Monday, May 18, 2015

Lemon Rice

Made this last night and it was Fantastic! Even Noah had several helpings!
Go here for recipe and photo


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. Arborio rice
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (from about 2 large lemons)
  • 4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice, wine, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, until the liquid has absorbed and the rice is tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in sour cream, Parmesan, parsley, and tarragon

When life gives you lemons, make this!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mary Kay - who knew?!

So I recently became a BIG MK fan after a friend visited and showed me some of the products and gave me a great offer with an order. So I tried the CC cream, tiki hut color cream eye shadow and a coral true dimensions lipstick. I love the coverage of the CC cream - it's perfect. So literally each day I have been only wearing the CC cream, a little bronzer, the eye shadow, mascara and a swipe of the lipstick - that is so moisturizing and soft. So my makeup routine just got even simpler and faster, I'll take it!

Here's the info of my friend who sells it if you want to try any products - I know there's a money back guarantee if you don't love it!

Friday, May 1, 2015


We went to the local circus and tho parts were less than impressive, there were a lot of WOW moments and the kids absolutely loved it. Noah still talks about it almost everyday - he called it going to the service, so naturally for days I thought he was talking about church....but no, he loved the twirling girls on the ropes at the circus, not at church :) haha

Lucy and her BFF Nora

Noah enthralled with the Elephants!

Monday, April 27, 2015

31 weeks

Here are pics from 29 and 30 weeks!

Best moments this month: All the movements of the baby, having Lucy and other family members feel the kicking and shifting. Getting into week 30 and starting appts every 2 weeks!

Food cravings: Fruit, Popsicles, been HUNGRY somedays, not sure if that is me or pregnancy...eeks

Gender: A June surprise!!

Belly button in or out: Beginning its shift outward....

Labor signs: some braxton hicks around 20 weeks, 25 weeks, 28 weeks - not sure why certain days and then not for awhile

What I miss: mobility, not feeling sore, having energy for projects and getting work done after kids are in I just want to sit and read or go to bed!

What I am looking forward to: Being outside with the kiddos, getting a little sun, wearing dresses! Also getting to May! That means I'm SO close!

Milestones: Baby is 3lbs, almost 16 inches - wow!
I passed my glucose test and had my Rhogam shot - ouch!

But now I'm up to visits every 2 weeks and in the 30's hooray!

Pray for me in May as I have to travel twice and just hope the baby holds off until at least 38 weeks like Lucy and Noah. <3 <3

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Noonday Love

Go here to see my sister-in-law's post on Noonday Jewelry and info on how to order if interested!
I LOVE this stuff! Just placed an order since I couldn't attend a party hosted at my in-law's and just seeing her and my other family members wearing it made me so excited about it! I may even host a party one of these days!! See below for more pics and to see which pieces I ordered - can't wait to wear them!

I just ordered this metric cuff below - far right

I also ordered the necklace that Ashley is wearing in the middle - it's awesome - it looked amazing with her Easter dress And with her casual sweater/jeans.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Baking with my girl

Lucy's favorite past time has been playing baking apps on my phone...Strawberry Shortcake Food Fair & Bake Shop and Easy Bake Treats.....
So naturally she has been dying to help me bake and cook in the kitchen. I struggle with this bc me doing it myself is easier, cleaner, faster. Fortunately I had just read "Loving the Little Years" by Rachel Jankovic and in her chapter called "Knowing your Sheep" she talks about letting all (5!) of her little ones help in the kitchen and the joy it brings them - they aren't trying to be overwhelming - and fat souls are better than clean floors. Reading this chapter has helped allow me to let my kids crack more eggs, stir more pots of sauce and soup and add more cups of sugar to the mixer. Another humbling reminder? After Lucy spilled like a 1/2 teaspoon size of sugar and I told her to be careful, I spilled about a 1/2 cup........................

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Loving the country

Here are a few reasons we love our country life:
Lots of sunsets through the woods, lots of deer sightings, albino deer included! playing outside, sledding in our backyard, but now we just can't wait for some warm days to be outside!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Jewelry Steal!

See the pic below? Been loving these silver ball earrings and the most amazing part? They were $1 at walmart and they do not bother my ears unlike all other cheap earrings. 
I went back and bought a bunch more for me and for gifts!
Also loving my new Cole Haan sunglasses I got at TJ Maxx for $15 - that's a great place to look for sunglasses and accessories too!

Friday, March 27, 2015

A trip to VA

Roadtripped with the parents to Viriginia to visit my brother and his family - 9 days is a LONG time to be gone - but I'm so glad we went! Great memories, time for the cousins to play, got to watch some intense ND basketball games, meet some friends of D & A and enjoyed a couple days in the 70's. Forgot how lovely it was to sit outside and for the kids to run and play with no coats!
Even got a little sunburn! Here are some pics from our time in VA!

Friday, March 13, 2015

25 Weeks

'24 weeks and a new 'do! Thanks @[100001537367830:2048:Craig Mackenzie Hammonds] !!'

Best moments this month: Feeling the baby moving around - and Joe feeling a kick too!

Food cravings: Fruit, Popsicles - been way more hungry lately in general compared with first tri

Gender: A June surprise!!

Belly button in or out: Almost starting to push out - eeks, have a ways to go!

Labor signs: some braxton hicks contractions around 21/22 weeks after busy days of working around the house and a lot of walking so trying to be moderate and not over do it

What I miss: not feeling sore/tired/big :)

What I am looking forward to: Getting outside with the kiddos - starting to get a tiny taste of spring and loving it! Also spring means we are all the closer to meeting this little one!

Milestones: Baby is 1.5lbs and 13.5 inches long - wow! getting there!
Getting rhogam shot and glucose test in 3 weeks :(

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Clutter problems solved by Shower Rings

Thought these were some Great ideas from Good Housekeeping!
Now to find time to try them out.... :)
See all 8 ideas here

Friday, March 6, 2015

Loving the Little Years

Reading Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic with some friends on Friday mornings - I highly recommend reading AND discussing this book with friends. It's been very timely for all of us! And then read Rachel's other book Fit to Burst. Also a fun, easy, convicting read!

Loving the Little Years

Fit to Burst

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Happened to have all of these ingredients on hand (frozen broccoli) and threw this together in 30 mins - and it was great! Ate along with baked potatoes and we were FULL! 
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Yield4 servings
Warm, cheesy, rich broccoli cheese soup made in less than 30 minutes that even the pickiest of eaters will go crazy for!
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 heads broccoli, cut into florets and finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, vegetable broth and heavy cream, and cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in broccoli.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until broccoli is tender, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Stir in cheeses, a handful at a time, until smooth, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately.
Adapted from Cooking Classy

Broccoli Cheese Soup - Warm, cheesy, rich broccoli cheese soup made in less than 30 minutes. Comfort food never tasted so good!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

On Tidying Up

Think I may need to read this book - enjoyed reading this blog from HeadHeartHand- convicting and challenging and I certainly need help in this area!

The top-ranked book in the self-help section of the New York Times bestsellers list is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. That’s right, a book on tidying up has become a bestseller. I suppose anything with “life-changing” in the title is going to attract attention, but that doesn’t fully explain its popularity. I believe that the book’s success is more about the “tidying up” part of the title than the “life-changing” bit. Like all best-selling books, it reveals something about our culture, about our personal lives – that we are in a mess!
A study of middle-class families in Los Angeles found that just one in four families could fit a car in its garage. It also found that mothers’ stress levels rose as they described their household mess.
Too Much Stuff
We all feel we’ve got just way too much clutter in our lives – too much in our heads, too much in our homes, too much in our offices, and way too much data everywhere. And it’s hurting us – we’re stressed out over all the stuff that’s encircling and enveloping us. But how to stop it? How to drive it down and out? We have the occasional cathartic clean out, but a week later, we’re back to messy (and stressy) central. We sense that there’s peace on the other side of the mounds of papers, clothes, boxes, tins, toys, and electronics, but how do we get there…and stay there?
Enter Marie Kondo with her welcome book on the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.
Family Crusade
Once I read the book, I bought copies for my wife and family. Not all of us have read it through yet, but we’ve had a couple of tutorials in which I summarized the key points of the book and we are all now one month into a crusade to clear out our clutter and prevent it re-invading – and even my teenage sons are on board, piling up the bin bags.
Although Kondo goes over the top in an OCD kind of way when she gets down to the details, the general principles are simple and do-able.
The basic thesis of the book is: Start by discarding. Then organize your space, thoroughly, completely, in one go.
The bit we usually ignore or short-circuit is the discarding. We start organizing without discarding, or without sufficient discarding, which makes it virtually impossible to organize anything in a way that will produce permanent clutter-free results.
But the second sentence is also quite revolutionary in that it swims against the general tide of advice on the subject which is to do a little bit of tidying every day. No, says Kondo, “tidy a little a day and you’ll be tidying forever…[Whereas] if you tidy up in one shot, rather than little by little, you can dramatically change your mind-set.”
If you use the right method and concentrate your efforts on eliminating clutter thoroughly and completely within a short span of time, you’ll see instant results that will empower you to keep your space in order ever after.
The third part of her text that we should exegete is “in one go.” By that, she doesn’t mean “in one day.” She means determined, concentrated, and sustained focus on the job until it’s done, which in her experience is usually about six months.
Although, as I said, she goes over-the-top in certain areas (like folding socks!), the book, especially the first half, has 5-6 basic principles that even the worst hoarder can put into practice:
  • Do not start putting away until you’ve got rid of everything you want to discard.
  • Tidy by category rather than location. For example, clothes today, books, papers.
  • Start with the easiest stuff to discard and build momentum and skill to tackle the harder decisions (clothes first, then books, papers , miscellany, and lastly, mementos.)
  • Focusing solely on throwing things away can only make you unhappy. Rather, choose what you want to keep and keep only what you love and makes you happy.
Despite four Saturdays (and four bonfires) spent on this, our family is probably only halfway through our discarding phase. However, we already feel significant psychological and even spiritual benefits, motivating us to press on to minimalist bliss. As Kondo said:
A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming. When you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too.
It’s common sense, isn’t it? But it’s also biblical sense. I view it as my contribution to the cultural mandate (Gen. 1:28), and part of my imaging of the God who is a God of order and not of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My girl's Frozen Party

I have never really had a party before for either kid. It's always family stuff and usually hosted at the Grandparents' houses. Which is Fantastic....
Until yesterday!
Of course there are the regrets of checking Pinterest for ideas, especially when this party coincided with me slipping down some stairs and having a sore back and legs. I was still up on chairs hanging tulle and balloons like a crazy person.
But to see those girls having a blast, getting their hair and nails done, singing Happy Birthday to Lucy, eating cake and drinking juice boxes and frozen fruit snacks, coloring elsa pages, pinning the nose on Olaf and belting out Let it Go, it was all worth it!

Here are some pics of the day :)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Creamy Ham Potato and Corn Chowder

I had a TON of ham leftover from Christmas so I have enough in the freezer now to make this soup a few times this winter and spring. It was very good and everyone in the family loved it, which is rare. Hang on to this recipe for Easter ham leftovers too!

Recipe and photo from Cooking Classy

Creamy Ham Potato and Corn Chowder
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: About 6 servings
  • 2 cups cooked ham, diced into small cubes (I used left over ham roast, ham steak works too)
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 5 1/2 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced (3/4 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (3/4 cup)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 medium red potatoes (1 3/4 lb), diced into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or heavy cream (I've tried and like both versions)
  • Chives for topping
  • In a large pot, melt 1 1/2 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add chicken broth, potatoes, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste (slightly under-season with salt as the ham and bacon will add more saltiness to soup). Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover with lid and allow to cook until potatoes are very tender, about 17 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce to warm heat, stir in ham and corn.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook mixture, stirring constantly, 1 1/2 minutes. While whisking, slowly add in milk, and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps, season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to thicken, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream or cream. Pour and stir milk mixture into soup mixture. Serve warm topped with bacon and chives.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy, inspired by Damn Delicious
Creamy Ham Potato and Corn Chowder | Cooking Classy