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October 26, 2016

Sausage and Potatoes [Gluten Free]

My besties Momma gave me this recipe a few years back and it's delicious! Plus it's gluten free! Which fits our new dietary restrictions!



Ingredients: 
1lb Italian Sausage (find a brand that's gluten free)  
6-8 medium potatoes 
2 garlic cloves (minced) 
Salt, pepper, oregano 
Olive Oil 
Frozen broccoli 

Directions: 
Chop potatoes into bite sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper and oregano. Put in a baking dish and place sausage on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 mins. When potatoes are soft and sausage is cooked through, remove sausage and slice into small pieces. Then add broccoli and mix it up well. Put back in the oven for 10 more  mins. Serve. 

 

October 25, 2016

A Major Lifestyle Change!

For the last few weeks Emma has been experiencing some major tummy issues. First we thought it was just a bug, but as the week went on and she didn't get better and no one else caught it (in a house of 8 that's impossible with a virus) I got more concerned. We took her to the pediatrician where they did a multitude of tests to see what was going on. In the meantime I cut out all dairy for her because it seemed on the days she had it her belly was the worst.

And then we got the results from the doctor.. She has an allergy to wheat (gluten), dairy, eggs and peanuts.

What?! How the heck did this happen?! What am I going to cook?!



Once I had time to process and take it all in, I calmed down a bit.. I've done this before. When Jonathan was diagnosed with SPD I went all organic, non gmo, gluten free, (almost completely) dairy free, no dyes or preservatives. So this time, I just need to completely cut dairy nuts and eggs as well. 

We are doing this, as a family. I refuse to make two separate meals and I refuse to serve the other kids things she can't eat. Not fair to anyone! Plus, with my stomach issues it would probably be better for me as well!  

The doctor also suggested organic all natural non gmo raw probiotics and vitamins... that's the next step! Gotta do some research on these because this is something I've never done before. 

So here we are, diving head first into a very different lifestyle. But I'm ready! I want my little girl to feel better and as a family we'll be much healthier too! Wish us luck! And back to google I go..

October 19, 2016

I'll Show You My Religion


 


I'll Show You My is here again! The monthly collaboration I do with my good friend and fellow blogger Christina and Tracy! This month Dara is joining us as well. 


This month were talking about religion ✝️. Which can be a very controversial subject. But honestly I think it's great to see and hear how other people feel about certain topics, such as faith or politics. When Christina suggested this subject I thought it was a great idea! To show the world that two people with very different beliefs still have the ability to be great friends! 


I was raised Catholic. I was baptized, made my communion and my confirmation. We went to church every Sunday (or Saturday night) and for every holiday, no exceptions.. I hated it! As soon as I made my confirmation and had the choice not to attend mass anymore, I didn't go. I absolutely could not stand the Catholic Church. And to be completely real with you all, I still can't. This is my own opinion based on my own experiences and I don't judge anyone else for theirs. But I found the church to be very hypocritical. 


When I was about 15, I dated a boy who belonged to a Methodist Church. Because he went, I went too! He was very involved with their youth group, so I joined as well. It was a blast! Their church services were so much more upbeat and fun. I really enjoyed it. But when we went our separate ways. So did my connection to the church. And it was a long time before religion played a roll in my life again. I really lost my connection to my faith and to God. 


 


A few years Nicholas had asked me who God was.. The disappointment I felt in myself, it was horrible! I felt like I failed him. At that very moment I ordered a children's bible and started teaching him. And as I taught him, it all came back to me so quickly. My relationship with God that I had been ignoring for years. I forgot how much better having faith made me feel! That summer I had Nicholas, Jonathan and Aubrey dedicated into Christianity. No specific denomination, not in a church. But just a simple Christian based ceremony to tell God, our friends and family that these children would be raised to believe. 


Jacob and Emma were baptized in a church. It was something that was important to Chris. He wanted his children to have some sort of religion, a start in the Church. We have agreed though that Christoher will be dedicated like Nicholas, Jonathan and Aubrey were. It just works better and fits our current situation and beliefs. 


We read the bible to our children, we send them to various Vacation Bible School's over the summer. We celebrate the true meaning of Christian holidays. We're doing our best raise them to be moral and spiritual. To give them a foundation of faith. I don't think we need to attend services every Sunday. My relationship is with God, not with a church and I pray and study and believe in the way it works for me. And I'm teaching my children the same. I don't care if they become Jewish, Buddist, whatever when they're adults. Because it doesn't matter. As long as they're kind. But they need somewhere to start and for us, that's Christianity. 



October 18, 2016

Freshly Picked Review And Giveaway!

I've collaborated with Freshly Picked a few times now and I can't even begin to explain how much I love this company! There's nothing I don't love about these moccasins. Easy for momma to slip on and off, but they still stay on the babes feet! 100% genuine leather, soft soles (which is sooo important for little ones), handmade in the USA. And absolutely adorable! 

Christopher has outgrown his itty bitty newborn moccs we got in white, before we even knew if he was a boy or girl.. so it was time to get him another pair! This time, weathered brown. Size 2 is still a bit big for his tootsies right now but he'll get more time in them. And the color is so versatile they can really go with anything so he'll get a lot of use out of them! 

 

 

 
The new packaging is adorable! 

And now for the Giveaway! The winner will be chosen on Monday, October 24, 2016. 

To Enter: 

1. You MUST follow @freshlypicked on Instagram. 
2. If you don't already, follow me @mrswatkins214 on Instagram. 
3. The winner can not have won another Freshly Picked giveaway in the last 60 days. 
4. You may comment down below, on my Instagram or Facebook posts to enter. 
5. Tag a friend for an extra entry! 

October 17, 2016

Teal Pumpkin Project

 

"Teal is the new orange! Help create a safer, happier Halloween for all kids! 


Every child should be able to experience the joy and tradition of trick-or-treating on Halloween. But kids with food allergies are often left out of the fun, since most candy is off limits. 


Teal Pumpkin Project helps make sure all children will come home on Halloween night with something they can enjoy. It just takes one simple act: offering non-food treats, such as glow sticks or small toys, as an alternative to candy."


This is especially important to me because we have food allergies and intolerances in our home and have to be very careful what some of our kiddos eat! I am so thankful that the Teal Pumpkin Project exists and has grown as much as it has the last few years! But let's continue to raise awareness and spread the word! 

October 15, 2016

Ipsy Glam Bag Unbagging

Earlier this year I did a Birchbox unboxing for you which was super fun! I received them for about 6 months to try it out and while I really enjoyed it, I wanted to give Ipsy a try too! If you're not familiar, they are both monthly beauty subscription boxes. You get 5-6 beauty samples (and sometimes full size) for $10 per month.  

Personally, I like Ipsy better. They tend to send more full sized products, more things I'll use and the bags they send monthly are adorable and I get way more use out of them then Birchbox boxes, which I just threw away. 

When that hot pink package arrived in the mail I was so excited to open it! I had watched a few unbaggings on YouTube and couldn't wait to see what was in mine! 

This months theme is Black Magic. The bag was festive for Halloween! 

 
 Kokie Nail Polish - Heavenly 

 
 
teeez Lipstick - Romantic Red

 
Make Up Forever Ultra HD - Y225

 
pur~lisse Daily Lip Nourishe 

 
Tatcha Cleansing Oil 

As usual, I was extremely impressed with everything I received. I don't love the lip color, I'm more a nudes/ neutrals girl myself. But otherwise I will absolutely use everything I got! If you don't already, sign up for Ipsy and check it out! And if you do get a monthly Glam Bag, what was in yours? 

October 13, 2016

Guest Blogger: Danielle's Teriyaki Chicken Pineapple Bowls

 

Hello! My name is Danielle and I am a stay at home mom to 2, as well as a step-mom. And for fun I sell Scentsy! My kiddos and my significant other are extremely picky eaters so finding a meal that everyone will eat can be quite a challenge! This dinner was fun to make and even more fun to eat! They all loved it! Especially that the "bowl" was a pineapple! 🍍


Teriyaki Chicken Pineapple Bowls
Makes 2 servings

Estimated total time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 large pineapple

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

¾ cup soy sauce

¼ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup honey

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 cups cooked white rice, divided

PREPARATION

Cut pineapple in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of each half, leaving about a half-inch on the sides to make sure the pineapple boats are sturdy. Discard the flesh or set it aside to eat later, and drain any juices.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, and honey, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and stir to combine, then remove the pan from the heat.

Scoop a cup of rice into each of the pineapple boats, then divide the teriyaki chicken among the boats and serve.

October 9, 2016

Fall Favorites!

Fall is my favorite season! How could it not be? Cool crisp air, the gorgeous colors of the leaves changing and football!

 

Here are some things I am loving right now! 

1. My crock pot! I love big hearty dinners.. but in the summer it's just too hot. So now that the weather is cooler, it's crock pot season!

2. Leggings! I so missed leggings. Buskins are currently my favorite.. though I've heard such great things about LuLaRoe, I'll have to check those out and let you all know what I think! 

3. You know what looks great with leggings? Riding Boots! Or Ugg Boots. Or really any Boots. Which is why they're one of my fall favorites. 

4. Scentsy! There are some amazing new scents out this season.. Candied Pomegranate is in my warmers as we speak. My house smells incredible! 

5. Funbites! I did a review for their Minion Cutter a few months back.. The kiddos and I loved it! They sent me another one to review, this time I got the triangles and it's totally awesome! If you haven't already, be sure to check them out! You can get 20% off your purchase using the code FUNBITESROCK. 

 

October 3, 2016

10 Baby Names I LOVE But Didn't Use.

If you have children, you know how hard it is to pick a name.. the name they will have for the rest of their lives. You don't want something too popular (my name is Katie, there was like 10 of us in my graduating class!). You don't want anything too unique that someone doesn't know how to pronounce it. Or a cutsie name that's won't grow with them. Also, for me I was drawn to longer names so that they could have a nickname (Katie is short for Kaitlin).

As most of you know, we have 6 children. My bonus kiddos were obviously named before I met them. But, their names fit with the traditional theme I had going.. 

Jacob Michael 
Nicholas Wayne Allen 
Emma Alyssa 
Jonathan Tyler 
Aubrey Elizabeth 
Christopher Michael Arnold II 

I love my kids names, they fit each of them perfectly and I'm so glad I chose them. But there are a few names I absolutely loved that either just didn't fit, or I didn't have a chance to use. And since Christopher is our last, we never will. 

So without further ado.. 

10 Baby Names I LOVE But Didn't Use

Boys 
Benjamin
Daniel 
Jackson 
Logan
Brandon  

Girls 
Shayla 
Averie 
Ella/ Ellie  
Stella 
Nora

What are your kiddos names? What are some other names you loved? 



Date Night!

I've mentioned this before.. Very infrequently do we get a night to ourselves! Last night, for the first time in about 6 months we had no kids (when I say no kids I mean the big 5,  Christopher is still exclusively breastfeeding so he is with me all the time)!

Having 6 kids full time can be a lot of work. And while I love my children very much, I also love having some time alone with my Husband. We do mini dates on Saturday nights after they're all in bed, but it's not the same as having an entire evening alone.. So this was much needed and well deserved!

We wanted to do something different than just dinner and a movie. So I went on Pinterest to find some fun ideas.. We chose our very own "sip and paint"! 

We started the night with takeout from one of our favorite restaurants in town and a couple glasses of wine! 

 

Then we moved on to painting! I got this set of canvas' and acrylic paints from Amazon for less than $15 and we watched a step by step on YouTube! It was a great experience and we both really enjoyed it! We definitely plan on doing it again in the future! 

 
During the process..

 
Christopher had a blast watching us paint! 

 
Our finished paintings!