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 dรฉcor 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. ๐ŸŽ„

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!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Christmas School

I'm finishing up my iced coffee this morning, while catching up with some online work. The girls slept in after a late (and fun) night out with their Grandmother. Josh and I got to have a quiet dinner out, which we topped off with a stop at Coldstone Creamery! Every year, I get a bowl of the Dark Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream. I like it mixed with chocolate shavings, oreos, and whipped cream. It's a tiny slice of heaven!

We have been busy reading Christmas books, crafts, and doing school by the twinkling tree lights. Our morning basket is brimming with new treasures. I might be having more fun reading these new books than they are! *wink*

For some reason, school seems even more precious and sacred at this time of year. ๐Ÿ’–

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Week After Thanksgiving

I love the week after Thanksgiving. I've never given much thought to it, but I realize now that it's a blessedly quite week before the Christmas festivities begin. To ponder all the reasons I am thankful...

  • I'm thankful for my family. For a hard working and kind husband, for the health of my children. For the ability to make memories as a family of four. 
  • I'm thankful for several opportunity to bless others and be blessed in return. Cheesy? Perhaps.
  • I'm thankful for a long and luscious fall this season. We had glorious colors that lasted for weeks! Typically, fall last for only a short window of time due to droughts, but this year we had more rain than ever!
  • I'm thankful for our cozy home that has been decked out for Christmas since mid-November. What can I say? The twinkle lights just make me smile.
  • I'm thankful for a little Black Friday fun and traditions: Cracker Barrel for breakfast and an afternoon of shopping. We let the girls pick out new clothes and they had a blast!
And most of all, I am forever grateful for the grace of our Lord and Savior...the very reason this time of year is extra special. To celebrate not only His birth, but the REASON He came. <3

Thursday, November 1, 2018

My Little Unicorns

We found a couple of unicorns on our front porch yesterday! We decided to keep them. *wink*


Monday, October 29, 2018

Pumpkin Patch 2018

Last Friday, we made our annual trek to the pumpkin patch. Give me all the beautiful orange pumpkins!! <3

The girls had a blast, and seemed to enjoy the silly photo props more than anything!

Oh, the memories!! I love watching them giggle and laugh together. It's the best. <3

Learning to crank out water to float the little duckies! 

And that's a wrap! We are still coloring pumpkin things, and eating all the pumpkin things. This weekend I had my first round of Pumpkin Dump cake at church, and my goodness, was it good.

Happy Monday, Friends!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Five Things Friday

One: I found that Mary Poppins quote sign at Hobby Lobby and luckily all wood was on sale for 50% off. Mary Poppins is one of my favorite classic Disney movies! Adding it to my dรฉcor was a no brainer. ;) I'm super excited about the new movie coming out soon! Anyone else?

Two: The girls had a princess birthday party to attend last week at my friend Ashley's house. They had face painting and all the girls wore their favorite princess dresses. It was so cute and so much fun. These days of watching the girls take delight in all sorts of fun stuff is my jam!!!

Three: While out thrifting a few weeks ago, I found The Mitford Series minus one book. So, I decided to read them this winter. I'm also thinking of starting a YA series. I like to switch back and forth with my books (always have!). Any good novels I should be reading? I love mystery, historical fiction, suspense.

Four: I may or may not have started adding stickers to my daily planner. I told myself I would never do that, but here I am. ๐Ÿ˜ I've also been working on putting together some of my favorite recipes and create a new home binder. I used a home management binder for years, but after having kids, I lost my groove.

Five: Ya'll, I  was driving around showing the girls a few fall displays and lights in our neighborhood, when I noticed that one of my neighbors already put up their Christmas tree. The struggle is long will I hold out this year? I'm in no hurry to see fall gone, but I am one of those people that sees the entire fall/early winter as one long, delicious holiday season.

Linking up with High Five for Friday!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The 90's, Iced Coffee & Other Musings

A few random things on my mind....

I've been drinking an iced Peppermint Cream Coffee every morning for the last week. I discovered the Blonde Cold Brew pre-made bottles of coffee at the grocery store and ya'll, it has been a game changer. It is such a smooth coffee blend, and perfect for early mornings when I really need my immediate pick me up. I add two tablespoons of half & half, two drops of peppermint extract and one drop of vanilla extract.

"Just like Christmas in a cup!" Props to anyone who knows that quote. ๐ŸŽ„

We recently started getting more channels thanks to local basic cable. Typically, we just watch Netflix, but when we realized that Home Improvement re-runs were available each night we have been suckered into watching it...well, pretty much every night. Tim Allen is just hilarious. Also, I have decided that the 90's were far Superior as far as clothing and home decor goes. I plan to stock up on scrunchies, and buy myself a caboodle soon.  ๐Ÿคฃ

Church has kept us busy with fun events. We attended our first church picnic since we joined at the beginning of the year. The girls loved it and it was so nice to visit. Our family also attends a weekly Bible study that has been such a wonderful outlet for us. We are constantly being challenged with it! I'm most excited about a Bagpipe concert that our church will be hosting soon! I'll try to share more on that later. I am so thankful for a loving church family for my children to grow up with!

The colors are finally turning on our I will probably be posting allllll the fall pictures in the next few weeks. Fall is always late to bloom where we live!

Last, but not least, the girls keep me hopping each day with school lessons, and all their silly antics. We have a lot of fun together and I am so thankful to stay home with them. ๐Ÿ’— Family is precious.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday

The Weather
It's a gorgeous, sunny and crisp fall day!

Things That Make Me Happy
Coffee, Quiet Time, Staying Home and Decorating for Christmas :)

Books I’m Reading
The Mitford Series by Jan Karon

What’s On My TV Today
Home Improvement and Parenthood 

On The Menu This Week
Monday: Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup & Corn Muffins
Tuesday: Sausage and Veggie Stir Fry
Wednesday: Out
Thursday: Hamburger and Veggies
Friday: Greek Chicken with Veggie Stir Fry
Saturday: Leftovers

On My To-Do List
Catch up on Laundry
Deep Clean the Living Room
Prep for company tonight

New Recipe I Tried Or Want To Try Soon

Lazy Lasagna

Looking Forward To
Cleaning, organizing and planning. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Linking up with Happy Homemaker Monday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Some days, I pinch myself because I think of how blessed I am.

These days are filled with lots of "busy work": cleaning, dusting, menu planning, cooking, running errands, homeschooling, chasing kids (or do they chase me? not sure), all the laundry, holiday planning, outfit coordinating, diaper changing, church activities. Good, wholesome, life giving things. And at the end of the day when I all I want is five minutes to clear my head and rest, I look over to see this. Worth it all.

And I get up and do it all over again, because, well, family and home are my sweetest treasures. Homemaking is such a gift. I hope I never take it for granted!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Our Simple Homeschool Preschool Schedule

Officially starting Pre-K 4 with Evie this year has really challenged me on so many levels. What used to be a few simple crafts and learning about letters has now morphed into play based learning for the better half of the day. Ella has started to join in as her curiosity grows and changes.

I know I've shared my heart on Charlotte Mason based methods before, and while I'm still very loosely following those methods, I've also come to terms with the fact that every child and every family has unique needs!

So, cue my surprise when my oldest BEGS to do school each day, ALL day. Her love for learning is both precious and time consuming. I finally realized that when she was asking to do school she was wanting a real school book! After doing a little research, I settled on Learning Without Tears as my go to resource for this semester. She started on the Pre-K book (Handwriting without Tears), and oh my goodness has she devoured it! I have to admit, full blown mommy pride swelled in my heart as I watched her work so diligently on each page. Ella wanted her own workbook too, so I found a few alphabet books at the dollar tree. The DT has been such a wonderful recourse for me this year!

Here's a little peek into our morning:

Morning Basket Time: I plan to do a full video on this, but we use this time focus on scripture reading, a short devotion and reciting prayers. The girls adore this time together, and Evie will often gather the books for me and bring them to the table during breakfast. I have to say it has done my own heart good to keep Christ the focus of our day!

Letter Review: After our morning basket, we focus on letter recognition and sounds using the BOB books and ABC Mouse. The short videos have been the perfect outlet for both girls.

Five In A Row: We typically read aloud our FIAR book together 4 to 5 days a week on a two week rotation. I like to keep coloring pages and simple crafts on hand that coordinate with the story that we are reading together. I also like to find age appreciate YouTube videos that correspond with what we are learning.

Nature & Art: Every day I try to have time outside for playing, nature walks, and fresh air. We also listen to classical music or jazz music during art time. Evie is also taking a homeschool art class geared to younger children. She loves it and it gives her a taste of structured classroom and following simple instructions.

Handwriting Without Tears: I added this workbook on a two day a week rotation. It's just enough to satisfy her need for book work (she's so much like her mom!) without overdoing it. I try to keep work books to a minimum. :)

This is all broken up through out the day. I love learning along with them! I should also mention that's a bit of a humbling process, too.

Hope you enjoyed a little peek into our homeschool preschool days! Happy Monday, friends.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday!

I've been setting a goal to upload new videos each week. I'm always stepping out of the comfort zone with YT for sure! 

The Weather

It's cloudy today!

Things That Make Me Happy

Coffee and Triple Chocolate Brownies from Godiva. I could have ate the entire pan. ;)

Books I’m Reading

I need to start one! Any good suggestions?

What’s On My TV Today

I've been watching YouTube Channels lately. How Jen Does It is one of my favorites! Zone cleaning & Speed cleaning videos are such an awesome motivator for me. 

On The Menu This Week

Monday: Burritos
Tuesday: Chicken Caesar Salad
Wednesday: Out
Thursday: Tomato & Grilled Cheese Soup
Friday: Tacos
Saturday: Leftovers

On My To-Do List

Catch up on Laundry
Deep Clean the Kitchen
Go for a hike with the kids

New Recipe I Tried Or Want To Try Soon

Crock Pot Chicken Dumplings

Looking Forward To

Cleaning the house and having some quiet time today. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Linking up with Happy Homemaker Monday!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday

The Weather

It's been rainy, chilly, and absolutely perfect cocoa weather. 

Things That Make Me Happy

Homemade lattes, going book shopping, decorating the house, hiking in the mountains, going to the lake, reading good books, rocking in my rocking chair with my blankets. Listening to my children play together. Date nights with my husband. Simple things. :)

Books I’m Reading

Welcome Home by Emilie Barnes

What’s On My TV Today

Still watching Frazier. :D I need some new show suggestions! Feel free to share with my a few of your favorites. :)

On The Menu This Week

Monday: Burritos
Tuesday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Wednesday: Out
Thursday: Chicken Caesar Salad
Friday: Out
Saturday: Leftovers

On My To-Do List

Catch up on Laundry
Deep Clean the Kitchen

New Recipe I Tried Or Want To Try Soon

Pumpkin Bread or Pumpkin Chip Muffins

Looking Forward To

A cozy night at home eating burritos and watching television. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Happy Monday, friends!

Monday, September 17, 2018

A little life update...

Happy Monday!

Look at those silly girls! You want to know why they are smiling so big? I totally bribed them with ice cream if they'd let me take their picture. Haha! Just a little real life honesty, for you. ;)

Can you believe we are already half way through September? That's mind boggling. I have been decorating for fall all week. My mother in law gave me some new dรฉcor items that I've been playing with, and ended up re-arranging several things around the house. I'll do a video tour soon!

Evie is loving and thriving her Pre-K 4 year of school. She begs to do school all day long. *wink* She also started a little homeschool art class once a week. My friend teaches it and she was gracious to let Evie join in....she spends about 20 minutes focusing on the class before she's ready to go play with her friends. I think it's adorable and such a nice outlet for us all to get out of the house.

Ella, my goodness, has been changing so much. She's learning to communicate better, and of course wants to do school with sister. She has started coloring and drawing like crazy. When she figured out how to draw a circle, she spent nearly an hour covering page after page with circles!

I've been spending most of my mornings working (from home). I handle social media, PSA's and other web site related tech stuff. It keeps me busy and gives me a little creative outlet. I've had to figure out a new routine for myself, hence the reason my blog has been quiet. I'm not planning on going anywhere blog wise, just had to figure it all out!

Even though, I love my fall dรฉcor, I'm also already planning and scheming for Christmas decorations. I'm thinking it's time to add a second tree to our house. I'm torn between a Disney tree (how fun would that be?) or a blue & white themed tree (more elegant ).

I better sign off for now. Hope you all have a blessed day. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‰

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

My Planner + Bible Journal

Hi friends!

I recently had to purchase a new planner, and I went with the Blue Sky planners again. I also recently started Bible Journaling, and what a simple way to spend more time in scripture! I found all of my items at Wal-Mart and Target.

I vlogged about it:

Fall has definitely arrived! It's been raining off and on for the last few days and the temperatures have finally dropped. I'm thrilled my favorite season has arrived and am eagerly awaiting the color changes to the trees around me. ;) Also, have been enjoying homemade maple syrup latte's. So yummy! I'll have to share that recipe, soon.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

My Favorite Chocolate Cake

We had such a nice four day weekend. Lots of sleeping in, visiting with family, and catching up on a few things around the slowly, but surely decorating for fall!! I couldn't wait any longer. Have you decorated, yet?

My uncle was visiting from Illinois so I had my family over for Sunday dinner, and made our favorite chocolate cake. My family makes this cake for almost every birthday, holiday and get together. It's so easy and tastes heavenly.

I'll share the recipe!

Double Chocolate Cake

1 pkg. Devils Food Cake mix
1 pkg. Chocolate Pudding (Godiva tastes amazing in this cake!)
1 Cup Chocolate Chips (or white chocolate)
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Mix cake mix according to directions. Add dry pudding mix and stir until well incorporated. Add chocolate chips and vanilla. Bake according to the cake mix directions.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!

And if you want to see a sneak peak of my kitchen fall dรฉcor (full fall tour video coming later!)

Happy Wednesday, bloggy friends!! <3

Monday, August 20, 2018

First Day of School

Today, we started school! These little stinkers were pretty exited to wear new dresses and pose for pictures.

We  have a lot of books to read and field trips to take! I am probably just as excited as they are. I'm using Five in a Row Curriculum this year, and I'm already loving it.

Here's to a year of learning and growing together. Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Board + Batten | An Updated Living Room Tour

I finally got around to filming an updated living room tour to highlight our Board + Batten project. Also, any idea on how to hide chords? I feel like it is such an eye sore. ;) It was nice getting out the camera and filming again. I have to admit, it's a lot of fun!

Happy Thursday!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Outside We Go

We've taken the girls on a few hikes this summer, and it has been such a good experience for them. As they get older, I find that we are outside more and more.

Even better, is the fact we've had a mysterious break in the heat! Typically, this time of year, we are boarded up inside due to intense (and dangerous) heat waves. I feel like a kid on Christmas as I've woken up to cool temperature, and rainy days over the last couple of days. I even made a pot of chili to celebrate. Who knows...I may even bake up a loaf of pumpkin bread soon!

Hopefully, we are off to another adventure this weekend. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Our Family 2018

We had our family pictures taken last month, and this was my favorite image. Framing it!

I was comparing it to last year's pictures, and gracious, my girls are so much bigger.

Ella has left behind toddler hood, and Evie is my little lady. This has been such a fun stage with the girls. We have so much fun together! Parenthood just gets more amazing and precious.

Also, can you tell that is one loved daddy? He takes care of his girls so well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I plan to get back into my blogging groove. I've missed it. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Simple Homemade Granola (Grain Free, Protein Packed!)

While we were on vacation earlier this year, I fell in love with the breakfast offered by our hotel. My favorite being their yogurt parfait topped with granola. I ate it every morning, very slowly, as I savored each bite. I had no idea granola could taste so good!

Imagine my delight (sarcasm) when I realized how much sugar and carbs most granola had be it homemade or store bought.

Enter low carb granola! Easy, delicious, and just as crunchy at traditional carb laden granola.

The real kicker, though? There are no oats involved! Now, I love me some oats, but when I tasted this almond flour concoction, I was fairly certain angels started singing with each bite. ;)

Recipe below!

Simple Homemade (grain free) Granola

1 Cup Walnuts, chopped
1 Cup Almonds, slivered
1 Cup Coconut, shredded & unsweetened
1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
1 Cup Almond Flour, blanched
Cinnamon to taste (I added approx. 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 Tsp. Sea Salt Flakes (you can add a little more for a more sweet & salty mixture)
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup

Preheat oven to 325. Rub a little olive oil over a 13x9 Casserole dish to prevent sticking.

Mix all ingredients together until maple syrup has been fully incorporated. Your mixture will have clumps.

Bake for 16-20 minutes or until mixture turns golden brown.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Summer Days

Our summer days have centered around lots of swimming, reading, ice cream, and a little hiking thrown in here and there. 

One of my favorite childhood memories was reading the Little House books. I read them all...probably more than once. The girls are still a bit too young for the full series, but I've enjoyed reading to them from the little chapter books.

Evie has been learning to swim this year. She can keep her head above the water, float, and has been working hard to swim under the water. It's amazing how quickly she has learned and she LOVES it!

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Sunflower Unit Study

Last week, I was inspired to a do a mini unit study on Sunflowers with the girls.

With music playing, they colored pictures, explored the texture of the sunflower, munched on honey roasted sunflower seeds, and listened while I read "From Seed to Sunflower".

Nature, art, music, and time together. It's exactly what this momma heart needed. ❤

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, ...

About Me

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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!