creamy for coffee consistency! ;)

Reading: I've been reading through The Christmas Blessing by Donna Van Liere for the seventh time (I think). I typically read it every year at Christmas, and every year, I think it's just as magical is the first time. It's equal parts romance, heartbreak and miracles.

Watching: I'm busy watching all the cheesy Christmas movies. And yes, I'm one of those that love Hallmark movies. I can't help it. I just love knowing they make me happy in the end and I don't ever have to worry about content. We are also slowly plowing our way through our traditional Christmas movies: Elf, Christmas With The Kranks, Polar Express, Home Alone 1 & 2, Santa Clause, and I always love watching While You Were Sleeping this time of year. I also love the old classics like It's A Wonderful Life, Christmas in Connecticut, White Christmas, etc. Ok, I clearly have a thing for Christmas movies. *wink* And my all time favorite? A Charlie Brown Christmas. 🎄

Side note...If you are looking for a new movie to add to your Christmas Collection, check out The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix! It's cute, funny, and good family-friendly movie.

Driving: Around looing at lights every single chance I get. There are few things that make me as happy and peaceful as looking at lights, listening to carols. It's just he best feeling in the world.

Buying: Well, I confess I have quite a bit left to purchase for gifts. I'm not too worried though, I have my ideas ready and rearing to go!

Enjoying: Grocery Delivery Service! I  have only used it twice now. Both times during cold weather and when I didn't want to get the kids out. It is just SO easy. You fill out your list, they go shopping for me, then deliver it on my front door. Such a fantastic service!

Oh My Matcha!

Good morning, friends! This has been a doozy of a week: I got bit by a bee on Wednesday (ouch!), hosted a homeschool party on Thursday, ...

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I'm a wife, mother, and homemaker learning to enjoy the simple things in life. Which may or may not include a good latte, meaningful books, decorating my home, and all things French & Disney related. Thanks for visiting!