Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

My Favorite Easy Recipes

One of the hardest of my daily tasks is cooking dinner for my family and I know I'm not alone in this! I'm on some mom groups on Facebook and a very common question is how to cook a nice meal for your family when you have needy little kids under your feet. It most definitely can be overwhelming but my New Years Resolution was to be better about meal planning so I could cook my family nice, delicious, and mostly healthy meals every night and I'm happy to say I've really stuck with my resolution. I don't make anything complicated and everything I cook is quick, easy and minimal cleanup. Today I thought I'd share a weekly (Monday-Friday) dinner menu for those of you who need some ideas. These are my go-to's (I feel like I rotate the same dozen meals over and over most of the time) and I know you and your family will love them! (Click the links under the photos to see the recipe)

MONDAY

 
Whenever I cook this, I make it the night before but I save the last three steps for right before I stick it in the oven. It's not hard to make it during the day (or naptime) but it's just one of those easy ones where you can prep ahead of time which is why it's a go-to for me. And also because it's delicious. It makes a ton of leftovers which I love so if you don't want to cook the next night, just reheat these up!
 
TUESDAY
 
This is a recipe I just came up with (I've shared it on my Instagram stories before) and I make this almost every week because it's so, so simple. I get my trusty slow cooker out and simply throw in a pork loin, red potatoes, baby carrots and green beans. In a bowl I mix together a can of golden mushroom soup, a can of water and Liptons dry onion soup mix. I pour the mixture over the meat and vegetables and cook on low for 8 hours. Right before it's time to eat I usually throw some Pillsbury crescent rolls in the oven because they're so yummy and flaky and everyone in my house loves them. This is without a doubt the easiest meal I make and it's super yummy too!
 
WEDNESDAY
 Lawrys Crispy Oven Bake

Sheet pan meals are my best friend and this one is really yummy. I love this Lawrys Crispy Oven Bake. There are several things you can do with it but I just use chicken tenderloins and chop up my favorite veggies, throw it all on a sheet pan and bake it for 25-30 minutes. If I have red potatoes in my house I'll chop those up and throw them on the sheet pan as well, otherwise I'll just make some rice to go with this meal. Campbell LOVES this chicken which is awesome because he never eats protein....but he'll eat this! 
 
THURSDAY
 
This dish is so delicious, so easy, and the cleanup is a snap. I make a few small changes to the recipe. Sometimes I leave out the carrots unless I have them and the time to grate them. Instead of celery I do frozen green peas because my boys love peas. I also just do minute brown rice and I don't add parsley because who cares? You'll love this dish and so will your kids.
 
FRIDAY
 
Like I said before, I do a lot of sheet pan meals. They're just so easy. I usually just do chicken and veggies but when I'm craving something other than chicken, I go for this. Sometimes I go through the trouble of making the seasoning/rub they provide in the recipe but usually I just throw on my favorite pre-made seasoning and call it good.
 
So there you go! Some of our go-to's and really, really easy meals to make with very minimal cleanup. What are some of your favorites? Leave them in the comments below! If you like this post, let me know and I can do another one. I've got more simple, easy recipes if you want to hear about them! 


Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Weekend

Happy Memorial Day! We've had a great weekend. We drove to Little Rock to spend the weekend with my family and we are so glad we did. We had a wonderful time and so did the boys. We got to Little Rock Friday afternoon and we are currently driving back home.
We spent much of our weekend swimming in my parents pool. Campbell loves it and Bennett went for his first swim and he thought it was pretty fantastic! Campbell had so much fun playing with his cousin, Avery, and he has gone ninety to nothing since he arrived. He is SO exhausted but has refused to slow down. I predict he will sleep 24 straight hours once we get home. Ha!! Bennett has also had such a fun time. He has been so busy crawling around and exploring all of the fun new things at his Pops and Gamma's house. It's good for everyone to get away for a weekend and have a change of scenery.
We really didn't get out much. It was nice to just lay around and chill. Scott and I did manage to squeeze in a date night last night so that was nice! Overall we had a wonderful weekend! The boys has such a great time and it was nice for us to get away for the weekend. Lots of fun memories created.
I'm thankful for a weekend spent how I wish because of our brave soldiers who fought for my freedom to do so. Remembering them on this special day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thirty Two

Today is my birthday! I am 32 years old. I have to say, the 30's have been great to me so far. I remember when I was in college thinking that the 30's just seemed like a great decade and I haven't been disappointed yet. I love this age and this stage of life I'm currently in. I think it's great!
I woke up to the sweetest Happy Birthday wish from the cutest little 3 year old I know. I was brought cinnamon rolls in bed and some pretty new shoes that have been on my wish list for a long time! I'm planning to have lunch out with my boys. I'm not sure where yet but probably a place that has soups and sandwiches--my fav. I'll probably go to Target after lunch and buy myself something I don't need. Then later this evening my husband is treating me to a date night and word on the street is he's taking me somewhere super yummy.
I'm thankful for this life and each new year it brings. I'm also thankful to all of you who are reading this! Thanks for letting me share my life with you!! Here's to many more!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Breastfeeding Bennett One Year Later

Over the weekend I weaned Bennett so I am officially done breastfeeding. I've been asked if I was sad to wean and my answer is no. I was really ready to be done and honestly, so was Bennett. He started losing interest around 10 months or so (both of my boys did....they preferred that yummy table food instead!) which made the whole weaning process really easy.
Everyone has different priorities in life but breastfeeding is a huge priority for me. I 100% exclusively breastfed both of my boys for over a year and I am so proud to say that. It is definitely a commitment but it's a goal I set for myself and to accomplish that goal feels good. I would be lying if I said I didn't have several moments, with both of my boys, that I was SO over it and wanted to be done. However, I tell myself I'm going to do it for a year and no matter what, I push through.
If I could give anyone advice when it comes to breastfeeding, I would say to please just educate yourself about it before you get started. There is so much false information about breastfeeding that has become incredibly persistent in today's society and it makes me sad to see moms, who really want to breastfeed, give up on it because they were misinformed. This is especially close to my heart because I have small babies and I think a lot of women would not continue to breastfeed because they were worried something was wrong with their milk. However, I know from reading and educating myself on all things breastmilk that this just isn't the case. In fact, I follow @lactationlink on Instagram (a wonderful breastfeeding source) and she actually just posted about this a few days ago. She does a Fact or Fiction post then will answer the question later. Her question was "Some babies are small because their mom's milk isn't as nutritious?" The answer? FICTION. "While it's true that the composition of your milk can be different than your best friends or even your sister, or your milk may appear thinner than anothers, your milk is specifically suited for your breast physiology and your baby's needs. It's as unique as a fingerprint in its makeup and disease fighting properties. Rest assured that if you follow your baby's lead while breastfeeding, their growth is perfect for them."
While I was confident that my breastmilk was good enough for my tiny babies, that doesn't mean it isn't stressful. I had to check my boys weight frequently at the doctor and that will totally put the pressure on. I'm thankful for a chill doctor who is educated on breastmilk himself and knows there is nothing wrong with my milk. The only thing he encouraged me to do was offer some milk in a bottle after they were done nursing to see if they would take more. Guess what? They never would because they got plenty while nursing. That always made me feel good and boosted my confidence in nursing.
I'm happy I made it another year breastfeeding but I'm really happy to be done now too! I cried the last time I nursed Campbell but not with Bennett. It was a sweet moment but I was like "okay, that's that." I guess after a whole year of nursing Campbell then a whole year of nursing Bennett, I was kind of over it. However, I would do it over and over again whether I had 1 more baby or 10. I'm very thankful to have been able to breastfeed but I've crossed the finish line now and I'm happy the race is over!

Monday, May 22, 2017

RED

In case you haven't noticed, I really love Loft. I just find it to be age appropriate for me. Their dresses aren't too short and whenever I need to find an outfit for a special occasion, I almost always pop in Loft first and can usually find just what I need.
I love, love, love this pretty red dress that I recently purchased from there. I wanted to share this week because I think this dress would be perfect to wear to a Memorial Day party you may be attending this weekend. I love the detailing on the neckline and the fabric is so soft. It's also really breezy so if it's really hot where you live, this dress would be perfect because you definitely wouldn't get hot while wearing it.
Also, lets talk about these shoes. Aren't they the cutest? These are an early birthday present from my mom. We both got a pair while we were out shoe shopping a few weeks ago and I LOVE them. Since leopard is a neutral, they will go with so many things. They are also very comfortable and easy to walk in--a requirement for me these days. I got these at Warrens for those of you that live in Arkansas. Otherwise, I'll link them below.
I will definitely be wearing this dress this weekend. It's very comfortable, really flattering and the perfect little number for a fun Memorial Day party, a lunch out with friends, or a date night with your husband. 
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Saturday, May 20, 2017

First Day vs Last Day

In keeping with the theme of yesterdays post, I just thought I'd share a little First Day of School vs Last Day of School photos of both of my boys.
Wow, kids sure do change so much in just a few months don't they? I honestly didn't think Campbell's first and last photo would be that different but he looks like a baby in the first photo and not so much a baby in the second one. Bennett has obviously changed a ton which I expected, of course. His backpack is no longer bigger than he is!! Photo comparisons like this make me realize how fleeting time is. It gets said all the time so it's like "yeah yeah" but it really does go by so fast and they really do grow up way too quickly. Sometimes I just want to erupt into tears and tell time to slow down but on the flip side, I love watching my kids grow and change. It's amazing to watch these little people get bigger and wiser right before my eyes. I just wanted to share the comparisons and also just have it for my records since my blog is my diary. They both look so big in their last day of school photos but by this time next year, I'll be talking about how they looked like such babies. Hold me. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Last Day of School

Campbell and Bennett had their last day of school (aka Mothers Day Out) yesterday. We have a month break then they'll go back for a few weeks in the summer then have another break again before starting back up in the fall. So it doesn't technically feel like the end of school just yet since they'll be back in their same class with their same teachers. But it was the "last day" regardless.
I've said this before but I'm so thankful for this program. When we were dedicating Bennett at church on Sunday, our pastor said "If there's one thing this church does right, it's our children's ministry." And he is so, so correct. We walk in the building and there are always sweet people ready to greet us all by name. They talk to Campbell, say hi to Bennett and it just starts the day off right. I know some children don't have good drop-off experiences and I think this is their way to make everyone feel at home and loved and cared for.

Campbell and Bennett have always loved being there and I'm so grateful for the sweet people who are there, pouring love into these kids, teaching them about Jesus and having an overall fun day with them!! While my kids are having fun, I get to have some time for myself. A much needed break to run errands, do stuff around my house, or treat myself to shopping at the mall or a manicure. It's a win for all of us!
Campbell will officially start pre-school in the fall which is so crazy to me! It's the same days and hours but a different building and a more big boy environment. He will have a work book that he will learn from throughout the year and I know he's going to be excited about his new Mothers Day Out/Pre-School experience. 
So now we just need to find a way to keep ourselves entertained for the next four weeks!! I'm thinking multiple trips to Pops and Gammas's house will take place! I know Campbell and Bennett will be excited to go back for the summer session so they can be with their friends and teachers. And while they're there, I plan on parking myself at the pool with my Crystal Light and a good book. I'm a tiny bit excited for the break (can we talk about how annoying it is to make school lunches?) but I know we'll all be ready for the summer session to start! Thankful for another great year of Mothers Day Out!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Mothers Day

Well I wasn't able to blog about my Mothers Day yesterday due to computer difficulties so it looks like I'm a day late on this but better late than never! My Mother's Day was lovely. I slept in (almost too long) then got dressed and headed to church. I was so thankful that my parents were able to come up on Saturday night because we dedicated Bennett at church on Sunday. They were working all day Saturday but made the journey just for Bennett and I'm grateful they made it and also that I was able to see my mom on Mothers Day! Our dedication for Bennett was very similar to Campbell's. Campbell joined us and he did great! He was excited to be on stage and he stood there really still and quiet while the entire dedication took place. We were asked to choose a life verse for Bennett (we did the same for Campbell) and I didn't have to think hard on it at all. I knew the perfect verse for Bennett would be Colossians 2:6-7 "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." My greatest prayer for my kids is that they put their faith, hope and trust in the Lord and follow Him all the days of their life. It was a special moment for our family to dedicate our Bennett back to the Lord and I hope he will always hold tight to the special verse we chose for him.
After church, we went back home for a yummy meal. We didn't want to fight the lunch crowds but also didn't want to cook so we got a big dish of Chicken Scampi from Olive Garden to enjoy at home! I made banana pudding and we all sat around the table for food and fellowship. Shortly after lunch my parents had to head back home (very short trip for them) and once everyone left, I told Scott I wanted to get out of the house and have some ME time!! I didn't really have anything that I wanted to do but it was a beautiful day outside so I went to the mall and took my sweet time doing whatever I wanted for however long I wanted to do it.
Mothers Day ranks high up there in my favorite holiday category. Not because it's a day about me or moms but because it makes me extra thankful to be a mom. I have what I always dreamed about and prayed about and I feel like the luckiest girl to be able to hold these two sweet boys in my arms. Yes my job is SO HARD but I absolutely love it. My life was so boring before these babies entered it and I wouldn't change a thing....even though I'm really tired a lot and never get to eat my meal in one sitting. My boys are my world and I adore being their Mommy. I'm also so thankful for my own mother who is my best friend and always has been. My boys love their Gamma and I love her too.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day! I've had a great day with my precious boys, mom, dad, mother-in-law and of course my sweet husband. I'll share more tomorrow but it's late so I need to get to bed. I just wanted to take a quick second to share this photo of me with my little love bugs....
....and also share links of both of my boys birth stories. I was thinking about it today and how much I loved both of those days so much. I know not everyone gets a good birth experience but luckily, both of mine have been the most amazing days. If I could relive them over and over again I would.
So if you would like to take a trip down memory lane with me, you can click HERE to read about Campbell's birth day and then click HERE to read all about the day Bennett was born. The days I became mommy. My absolute most special days.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Chambray Flutter Dress

Last week I went shopping for a new dress to wear to Bennett's birthday party and I noticed this cute little number. It wasn't the style I was looking for to wear to the party but I thought it was really fun so I tried it on and decided I needed it. I love chambray in the summer and the little tassels and fluttery cap sleeves give this simply chambray dress a charming little twist.
I paired the dress with the cutest sandals that are quickly becoming my go-to's for summer. I got them at Target for less than $25 (!!) and I am in love with them. They are the perfect shade of brown and I feel like they go with everything!
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