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November 30, 2016

Cookie Swap Blog Hop {Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe}

 


It's that time of year! Christmas is fast approaching and if you're like me, you've been decorating and baking up a storm! 

Every year I make my Momma's snickerdoodles and this year is no different, except I need to adjust the recipe a bit to fit our gluten, egg, dairy free diet. I was a little worried they wouldn't be as good, but after a trial run I can confidently say they're just as yummy! I hope you enjoy them as well!

Ingredients:
For dough
1 cup vegan butter (I used Smart Balance) 
1/2 cup sugar 
1 cup apple sauce 
2 3/4 cup gluten free flour 
1 tsp gluten free baking soda 
1 tsp gluten free baking powder 
1/2 tsp salt 
For coating 
12 tbs sugar 
2 tbs cinnamon 

Directions:
Mix butter, sugar and applesauce together.  Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Slowly add the flour mixture into the applesauce mixture, blending well. Chill dough for 1 hour. Shape into 1inch balls. Mix sugar and cinnamon together, coat balls. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes.


Head on over to Tracy's blog and check out the recipe she's sharing as well!




November 28, 2016

Home Binder

I got this idea from Pinterest a few years back.. so I can't take credit for it. But I will say it's a fantastic idea for keeping all your documents organized. Making them all easily accessible.



I used this set of printables which are amazing! Emergency contacts, schools information, bills/ finances, accounts, etc. 

 

 

 

For privacy reasons I've pictured blank pages and no personal documents. 

Then we have all of our birth certificates, social security cards, marriage license, baptism certificates and each of our children have a child safe kit.

 

I also have a CD with all of our mortgage, tax and HOA documents on it. It was so nice that the title company did that for us! Makes it super convienient! 

Finally, I have our passports and savings bonds stored here as well. 

 

The entire binder is locked in a waterproof, fireproof, safe. So it's protected from theft and/ or anything damaging it. But I can grab it quickly should I need any of these documents or information without having to search for them. Keeping it all organized and in one place which I love! 


 

November 24, 2016

Winter Favorites! [Kids Stocking Stuffer Ideas]



The holidays are here... And I wanted to share with you some things my kiddos are loving this season! Here are some great Stocking Stuffer Ideas ideas.. All for $10 or less!

1. Pokemon Cards! The small packs you can get for about $5 at Walmart. If your kids are like mine, then they are OBSESSED with Pokemon.



2. Shopkins! Another OBSESSION in our house! 12 packs are around $10.



2. Chapstick! The cold, dry winter months cause super chapped lips.. This is an extra little thing to stick in their stocking, for less than $2.



3. Sunglasses! Kids LOVE sunglasses! And they also love to lose sunglasses! So we are consistently replacing them. You can find their favorite character sunglasses anywhere and everywhere. But I got my kids theirs from Kohl's. For $10 or less! Pair that with a 30% code and you've got a great stocking stuffer for just a few bucks! This months 30% code is TURKEY30 

4. Gerber Puffs! If you have a little one in your house, this is perfect to pop into their stocking! For about $2 they get a present AND a snack!



5. Baby And The Fox Teething Necklace! We love these teethers and are so happy to have found them! Kaitlyn has this necklace on sale on her Etsy Shop during the month of December for only $9.99!

 

6. Fun Bites! These were listed on my Fall Favorites and I also did a Review for them in the spring. We absolutely love this companies products! And now they have added the CUTEST new Paw Patrol cutters. For only $9.99.


BONUS: Fun Bites Giveaway! 
One of you have the chance to win the cutter of their choice! Comment down below to enter! Winner will be chosen December 1, 2016. 



 

LuLaRoe Review

I'm sure you've all heard of LuLaRoe.. It seems like overnight this company became the most popular brand for leggings (and shirts and dresses) out there! My entire Facebook newsfeed has been filled with posts about them for a year or so. Yet, I had never tried them. And I'm probably the last person to jump on the bandwagon. 

I'll be honest, I didn't love the price. At $25 a pop.. it seemed a little excessive. I can get a pair of leggings at Walmart for $9.99! Or most comparable, Buskins are $17. I also find it a little frustrating that I can't just go online and shop. I have to go through a consultant and they have limited patterns and sizes in their "boutiques" I can't just find one I like and buy them, it's a hunt. That being said, I've checked out some of the live shows and online party groups and it is kind of a rush! 

But really, what is it about these leggings that people are so addicted to?!

Then, I slipped into these "buttery" feeling leggings and I was impressed! I get it now. And the yoga pant top, while it's not something I can't live without.. I do understand the appeal. And now, I'm obsessed too! I bought a second pair! 

 

Melinda sent me this pair to try out and review.. I absolutely love the pattern and my husband is so excited they match the new Giants jersey he got me to wear on football Sundays!  

 
I'm 5'5" and 110lbs.. I got the tween size and they fit PERFECTLY! Anddd tween are $23, so a little cheaper than OS or TC! 

Melinda was so sweet and wonderful to work with! And she's offered to give each one of you $5 off any order you place with her between Black Friday 11.25.16 and Christmas 12.25.16! Just mention my blog! 

Follow her on Instagram @lularoe_melindamcalister 
And "like" her Facebook page 


 


November 23, 2016

Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberry sauce! It's one of my favorite things on the table on Thanksgiving! I've been making this recipe for a few years now and it's so easy and absolutely delicious! 

Ingredients: 
3/4 cups water 
1/4 cup orange juice 
1/2 cup sugar 
12oz cranberries 

Directions: 
Bring water and orange juice to a boil, add in sugar to dissolve. Lower temperature to a simmer. Add in cranberries. They will start bursting. You can help pop them with your spoon. Stir well. Remove from heat and let cool, it will start thicken as it cools. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve. 


 
 Yummy! 

November 21, 2016

Potpourri - Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cranberry

 

Want your house to smell delicious?! This a super easy way to do so!! 

2 cups water 
2+ cinnamon sticks 
A handful of cranberries 
2 tbs vanilla 

Simmer on low heat.. And your house will begin to smell amazing!! 

*Keep an eye on it and add water as needed.* 

 

November 15, 2016

I'll Show You My Blessings - Things I'm Thankful For

 

There is always, Always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for... We should remember this and count our blessings each and every day! But when the holiday season approaches, I find myself reflecting on the year and all of the wonderful moments we've had and memories we've made. Usually, I post something I'm thankful for each day. But this year we decided to use our "I'll Show You My" monthly collaboration to talk about the things we're grateful for.

 

We have agreed to share 30 things, 1 for each day of the month of November. 

 

1. My husband. Chris is the most amazing man I've ever known. He works so hard to provide for our family. He is incredibly supportive, kind, caring and so romantic! He's a wonderful husband. He's also such an good father and he's very involved with all of our children. I don't know what I did to get so lucky to deserve a man as incredible as him, but I am truly blessed! 

2. My children. All 6 of these little loves are absolutely everything to me. I have always wanted to be a mother, to have 6 children. And my dreams came true. It doesn't matter how they came into this world or into my life. I love all of them equally, they are all mine. And I am so grateful for each and every one of them. Their personalities, their quirks, their hugs and kisses! I can't remember life before them. And even on the most stressful days, after they're all in bed, I peak into their rooms and thank God for giving me the opportunity to be their mother. 

3. My parents. I am so lucky to have supportive parents who are actively involved in our lives and that live close enough that they can come help out with the kids or just join us for dinner. They are wonderful grandparents to our babies and I am thankful for them. 

4. My in-laws. After having in-laws I didn't get along with very well.. It's so great to have a second family to call my own! Chris' family is full of such lovely people who accepted me and my children into their family and love us so much. I consider his sisters my sisters. His parents and grandparents are so supportive and also very involved. Mother-in-laws have such a bad name, but mine, she's great! How many of you can chat on the phone for hours with yours like a friend? It's the best! 

5. Our home. We have a beautiful house and we take so much pride in it. We work very hard for what we have and we appreciate it so much as well. Raising our babies and growing our family in this home is everything I could have asked for.. All the memories we've made and will continue to make here. It's such a happy place! 

6. Our health. We have been so blessed with good health for the most part. Of course we've encountered small things; like Emma's food allergies and Christopher's reflux. But as a whole we are healthy and so grateful for that. 

7. Chris' job. In this economy there are so many without jobs or who are working jobs that don't provide enough financially. Chris has a great job with great benefits. We have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, clothes on our backs and a little extra for a rainy day. We are very lucky. 

8. My friends. Over the years I have learned the true meaning of "quality over quantity" and having a few close friends is so much better than having a lot of friendly aquaintences.. I have the very best friends anyone can ask for. They are amazing to me and to my family and are always there when we need them! I hope they feel the same way about me because I do my very best to be a great friend to them as well! 

9. Our fur babies. As much as they make me crazy! I love having pets for my kiddos to grow up with! And the big dogs make me feel so much more safe and secure, especially out here in the woods at night! 

10. A good book. I love to read, though I don't get to as often as I like. When I find the time to get into a really good novel, it's the best! Getting lost in the fictional world my mind isn't focused on anything but that for a period of time. It's a nice little escape from the sometimes chaos of my life! 

11. A glass of wine. Or 3. Just like a good book, it relaxes me and gives me a little break! To de-stress at the end of a long day, to chat over with my girlfriends, to snuggle up with my Hubby and a good movie. Even Jesus drank wine 😉. 

12. Alone time. I am extremely introverted and I was raised an only child. As much as I love having a big family, sometimes I need a little "me time" whether it be a long shower in the morning before the kids wake up or some time at night after everyone is sleeping to watch a show by myself. I crave it! And it's wonderful when it happens! 

13. Yoga pants. Or leggings. I'm a stay at home mom. I cook, clean, do laundry and take care of kids all day! I'm down on the floor playing with toys, I'm up and down stairs.. A comfy pair of pants is a must! Whoever invented these, I owe a big bottle of wine to! 

14. Netflix. Who doesn't love binge watching an awesome show on a lazy day?! 

15. Living in a state with all 4 seasons. I love Love LOVE fall. It's by far my favorite season. But I also so enjoy a white Christmas, Spring flowers and a hot summer day spent at the beach! 

16. Good food. I love food. I'm not a picky eater at all.. I will try pretty much anything, I probably already have tried most foods. And a good meal, it's just so wonderful! Who wouldn't be thankful for good food? Especially if it's shared with family and friends! 

17. Weekend mornings. I love the weekends. No one is rushing to get ready and out the door. Chris and I have extra time to snuggle in bed. Then he and the kids watch cartoons while I make us a big breakfast we can all enjoy together. It's relaxed, cozy, fun.. it's the best. 

18. Date Night. A night alone with my Hubby isn't a frequent thing for us. But we make sure it happens from time to time. It's so important for a couple to reconnect and have time together. And we always have such a good time when it's just us. 

19. A good nights rest. With a baby who's up every 2-3 hours at night I'm not getting much sleep these days. But I remember when each of my kids started sleeping through the night and how amazing it was. It really makes you appreciate sleep! 

20. Sex. Yup, I said it! Great sex with the person you love.. Amazing! 

21. Breastfeeding. I had a hard time breastfeeding my first baby and we only made it a few months before switching over to formula. But each baby I've had since I've nursed for longer than the last. I absolutely love the bond, it's better for me and baby (no judgement to those who formula feed) and it makes me feel really great to be the one providing my babies with everything they need! 

22. Getting mail. It's so exciting to open the mailbox to letters (not bills!) especially those with pictures! 

23. Bubble wrap. Speaking of mail, isn't it super exciting when UPS delivers the package you've been waiting for and it's filled with bubble wrap to pop! 

24. Play Dates. Good for kiddos, better for Momma's! I absolutely love and couldn't possibly live without, having my girlfriends and their littles over! Gives the kids a chance to run around and play and it gives us Moms a chance to chat and catch up! 

25. Family Traditions. We have some wonderful holiday traditions and it's so exciting each year to continue them. For example on Thanksgiving we all watch the parade together while I cook. And for Christmas, our children each get a pair of Christmas pjs and an ornament to open up Christmas Eve morning. 

26. Giving gifts. I love seeing my family's faces light up with excitement when they open a present from me and it's something they love! That's what it's all about right? Giving! 

27. Chocolate. Yum! 

28. Caller ID and survailence cameras. Being as anxious as I am. I am so grateful for technology and the fact that it gives me the ability to know who's calling me or who's at my front door without having to answer first. 

29. Responsibility. I'm thankful I know how to be responsible. For myself, my children, financially and legally. I know so many people who's lives are in complete turmoil due to irresponsible actions. I work very hard to be level headed and not act on impulse. I am thankful I was raised right and taught to make good choices. Now I am able to try and guide my children down the right path as well. 

30. My iPhone. It's my access to social media, my connection to the outside world, my camera, my planner, my radio (I can't cook or clean without music!). It's my lifeline. And I'm so thankful I live in a world with the technology we have!

*BONUS*
31. My followers! I am grateful for each and every one of you! Because of all of you and your interest in my Blog I have gotten some amazing opportunities and even made a little money doing something that I love to do! Thank you!

Be sure to head on over to Christina, Tracy, Dara and Danielle's pages to see what they're thankful for!






November 14, 2016

Guest Blogger: Larissa's Chicken Fried Rice [Gluten Free]

 


Hi, I’m Larissa! When Katie first asked me if I would like to submit a gluten-free recipe for her blog I was very excited and then it took me almost two weeks to decide which recipe I would use! I am currently enrolled in a doctoral program so between classes and the numerous job I have most of my meals are quick repeats, frozen dinners or leftovers from a large meal I made on Sunday to get me through the week. At the start of this program, about 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I have had digestive issues all of my life and when they FINALLY figured out what was wrong I looked at the NP and told her she had ruined my life! Really. Tell any 26 year old, Italian, on a limited budget that wheat isn’t an option anymore and see what happens ;-). Anyway, it has taken a long time to figure out the perfect substitutions for all of my favorite meals.There is gluten in EVERYTHING! However, nothing and I mean nothing ever comes close to Asian cuisine. I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life missing it. I have experimented a few times and finally I found the combination that tastes almost identical to Hibachi chicken fried rice! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and for those of you who are not gluten-free I PROMISE it does taste like the real thing! So here it is:


 


You will need:

 

tbsp toasted sesame seed oil

tbsp olive oil

2 eggs OR 4 egg yolks

4 c. cooked basmati rice

1/4 c. gluten free teriyaki sauce (I use Kikkoman)

6 scallions

2 garlic cloves

1 inch of ginger root

1 bag of frozen peas and carrots (about 2 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt & pepper to taste

sesame seeds for garnish

 

You will need to cook the rice ahead of time. I generally make it in the morning and then stick it in a closed container in the fridge. This traps the moisture so it doesn’t dry out and get clumpy. If you are using rice that is more than a few hours old than you want to make sure you break up the clumps before you start cooking. When you are ready to start cooking:

 

1) Cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces
2) Mince the garlic and ginger root* and set aside in a small bowl
3) Beat the two eggs in a bowl and set aside
4) Clean and chop the scallions. You will use the white and green part
5) Heat up the 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan on med. heat and add the chicken
6) Season it lightly with salt and pepper and sautee in the pan until it is starting to brown. Turn down the heat to low and let it sit
7) In a second pan, I use a deep one, heat up the toasted sesame oil and add the scallions
8) After about 2 minutes add the minced garlic and ginger root
9) Using a wooden spoon move the scallions, garlic and ginger around until fragrant
10) Take the rice and dump it all into the pan. Move it around the in the pan for about 7 minutes, it should start to brown
11) Make a well in the center of the rice and pour in the eggs and let it sit for about 15 sec.
12) Start by pulling the eggs from the center and mixing it with the rice. Alternate between pulling eggs from the center and moving rice from the edges to the center. Keep doing this until the eggs are fully incorporated into the rice
13) Season slightly with salt and pepper
14) Continue to move everything around with a wooden spoon. You will notice that the egg will start to burn slightly, that’s okay!!
15) Pour in the bag of peas and carrots. Stir until they are no longer frozen, generally about 4 minutes
16) Take the pan of chicken and dump it into the rice and stir
17) Slowly pour in the teriyaki sauce and mix together
18) Let everything sit in the pan for another 5 minutes, again there will be slight burning, but you want that!!
19) Once you have it in a bowl or on a plate sprinkle with some sesame seeds and take the bottle of teriyaki sauce and lightly shake it a couple times and there you go!

 

Enjoy!! 

 

* I use a regular mincer for the ginger root. It tends to result in more of the juice being pushed out, but that’s okay. I use as much of the pulp as I can, but if it is too hard to pull apart from the mincer the juice is really all you need!

November 12, 2016

Updated Makeup Collection Tour

One of the first I'll Show You My collabs we did was our Makeup Collections. I have gotten a bunch of new products from Birchbox, Ipsy or that I've purchased since then, so I wanted to share it with you! Let me know in the comments if you have any of these products in your collections or if you have a "Holy Grail" product you think I should try! 


Overview.. Palettes to the left, brushes to the right. All my foundations, concealers and lip products are on the top. 

 
Primers and BB creams. Setting spray and lip scrub. 

 
Eye liners, mascaras and single shadows. 

Highlights, blushes and bronzers. 


Ipsy bags and birch boxes.. Filled with extra makeup tools and brushes, samples and things I'm giving away. 

November 3, 2016

Baby And The Fox Review & Giveaway

Since Christopher is drool deep in teething, I was beyond thrilled for this Baby And The Fox Review! He has tons of teething toys, but nothing like these! They're fashionable AND functional! Plus all the products are handmade which you all know I love! 

 

When the package arrived, I quickly gave the teething ring to him! After a quick wash of course. He loved every minute of it! It was easy for him to grab and hold on to. And it seemed to really help his little gums feel better. He's been holding on to it ever since! The necklace is really pretty, something I could totally wear on a regular basis. He loved chomping on that one too! I can't wait to try it out when he's nursing and give him something to play with so he's not tugging at my shirt or my hair! 

I also love that the products are made with sensory development in mind.. I wish I had them when Jonathan (my SPD kiddo) was younger!

 
All beads are made with food-grade silicone. 

Kaitlyn was wonderful to work with and is so super sweet! She's even offered to give away a teether just like mine to one of you!

To Enter: 

1. Follow me on Instagram @MrsWatkins214
2. Follow Kaitlyn on Instagram @babyandthefox
3. Comment down below or on my Instagram post to enter.
4. Tag ONE friend for ONE extra entry.

The winner will be chosen Friday, November 11, 2016. Good luck to you all!

Tofu Scramble

I'm learning lots of new recipes and buying so many new things with our diet changes! This one I was nervous for but also so excited to try! I wasn't sure how it would go over, especially with my Husband. The kiddos loved it and he said it was pretty good! 

Tofu Scramble || Vegan Scrambled "Eggs" 

Ingredients 

  1 package firm or extra firm tofu 
  • 2 tbsp. Vegan Margarine 
  • 2 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. granulated onion
  • 1 tsp. pink or sea salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric
  • Optional: Black Himalayan Salt 
  • Optional: Non Dairy Cheddar Cheese 

Directions 

Open package of tofu and drain the water off. Add the margarine to a large skillet, and turn the heat to medium. Crumble tofu into the pan, and toss with margarine. Sprinkle the onion, garlic, turmeric, salt and pepper over the tofu and stir to mix. Cook on medium for about 5 minutes, stir to prevent sticking. When most of the water is cooked out of the tofu, add nutritional yeast and fold into tofu. Continue to cook over a medium heat. If you desire browning, let the tofu cook on one side, and then using a spatula, turn it over and continue this process until desired amount of browning is achieved. I sprinkled with Himalayan salt tossed in a few red peppers and topped with dairy free cheddar cheese before serving.