Friday, December 1, 2017

Life Lately

Oh my gosh it's been forever since I've sat down & done a "life lately" type of post. There's a few reasons why- 1 of them just that it's been abslolute freaking chaos pretty much the last year, and 2 being that I've been battling technology for a long time now. My laptop (that I swear I just got) crapped out altogether about 6 months ago and I've had to resort to using my husband's computer, which is ancient and slow. It was supposed to be a temporary solution until we found a fix for mine, but after we realized fixing that cheap piece of garbage was pointless I decided to finally bite the bullet and just invest in a MacBook. I'd been eyeing one forever and I knew a Mac would last me far longer than another cheap laptop would, so I'm now a complete Apple convert (I finally gave up my Samsung smart phone just fairly recently too, switching to an iPhone!) Yay for working technology! And the craziest part? My little lipstick business paid for it!


Thanksgiving came and went in a pretty uneventful way this year. I'm not sure exactly what it is about this year, but everything has been feeling slightly "off" for me. Halloween didn't feel like fall or "Halloween" really to me. Thanksgiving didn't feel like Thanksgiving. And it certainly doesn't feel like it's almost Christmas time right now, even though I've been doing all kinds of shopping and whatnot for it. I don't have any decorations up in the house and I'm not even sure what we're going to do about a tree just yet with the baby and the curious toddler. Last year was hard enough just keeping Harper away from the tree (and by the time Christmas Day rolled around I'm pretty sure we had like 2 ornaments left on it). Now we've got a walking, climbing, 15 month old boy to add to the mix. A lit up tree with shiny, sharp ornaments and carefully wrapped, expensive presents probably isn't going to be easy to keep him away from! I've been toying around with the idea of a tree alternative, but who knows if I'll actually execute any of these ideas. Have you ever not done a Christmas tree before? Pinterest has some cute ideas, but I'm not sure I can get my family on board! Can we skip the whole tree part but still do Christmas?

This whole getting dark out at 4:30 thing is totally messing with me and I feel like I've been thrust into hibernation mode lately. We've been doing dinner earlier and earlier, which makes me want to go to bed earlier too. Like right now for instance- it's only 6:05pm and the kitchen is already completely clean from our finished dinner and the kids are fighting in their bedrooms while they "clean" and look for pajamas. 6:05 people, and mom already sent the kids to put on pajamas! The countdown to bedtime is officially on.

Oh, and I forgot. We got new family photos done, and I even ordered my Christmas cards already. Can you believe it? Look- we're all dressed are looking in the same direction! Here's one of my favorites...and yes, Josiah is eating Goldfish crackers, because teething babies are pretty uncooperative! More to come later.

On that note, I have to end this too-short life update because the laundry buzzer is calling, and if I restart it again that would only be about the 20th time I did that today. I need to cross something off my list. It's been one of those days.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The holiday essentials





The holidays can be a crazy time for everyone. Between cooking, cleaning, shopping, planning, traveling, and everything else that comes along with this time of year, I'm looking for anything that will make my holiday plans easier. I want to be able to enjoy the time with my family, not stress myself out even more! That's why I'm doing pretty much everything I can online this year, including grabbing the essentials that you can't be caught without (especially on a day where the store is closed!) I'm having everything sent directly to my front door with free 2 day shipping from Walmart.

Yes, I'm talking about stocking up on things like toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues. If there's one thing you don't want to be caught without on Christmas Day when you've got a house full of guests, it's toilet paper. Trust me- we've been there. In fact, my family jokes about it now, and we always say "did you get the TP?" while doing our pre-holiday planning together. It's a little inside joke about a certain family member always having to run out and find somewhere that's open on Christmas, Thanksgiving, or New Years Day after we run out of toilet paper (and inevitably forget batteries for the new toys, too). I told myself then that it wouldn't happen again, and this year I'm avoiding it altogether by ordering all of my household essentials on Walmart.com. I'm also saving a ton by stocking up and using these great Ibotta coupons and rebates.


Don't leave your guests hanging! I have 3 bathrooms to stock, so I grabbed a couple of these Cottonelle toilet paper packs (and used this Ibotta rebate!) I also stocked up on these cute little holiday themed Kleenex, because 'tis the season for germs and runny noses. I love how compact the little canisters are and they don't take up a lot of room on the bathroom counters, plus, they're so pretty. You better believe I have one in just about every room in the house! Use this Ibotta rebate for Kleenex. 


Ordering all of this stuff was easy. Walmart has all of the household essentials in one easy place to find everything you need to prepare for a house full of guests this holiday season. Once loaded in your cart you can select the free 2-day shipping (orders of $35+) or if you're short on time you can save some extra money and pickup at your local Walmart store. They actually give you a discount if you pick it up. Your order will be ready and waiting for you when you get there! How cool is that?

Make sure to check out all of these great Ibotta rebates before you get your house stocked up. Save some money and beat the holiday rush by avoiding the crowds and lines altogether- order it online, snag your free shipping, and enjoy your time spent with family this year! I'm much happier now knowing I'm not forgetting anything. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Holiday appetizer with goat cheese + prosciutto



There's almost nothing I love more than sharing delicious food with some of my favorite people. It's one of the best parts of the holidays. Family, food, and friends. Whether it's at my house or theirs, as long as we have good food and good conversation I'm happy. I've been dying to share this yummy recipe and I'm definitely serving it the next time we're entertaining. 

Cheese is definitely a weakness for me. I love all kinds of cheese! On everything. Who doesn't like cheese? I would be so sad if I couldn't eat it...how do you live without cheese in your life? Anyway, it's a great food to serve when you need a yummy appetizer to pair with some wine. I'm a big fan of cheese trays, cheese spreads, cheese on crackers, on bread, veggies...like I said before, I love cheese! As I've gotten older I've branched out and experimented with all kinds of cheeses and my tastes have become a bit more refined. Goat cheese is one of my new favorites, and it's the centerpiece of this yummy appetizer I'm sharing. Here's the easy recipe:

Ingredients:

4 oz goat cheese 
1 loaf of French bread, sliced
1 package thinly sliced prosciutto
olive oil
herbs, fresh or dried
salt & pepper 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly brush slices of bread with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake them in the oven for about 3-5 minutes, just until bread is warmed and starting to get crispy on the edges. Remove from oven and let them cool slightly before handling. 

Once the toasted bread is cool enough, spread on a generous layer of goat cheese. Roll up the slices of prosciutto and slice them into thin pieces. I did the same thing with some fresh basil- roll it & slice it thinly, and then put some of the prosciutto and basil on top of the bread with goat cheese. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and give them a generous sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. 

Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with other meats, cheeses, crackers, and charcuterie. 

This recipe is so versatile and you can mix and match the goat cheese with all kinds of other savory or sweet flavors. You can also add whatever herbs and spices you'd like. I just used what I had on hand, but there are so many other ways to change up goat cheese.

Joan of Arc has been my favorite brand of goat cheese that I've tried so far. It's rich and creamy with a fresh, light, tangy taste. I found mine at my local Winco with the rest of the artisan cheese selections. You can find all kinds of appetizer recipes using goat cheese here for your next holiday get-together. I'm sure your friends and family will love whatever you're serving! 

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