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April 18, 2017

I'll Show You What Makes Me Happy


When we were coming up for this years topics, we had a hard time deciding the title of this one... Hobbies, What I Do For Me, etc. What Makes Me Happy was the winner (we voted) I think because with the title you can take this post in a few different directions.

I don't really have a Hobby per say, someone said cleaning is my Hobby.. but that just makes me seem like I have no life! Do I enjoy cleaning? Eh I guess so. It's more that I enjoying having a clean house. Knitting is a hobby, dancing is a hobby. Cleaning is not a hobby. But having a clean house does makes me happy.. See how there's so many ways to take it? Anyway! 

A lot of things make me happy. I try to be appreciative of everything that I have. Obviously my family, my husband and my children, make me happy. I am happy to have a beautiful home. I am happy to have wonder friends. But those really fit in more with my Blessings... Things I'm Thankful For post, which we did for November/ Thanksgivings I'll Show You My. 

This month is about ME as an individual. Not Chris' wife or Jacob, Nicholas, Emma, Jonathan, Aubrey and Christopher's mom. What I enjoy, what I like to do, what I do for MYSELF. Honestly, I don't take much time for me.. life is pretty chaotic with a family this big and I'm so busy taking care of everyone else there isn't much time left for me. But I'm also "easy to please" as my Husband says. I'm not super materialistic and I really enjoy the simple things in life. When I say I need a "break" or some "me time" I'm not asking for much. Just a little time to regroup and refocus.

So, let me show you What Makes Me Happy

1. A long, hot, uninterrupted shower. 
2. A glass (or 3) of my favorite wine, while cuddled up on the couch with my Hubby under a cozy blanket. 
3. Sleep. When Chris lets me head to bed early or sleep in and takes care of the kids, it's incredible! 
4. A clean house. 
5. Take out nights. As much as I love cooking for my family, not having to cook or clean up a ton of dishes is wonderful! 
6. Reading. I love to read. And I wish I had more time to do so. 
7. Being outside. I love the nice weather and spending time out on the porch with my Husband and/ or friends while the kiddos play in the yard. 
8. Doing my makeup. I have gotten really into makeup this past year and when I have the time I like to sit and play with new products and get myself dolled up. 
9. Good food! I'm a huge foodie and I'm not picky at all. I love to eat! 
10. LuLaRoe. If you didn't already know, I recently became a consultant. The cutest, most comfortable clothes in such cool patterns! Join my group and check them out! If you aren't a LuLaLover already, trust me you will be! 


If you'd like to participate in today's topic, just join the link up below! And if you're interested in joining in the future, here's a list of the topics for the rest of the year! 



April 17, 2017

Post Spring Cleaning House Tour

March's I'll Show You My was Spring Cleaning Routines. I was so excited to get my house organized and do a little redecorating! I promised you all an updated house tour.. I was just waiting on the completion of a few more projects. One of which was painting the living room and kitchen! It's something I've wanted to since I bought this house, but because of our 20+ foot vaulted ceilings we needed to have it professionally done, which meant waiting until we had the money to do so! But it's finally completed and I'm so pleased with the outcome. And I'm so excited to share our home with you all! 

Our Home is a 5 bedroom, 2 bath raised ranch.. it doesn't look very large from the outside, but once you walk inside you see it really is quite a bit of space! Which we need as a family of 8! 


When you walk in through the garage (which is the entrance we use) you walk into the kitchen/ dining room. We just replaced all our ugly old white appliances with new black ones. I love how sleek and clean they look! And to match we painted our portable dishwasher! 




The kitchen is painted with Behr Cinamon Cherry. And the living room is Behr Creme Fraiche. 

The kitchen and dining area opens up to the living room. I absolutely love the open concept. One of my favorite things about this house is that when I'm in the kitchen cooking I can still be apart of what's going on in the living room! Most of our furniture was bought at Bobs Furniture. The tv stand is from Walmart and the corner China cabinet was gifted to us from my good friend and fellow blogger Tracy


And this is what you see if you were to come in the front door. 

Heading down the hallway..


First we have the office/ guest bedroom. 



Next we have the main bathroom. I went with a sailboat/ lighthouse theme. Most of the decor came from Hobby Lobby or The Christmas Tree Shop. 



We recently repainted the girls room. You can read about that here.




Our bedroom is one of my favorite places in the house. I just redecorated both the master bedroom and bathroom and it really brightened up the space! 





Obviously Christopher is sharing the space with us right now. That will change once he's a little older. 


I get a ton of question about my makeup organizer, which was bought on Amazon. I plan to do an updated makeup collection post soon! 

Heading back through the living room we have the other "wing" of the house (as Chris calls it). We built these rooms when he and moved in with me and mine two years ago. We needed more space! 

Nicholas and Jonathan's Room




Jacobs Room 




And the nook.. where the kids can read or watch tv. Usually the littles use this space during the day when the big kids are at school. I like them to be within earshot of me while I'm doing housework. 


The other side of the nook recently become my LuLaRoe Room. If you love LuLaRoe, join my Facebook Group to shop my inventory! And if you don't know what LuLaRoe is (where have you been?! haha) check out the review I did here. Three months later and I'm so hooked I signed up to sell! 


Most of my supplies were purchased on Amazon.. just waiting on the arrival of my inventory! 

Now as you head downstairs..


We have the playroom, the kids space! They can come down here and play and be loud and a little crazy and it doesn't bother anyone upstairs. Plus I can just close the door and the mess is hidden. 



I still want/ have to paint down here. But I'm indecisive on color! 

My two favorite spaces in (well I guess they're technically outside) the house are the front porch and the back deck. I love to sit with a good book, or a glass of wine and watch my kiddos play in the yard.. all while listening to the creek flow in the back. 





I am so pleased with the way everything turned out! Of course, when you're a homeowner your projects are never truly complete. Im already planning our next one! If you have any questions on where I purchased any of our furniture or decor, that I didn't mention.. leave a comment down below and I'll let you know! 


April 16, 2017

What's In Our Kids Easter Baskets

Since my kids read my blogs, this won't be up until AFTER Easter.. But it will give you some ideas for next year. Pin the post and come back and check it out! 

Our kids are 11, 9, 7, 5, 3 and almost 1. We always try to make everything as equal for them as possible as far as cost, amount and type of gifts go.. this way there's no jealousy or hurt feelings. It can be tough to find things that fit all of their age groups, so you'll see a little variety, for example the younger ones got tattoos, but my oldest got a cell phone holder. All of the kids got cups, the big kids got side walk chalk because they'll all use it, but the baby's got binkys instead. I also added in some bubbles, stamps, little notebooks and crazy straws. Along with a little chocolate bunny. 


I only spent about $150 total, $25ish per child. I mean it's not Christmas! 
We also do an egg hunt. Each child gets a dozen eggs (we do a different pattern/ color for each of them so they can all find an equal amount) which we fill with candy, money or little trinkets (bouncy balls, silly putty, etc). We're not huge candy people, so we try to limit it to just a few things. 

April 5, 2017

Whole 30 Chicken Parm Mini Meatloaf

I'm not 100% Whole 30 compliant. I did a round, I learned so much about food and what I was putting in my body. I did reintro and I know I can't handle gluten, grains (like rice) are okay, I can't do too much sugar and only a very little amount of dairy. I'd say I'm 70% compliant. Because let's be honest I really love my wine! 

My family didn't do it with me, but when I was strictly Whole 30 all our dinners were compliant. Because I wasn't making two dinners. Some of them they loved, like Sloppy Joe Bowls. Some meals weren't as big of a hit.. so I wouldn't make it again. But this one, they devoured, had seconds and told me they can't wait until I make it again! 

2lbs ground chicken (white meat/ breast) 
Italian Seasoning 
Olive oil. 
Sauce, I used homemade. 
Spaghetti Squash. 

Set oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan with olive oil. Add about a tablespoon of each of your seasonings to the chicken and mix well. Press into muffin pan, filling about half way. Top with sauce and bake for 25-30 mins. I microwave spaghetti squash so it cooks quicker. Cut in half, take out the seeds and "cook" for about 10 mins. Easy peasy! Then serve! 

You can also add some mozzarella cheese during the last 5 minutes or so if you're not doing Whole 30. That's what I did for my Hubby. 


April 4, 2017

I'm Just A Mom

This post was originally written for the Vintage Honey Shop Blogs

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of my future.. A fancy wedding and a big white dress, my Daddy walking me down the isle and eventually babies.. lots of babies! And I got all of those things. I was happily married, I was a stay at home mom, I had a really good life. Until I didn't anymore. And I found myself divorced with three children.

Until a man, who I now call my husband, walked back into my life (we had dated a decade before) and I was in love again. All of a sudden I was not only a mom, I was dating.. which I hadn't done in about 9 years. Then I was introduced to my boyfriend's children. I wasn't really sure what my role was. From the get-go I loved them so much, but I didn't want to overstep. 

When we got married I went from Daddy's girlfriend to "step mom", though I preferred the term "bonus mom". Shortly after, we ended up with sole custody of the kids. Their biological mother was no longer involved. 

I was doing my best to blend our family, to take on my new role and find my place. To make sure everyone adapted and adjusted well. One day I came across this quote, "There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child; and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own." and everything just clicked for me. I wasn't a "step mom" I wasn't a "bonus mom" I was just a mom. I pick out their clothes and pack their lunches. I help with homework and took them to their activities. I take care of them when they're sick. I hug them and kiss them and love them as if they were my own. 

See, I was born to be a mother. It's the only thing I ever knew for sure I wanted to do. I have given birth four times and that love is instant. But these children needed a mom. They needed me and my love. It doesn't matter if they grew in my belly, they grew in my heart and they were mine.

Every situation is different. I know not every blended family functions the same as ours, and that's okay! It takes time to combine families and find what works. Being a "step mom" isn't easy.. but it's totally worth it! It takes time to earn their trust and build that bond. Especially if they've been hurt. But once you do, it's amazing. I can't imagine my life without my children. All 6 of them. God brought each and every one of them to me for a reason. 

I'm not a step mom, I'm not a bonus mom, I'm just a mom. And that's all I ever wanted!