Search This Blog

February 28, 2017

Guest Blogger: Casey's Chocolate-Chunk Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Hi! My name is Casey and I have been friends with Katie for 15 years now! I am so excited to be sharing this recipe with you all! I am a full time law student and in my spare time I like to go fishing, hiking and of course, bake! 

Chocolate-Chunk Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies

Time: 2 Hours 

Makes: 30 Cookies 

 

Ingredients 

• 1 cup of butter (2 sticks) 
• 2/3 cup of peanut butter 
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup brown sugar 
• 2 eggs 
• 2 tsp vanilla 
• 2 2/3 cup flour 
• 2 tsp baking soda 
• 1 tsp salt 
• 2-3 heaping spoonful’s of Nutella 
• ½-1 bag of chocolate chunks (Depending on how chocolaty you want them) (if you can’t find chocolate chunks, chocolate chips will work fine)

Instructions 

1. Cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth
2. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt and then add to butter mixture stirring in a little bit at a time
3. Add spoonfuls of Nutella and marble into the dough with a knife 
4. Chill the dough for at least 15 minutes in the fridge
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 
6. Form balls out of the dough that are about 2 inches in size 
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes (I like to take them out about a minute before they look done so the center is nice and soft) 

 

*These taste best fresh out of the oven so I find it best to keep the dough in the fridge and only make a few at a time.


 

 


February 26, 2017

Function Of Beauty Review

Personalized Shampoo And Conditioner!

This post is not in any way sponsored. I spent my own hard earned money buying these products. 

I went on Function Of Beauty's site and chose the type of hair I have an the problems I've been experiencing.. My hair had been very dry and is breaking and thinning pretty badly since having Christopher. 

 

 

You can also pick color and scent. And they print your name on the bottle! 

 

I ordered an 8oz shampoo and an 8oz conditioner for $36. Which is more than I typically pay for shampoo and conditioner, so I was a little nervous about it..

 

It took over a week to arrive, which was a little frustrating. I'm so used to Amazon Prime and their two day shipping, anything more than that just seems like forever! Plus, they gave me an estimated date of 2/19 and it didn't arrive until 2/24. 

 

But when it FINALLY did arrive I was pleased! The packaging is adorable! It comes with 2 pumps which is great because it is so much easier to use products with pumps! I love the color! And they smell so good too. 

Now for my review.. I LOVE the products! The work amazing. My hair feels fabulous and even after just a few uses my hair isn't falling out as badly as it has been! I will absolutely be ordering them again, even with the price being higher than what I usually spend, it's totally worth it! 

If you'd like to try it out for yourself. Use this referral link, it will get you $5 off your order! 

functionofbeauty.com/?ref=589c6d24c0f1f

February 20, 2017

Painting The Dishwasher DIY Project

Yes, you read that right.. We PAINTED our dishwasher! 

We've started making the change from white to black appliances.. Before you ask, why not stainless steel? I've had them before and yes they're gorgeous! But we have 6 kids and I can't deal with the finger prints. So black it is! 

So far we replaced the refrigerator and microwave. The new oven is coming next week! The only appliance left white was the dishwasher.. 

Chris bought me this portable dishwasher last year (there isn't room in the kitchen for a built in) and it was white to match the previous appliances. I didn't want to replace a brand new perfectly good appliance, especially since they're so expensive, so why not try and paint it?! 

 
Before. 

We purchased Rustoleum high heat spray paint in black, it's meant for grills and wood stoves. They also have an appliance apoxy but Chris insisted this would cover better. He was absolutely right! 

 
After 2-3 coats we had a matte black finish. 

 
Now we applied a clear coat, again Rustoleum high heat. This took another 2 coats to get it even and shiny. 

 
Once it dried completely we brought it back inside. 

 
After!  

Looks like a brand new appliance! For less than $25! 

 

February 15, 2017

I'll Show You My Love Language

 
In honor of Valentines Day this month we are sharing our Love Languages with you! 

 

Chris and I pride ourselves on the fact that we have a really happy and healthy relationship. We don't fight often and when we do it's usually over fairly quickly.  We've also both been in really dysfunctional relationships, so we know how important it is to be on the same page as your partner. We have a lot of the same standpoints on things such as how to parent, what constitutes a clean house, we're both good with money and neither of us are materialistic or need expensive gifts (that being said we both have good taste but know how to save up and wait for what we want). This doesn't mean we're perfect, nor does it mean we don't disagree on things.. But for the most part, we just work. I think that has a lot to do with us having the same Love Language. I've done some research on the topic.. partially for this blog and partially because I find it extremely interesting. And I really believe people with opposite Love Languages will not have as successful of a relationship.

Both Chris and my primary Love Language is Physical Touch. We are an extremely affectionate couple. We're always hugging, kissing and cuddling. We sit curled up together on the couch, holding hands with our legs intertwined to watch a movie. We're also both extremely affectionate with our children. We co-sleep with the baby, baby wear and he's exclusively breastfed (which I did with all of my biological children) and the older kids are always welcome to hug, kiss and snuggle with us. I firmly believe the more attention and affection you show your children, the more independent they will be later because they never craved it. 

My secondary Love Language is Quality Time. Just like Phsyical Touch, I like being around my Husband. Spending time with him. With 6 children it doesn't happen often that I get his undivided attention. But as I mentioned in my Date Night blog it's so important for our relationship to get that one on one time. Because it's something I/ we really need to keep us in a good place. 

Chris' secondary Love Language is Acts Of Service. I do the majority of the housework. Cooking, cleaning and taking care of the kids. I also pay the bills and manage our money. Chris is so appreciative of all of this. He really notices what I do and makes sure to thank me for it all on a regular basis. It's really wonderful to have someone who acknowledges how much I love him and our family and how hard I work for them. 

Sometimes I forget that actions speak louder than words for him, that he's showing me how much he loves me and our family by doing things like dishes or laundry for us. But I'm working on reminding myself and accepting that quality time in his head is spending time doing something FOR me not only WITH me. Just like anything, relationships take work to be successful and it's all about give and take. 

What is your Love Language? Is it the same as your partners? Do you believe that they have a major impact in the success of your relationship? Let me know in the comments below! 

 

If you'd like to participate in I'll Show You My Love Language this month, just add your blog down below in the link up. If you'd like to participate in I'll Show You My... in the future, here is a list of the rest of the years topics!

 



February 14, 2017

I'll Show You My New Years Resolutions



Happy New Year!! Can you believe it's 2017 already?? 

New Year, New Badge!

I'll Show You My is here! The monthly collaboration Tracy, Christina and I began last year. This month we're joined by some wonderful ladies.. Dara and Jamie!   

I've been thinking a lot the last couple weeks about my resolutions for 2017.. I could sit here and make a list of things I'm probably not going to follow through with once January is over.. ever notice how the gym is always packed the first few weeks of the year? Yeah. But I this year I want to give myself some actually attainable goals. I want to be a better wife, a better mother, a better friend.. and all of that starts with the steps to make myself a better person.

• I want to work on becoming more mentally healthy. I want to get back into therapy and tackle my anxiety. I know it's going to take a lot of work, time and effort. But it's something I'm really ready to do! 

• Recently I've started doing yoga. For years I've been told how amazing it is and how it really relieves stress. I was hesitant and didn't really believe it.. well let me tell you, it's incredible! I've been trying to set aside 15-30 minutes daily and it makes a huge difference! I'd like to continue that this year. 

• I don't want to yell so much. I am very high strung and I get frustrated easily. I find myself snapping and yelling more often then I'd care to admit. I really plan to tone it down. There's better ways to get my point across, that others (specifically my children) would be more receptive to. 

• I am extremely empathetic. I feel everything everyone else feels. When the people in my life are happy, so am I. When the people in my life are anxious, sad or angry, so am I. I've spent the past few years removing toxic relationships from my life, which has helped tremendously at alleviating some of the added stresses in my life. But everyone has issues, everyone goes through tough times and when my loved ones do, I feel every ounce of it. I plan to work on letting go of that. To not become so emotionally invested in everyone else's problems. 

• We have some personal situations surrounding our family that I don't care to discuss in detail, but they have caused us quite a bit of chaos and drama. I have done everything in my power to change it.. but some people and some circumstances never change. If I have learned anything in 2016 it's that "you cant change other people, you can only change how you react to them". This year I need to focus on the family we are building and show all my kids that I love them immensely and that everything I do is for them.. First by trying to fix things for them, but now by showing them we can't save everyone and that we all deserve better than that. It's okay to move on and let people go. Never allow someone to treat you badly.  

• Whole30 I began on 1.10.16 (I wanted to get through New Years and the boys birthdays) and I am extremely dedicated to finishing it out, maybe even living it beyond the 30 days. I am I'm hoping this helps with my stomach issues, on top of helping reduce my anxiety and reach the other goals/ resolutions I already mentioned. Everything begins in your gut. If I can get my core healthy, I know everything else will fall into place and be easier to focus on as well. 

2017 for me will be a year of peace. A year of calm. A year to make wonderful memories. And it starts with me taking the steps to focus on only the positives. And I am so looking forward to an incredible year! 

What are some of your resolutions? Comment down below and let me know! And be sure to head on over to the other ladies' posts and see what their goals are for the year as well! 




February 12, 2017

Mexican Quinoa

Tonight was Taco Night! I was looking for a side to pair with dinner, usually unmake Spanish Rice..  But I wanted to mix it up a bit. I turned to Pinterest and found this recipe, which I changed a few things based on what I had on hand. It came out super yummy, so I had to share it with all of you! 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup water 
  • 1 tomato, diced 
  • 1/2 cup salsa 
  • 2 cups corn kernels, frozen
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in quinoa, water, beans, corn, chili powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Top with avocado, lime juice and cilantro.
  3. Serve immediately.
 

February 11, 2017

Gender Reveal Party Planning

My bestie is having a baby!! So of course, I had to throw her a gender reveal!! 

 

Actually, it ended up being a gender reveal/ the official pregnancy announcement. Only a few family members and friends knew they were expecting until today. 

I had such a blast planning the party and I wanted to share all the details with you!! 

Tommy and Nichole's colors are yellow and purple, so that was the color scheme for the party. Yellow for a boy, purple for a girl! And the I added in some bumblebees to complete the theme. 

 
Most of the decor we got on Amazon, but the silly string, which is what we used to announce the gender we picked up at the dollar store. 

 

I collaborated with Liama from MySentimentsInvitesan Etsy shop. She sent me the Bee Hive Sign to include in our decor. It was gorgeous and exactly what I was looking for to complete the table! And it will be a wonderful keepsake for the baby's nursery. 

For the food we did some simple appetizers, cupcakes, chocolate, canolies (per the prego's request) and a few festive drinks. Notice the Redbull colors?? 

 
Perks of my Hubby working for Redbull! 

 
 
I stole this idea from Pinterest, using Sharpies to color in the HE or SHE on the chocolate bars. 

 
Cupcakes are yellow cake, purple frosting and yellow or purple cupcake cups. 

 
A photo of the happy family!! 

Oh and IT'S A GIRL!! 
 

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this post! 

 



February 9, 2017

Cleaning Routine

I've been thinking about this post for months.. I've had so many people ask me for a cleaning routine and I knew I wanted to do one, but I wasn't sure where to start or how I wanted to do it. I decided to go with a full explanation and play by play of a typical day. Then make a list at the end that you can print out and follow along with. 

Recently I have been talking to a few friends about how they clean and most if not all of them do what I refer to as ADD cleaning. They start in one room, go to another room to put something away, start cleaning something else and before you know it the day is over and you've not actually completed anything! I find it's so important to stay in a room until it's done. Then you close the door and move to the next! 

Every day I get the kids up, fed, ready for the day and then the big kids head off to school. I put on a movie for the littles and get the baby down for his morning nap and I do my Daily Cleaning

I start in my master bathroom. Close the shower curtain, throw the towels out onto the bedroom floor (These will get put in the hamper AFTER I leave the room, I can't stress enough how important it is to complete a room one by one!). I wipe down the counter, shake out the bath mats and sweep the floor. Once a week I do a full scrub down (toilet, shower floor, etc). When the bathroom is done, I turn on my scentsy and close the door. 

Next is the master bedroom. I turn off the tv, open the curtains, make our bed, throw any dirty laundry onto the pile of towels. Any cups or water bottles that have accumulated our our night stands go right near the door. And once or twice a week I dust as well. Then I pick up what needs to leave the room, laundry and dishes, turn on the scentsy warmer and close the door behind me as I leave. 

The girls room and the office are next. Same steps. Make beds, get rid of any laundry or cups, open the curtains, shut off the tv, etc. All of the "crap" (excuse my language) is now in the hallway. 

The main bathroom gets a lot more use than our master bath. So I do a complete scrub down twice a week, or more. Pretty much every third day. Same as the master, daily I take out the towels, empty the garbage, shake out the bath mats and sweep one day, the next day I scrub the tub, toilet, sink and floor. Again turning on the scentsy and closing the door as I complete each space. 

Now I empty the hallway.. laundry in the hamper, garbage in the kitchen garbage, dishes in the sink. 

Then I get to work in the kitchen. I unload the dishwasher, reload it. Wipe down all the surfaces (the kids tend to make a mess at breakfast). I sweep and mop the kitchen floor every day. Feed the dog, then let him outside and usually I'll sit down now and play with the kids for a bit. 

Living room is probably the easiest room to clean.. Fix the couch cushions, wipe down the surfaces and open the blinds. 

After the living room is done I head up to the nook and homeschool area. Fluff pillows, tidy up, dust, plug in all the kids electronics. 

Then it's time to do the boys rooms. Just like the 3 other bedrooms.. I make beds, toss any dirty laundry down the stairs and get rid of any garbage or dishes from the night before. Then I put it all where it belongs. 

I check the playroom each night before the kids go to bed, and since during the week they're not down there until the big kids get home from school, I don't need to do a tidy in the morning.

Now I vacuum. The entire house. Every Single Day. 

On top of my Daily Clean there are things I do on certain days that's part of my Weekly Clean.. for example; washing sheets or cleaning out the fridge. 

This is the schedule I follow in a list form. Feel free to steal it if you like! I'm working on an actual checklist printable, so keep an eye out for that! 


Cleaning Routine 


Daily Clean

-Make Beds 

-Tidy Rooms 

-Vacuum 

-One Load Laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away)

-Dishes (unload and load dishwasher) 


Monday 

Bedrooms 

-Wash Sheets 

-Dust

-Organize Dressers And Closets 

-Vacuum/ Mop 


Tuesday 

Bathrooms 

-Shower/ Tub

-Toilet 

-Vanity (mirror, sink, cabinets) 

-Mop Floor 

-Wash Bathmats 


Wednesday

Kitchen

-Wipe Down Cabinets And Appliances

-Scrub Counters And Backsplash

-Clean Out Refrigerator (groceries come today) 

-Dust 

-Deep Clean Table And Chairs 

-Wash Windows 

-Vaccum/Mop 


Thursday

Living Room And Nook 

-Dust 

-Vacuum In And Under Couches 

-Vacuum 

-Shampoo Carpet (if needed)


Friday

Playroom

-Dust

-Vacuum In And Under Couches 

-Vacuum 

-Shampoo Carpet (if needed)

-Disinfect And Organize Toys 


Saturday

Big House Projects

-Clean Garage

-Paint

-Yard Work 

-DIY Project

-Etc. 


Sunday

Family Day 

-Nothing Aside From Daily Cleaning 



I hope you enjoyed this post! I know different things work for different people, this is just what works for me! But I really hope it helps those of you who are struggling to get your home in order. 


 

February 8, 2017

Guest Blogger: The Village <insert question mark>

 

My name is Danette and I met Katie in a June Mommy Group on FB. Funny I should mention a private social media group, as I'll be further discussing them later in this blog. I was and still am so grateful for her friendship. We were shoulders for each other to cry on during our difficult pregnancies and we continue to be a source of companionship and support as we deal with the everyday of motherhood.

As a mother of three, I should be able to sit here and say "Been there, done that!" or "This is a walk in the park!" but the truth of the matter is, that couldn't be further from the truth. Just as every single one of us is unique and different, so is every single pregnancy and every single child. Motherhood. is. HARD! There, I said it! I can almost hear the gasps coming from my social media "friends" and followers. "What does she mean 'it's hard'? She always seems to have it all together?" NOPE! N-O-P-E! Just like every other person on FB and Twitter, my posts and pictures are snapshots of my life. S-n-a-p-s-h-o-t-s...snippets of the whole picture. Of course I'm giving thorough consideration over every single post and picture I make public. "Why?" you ask...because social media has become nothing but a judgment zone. From a mother's perspective, posting to these sites are very similar to being thrown out in the middle of the Colosseum in Rome, just awaiting the moment we're ripped apart by savage beasts. When did motherhood become something judged and criticized, rather than supported by those who love you? 

So I'm apart of several FB groups and I've witnessed this following scenario happen to several individuals over the course of the last few months and it truly tears me apart. Again, what happened to supporting each other as parents and women? Why is it that we feel better tearing each other down than building each other up?

Women go to these private groups to vent about their SO or to get advice about something regarding their child and random individuals will screenshot these posts and send them out to these said SO's or to family members associated with the person having made the post or, even worse, to Child Protective Services and in turn destroying relationships/trust and even destroying families. Isn't that half of the problem of being a mom? Needing someone or somewhere to turn to when you've hit rock bottom and all you want to do is cry? There should be safe places to turn to where others will support you and guide you in the right direction instead of looking to tear you down even more. We need to do a better job of being "that village" that it takes to raise our children. I truthfully think twice about EVERY. SINGLE. THING. I. POST. because you never know who will report you or throw you under the bus for being honest and for being the best mother to your kids that you can possibly be. 

Everywhere I turn these days, it's bottle vs breast milk, immunizing vs non-immunizing, disposable diapers vs cloth diapers, co-sleeping vs CIO, organic vs non-organic, homemade vs fast food, baby carriers vs strollers, circumcision vs intact and EVERYTHING is a competition! Who's getting pregnant the fastest? Who has the most kids? Whose baby is walking/talking/crawling first? Whose report card is better? Whose school is better? Whose child is apart of the most activities? Please just stop! It's literally disgusting what parenting children in this day and age is truly like. It makes me so sad and it's utterly exhausting being made to feel like you have to keep up with the Joneses! But believe me, the Joneses are human too.

Absolutely NOTHING about raising my children is a competition and absolutely none of mine or my husband's choices, for our own babies, make us any better than the rest you. Why can't we all get off of the high horses we're currently on and instead become that "village" that each of us so desperately needs? It truthfully takes a village to raise children and sometimes all that means is knowing you have people in your life who love you and support you and know that you're doing the best job that you can possibly do. You're cloth diapering? Fantastic!!! Obviously, that's the best choice for you and your family! You're choosing not to immunize your little ones? Fantastic!!! Obviously, that's the best choice for you and your family! 

Please know that as your friend, family member, or even as a stranger walking down the street, I am in no place to judge the decisions you've made for you and your family. I'm here to say, I'm so happy you're in my life. I'm so blessed to know you. I support you and am here for you! 

I am the furthest thing from perfect. Sometimes my children devour the fruit I bring home before I even have a chance to wash it...<gasp>....sometimes the video monitor dies in the middle of the night and I awake at 6:30 unsure whether my baby fussed for me during the night...<gasp>...sometimes my children go days without a bath...<gasp>...that's right! I'm human, just like the Joneses, but I can guarantee you that no matter what the decisions are that you make for your family, whether they be similar or very different from my own, that we can, as mothers, agree on one thing:

We're doing the best we can! Our babies are fed, our babies are healthy, our babies are prospering, our babies are loved, our babies are happy!

Great work mommas!

February 1, 2017

Hobby Lobby Haul

Hobby Lobby was having a 50% off sale, so I picked up a few decor items for the house. I'm constantly rearranging and redecorating.. I love my house so much and I just want it to be as put together as possible! It's always a work in progress, not like under construction.. but I can promise that if you come over today and then come over next week, something will be moved or there will be new decor somewhere!

So this is what I picked up this week.. 

 

I do NOT have a green thumb, if you give me a plant I promise I will kill it. Even a super low maintainence one. So silk plants are my thing. I wanted some greenery for the fireplace and when I saw this basket with the plants I knew it was perfect! 

 

The other plant was a little smaller than I thought, so I ended up putting it in the kitchen. 

 

The wire tray and mini plant are perfect for the coffee table. Add in a candle, a table runner and of course our million okay 3, remotes.. perfect! 

 

I put the blessed sign on the end table, it's so pretty and fits my rustic decor well! 

 

The welcome sign and the anchor went in the main bathroom, we have a sailboat/ lighthouse theme in there. 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this haul! If you like posts like this comment down below to let me know!