AUGUST 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

August was full of more birthdays, mini getaways, and football games. Here’s a peek at our month and the life I’ve thankful for.

32 THINGS IVE LEARNED IN MY 32 YEARS

32 years old today, and there has been quite a few things that I’ve learned through the years. I’ve made good choices, stupid choices, and learned that sometimes the only explanation for your actions is, “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” But through it all, I’ve learned.

And firsthand, from my own experience these are some of things that I’ve learned:

Seafood is still disgusting.

Your children pay attention to EVERYTHING that you do. Literally EVERYTHING. Don’t say anything in front of a 3-year old you don’t want repeated.

Soul mates do exist; believe me. I’m one of the lucky ones that found mine.

Having a big family is such a blessing. A benefit too; more kids to pay for a fancier nursing home when you’re older.

Life is much better with a golden retriever.

Work at a place where you actually like your boss and co-workers. Life is way too short to deal with Karens.

No matter how old you get, shots still suck.

Record your life. Have those memories to look back and smile at later.

Friends change and that’s okay. Sometimes the unlikely friends are the best friends.

Grey hairs come a whole lot sooner than you expect.

“One more episode” actually means four more episodes.

Hanger, it’s real.

Kitchens are made for dancing.

I will never be as happy as my two dogs.

McDonald’s Coke taste better than any other coke.

The person who invented Grocery Pick-up is a genius and all we mothers appreciate you.

At this age, you can pull a muscle in your sleep.

Costco is a very glorious place.

Airfryers are the bee’s knees.

Have date nights weekly with your significant other; make that time for each other.

Don’t get drunk and order food on Doordash; you will probably end up with $70+ of Chipotle on your front doorstep. Oops.

Spend as much time as you can with your grandparents. That time is so valuable.

Even if it scares you, still do it. Try those new opportunities.

It is possible to wrongly cook macaroni & cheese…sorry kids.

Sometimes those college degrees aren’t worth it.

Chips and salsa are the best snack.

Dad jokes are actually funny.

Never turn down the opportunity to take a good nap.

Caffeine is your friend.

You don’t need to buy every single houseplant you see.

Getting forehead kisses will never get old.

You can never say “I love you” too much.

DIY | ‘UNDER THE STARS’ DATE NIGHT

It is so easy to get caught up in daily life, sucked into the daily routines, and become exhausted by the continuous to-do lists that we make ourselves. What I’ve learned in my life, is that when you find your person, that one-in-a-million type of love, celebrate it. Not just on special dates or at certain celebrations; every day.


People listen, this is going to sound sappy. I love my other half. We make a great team and try to show each other how much we care for them as much as possible. We have weekly date nights; we make that time for each other through the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, often times than not it’s just ordering in food and catching up on our weekly shows. It’s that time together to celebrate “us” is what I enjoy most.

One of my favorite recent date nights was at home, spent “under the stars”. Cheesy? Yes. But would I do it again a million times over? Also, yes. We set a blowup mattress up downstairs in front of the tv; loaded it with tons of comfy blankets and pillows and threw on some campfire screensavers up on the tv. Around the entertainment stand and the mattress flameless tea lights were lined to really set the “camping” ambiance.


I found this really neat star projector light on amazon and this thing has easily been one of my favorite purchases. So much so, that we now have it in our bedroom. It projects stars and the night sky on to the ceiling and really makes you feel like you’re outside. It can be controlled with the included remote to change the light settings, or you can download an app on your phone to use with it. It also has the option to be able to sync music with it. Check it out here; it’s definitely worth something looking into. We love it!


We even had our own little ‘s’more station, diy’ed. (Thank you Pinterest!) All it took was a terracotta pot, tin foil, gel chafing fuel, and all the goodies for s’mores. It was so neat being able to roast marshmallows over a flame at the house and definitely something we will be doing with the kids soon. They’ll definitely enjoy it too!


So if you’re looking for a fun DIY date night at home, try this! Always make time for each other and celebrate the love you share, you deserve it!

recipe: Steak Street Tacos

anyone that knows me, knows that i LOVE tacos. i could eat them seven days a week for every meal. they’re my favorite!

i want to share with all of you my favorite street tacos to make; it’s super simple and one of our family favorites. give it a try and let me know what you think.

ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
  • ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
  • 4 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped, plus whole leaves for serving
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1.5 lb flank steak
  • corn tortillas
  • 1 white onion
  • optional for serving: cotija cheese, sour cream, guacamole

instructions:

  • in a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lime juice, orange juice, garlic, chopped cilantro, salt, cumin, and pepper.
  • place the steak in a gallon-size resealable bag; pour in 1 the marinade. seal the bag and shake to evenly coat the steak in the marinade. refrigerate for at least on 1 hour, but not more than 4 hours to keep the meat tender.
  • heat a large pan over high heat until very hot. remove the steak from the bag set aside the marinade. cook the steak on 1 side until there are dark grill marks and it is beginning to caramelize around the edges, about 6 minutes. flip and cook on the other side for about 5 minutes. meat is done when it is safely at 135 degrees. transfer to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • in a small saucepan, bring the marinade to a boil over medium-high heat. cook until thickened and reduced by half, about 5 minutes. remove from the heat and set aside.
  • heat the corn tortillas in a pan over medium-high heat, turning with tongs, until softened and just beginning to brown in spots, roughly one minute per side. to keep warm wrap tortillas in tin foil until ready to serve.
  • thinly slice the steak against the grain, then cut the slices in half. transfer to a large bowl and toss with the reduced marinade to coat.
  • serve the steak with the warm tortillas, cilantro, and chopped white onion. can add cotija cheese, sour cream, and guacamole if desired.

try them; they’re so simple to make and so tasty! you won’t regret it.

RECIPE: Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

we make these atleast once a week to keep in the fridge for snacking throughout the day. they are light, but yet so filling, and the perfect appetizer or party food.

i get asked a lot for this recipe, so i thought i’d share with you!

ingredients:

  • 8 flour tortillas (medium-sized)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 1 pack of ranch seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 blocks of cream cheese
  • saran wrap

instructions:

  • place 8 tortillas on 8 individual pieces of tortilla
  • in a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, ranch, and cheese
  • spread 1/8th of mixture onto each tortilla
  • sprinkle each tortilla with the ham and onion
  • roll each tortilla tight to ensure that the cream cream binds the tortilla together
  • wrap each tortilla in saran wrap
  • place in the fridge for one hour or until fully chilled
  • cut into 1/2 wheels and enjoy

give this delicious recipe a try and if you do, be sure to let me know what you think!

OUR CHRISTMAS: 2020

i hope you all had a warm, wonderful christmas! our’s was lovely and spent at home.

i feel like with all the anticipation and excitement of christmas, it seems to take forever for the day to finally be here and then once it’s here, it’s gone in the blink of an eye.

this year was a little different for us because the kids spent christmas morning with their other parents, so we didn’t wake up to little giggles and kids jumping on our bed waking us up so they could open presents. it wasn’t full of chaos of wrapping paper flying everywhere and the house was a whole lot more quiet. but john and i enjoyed the morning together and we were okay knowing that the kids were probably having the best time at their other homes.

around 10am the kids came home, faces filled with smiles and telling us all about their mornings. they were happy to be home and even more happy after seeing more presents piled for them under the tree. we all changed into our matching family christmas pajamas and nestled around the tree.

the kids sure got spoiled with things that they wanted and were eager to start playing with it all.

but john and i had one more big surprise from them that we had been hiding from them for weeks.

if you know our girls, you know they have been begging for a bunny for YEARS. we surprised them with a new addition to the family that they’re absolutely head over heels with already.

welcome to the family, Miss. Bun Bun.

for the next hour or so the kids got to play with all their new toys and had us running around like crazy putting everything together. that time was my favorite; just knowing we were all together and just truly so happy.

mom, dad, and my sister came over early in the afternoon to do our round of christmas. again, the kids got spoiled rotten, even the pups!

after all gifts were open the rest of the family showed up for our last round of christmas. i love how large our immediate family is and there is something so special seeing the kids with their cousins.

after all the gifts were opened, we started dinner and had quite the variety! everything was so delicious and our bellies were all very happy.

after dinner, everyone started to wind down and head home. once again, the house was quiet. the kids all were occupied with their new gifts and john and i relaxed and reflected on how great the day was.

from our family to yours, we hope you had a very merry christmas a wishing you all a wonderful new year!

recipe: spaghetti carbonara

when we talk about favorite recipes, this is BY FAR mine. i could eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. this creamy bacon pasta is perfect for easy dinners or just carb-loading on the couch.

the recipe looks a little more complex, but believe me, it’s not. it’s super simple and a family favorite in this household. serve it up with some yummy garlic bread and you’re good to go.

ingredients:

  • 1 lb of thin spaghetti noodles
  • 1 quart of half and half
  • 1 lb of bacon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 dozen eggs

instructions:

  • cook and drain spaghetti noodles
  • while noodles are cooking cut bacon into 1-inch pieces and fry
  • combine butter and drained noodles into pot
  • whisk eggs and cream together, then add parmesan cheese
  • once bacon is cooled, add to cream mixture
  • add mixture to pot of spaghetti
  • stir over low heat until sauce thickens; this can take a few minutes
  • serve, add more parmesan, salt and pepper to taste

give this delicious recipe a try and if you do, be sure to let me know what you think!

5 things i love monday

hello everyone; it’s been a bit. hoping your pandemic summer is going as well as it can and that you’re all staying safe and healthy!

welp, i thought it may be fun to do my rendition of 10 things i love sunday, so here are some things i’ve been loving lately:

1, this book by rachel hollis. i believe this is one of those books that despite your background or where you are in life, you’ll gain something from reading it. i aimed to read a chapter a day and i felt like each chapter left me with some insight and good advice. i’d recommend; it’s a light read and won’t take you long to get through.

2. i’m sure i’ve mentioned these before, but these are a game changer for bath time. our kids LOVE them and sometimes are the only motivation they have to actually take a bath.

3. i’m a sucker for trying new recipes and this one is getting added to our list of repeaters! it’s super tasty, easy to make, and perfect for any get togethers. the kiddos even enjoyed helping me make them.

4. if you have kids, you need this for the hot summer heat. it’s fairly easy to put up and take down and big enough for adults to sit in to. we broke it out this weekend for an adult-only party and probably enjoyed it just as much as the kids.

let me know if you purchase one of my recent favorites; i’d love to know what you think!

our stay home diary.

our quarantine life has become our new normal, for now atleast. i feel a lot more settled than i did when we first were told to stay home five weeks ago.

whether we like it or not, this will be one of the defining moments of our lifetime. and for that reason, i want to remember all the little moments, and thought i’d share.

obviously some parts are tough – missing family and friends, a different routine, the fear of someone we love becoming unhealthy, etc. this period of time has certainly reminded me of what’s important.

but there are so, so many positives – we’re healthy, we’re happy, and we’re together.

our kids are happy. they’re still learning, but having fun. they’ve spent plenty of time face-timing friends and family and we’re lucky that the weather has been pretty decent so they’ve been able to spend lots of time outside.

we’ve been doing more things together and i’ve been enjoying all the extra time we have together now. nearly every night we’ve been taking a family walk in our neighborhood. moments as simple as that are what i’ll remember from all of this; the memories we’re making.

we’re doing things around the house that we’ve put off. we’re doing lots of grilling out and enjoying eating dinner on the deck. trying new recipes have been a new hobby of mine, and i’ve even broke out the ‘ole paint and paint brushes again.

because the kiddos have been able to stay up a little later due to starting school (e-learning) later in the day, we’ve been using that time to have lots of family movies. we make popcorn and all lounge on the big couch. thank goodness for netflix and disney+.

enjoy a few more photos from our quarantine memory book…

until next time…stay healthy and enjoy all the extra time with your family. we’re all in this together!

stuck at home and need ideas of what to do?

self-quarantined and bored already?

with being encouraged to stay home with everything that has been going on in our world lately, it’s easy to spend hours upon hours on our phones and computers. but that can only be entertaining for so long.

today, i brainstormed a few ideas to get you through the boredom and hopefully keep you from going a little stir-crazy.

go for a drive. a perfect way to get out of the house, but still keep away from others. right now is the perfect time: traffic is light and gas is cheap! even bring the family with and make a fun adventure out if it with a classic game of i-spy.

make something. no better time than now to make something you’ve wanted to, whether that be a painting, a video, or a construction project. you’ve got this!

relax and pamper yourself. even get the kids included if you wanted to. do some face masks, give yourself a pedicure, take a bubble bath. treat yourself!

take an online course. learn something new that you’ve always wanted to or freshen up and improve your skills.

workout. a lot of gyms are closing, but don’t let that stop you from being active. go for a run or walk, inside or out, or try out a new online workout class. youtube is even a great resource for a lot of free online workout routines, or create your own!

cook. have that new recipe that you’ve been wanting to try? now’s the time! or scroll the internet and find something that looks yummy! even give baking a try!

read a book. i have countless books that i’ve had sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, but the time just hasn’t been there. pick up a good read, relax, and get lost in another world – that’s corona free!

need some more ideas that are’t so fun? use this gift of extra time at home to knock things off your to-do list that you’ve been putting off or haven’t had time for:

  • deep clean the house
  • clean out the fridge and reorganize the pantry
  • do some yard work
  • clean out old files on your computer
  • rearrange the furniture in your house
  • purge your closet and donate what you no longer wear

most importantly…relax, s l o w d o w n, and STAY HEALTHY!