Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hosting Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite holidays, maybe because I like to eat. :) Or maybe I just love the warmth that comes with it.

 My parents are divorced so I usually had to split my time between TWO meals. We would usually do my dad's side first and then go have dessert with my mother's side. This caused lots of angst. Don't ever think that it's easy for families of divorce to deal with holidays and splitting up their time. It's the hardest thing in the world, you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, yet EVERYONE has to eat at the same time. The fact that we're there at all should be good enough right? Well for one side of my family, it never was. But... I digress.
So now I host and people can come when they like, I'm just happy they come at all!

The first year I hosted was pretty much a nightmare. I had never cooked a turkey, never cooked a large meal at all really, for more than 5 people. I had no idea where to even begin! I did a lot of research and let's just say my time management and food has gotten a lot better over the years. :D A for effort!

I created this outline to help me and hopefully others with your planning! I'll have some printables up later in the week for your menu, grocery shopping, etc. I'm a list maker, so I write everything down and it helps me so much!

Happy Planning!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Happy The Walking Dead Day; some zombie cupcakes and a Halloween craft

We are  a Walking Dead family. We've been waiting patiently for MONTHS for it to return and tonight is the NIGHT! WOOHOO!!!!
So to celebrate I made some zombie cupcakes!

I bought my zombie hands here and just used a basic chocolate cupcake recipe and, I'll be honest, I used store bought icing. Here's the recipe I used for the base of the  cupcake. I think they turned out pretty cute!

And while they baked I did a Halloween craft with Maverick, he was begging to go outside but we finally got a cold front, so it's a dismal, cold rainy day and I could not be happier!! 

Basic Halloween craft but we had fun. 

Happy Walking Dead Day! <3 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Soup of the Week!

Being your own boss is great, setting my own hours, etc. But being a photographer means I work usually at dinner time or during. I try to plan my weekly menu around my sessions, always doing either a crock pot meal on session days or a soup recipe that can just simmer on the stove. So I'll be sharing a soup recipe a week with you! 

This week I had an evening when I had nothing to fix, I never do that. If I leave an evening empty we eat out but I didn't want to spend the money eating out so I searched my Pinterest and found this recipe, I had all of the ingredients and already had the chicken, cooked, in my fridge! Win for me! 

It was so easy and delicious, we'll definitely have it again! 

I followed the recipe from here except I tweaked it a bit. I omitted the corn because it hurts my belly and  I made my own enchilada sauce because I didn't have any. It's super easy, you can find the recipe here. It's the only way I do it now, I never buy canned, it has a much better flavor than canned! Threw everything together and dinner in 30 minutes! Garnish with green onions and lots of cheddar cheese.  It was delicious and will go in our soup rotation! 

I hope you enjoy and let me know if you try it out! 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall Fun! Pumpkin Play Doh

As a homeschooling family our mornings are busy with school work. Balancing school work with a two year old is less than desirable on most days. I'm trying really hard to keep him occupied with things other than the iPad or the TV.

Enter playdoh. He LOVES play doh and honestly I need to go out and replenish our supply. He will sit and play with the stuff for hours. But right now I keep forgetting.
While on Pinterest the other day I saw several recipes for pumpkin play doh. I checked the ingredients and had everything! So we made some.

Now, I used Aldi canned pumpkin and had Aldi cornstarch in my pantry. I had to use the ENTIRE box of cornstarch, which tells me one of two things, either the cornstarch is crap or the pumpkin is super full of moisture,  or both!

I just dumped the can of pumpkin in a bowl and started to slowly add the cornstarch, mixing as I went along. I wanted a flubber like consistency, you know? Like Gak maybe, more like gak. I never achieved the consistency that I wanted, but I let Maverick have it anyway after we had most of the moisture out. He played with it for a good 45 minutes, so it was a win for that day.

If I would do it again I would probably try to strain my pumpkin a little and buy better quality cornstarch, or just buy some play doh. ;) But this was a fun little fall thing to do and we did it.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

31 Days of Halloween Fun!

As I said above, fall is my absolute favorite time of year and I have to say that Halloween runs a close second to being my favorite holiday!
I created a bucket list of Halloween/fall fun.

What are some of your favorite things to do in the fall? Our favorite is definitely the pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving! So much fun!

We visited Rombach Farms last year and had SO much fun.

 Maverick was so tiny!

 I never miss a good pumpkin photo op!

Drop me a comment and tell me what your favorite fall activity is! 

Fall Soup Recipe #1

Even though here in the midwest it doesn't feel like Fall yet, it's definitely October! My favorite month of the year. I have always had a love affair with Autumn. The chill in the air, yummy comfort foods filling my house with their delicious smells, the days getting shorter.

This month I'm going to share some fun fall activities and recipes with you all.

With my full time job (photographer) pulling me out of the house around dinner time, I have to have something in my arsenal to make that I can either put in the crock pot to keep warm or that's quick. Soups are the best thing I have found to make ahead of time and keep in the crock pot until time to eat!

My favorite one as of late is this Cheesy Taco Soup from Carlsbad Cravings. It is SO easy and delicious!!!! I make it completely early in the day and then dump it in the crock pot to stay warm. We can eat anytime that evening. It's a win for us because my picky #1 son will eat it (he thinks it tastes a little like queso) and everyone else loves it as well!

It's great when you have an evening like this one below planned as well!

Enjoy and if you try it out, let me know how you like it! I love ALL of the recipes I have found on this blog  and I think you will too! 


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Lotte Butter Product Review

I haven't blogged in so long. I've been super busy with my photography (business end) and just life in general. But I'm going to try to do better!

I recently had the opportunity to try a product and have fallen in LOVE with it and want to share it with you! It's called Lotte Butter. It's a salve that is infused with essential oils.
I'm fairly new to oils, I haven't ever used them, but about 3 months ago I purchased a set through Amazon, thinking, if these work then I'll spend more next time on some decent oils. They didn't work, but at the time I just thought maybe it was me, or Maverick. I purchased them with the intent in helping him fall asleep at night. A friend of mine uses good oils and told me that there is a HUGE difference. Enter Lotte Butter. They have a regular moisturizing salve, a chap salve, a cold salve and a nighttime salve. The first night I used the night salve I could not believe it! It was like someone gave me a sleeping pill, no lie! My 16 year old daughter also used it that night and the next morning said to me, "was that not crazy how well it worked?" So I started using it on Maverick at night, rubbed it on his temples and the center of his forehead.

The cold salve I recently used because I had a headache and it has peppermint oil in it, I've read a lot about peppermint and helping headaches so I thought, why not. Rubbed some on my temples, gone!
So I totally recommend this stuff! You can find them here. They are priced reasonably and you are supporting a small business so it's a win/win! I need to order some more sleep salve soon!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Legacy Learning Academy & a discount code for you!

We recently were granted the opportunity to try out and represent Legacy Learning Academy. I was so SO excited to be able to rep this company. Being a homeschool family, I love anything that teaches.

You can view their catalog here. She has learning tools and toys from ages 0-6+ Education toys, pre K curriculum (which I have my eye on) We're not quite ready for that yet but we will be within the next year. Such good stuff!

 I purchased her new Mickey & Friends kit for Maverick because we are Disney lovers and it has some great resources in it! You can check out the kit here.

We sat down today to explore it and play! Here's a few pics

Discount code: LLAfriends to save 15% off at checkout! 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

June Favorites

June was a crazy busy month for us. Dance Concert for  the girls, vacation and so many new shops to rep. Makes me so excited! So here are a few pics from our crazy busy month with some favorite brand shout outs! 👊🏻 37a4817dee7c75b9c1dd32239d899d15c0f750f0a9cdbf384d

Tee by Future Idealist, one of our favorite companies. So much goodness in her shirts. 

Check out her IG here

Bow tie by Mini Swag Textiles, BEAUTIFUL stuff she has! 

Check out her IG here

Tee by Little Warriors Apparel
Their IG is here

Tee by Banky Girl Creations hat American Eagle

Banky Girl's IG is here

Tee by The Little Owl Nest co

Their IG is here

Tee by Buzz Shack 

Their IG is here

Tee by Covered Hands 

Their IG is here