Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Summer Loving...

We've hit the lazy, hazy days of summer. This has been the mildest summer that I remember, and I'm soaking it up. A few things I've been loving...

  • Having access to three different libraries to keep our library stash well stocked. I've had so much fun reading aloud to the girls nearly every day. I've also stumbled across new favorites from authors that I was not familiar with. Have you read "How to Hug a Porcupine?" If not, check it out! It's sure to make your little one smile.
  • I've also been devouring books over the last few weeks! If you have a chance to read Katherine Reay, I HIGHLY recommend her books. I just read three novels by her over the last few weeks, and each story has had such wonderful character development. A touch of mystery and romance. Better yet, her novels are so clean! Dear Mr. Knightly & A Portrait of Emily Price would be my current favorites.
  • Iced coffee with a splash of cream, stevia, and vanilla. It's such a creamy treat, and much better for you than most sugar laden options. Then again, I splurge on good 'ol lattes from a local coffee shop at least once a week. Balance, right?
  • Pretty pink roses right outside my door. They are knockout roses planted from previous owners, and I just love the cheerful color pop right outside my living room window. 
  • Rainy days. We've had several rainy days in a row...I've savored every moment, but I'm also ready to see the sunshine!
  • Baking treats! I've been in the mood to make yummy treats. So far, I've made Magic Peanut Butter Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Strawberry Pecan Bread. Also, I'll be eating salads over the next few days to counteract the goodies. Haha! ;)

So, what have you enjoyed this summer? Would love book recommendations. <3

Monday, June 24, 2019

Bible Time With My Kids

The last few months have felt a bit heavy for more reasons than one. I've had a lot more on my plate than normal, and while it's just a season, I realized it was starting to affect me. I took a day to stay home, read, pray, and re-evaluate a few things. One area that I felt needed attention was having Bible time with the girls. While I love my morning quiet time, I wanted to have a set time of they day to read scripture, Bible stories, and simply fill their cups to the brim with scripture.

I ended up finding a sweet little Bible study booklet for the girls while shopping at Mardel's one day. We've been reading the story assigned to each page, then the girls color the picture. After that, we watch a short video that coordinates with the Bible story and finish off the with sweet gospel songs. This very small change to our day has given us a bit of structure and turned our hearts back to where they needed to be.

The rest of our summer should be filled with more quiet days at home, relaxing, and just enjoying summer as a family. I'm thankful and looking forward to it!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Little Letters: Summer Edition

I'm taking a cue from Callie & Brittney and participating in a series of  "Little Lettters"...

Dear Josh,

You are a wonderful dad, and all around great guy. I'm thankful you have worked so hard to give us a wonderful life filled with good things. Thank you for loving us so well.

Dear Ozarks,

Between towering pine trees, and the beautiful scenery of the lake...you are one magical place. My heart is split equally between the Ozark Mountains and the ocean. I grew up in the Ozarks, but nothing has quite took me off guard like the ocean. Is there a way to close the gap on distance?

Dear Summer,

You have kept us busy with swimming, water play, popsicles, smoothies, iced coffee, nature walks, and lots of library time. I think this is the first year I have full embraced and loved everything about summer. Never say never. I'm a work in pogress, ya'll! ;)

Friday, June 7, 2019

Evie Grace is FIVE!

Today, my baby girl turns FIVE! Oh my, so hard to wrap my mind around that number. She is one of my greatest joys, and my little buddy. She amazes me with her strong personality, yet sensitive spirit.

This morning, we celebrated with donuts and friends that are more like family. Then later we will have pizza and cake with our families. She also gets to have a few friends over later this week to celebrate...lots of celebrating going on because you only turn 5 once!! ;)

Spring Recap!

Well, apparently, it was time a for a long blogging break...not of my own choosing. Somehow, I locked myself out of my blog which resulted in failing to renew my blog direct address, which resulted in it being deleted! So, I'm back to my regular 'ol blogspot address. ;)

To recap, we have had a delightful full and blessed spring! Josh and I started spring off on the right foot with a quick, and much needed trip to New York City for an early anniversary celebration. We got to sleep in, eat delicious food, visit The Met, and view NYC from the Top of the Rock! You either love or hate that city, and we definitely fall into the love category.

On April 25th, we celebrated an entire decade of marriage! How quickly time flies when you are having fun.

Miss Evie grace completed her Pre-K year (very excitedly!). We used a mish-mash of Five in a Row, All About Reading and Handwriting Without Tears. She taught herself how to write every letter in the alphabet, read her first words (DAD, MOM, CAT), has mastered most of the alphabet, and grew leaps and bounds with her artwork. She takes it so seriously, and I love to watch her grow and bloom.

Our Ella bug has spent the last few months testing her independence (and keeping mommy on her toes!) as she makes that gentle leap from toddler hood to preschooler. She is very confident that she wants to start preschool now, as she wants to be a big girl. She loves learning about colors, shapes, and the alphabet. She's also obsessed with PJ Masks, horses and My Little Pony.

The rest of our spring has centered around our backyard, nature walks, and visits with friend & family. It has been good. So good.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Spring Happiness

We've been savoring every single moment of spring...

We've played at the lake. Visited the ducks. Spent hours upon hours outside. We've spent time coloring, reading, and swinging on the hammock. We've hiked, shopped, and sipped our way through the weekends.

The girls have built pretend robots, dug in the dirt, made mud drinks (instead of pies, who knew?), jumped on the trampoline, and pretty much needed a bath every single night because POLLEN here is crazy insane.

I deleted my Twitter, deactivated my Facebook, and honestly have spent SO MUCH TIME choosing to be positive. I've spent so much time walking, praying, and thinking about the kind of mom that I want my kids to remember. It has been a season of change, good change, and I am very thankful.

It's been lovely, perfect, and just what this momma heart has needed. My mornings have looked a little brighter as I've been much more intentional about quiet time and gratitude journaling. Counting my blessings has a way of turning things around. <3

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Oh My Matcha!

Good morning, friends! This has been a doozy of a week: I got bit by a bee on Wednesday (ouch!), hosted a homeschool party on Thursday, woke up at midnight on Friday only to realize I had Strep (triple ouch!). On top of that my allergies have been acting up which landed me an early doctor's appointment that included a shot and steroids. I normally pass on steroids, but when it comes to Strep I DO NO mess around. I get it every year, and every year I'm amazed out the amount of pain my body can endure.

Anyway, I decided to stay home this morning even though I'm technically not considered contagious at this point, but I felt my body needed just a little more downtime. I've been catching up on a few things like blogging, reading, and thinking about lovely things...which includes another title by my favorite author and a new favorite drink: Matcha Latte! Seriously, where has this amazing cup of green been all my life? Not to mention, its the perfect green accessory for St. Patrick's Day!

Okay, so on to the book I was chatting about. Jennifer L. Scott wrote a handful of my favorite books that satisfy my inner Francofile. After reading Lessons from Madame Chic and At Home with Madame chic twice in the last two years, I finally ordered Polish Your Poise. If you love all things centered on beauty, femininity, and elegance with a dash of good humor, I would highly recommend these books. Polish Your Poise has already had me rethinking wardrobe choices, and commending myself to sit up straighter. Her books have inspired me to fall in love with the arts again (great literature, good books, plays, etc), streamline my homemaking, and learn to curate my closet.

Also, I feel like this blog post would not be complete without one more nod to the Matcha Latte. Think of a fresh, light flavor, subtle hints of fruit, creamy and luscious all in one cup. How I ordered mine at Starbucks: Venti Iced Matcha made with Almond Milk, only one scoop of matcha, three pumps of sugar free vanilla. Perfection!

Hope you have a wonderful day...❤

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Motherhood Thoughts

I learned early on in life that I would grow up to be a very counter-cultural person. I was always the nerd of the group. I spent most of my childhood climbing trees and reading books. I was never allowed my own phone or to watch rated R movies until I was nearly grown and out of the house. Not that I necessarily wanted too, but I was often made fun of for it. Which of course, made me feel bad at times. Looking back, I'm thankful for boundaries that were in place and having a simple childhood. It wasn't perfect, no life ever is, but it was good.

Now, as a mother, I find some of those old-fashioned philosophies deeply ingrained in my heart. I always feel like the odd duck. I don't quite understand my generation. I don't understand why women post pictures of themselves on the toilet and getting hundreds of praises singing to "raw" and "real" (true story). I will never understand why children are allowed to dress and act like adults and being given access to phones or devices that can strip their innocence in less than a second. I don't understand why modesty and common decency are so flippantly mocked.

I keep thinking of what kind of world my girls will grow up in. I don't mean for this to come from a judge-y attitude. Just genuine concern and confusion.

I want my girls to love simple things. To play outside. To wear pretty dresses or overalls. To be feminine, yet strong. To have words seasoned with grace and kindness. To love books and getting lost in a world of make-believe.

There's enough junk out there. I want to be a filter to the best of my ability, but goodness, some days even going to the grocery store can be daunting (hello unsavory magazines and people with crass speech).

All that to say, I am not perfect. I have so much to learn as a parent (don't we all), but I want so much to be the best mother I can be. Starting with simplicity and setting an even higher standard for my self. It really is an ever-evolving journey, isn't it?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Things I'm Loving Right Now

  • We've had a lot of sickness lately (head colds, mainly) which has kept us at home. I've spent my time reading, getting new organizing ideas, Bible journaling and trying new recipes. Egg Roll in a bowl has been my favorite so far!
  • A few days ago, I decided to add a few new sight words and phonics to Evie's reading program. She read three new words right off the bat! Watching her eyes light up as she figured out each new word was priceless. 
  • Ella has been learning her letters. She loves it and gets so excited when she figures out something new. Oh, how I just want to keep her bottled up as my baby forever. ;)
  • I made a cold brew coffee late last night to enjoy this morning, and let me just say every single drop was savored. I bought Bulletproof Beans from our local Whole Foods and I'm officially a new fan!! This will be my new go to for my morning brew! 
  • The daffodils have started blooming which reminds me that spring is just around the corner. I picked a few to put in my kitchen. They brighten the room and make me so happy. I think fresh flowers might be one of my favorite things, next to coffee, of course.
  • And on a rather random note: I started exercising at the beginning of January. I have consistently worked out 4 to  days a week for over 6 weeks, now! This is huge because that is one area I have always struggled with. I went back to an old workout video that I used for years because I loved it so much...and what do you know, I still enjoy it. Sometimes, the girls will even join me. :)
Happy Thursday, friends! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Simple Dark Chocolate Bark (Lower Carb)

One of my personal goals has been to eat less sugar, lower carb (notice that says LOWER not LOW or NON...Haha), and still enjoy life on occasion. Mostly fueled by my desire to feel better health wise. But, let's be honest...this girl still needs a good dose of chocolate. Enter lower carb treats. Until recently, I didn't realized that there was a thing such as low sugar (and sugar free) dark chocolate chips that actually taste good. Scratch that. They taste BETTER. Not kidding!

Anyway, this super easy lower carb Dark Chocolate Bark whips up in minutes and can be ready to devour in half an hour.

Easy Low(er) Carb Dark Chocolate Chip Bark

1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (Low Sugar or Sugar Free --Enjoy Life or Lily's works great for this)
1 teaspoon peanut butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/4 Cup Slivered almonds
Sea Salt (to taste)

In a large microwaveable mug, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in 30 second intervals. Stir between each interval until chips are melted Immediately add peanut butter. Mix well. Spread mix onto wax paper (I lined a square casserole dish with wax paper). Sprinkle almonds and sea salt. Freeze for 30 minutes.

You will want to set the bark out for a few minutes, then break apart and store in the fridge. Mine stored well for three days.

Happy chocolate-ing!!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Hello February!

"Parenthood is an inner change. We ourselves grow, because parenting is so deep and intense." ~Fred Rogers

And just like that, January is over. February is here! It's one of my favorite months. I.E. It's my birthday month and Valentines. It's also an excuse to eat chocolate.

The last month was a bit of an odd duck. I was under the weather last week and promptly parked on the couch. I did however enjoy reading and planning a few house updates. We sold our bedroom set online (within minutes! crazy!) and purchased a new upholstered headboard. I'm excited to simplify and cozy up our spaces.

Also, after months of considering a new paint color for our living area, I promptly drove to Lowe's at 5pm, bought the paint, and between Josh and I we had the entire living room painted by 10pm. And I L O V E it. I went with a soft, lighter color. I'm craving soft and clean and crisp spaces. Simple living at it's finest. At least for me.

We finished our re-do of the girls bedrooms. New beds, complete with quilts that they picked out, curtains and pillows. They have been giddy with excitement and will often be found just sitting on their new beds and giggling away. Their excitement is infectious and adorable.

Slowly, but surely, we are picking back up with little pre-school lessons. The girls love being read to even when they are playing, so I've been working through Little House in the Big Woods. It has brought back so many of my own childhood memories. I hope our time reading together ignites a love for reading and sweet memories for my girls.

Have a wonderful weekend, blog friends.

Summer Loving...

We've hit the lazy, hazy days of summer. This has been the mildest summer that I remember, and I'm soaking it up. A few things I'...

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I'm a wife, mother, and homemaker learning to enjoy the simple things in life. Which may or may not include a good latte, meaningful books, decorating my home, and all things French & Disney related. Thanks for visiting!