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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Red, White and Blue...

The fourth of July has always been a favorite holiday of mine. When I was little, we would go up to my grandmas (where fireworks were not only allowed but encouraged haha) and we would have a huge celebration. This year we decided to stick around and enjoy the fourth of July festivities here. Our neighborhood does a cute little parade which my kids loved (doesn't take much to please 'em I tell ya).

We then went over and enjoyed a day of swimming and BBQ'ing with family...and we even got to watch a firework show from my in laws backyard; which is always the perfect ending to this special holiday.

Probably more than any year I can remember, this holiday has really struck a chord with me this time around. I am not sure if it's just me getting older (that saying the older you grow the wiser you get...maybe is a true statement?!). Or maybe it's just that my kids are getting older, and watching them grow up has made me truly appreciate everything this country offers.  I am so, so grateful for it.

Here are a few photos of our little fourth of July celebration... chalk full of those iconic USA colors red, white and blue.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Desire to Inspire: Entrepreneurship (so excited to finally share this!!!!)


About a year ago I was laying in bed and thought of this crazy, wacky, outlandish idea. What if I started a video series of things that inspire people?! What if I put together a list of topics and then interviewed a handful of people who are very well informed and knowledgeable on that topic?!

Granted I am not a videographer, and I have never interviewed anyone before, but it seemed like a good idea to me?!

So, I thought of my first topic and contacted five women. Women who I found to be inspiring, down to earth, sweet,  and most of all extremely knowledgeable and successful on this topic. They were women who I never thought would really be up for this crazy idea I had.

Within a week I heard back from all five of them. They all agreed to be interviewed. I was shocked and beyond elated. After the excitement settled, I thought, ok now what?!

Then I got a call from one of the women, and she told me she would fly in for the interview. My heart plummeted down to that deep dark place inside your gut. That is when fear set in. That is when I started to get cold feet. I started having doubt, upon doubt, upon doubt. What was I doing? Why would someone want to fly in for this? I don't even know how to interview... and who am I going to get to actually take footage?!

I doubted myself. I doubted my ability to finish what I had set out to do. For some reason, there was something pushing me to go through with this. To swallow my fears, and just "fake it til you make it". So, I did just that. I flew into three different states, interviewing Katie from puj, Stephanie from NieNie dialogues, Sarah from Sarah Jane Studios, Susan from Freshly Picked,  and Elle from Solly Baby Wrap.

I don't know how it all happened, but everything just fell into place. I'd like to say it was just luck but I think it was much more than that. I think this message needed to be shared.

I also don't know how to adequately express in words how much I learned and grew from this experience. So many times I wanted to throw in the towel. Thankfully I had Paige, who beautifully and brilliantly put together this video. It was when I watched it for the first time, tears running down my cheeks and seeing the interviews streamed together, that I realized it was all so worth it. It was magic.

So, to anyone who has a dream; for any woman, mother and aspiring entrepreneur who feels like they need a push in the right direction...this is for you!!! This week, we celebrate our Independence. In a country where the American dream is something we all strive for. It is a real thing. These women are living it. Watch this video. The insight, the advice, the overall passion you see in these women is awe inspiring.

Thank you Paige for the countless hours of being my right hand man. You are the greatest. And thank you Susan, Elle, Sarah, Katie and Stephanie for your beautiful words. 

Without further adieu here is the very first video of my Desire to Inspire Series: Entrepreneurship 




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Thursday, June 25, 2015

a trip to the blue grass state...

A couple weeks ago me and my sister went out and visited my other sister who lives in good ole' Kentucky. It was so fun. We ate good food, we laughed, we walked around the town a lot looking at old charming, amazing homes; we thrifted, boutique shopped, slept in, I mean geez suddenly I'm wanting to go back. Like right now.

Kentucky really is such a beautiful state. The people are so warm and welcoming. There are fields of green with the most beautiful horses you've ever seen. Their markets are pretty awesome (I get really excited when I step into pretty food markets) and their pace of life is something I need to implement in my own. People take their time, they are gracious, they are laid back and in no hurry. It was kind of refreshing.

I have to say, I use to feel guilty when I would plan a trip away from my husband and kids. But I am slowly realizing that these trips are good for my soul every so often. Plus, the best part of going away is coming back home and embracing my lovies again. It really is a good thing to take a breather and recharge your mother batteries.

Photographed below is when we went to Shaker Village  (super interesting place!) and then took a boat ride down the Kentucky River.  The other photos are from the Lexington cemetery.  It was one of the prettiest burial sites I've ever laid eyes on; with head stones dating back to the 1800's! The history, the trees, the overall ambiance was just amazing.
 ^^^ honey testing ^^^
^^^ jet lag sort of took a toll the first day we got there ^^^
 ^^^ I kind of look pregnant in this picture, but I am not. Nope. Just looks like it. :-/ ^^^
^^^ Our thrifty finds...which we didn't buy ^^^

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Strawberry Cheesecake Pops

We love strawberries and we love cheesecake...so this was a no brainer. I love doing things like this, where my girls can help me. They feel included and I feel like I'm not ignoring them while I do things like this. They went and checked the freezer about fifty million times before they were ready...I'd say they were pretty excited?!

These were so good, refreshing, and healthy! My kids didn't like the graham crackers, so they opted out of that part. I think I might make these, and take them to our fourth of July celebration; the colors are perfecto mundo! :-)

Ingredients:
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup plain fat free greek yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 TBS light colored corn syrup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
10 oz. strawberries, blended
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

Directions:
-combine milk and sugar in a saucepan, cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Place cream cheese in a medium bowl; gradually add milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in yogurt and vinailla. Cool completely.
- Put corn syrup, juice and berries in a blender; process until smooth. Then layer the cream cheese mixture among 6 (4 oz) ice pop molds; going from cream cheese to strawberry back to cream cheese.
- Freeze at least 4 hours. Unmold and dip tips in crumbs (if you want).

***some of my favorite molds are here, here and here
 ^^^brain freeze^^^

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Utilizing a Log...

Last week was one of my besties birthdays...and she loves all things DIY and "woodsy".  She is actually the one who gave me the idea to make book ends and so I surprised her with some for her special day. But then, when I had a half of a log left over I couldn't throw it away. The wood was too unique. So I drilled some holes (make sure you drill deep enough for pencils to stand upright).

This tiny project made me want my own little wood working shed...to make all my wood working dreams come true. But then I realized how much time it takes and I'm thinkin' this hobby might need to go on the back burner for a while. 

***I got my log at an abandoned field. However you can go to Home Depot or any other similar shop and they'll cut wood for you IF you purchase the wood at that store. Since I had my own wood I had to find a contractor who would cut mine. Dixieline will sometimes cut outsourced wood as well***
                             ^^^ watercolored^^^                                                     ^^^natural state^^^
^^^ This is how you want them to cut the wood...in half and then just a smidgen off the bottom ^^^
and now for the art utensil holder...
I just love all the grooves and colors of this wood. 
After I was done drilling I made sure to dust and sand off any excess pieces...


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Monday, May 25, 2015

Oh, sweet potato casserole...I think I'm in love

Okay people...I ain't lyin' when I say this stuff is beyond delicious. Josh and I love to go to Ruth Chris but it's never a convenient place to go if you don't want to pay a huge bill for your food. We especially love their sweet potato casserole. So warm, so sweet, so tongue tantalizing. ***total side note my prego sister craves this casserole all the time. The closest Ruth Chris is about 40 minutes from her and she literally drives it just to get her fix haha. So ya, it's that good.

Anyways I decided to attempt a copy cat version of it for dinner with some friends. I have to say I think it was just as good, dare I say maybe even better (only because I might have added some extra topping)!  Also, it always helps that I got way more then what I paid for.

So, ya'll need to make this. You really do. It's kind of a game changer when it comes to a perfect side dish.
Crust:
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup melted butter

Casserole:
4 cups sweet potatoes (which is about 4-5 sweet potatoes depending on size)
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs (beaten)
1/3 cup butter (melted)

Directions: cook sweet potatoes at 375 for about an hour or until tender. Let cool. Then peel and add rest of ingredients. Mix and pour in a pie pan or any pan of your liking. Then mix all ingredient of crust and sprinkle evenly on top. Cook at 350 for 35 minutes and let cool for about 25 minutes. Serve warm...okay and just for kicks if you want this for dessert you can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream with it. Im just sayin'.



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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Hello Again...

Hello again. It's been a while. It's nice to get back to posting, even if lately it's been far and few. Thank you to those who read this blog. Thank you for those who are regularly checking back, or who are new.  Thank you for your emails and concerns. It really does make my day and warms my heart when I hear from those who I have never met, but who I feel I know because of this little space. So from the bottom of my heart thank you.

Life is great, just busy. That is why I have taken much longer in between posts. Finding time for everything can be quite the juggling act. There are some days I feel like I can juggle with my feet, and  then other days I drop every dang ball that comes my way. So that is why yesterday I fed my "to-do list" to the birds (figuratively speaking, because well, I really need that to-do list) and set out for a fun afternoon with the kiddies.

We went to The New Childrens Museum downtown and it was just what the doc ordered. This place has so much color, and creativity. Everything is from recycled material which I think is so amazing!

At the end of the day I asked Sage (4 yrs. old) what her favorite part was. She paused and replied, "Oh gosh that's a hard one. I'd say making our own paper." and then she asked me what my favorite part was. I thought for a second and said, "watching you make your own paper." She just smiled.

To watch these little girls of mine learn and create is hands down one of my favorite things to see. I love being their mom, so much.

^^^ no those purple balls are not part of my ensemble. I was a grape. 
Then a strawberry to my left and a pineapple to my right***
^^^ you can see a video of this process on my instagram***




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