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March 31, 2016

Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges

A Pinterest success!

I got this recipe about a year ago and it is a favorite in our house! I make them all the time.. Quick, easy and delicious!

Ingredients 
8 medium potatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 400. Cut potatoes into wedges. I use an apple slicer (the kids really like the round ones lol) it makes it so much easier! Put the potatoes pieces into a gallon sized zip lock bag, add all your other ingredients and shake it up until the potatoes are coated evenly. Place potatoes skin side down on baking sheet and bake for 45 mins.


I served the potato wedges tonight with "steak tips" and brussel sprouts. 
Which (shockingly) are one of our kids favorite vegetables.

Pregnancy Tag!

I thought it would be fun to mix it up a little bit and do this pregnancy tag! I haven't posted much about Baby Watkins.. So here we go! 

How far along? 30 weeks today! 
Waist measurement: Not a clue.

Measurement at belly button: Again, not sure but I'll find out Tuesday at my appointment. 

Maternity clothes: Yes, my belly is quite large.

Stretch marks? None from this baby.. The only stretch marks I have are from Jonathan (thanks kid!). 

Sleep: Depends on the night. Sometimes I sleep great. Then nights like tonight it's 3:30am and I'm blogging. 

Best moment this week: We celebrated Easter and Nicholas' 8th birthday! 

Miss anything? Wine.

Movement: ALL. THE. TIME. This may be my most active baby. 

Food cravings: I really don't have any.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Everything. I'm still feeling pretty sick most days. Thank goodness for zofran! 

Gender: Team Green! 

Labour signs: Lots of Braxton hicks and some pressure.. Nothing out of the ordinary though. 

Symptoms: The usual.. My back hurts, mostly at the end of the day. I'm nesting like crazy and I cry at least once a day about nothing haha. 

Belly button in or out? It’s out.. Thank you umbilical hernia! 

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy.

Looking forward to: The kids meeting their new baby brother or sister! I really think this little Squish is going to complete our family and bring us all even closer together! 

March 28, 2016

Fun Bites Minion Review

I am so excited to announce that I am doing a review for Funbites! Ever since I saw them on Shark Tank (yes I'm obsessed with the show!) I have wanted to try these out. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was at the chance to do a review and a giveaway for this company!

I am always looking for new meal ideas or a way to mix up what we already eat to make it more fun and exciting. 

I requested a Minion cutter, because my kids are OBSESSED! with Minions. Aren't yours?! And when it arrived in the mail I was so impressed! The packaging is adorable and the cutter is so cute! 




I decided to try it with a traditional PB&J sandwich first.. 



I found using it on an angle made it fit the best on the sandwich. It was pretty easy to use. But if you want you can check out the instructions here


I probably should've used less jelly! Because it was a bit messy.. But I still think it came out pretty cute. I plan on trying it with a cold cut sandwich and/ or pancakes asap, I've read it works better with food that's a little bit more firm.

I'll be honest, there is quite a bit of bread and crust leftover after you cut. But for me that's just fine! I'm always picking at the kids food as I make their meals, I never have time to actually sit down and eat during the day.. So now I'll have a little more to steal haha. 

All in all I'm very pleased with the product and would absolutely recommend it to my friends! I also plan to purchase a few of the other cutters they make. 

And now for the part you're all here for! The giveaway! Comment down below or on my Instagram post for a chance to win a Funbites cutter of your choosing! I'll be picking and announcing the winner next Sunday 4.3.16. So stay tuned! 

March 26, 2016

What's In Our Kids Easter Baskets?!

This is our last first holiday together... Last year when Chris and I started seeing each other we waited a few months to let the kids, or really anyone else for that matter, know that we were together. We were friends, we hung out frequently and we got the kids together often to see how they all got along. But we didn't want to announce it until we knew it was serious and was going somewhere. So we celebrated Easter separately. 

I was on Pinterest looking at Easter basket ideas when I came across the idea of using a kiddie pool as a giant Easter basket and I thought it was the perfect idea for 5 kids! I also decided to toss in ball pit balls to make it a little more fun, especially for the littles. Since its March in the northeast, finding a blowup pool in stores wasn't happening so I had to order one and I'm still waiting for that to arrive. But I did get all of their gifts that are going into the "basket". As well as their eggs for the egg hunt. So I figured I'd share all that with you..


Each of them got a toy, bubbles, tattoos, a chocolate bunny and an egg full of m&ms or skittles. 


If you know me, you know a holiday doesn't go by that the kids don't get books! I got that from my mother. Jacob got the Hardy Boys, Nicholas The Boxcar Children, Emma got Junie B. Jones and the littles got Easter themed books. We also got them the movie Hop, which is so adorable! If you haven't seen it, do so now! And these buch water balloons are always a huge hit with our kiddos because they fill a ton at a time! 



For the egg hunt we decided that our best bet was to get each of them a different patterned egg to search for.. Jacob got baseball, Nicholas blue camo, Emma animal print, Jonathan green camo and Aubrey got flowers. We filled the eggs with small candy (we got wayyy to much and had a ton of extra lol) and money. 

Happy Easter!! 


Edited: To show the finished product! 

March 23, 2016

Neat Cheeks Review


I first saw Neat Cheeks on Shark Tank and thought they were a genius idea! Then one of my favorite youtubers did a review for them I knew I HAD to try for myself! 

I contacted Neat Cheeks and they were absolutely wonderful to work with! Within a week I had my package in the mail and I was seriously so excited.. Let me tell you, once I opened the packs I was even more pleased. They smell AMAZING! The kids, especially my 4 year old, didn't complain at all about having their faces wiped. Which is usually a battle resulting in a wrestling match. 

I highly recommend these to anyone with kids! Toss a pack in the car or keep one in diaper bag.. I'm planning on keeping one in the drawer in my kitchen table for after meals too! 

Now for the fun part... A giveaway! Neat Cheeks will send one lucky winner TWO packs of Neat Cheeks, one natural and one just peachy. To enter either comment down below or comment on my Instagram post (KatieWatkins214). Be sure to tag your friends to give them a chance to win this awesome product as well! I'll choose the winner at random and announce on Sunday evening! Good luck! 

March 22, 2016

Beef Stew (crock pot)

This is one of the easiest recipes ever. It is practically no prep work, just a little chopping and it basically cooks itself! It's absolutely delicious and it's hearty and filling, perfect on a chilly day! 



Ingredients 

1.5-2lbs stew meat 
2 cups baby carrots whole
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion chopped 
6+ medium potatoes chopped 
1 can beef gravy 
1 can beef broth
Salt
Pepper
Garlic powder 

Directions 

Add all your ingredients to the crock pot and mix well. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Right before you serve sprinkle in a little bit of flour and mix to thicken up broth. 

I forgot to take a picture when it was done.. Whoops! But I figured it was still worth the post. Because it's seriously such an easy meal to make and it's so yummy! 

March 20, 2016

Momables

My kids, LOVE lunchables. But I HATE them.. They are ridiculously unhealthy and I can't possibly feed them that garbage and feel good about it. I'm not saying they've never had them, that would be a lie. But I do my best to feed my kids healthy well balanced meals and as much all natural as possible. So I decided to make my own. I bought 10 reusable bento boxes from Amazon (I plan to get more, since that's only 2 days of lunches for our brood!) and tonight I packed them up for this week. The kids decided to call them "Momables" and they helped me chose what to put in them.

All stacked in the fridge ready for the week! 


Cheese and crackers, carrots and ranch and a brownie for dessert! 


Ham and turkey sandwich with chips and salsa. 

I've been on Pinterest all day looking up ideas.. But if you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments below! 


March 13, 2016

First Birchbox Unboxing!

I've been wanting to try out a monthly subscription beauty box for a long time.. I was going back and forth between a few different ones and I ultimately decided on Birchbox. Mostly because it isn't just makeup.. They have hair and skin products as well as purfumes. I figured the variety would be the best for me personally and for the money. 

For $10 a month they send you a box with 5 products. You can review their products to earn points, points get you money off the Birchbox store. Who doesn't love free stuff?!

I'd consider myself a beginner in the beauty products world.. I know the basics but nothing too fancy and for the most part I'm really pretty simple. I stick with nudes/ neutrals and I've had the same hair, skin, makeup routine for the last 10 years of my life.. So this will force me to branch out a bit! 

I got the email that my box had shipped and I was beyond excited! It took about 3 days to arrive after I got the shipping email. And once I opened the box and was so impressed by what I saw! 







I think my favorites are the eye shadow and the lip stain! But I'm so looking forward to trying the hair masque! 

6 new products for $10.. Amazing! Can't wait for next month! 

March 12, 2016

Crock Pot Orange Marmalade Chicken

For the last couple months I've been trying to be more on top of meal planning.. And instead of grocery shopping every week, we do it every two. Buying in bulk saves money, plus since we use shop from home (who the heck wants to drag half a dozen kids to the grocery store?!) we save on the shopping and delivery fees too. So my $250 per week is now about $350-400 every two. But anyway, we sit down and make a list of 14 dinners we want.. All the kids pick one or two, Chris and I pick our favorites, of course there's always a couple quick and easy ones like "breakfast for dinner" and we go on Pinterest and see if there's anything new we'd like to try. I keep seeing the recipe for Crock Pot Orange Marmalade Chicken and it looks super yummy and really easy so we decided to give it a try! 

Ingredients 
1 cup orange marmalade 
1 cup brown sugar bbq sauce 
2 tbs soy sauce
Salt, pepper and garlic powder 
1-1.5lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast 

Directions 
Mix marmalade, bbq sauce and soy sauce together. Add a sprinkle of each- salt, pepper and garlic powder. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces. Pour sauce over chicken. Cook in your crock pot on low for 3-4 hours. Serve over white rice. 


March 9, 2016

Family Tree Wall

Although this is part of my living room, I decided not to include it in the house tour and do a separate post for it.

When we bought this house I knew I wanted to do some kind of family photo collage on the huge wall as you walk in the front door. It's the first thing you see when you come into the house and it goes all the way up to the 20+ foot vaulted ceilings.. At first, I just had some fames (some being about 20 lol) but it wasn't really what I wanted.

So I turned to Pinterest and found some awesome ideas for photo collage walls! I saw a family tree decal that I absolutely loved! But it didn't tell you where to buy it.. Don't you hate when that happens?! Amazon was my first stop, of course! And I found a tree decal that was almost identical to what I had seen on Pinterest.. Best part? It was only $8!

It arrived in two days, I have Amazon Prime. And I quickly got to work putting it up. It took be an hour tops and it was a super easy process. For the photos I used frames I already had, plain black all from the dollar store with professional pictures of the kids over the last few years. I am obsessed with the way it came out and every single person who comes over loves it as well! So I figured I'd share my secret with you all. Awesome family tree photo wall to wow your company and really yourselves! For super cheap and less than an hour of your time.



House Tour

I'm always curious about what the inside of peoples homes look like... I spend hours on Pinterest looking at home decor ideas, DIY projects, etc. When I was younger, and I was told Mom "wasn't a career" I wanted to be an interior designer. Then I realized that when they said I could be anything I wanted.. ANYTHING included Stay At Home Mom.

I take a lot of pride in my home. I like things neat and tidy and always in their place. Obviously with 5 children (and one on the way), a husband, 2 dogs and a cat it proves difficult at times. But I have a cleaning schedule and the kids have chores and for the most part the house stays the way I want it.

I've had a lot of people ask how we fit everyone.. Because 7, soon to be 8 is a lot of in one house! And from the outside, our modest little raised ranch doesn't look like much. But it's actually more square footage than you would think and as I mentioned before, we added rooms when Chris and his kids moved in.

So without further ado.. I hope you enjoy a little tour of our Home Sweet Home!

Living Room 

(Don't mind the Easter decorations, the kids and I decorated last week!) 

Kitchen


Reading Nook 

Chris' Office 

Nicholas and Jonathan's Room 

(Why yes that is an arcade game in the office.. My husband is a giant kid!) 

Jacob's Room 



Main Bathroom 


Emma's Room 



Aubrey and Squish's (the new baby) Room


Master Bedroom



Master Bathroom


Playroom 



So here you have it! There's still some things I'd like to change and/ or finish. And I'd really like to get some more rooms painted.. But it's always going to be a work in progress! So there's no time like the present to share what we've got so far!

As always, I hope you enjoyed this post.. And be sure to check back soon!




March 4, 2016

Cowboy Casserole

Shepard's Pie is a favorite in our house.. And it's Chris' go to if he's cooking. I made Cowboy Casserole a few years back and it was delicious but haven't made it again since (I always forget it exists!) and decided this chilly Friday evening was the perfect time to do so!

INGREDIENTS

1lb ground beef 
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup 
1/2 cup milk 
1/2 cup sour cream 
1 can corn 
1 bag of tatertots 
1 8oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese 

DIRECTIONS 

Brown ground beef and drain excess grease/ fat. Mix with soup, sour cream and milk. Add to baking dish and top with frozen tots and cheese. Baked at 375 for 30 mins. 


Super quick, easy and delicious! We will totally be having this more often! 

Half Door DIY Project

Last year before Chris and the kids moved in we converted the unfinished bonus room above my garage to 2 bedrooms, an office and reading nook. Adding 3 people to the house required more space! Especially since Chris does a lot of work from home. The project took a few months to complete (and honestly is still a work in progress lol) but it was so worth the time, energy and money it took! Because fitting 7 people into 3 bedrooms just wasn't going to happen.

The space was separated from the living room by a door and a half flight of stairs. When the rooms were complete we took the door off to keep it open to the rest of the living space. But ultimately ended up putting a baby gate up at the bottom of the stairs to keep the new puppy down and to keep any little ones in the house from climbing the stairs. It was getting super annoying to climb over and then I saw a great idea on Pinterest (where else?!) to use a half door!



I told Chris my plan and we quickly got to work! It turned out perfectly and we're all very pleased with the outcome.


March 3, 2016

Our Wedding

Christopher and I got married on Valentine's Day! 2.14.16

It was a super small intimate ceremony with our immediate families and a couple close friends. Eventually we'd like to have a big wedding, but for now this was perfect!

We had it catered by the Italian place in our town and the food was so delicious! And I had a cake made by someone local I know and it came out perfectly! Exactly what we pictured.

In Pennsylvania you can "self unite" and officiate your own ceremony, so that's what we did. We said our handpicked vows and exchanged rings.

Everything went flawlessly and I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out!