My best friend is getting married! To celebrate, we rented this amazing mansion in Florida on VRBO and planned a fun girls’ weekend getaway. Bachelorette Trip Swag Bags were a must, and we all came together to make the cutest ones! Scroll on for details (and links!) for how you can make your own!
When we bought our RV, my non-negotiable item was a laundry hookup. Mama was not keen on the idea of having to do the laundromat, and thankfully we found a rig that already had a washer/dryer combo installed!
As you may also know, we are renovating every square inch of this thing. So of course, I had to trick out the laundry closet, too! You can see the before in this video:
I wanted to add some interest to the inside of the doors, since they are open pretty often while the machine runs. I stumbled upon these peel and stick “tiles” in the Target Dollar Spot one day and knew they were IT! They took maybe 5 minutes to install and look amazing!
Our Washer/Dryer combo is probably one of my favorite things, ever. I have a bad habit of forgetting to switch the wash to the dryer, which results in sour laundry, rewashing and ultimately wasting detergent, water and electricity. This bad boy though has been life changing! Just add the laundry, pick the wash cycle and dry time and hit start! (I posted a video review below)
We use powdered laundry detergent from Norwex (get some HERE) because it’s easy on our tanks and better for our skin. I picked up this canister and this canister from Target, and they are perfect. Plastic so that they don’t break and lightweight, but they hold a full bag of my detergent and my laundry booster!
We also toss these wool dryer balls in for the dry cycle a lot of the time, because they don’t leave residue like the sheets do. Way safer for the machine and the rig itself!
I love this little closet so much that I actually prefer to keep the doors open so that I can see it most of the time! Making spaces like this pretty helps me want to actually maintain them and keep them clean. It’s such a mental health perk for me, and I highly recommend taking the time to do it! This makeover cost us less than $30 and has made a huge difference!
We have a 2 and 4 year old. Big feelings are pretty much the norm in our house. Some days, it can be a lot, especially now that our youngest is starting to have the big feelings, too.
We can talk and talk all day long about using gentle hands and words, honoring others, listening, etc. But sometimes, kids just really absorb information better through books. And our girls love to read! So we have worked in these 5 books to help little people deal with big feelings, and I can see such a change in them! We read them often, as the repetition really helps with driving the concepts home. Scroll on to read why we love each book, and click the image or pink link to grab a copy for your own family!
We actually got this book from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. My girls love it. It talks about how sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, unexpected things happen. Things don’t always go our way in life. The book navigates all of the different feelings and responses that you may encounter when this happens, and highlights the importance of being there for others by simply listening. It is such a great book!
Our youngest is much more of a hitter than our eldest ever was, but either way, hitting happens. We love to read this book when we are having a hard time with gentle hands. I love seeing my girls implement the different coping techniques!
I absolutely love this book! It really helps to validate emotions, normalize healthy anger, and recognize when it is getting out of control. We talk about lava levels often, which helps me to identify where my kids are at so that I can help them learn to calm themselves. This one is a great book, and is backed by tons of psychologists!
This book is great, because it is written from the point of view of the child. It teaches them how to recognize their big feelings, name them and then teaches healthy ways to cope. It can be so hard for a child to self-regulate when they are lacking these skills, so building them up is very important. Another great one!
Riley is an adorable little dinosaur who gets roaring mad when things don’t go her way. This book is a bit more whimsical, which engages my girls in the story. We like to discuss how sometimes things happen, like other kids knocking down our towers, the wrong reactions (throwing toys) and the right ones. We like to talk about what Riley did, how she could react differently, and learning from Mr. Rex. This one is definitely one of my girls’ favorite books!
If you have young children, I would 10 out of 10 recommend these 5 books! Spend the $50 to stock up on them. You will be amazed at the difference you see in your children within a few weeks of reading them!
If you’ve read our Blackstone Fiesta post, you know two things about us:
- We are obsessed with our griddle, especially since moving into an RV full-time.
- We are obsessed with Mexican food.
I am always looking for ways to get our fix, but put a healthier spin on it. That’s when the idea to mix in sweet potato came to me! I know, it sounds a little weird. But hear me out. It is amazing, and so easy! Top however you want! I always do sour cream and tomatoes. Usually I do avocado/guac and some cilantro, too. I jsut didn’t have any the day that I photographed this recipe!
First up, Preheat your griddle to medium-high.
Drizzle olive oil. Add ground beef on one side, and sweet potatoes on the other.
Chop and brown the ground beef. At the same time, toss the potatoes often so that they can cook through (to speed this up, you can thaw them a bit ahead of time). Having the right Blackstone Tools makes a big difference here! I love my spatulas.
Once the beef is done, combine the two.
Add the black beans.
Stir to incorporate and spread out.
Sprinkle taco seasoning over all.
Add the water and mix well, until the sauce forms and coats everything.
Once all ingredients are heated through and sweet potatoes are starting to char a little, turn your griddle to warm and top with shredded cheese. (If you have a melting hood, this is a good time to use it!)
Top it however you want and crush it! My kids ask for seconds of this, which is a huge win for this mom.
Seriously, so. freaking. good! Let me know how you top it if you try it!
- Blackstone Griddle
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 can Black beans Drained and rinsed
- 12-16oz bag frozen Sweet Potato Chunks
- 1 packet taco seasoning (however much water it calls for on the packet)
- 1 1/2 cups Fiesta blend cheese shredded
- Optional Sour Cream, tomatos, avocado, lettuce, etc. Whatever you want!
- Preheat your griddle to medium-high.
- Drizzle olive oil. Add ground beef on one side, and sweet potatoes on the other.
- Chop and brown ground beef.
- At the same time, toss the potatoes often so that they can cook through (to speed this up, you can thaw them a bit ahead of time).
- Combine the two. Add black beans. Stir to incorporate and spread out.
- Sprinkle taco seasoning over all. Add the water and mix well, until the sauce forms and coats everything.
- Once all ingredients are heated through and sweet potatoes are starting to char a little, turn griddle to warm and top with shredded cheese. (If you have a melting hood, this is a good time to use it!)
- Top however you want! I always do sour cream and tomatoes. Usually I do avocado/guac and some cilatro, too. I jsut didn't have any the day that I photographed this recipe!
Have you ever heard of FILORGA? I hadn’t either, until they reached out to me for a review. I have tried their product for a little over a month, and the results have blown me away! I’ll be sharing my before and after picture in a few minutes, but first, let’s take a look at who they are and what makes them so unique!
FILORGA uses the same science as injectable anti-aging treatments, but has revolutionized them for topical use. The common link from the medical background to the revolutionary topical applications in cosmetics is the NCEF. NCEF is a unique complex developed by Dr. Tordjman (the founder of FILORGA). According to their website:
Results visible after 7 days?! Yes, please! Do you see why I was so excited to give this a whirl?
This is my “before.”
Uneven, splotchy skin tone. Dark eyes. Forehead wrinkles and crows feet. All part of being in your 30’s, but not such pleasant parts. I actually never left the house without makeup on.
They also sent this awesome roller to use after applying. It helps massage the product into your skin and feels so good!
Before I show you my after, here’s the down low on each of the products I have used this month!
The Eye Cream was probably my favorite product of the 3! I suffer terribly from dark circles and puffiness (hello, mom to a 2 and 4 year old). I feel like my eyes look markedly different after using this for a month.
The Time-Filler is a wrinkle powerhouse! Look at all that it can do. My skin hasn’t gotten many deep-set wrinkles yet, but I can definitely see the smoothing effects around my mouth and eyes, and the hydration is amazing.
All the power of the Time-Filler, but in fast forward! The Time-Filler Intensive gives visible results in 7 days!
Okay so now, what you’ve all been waiting for! My results after a full month of using this product every day.
The only makeup I am wearing in these photos is my brow filler (because I forgot and applied it before taking pics).
My skin tone is far more even. The laugh lines and crows feet are noticeably less visible.
The dark circles and eye puffiness are almost totally gone! Mind you, I took these photos after my kids kept me up half the night. So I would say I am really happy with these results!
We love our Blackstone Griddle. Maybe a little too much! We cook dinner on it several times a week. We have mastered Mexican food, American food and breakfast. So I have started dabbling in dessert! I can’t wait to share with you guys some of what we find, but I had to share this one without waiting.
If you have never grilled or griddled pineapple before, I am about to blow your mind. It may be one of the easiest things you will ever cook, but it tastes amazing! We love to toss this onto the griddle when we are finishing up whatever main course we have had for a sweet- but healthy- treat!
Hop on down to the bottom for the recipe, but also make sure you check out a few of our other viral Blackstone posts!
- Blackstone Griddle
- Sharp Knife
- 1 fresh pineapple peeled, cored and sliced
- Remove the skin from your pineapple.
- Core it.
- Slice it into 1/2 inch thick pieces.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon on both sides.
- Cook on a pre-heated griddle for 2-3 minutes per side, until warm and has a caramelized, golden color.
- Optional: Serve with a drizzle of honey.
When we sold our house and moved into our RV full-time, one of the things we had to leave behind was our 36 inch Blackstone. ( insert broken heart ). We have plans to do a bit of traveling while we are full-time, and we knew schlepping it around was not an option for us.
But as you know, we love us some Blackstone cooking, so I started looking at the smaller travel sized Blackstones. we decided on a 22 inch, because we love getting together with friends and didn’t want to be limited. After a few weeks of hunting, I saw a killer deal that I could not refuse and pulled the trigger.
And that little stand? AMAZING find! It has shelves for days, cup holders, hooks and even a paper towel holder. The icing on the cake? It folds completely flat in less than a minute, so it fits perfectly into our rig basement and is crazy light weight. Even if you don’t RV and just want something easy to stow away or to tailgate with, I 10 out of 10 recommend it! Grab one HERE.
Just look at all of that prep space!
Just look at that perfection! And the view is our favorite! We will miss the river when we move.
The Master doesn’t make his way into my pictures too often, but he humored me so that you guys could see the set up in action!
Ready for me to rock your world?? For an easy side or desert, slice up a fresh pineapple. Sprinkle it with cinnamon and griddle it on both sides until it has a slightly caramel color. Life changing!
The next major project in our RV Renovation was a bunkhouse flip! It was super important to me that this feel like our girls’ home, to ease the transition for them. What was there clearly wasn’t working for us and our kids, so we gutted it to the basics. The futon came out pretty much Day 1.
After laying new flooring, Michael built Addie’s bed on the lower bunk, with a lift top for storage! Check out this reel to see how he did it:
The wallpaper was an Etsy find (you can order it here!) and was my biggest splurge! I could die over the way it came out in the space! I ordered 3 panels and cut them in thirds to do the top part of the walls. I painted the bottom part with Behr Marquee One Coat in a Semi Gloss finish, for little sticky hands. Michael added lattice strips to make board and batten. The white really makes the room feel huge!
Our girls love dress ups, so we added this cute little cube shelf to store their outfits and toys in. On moving days, we will just lay that on one of the bunks! The storage it provides is well worth the little bit of floor space that it takes up!
We pulled and replaced the trim in the rest of our RV (See more projects here!), but I couldn’t help but like the feminine look of the older trim in here. I painted it pure white with the same paint we used on the walls and I am so happy that I did!
For their laundry hamper, I didn’t want a big, bulky bin on the floor. Not to mention that my kids used to think it was hilarious to dump out the laundry bin and hide inside of it. That wasn’t my favorite, so when I saw this cute hanging macrame one (bought HERE), I knew it was a match made in heaven! They think it’s fun to toss laundry in like a basketball. Plus the bottom zips, so I can unzip and dump it into a basket really easily! I hung it with some Command hooks and they are holding just fine, even when it’s fully loaded!
I used the same Heirloom Traditions paint on their closet that I used in the bathroom and kitchen. We painted the handles black and replaced the top with a simple wood instead of the ugly kitchen counter looking top that was there. (I have always loved that cute little rainbow from Lilliana’s First Birthday, so I knew I needed to bring it in here too!)
My Monstera (from Amazon of all places?!) needed a home in the rig when we moved in. I stuck him up there just to get him out of the way, but we all fell in love with the bold greenery he added to the room, so there he stayed! Plus, he helps purify and oxygenate their air, so it’s a win-win!
Side note: if you are a mom of littles, you NEED A Hatch Rest +! It is the best sound machine and wake up clock ever! We love ours.
And that’s it! My favorite room in our rig right now! Check out the full before and after walkthrough on this reel:
So much dingy brown! First step was the flooring. Michael added that before we got the girls to the rig and it made a huge difference!
The next step was the vanity. We pried that ugly top off and replaced it with wood, which I coated with a thick coat of Polyurethane. I painted the vanity base using my favorite paint for cabinets: Heirloom Traditions Paint in London (Blue/green/grey).
We hunted around for a while on the sink. I wanted a white chunky vestal sink, but we could not find one that didn’t add a ton of weight to the rig. I opted for this gorgeous hammered matte black drop in, and it was literally the best choice ever. We love it! Of course, the faucet had to go, too. This simple black one was the perfect addition and fit the counter exactly.
Now that mirror. That one was tricky. Every time we would find something we liked, we would look at the weight and it would be about a ton. I’m not even kidding. Everything was coming to like 20+ lbs which is a lot of weight to lose to a mirror. Not to mention needing to be able to mount it on the thin RV walls.
Finally, we were able to find this one. It has that sleek look I was wanting, but it is light as a feather! I absolutely recommend! We hung it with an anchored screw, but I also added some Command strips for extra stability.
I love the look of walls of subway tile! I think they just make a space look so fresh. Obviously, real tile was not an option (weight and time), so I started researching the peel-and-stick variety. I honestly was hesitant, because I didn’t want something that looked fake and cheap.
After much searching and tons of review reading, we landed on this one from Amazon. It goes on so easily and cuts like butter. BUT when you’re looking at it, you honestly cannot tell that it isn’t real tile! I am super happy with it and will be using the same product in our kitchen renovation.
Before we even bought our RV, I fell in love with this shower curtain from Hearth & Hand by Magnolia and knew it had to be in our space! The shower has glass doors for practicality, but I don’t love the look. We wanted to soften it up, but also add a little privacy for when you are in the shower. We only have one toilet and two little girls who very likely will have to potty while you are in, so this was a must!
I am not afraid to drill into the RV walls, at all. But I didn’t want to mount a toilet paper holder with all of the wear and tear those get and have it pull out of the wall. Plus there is the bulk aspect to consider.
I stumbled upon this gorgeous macrame toilet paper holder on Amazon and knew we had to have it! It is absolutely perfect for our “boho farmhouse” vibe, lightweight and low profile! I opted for a command hook to hang it for extra stability, but it is the perfect RV bathroom TP holder!
That cute little sign is another Hearth & Hand special! So perfect for our space, and a great reminder for little girls who struggle in this area.
With 4 towels in the bathroom, I knew bulky hooks were not my favorite look. We decided to try out this accordion style coat rack and it has been perfect! It can hold our towels, hand towels and the occasional laundry! I’m super happy with the buy.
Speaking of towels….When we were trying to decide what items to put into storage vs what to bring in the rig, our fluffy bath towels were a big decision. They are so cozy, but obviously take up tons of space. They are heavy when wet and would be more difficult to wash in our small RV washer/dryer as well. A few full-time RV friends recommended these Turkish towels and we hesitantly decided to give them a try. I’ll be honest, I was a skeptic.
Let me tell you, this was the best decision ever! They do actually get you very dry very quickly! They are dry and ready to use again in about an hour if you hang them up. They roll tightly for space purposes and weigh next to nothing. I actually think I like them better than our old towels. I’m not sure I will switch back when we go back to a house someday. You can grab the exact ones we have HERE (they are not all created equal!)
Now. If you have never RV’d, you probably don’t know this. I’ll be honest, I did not before we bought an RV myself. But, you are not supposed to flush your toilet paper. It’s super bad for your holding tanks. The thought grossed me out a little at first, but we have honestly adapted. My solution was to find a can that has a lid to keep things contained and keep dogs out.
I am not to keen on the metal flip top style, so I found this gorgeous woven can at Target and it fits the space so well! (I’ll address it, ignore the dog hair. I literally vacuum this place every day and it still accumulates so fast! I didn’t notice until after I did pics. Sorry, not sorry! Keepin’ it real for you over here).
The “closet” cabinet was also done with the same Heirloom Traditions Paint. Isn’t that color just dreamy?!
You can see the full walkthrough on the Reel video below! We are so happy with how this turned out. Our tiny house is truly starting to feel like a home.
If you’ve been wanting to transform your RV bathroom, I say go for it! This project was done in a weekend and made a huge impact! Don’t be scared to start pulling things out or painting. You will be so glad you did!
If you’re new around here, you may have missed it. Our family of 4 bought an RV (more on the “why” here!) and we are renovating and living in it full time! When we got our hands on it, it was a really nice rig, but just not “us.” Since this is our tiny home on wheels, I wanted to feel like I could take a deep breath when I walked in, and I wanted our babies to feel like this is their safe space.
We are not quite there yet. In fact, it is pretty much chaos right now. But we are getting there. Above is the “before.” Very….brown. Way too brown. The leather was worn on the recliners. That booth just wasn’t doing it for me. So we ripped those out right away, and my sweet hubs laid brand new DuraLux vinyl plank flooring.
We tore out that bulky overhead cabinet and removed that clunky wood trim, valences and accordion blinds.
I patched all of the nail holes and then used Behr Marquee One Coat paint (this stuff is amazing for RV walls!) in a satin finish to paint everything white.
We decided that since we have pretty much sold everything that we owned, we wanted to splurge on the sofa, as it is the focal point of this part of our rig and we will be doing a lot of “life” there. I made the leap and purchased a Lovesac Sactional and it has been worth every cent! The covers are washable and interchangeable, so later down the road when my style inevitably changes, I can simply update them! We opted for the upgrade to storage seats too, which if you have ever lived in an RV know is a really big perk!
We are still working on window treatments and lighting. I also need to finish accessorizing the couch with new pillows, etc. But I am in love with this space and how it is coming together!
The curtain rods are just your normal residential curtain rods! I was a little scared at first to drill into the wall, but it turned out fine! They are actually THESE ONES from Walmart! I purchased simple curtain clip rings (these ones from Amazon) and these gorgeous Farmhouse-style curtains and they turned out way better than I could imagine! We are adding these Bamboo shades to the side windows and other smaller windows throughout the rig, I just haven’t gotten them hung up yet.
When I found this “Love Grows Best” sign at Smallwood a few months ago, I knew that I had to have it for our tiny home! It is literally perfect for our “why,” but it also fills the awkward space above the window from the overhead cabinet perfectly.
This place is starting to feel like home, and we are so happy here. Check out the reel below to see it in action!
We announced last week that we (very bittersweetly) closed on the sale of our family home (more on that HERE). Well, are you guys ready??
The BIG Reveal! Our new house-on-wheels arrived in Western Carolina earlier this week, and we are beyond excited to make it our home. We made the decision for our family to pursue less, embrace tiny living and experience all that our area has to offer. My husband and I, our two baby girls, our cat and our lab will all be moving into this space and traveling around western North Carolina (And maybe Tennessee and Georgia, too).
We will be doing full renovations and cannot wait to show you guys the after. Enjoy this little before and make sure you follow our journey on Instagram!
We have big plans! Residential farmhouse sink, butcher block countertops, cozy sofa, shiplap, paint, new light fixtures… It is going to be the perfect tiny home!
We will be changing up the fridge to a more residential one as well, and likely making changes to the stove/microwave set up.
The booth dinette is coming out and we are building a custom one at the other end of the kitchen.
Those dated valences and wood trim are already on their way out, too.
Our girls have their own room, which we are converting and I am so dang excited to show you guys this one! It is probably the most exciting space flip I have planned!
The bathroom is getting a total update as well!
Our master has a queen bed in it now, but we are switching it out for a residential king!
There’s even a washer and dryer behind those closet doors! More on that to come.
I hope you enjoyed your mini tour! We can’t wait to show you the final product!
If you’ve been around for long, you know Michael and I are obsessed with our Blackstone Griddle. (Which by the way, if you don’t have one, Walmart consistently has the best prices on them!). Our round-up of our favorite Blackstone recipes has been viral on Pinterest for months! You may or may not also know, we are Mexican food addicts. So naturally, after doing a Blackstone Breakfast Round-up, we simply HAD to share some of the best Mexican dishes you can griddle up to take Taco Tuesday to a whole new level! From fajitas to tacos, side dishes and even copy-cats from your favorite restaurants, scroll on for some of the best recipes you can griddle up!
*After we moved to live full time in an RV, we switched to a 22″ Tabletop Blackstone. We grabbed this super handy stand for it that we love! It is perfect for on-the-go because it folds down totally flat. It sets up in minutes and fits perfectly inside of the basement of our rig when we aren’t using it. I 10 out of 10 recommend! The shelves alone make it worthwhile!
First up, the most simple but easily most delicious tacos you have ever eaten! Griddle Beef Tacos are the best tacos because the flavor is packed into every single bite! If you haven’t, you have to try these ASAP.
Any time we eat at our favorite local Mexican joint, Fajitas are my dish of choice! Something about the charred peppers just does it for me! My favorite Blackstone Blog, Or Whatever You Do, has a fantastic Steak Fajita recipe! You can really easily sub in chicken, too!
While we are copy-catting Taco Bell, you absolutely have to try the Crunchwrap Supreme! They are so easy and so delicious. I honestly like the homemade version better (who doesn’t?!). Recipe here!
Andddd you must try the Mexican Pizza on The Blackstone! No more missing out. You can make it at home! Recipe here!
There’s not much that hits a Mexican craving quite like a good quesadilla! Nevermind the fact that they are literally the quickest dinner you can whip up! As a meal-prep tip, you can totally have fillings made up and ready to go for a fast griddle-and-eat meal during busy weeknights! They are also a great way to use up leftover pot roast, chicken breast, BBQ and more. These yummy Steak Quesadillas from Or Whatever You Do are seriously bangin’!
Blackstone wraps are all the rage right now. These taco wraps are packed with flavor and come together in minutes!
Want something a little healthier? These Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers will hit the spot! Super yum and low carb!
Mexican Street Corn is one of my favorite side dishes! I absolutely love Or Whatever You Do’s Street corn recipe! The best part? It uses frozen corn, so you can whip this delish dish up year-round!
Did you know you can make Mexican Fried Rice on your Blackstone?? We didn’t either until recently. But you guys, it’s so good and so easy! Check out the recipe here.
This is a new favorite in our house! Sneaking in a little more ‘healthy” without losing out on flavor!
While this isn’t specifically a Blackstone recipe, our Charred Corn fiesta dip is really simple and the perfect side dish! Just add everything else to the bowl, char your corn on The Blackstone and dig in!
There you have it! A few of our favorite Mexican Blackstone Griddle fiesta recipes, all in one convenient spot! Which are you trying first??
Here are a few of our favorite projects from over the years:
Have you ever looked up your favorite scented products on the Think Dirty app? It is super alarming. After struggling with infertility and hormone issues, I have been trying to gradually make conscious switches for our family. Know better, do better, right? My girls are my priority and I cannot live with knowingly exposing them to chemicals that can hurt them for the rest of their lives.
I also believe that the scent of a home is important. It should be warm, cozy and smell amazing. But at what price? Essential oils are great, but they don’t always cut it.
Recently, I was introduced to Skylar. You guys, game changer right here! Clean, safe and mindful, these smell fantastic and are not harmful. No hormone disruptors or carcinogens here! Hypoallergenic, safe for sensitive skin, vegan, and cruelty-free! I can have my cake and eat it, too! A fantastic smelling home that I can feel good about.
The Fall Cashmere scent was my first pick. It is absolutely addicting smelling and the perfect choice for these cold, cozy nights! There are so many to choose from and truly something for everyone!
Check out their home line and personal fragrance line! (I stopped wearing perfume when my oldest was born due to sensitivity issues. That will be my next purchase!) You owe it to yourself and your family.
Oh my word, you guys! As a self-proclaimed cookie dough expert, I can tell you, this may just be my favorite sweet! It’s so dangerous that I only make cookie dough fudge at Christmas time, or else I would have a real problem. I’m telling you, you may just forget that you are eating fudge and not raw dough.
So, what sets this recipe apart from all the other cookie dough fudge recipes out there? The brown sugar, and the salted butter! They truly give it that Tollhouse cookie taste.
Not only is my cookie dough fudge amazing to eat, but it really does pretty up the dessert plate! It makes the perfect gift, too. Package some up on a festive dish and wrap with cellophane for an easy teacher or host thank you!
*I like to use my bench scraper to cut the fudge! If you run it under hot water, it will slice it like butter and helps you get nice, even squares!
Grab what you need and scroll on for the recipe!
- Microwave safe bowl.
- Parchment paper.
- Cooking spray.
- 9x9 baking dish.
- Cooking Spray
- 1 stick salted butter softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (Don't skip the "heating it" step! It kills any bacteria)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips divided
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cup melted white chocolate (use the good stuff!)
- Place flour in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute. Stir and allow to cool. (This kills any potential bacteria since we are not baking!)
- Spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray and then line with parchment paper.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugars and vanilla until smooth.
- Add your salt to the flour, and then beat those into the butter mixture until smooth.
- Stir in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips.
- In a separate bowl, combine your melted chocolate and sweetened condensed milk and stir well. It will thicken up quite a bit, so work quickly!
- Fold the chocolate mixture into the cookie dough mixture. Stir well (this will take a little muscle!) until you don't have chunks of dough mixture left.
- Pour into your prepared pan, smooth and top with the remaining chocolate chips.
- Place in the fridge and allow it to cool for at least 2 hours, until set and firm.
- When you're ready to serve it, simply lift the parchment out and cut it into squares!
Aren’t these snowy first birthday cookies the cutest?! A friend of mine was planning a “Winter One-derland” first birthday for her baby boy, Barrett, and custom sugar cookies make any party sweeter! Their palette was muted blues and greens, with snow flakes and drifts! This set, while somewhat simple, may just be one of my favorite yet!
Per usual, these are done using my favorite melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookie recipe (HERE) and my viral royal icing recipe (HERE)! The flakes on the trees are simple sugar sprinkles, but they add so much!
The real star of the show is the snowflake! It may be an easy shape, but that shimmer really makes them pop! Check out the reel video below to see it in action. I use BAKELL Champagne edible glitter and there truly is nothing out there like it!
Seriously! I cannot get over how much I love the way these snowy first birthday cookies turned out. If you’re planning Christmas cookies this year, you must try the snowflakes this way!
This is what I was given to work with when we bought our home 6 years ago. Not the worst basement bathroom I have ever seen, but certainly very boring! Honestly? I just didn’t feel like dealing with it.
This summer, I decided I was sick of being bored with it and that I wanted to give it a very bold update. It has been the literal only room in this house that we haven’t done anything with. In true mom fashion, I let my 3 year old pick the wallpaper (from pre-selected options, of course) and she went for this fun blue polka dot paper from Lowe’s.It can be a little tricky to find sometimes, so I also found this really similar one on Amazon!
I knew I wanted the main wall to be the focus, and planned to balance it out with deep blue on the rest of the walls. I also planned to break up the blue with framed greenery prints and a few live plants.
Shortly after I did this little project, we decided to list our home for sale, so I toned down the amount of prints on the wall to lessen the nail holes. If I were to re-do this look again in another house, I would have gone with the full 6 frames on the wall to the right.
I hunted and hunted for the perfect mirror for this space. I wound up ordering THIS ONE from Amazon, because I loved the natural wood look. I have say, I am so happy with the purchase! I almost wish we didn’t have to convey it with the home sale. It is super high quality and looks amazing! 1,000 times better than that ugly builder basic one that was in there before!
The vanity is this simple white one from Lowe’s. It can be a little hard to find in stock, so I found this one on Amazon that is really similar! And the shelves over the toilet? These crazy affordable ones from Amazon! At less than $20 for all three, I thought they may be a gamble. But when they arrived I was so happy to see that they were perfect for the space! Solid wood and well made. My only caution is the mounting hardware that comes with them. It’s totally worth it to grab some of your own that is a little more sturdy if you are putting much weight on them.
These leafy green prints were my inspiration for the feature wall. Again, were we not selling, I would have hung all 6 in a gallery. The quality on them is fantastic and they will for sure get used in our next space! Simple white frames (HERE) were perfect for breaking up all of that blue!
The accessories, shower curtain, towels, etc were all what I already had on hand. Fun gold bath fixtures would be an awesome addition if you are using our space as your inspiration! They were on my plan, but now that we are under contract, I don’t want to spend the money.
I’m so pleased with the way that this bold bathroom glow up turned out! It’s so fun to me to see a vision that I create in my head come to life.
Check out the video tour:
Cooler weather has hit the North Carolina mountains, and that means it’s officially soup season! This cozy slow cooker taco soup is so easy, it only takes a couple of minutes to throw together, and you are all set for a delicious meal. I like to make it using my Ninja Foodi because I can brown the beef on the sautée setting and then simply add everything else and switch it to slow cook! Less dishes and way faster prep time.
Check out my Instagram Reel to see it in action:
Yes, it literally is that easy! I typically will make a double batch which is enough to feed our family of 4 and then freeze 3-4 EXTRA meals worth! This is a great dish to prep when you are taking meals to friends, as well.
Simple and savory, this slow cooker taco soup is one of my all-time favorite meals. My kids love it and it always is a huge hit! If you want to make it more of a chili consistency, double everything except for the V8!
Having company over? This soup pairs really well with my Charred Corn Fiesta Dip! Football game watching perfection!
- Slow cooker
- 1 lb Ground Beef browned and crumbled
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can corn drained
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 packet ranch dressing mix
- 1 64oz jug V8 Original vegetable juice
- Optional toppings: Fiesta Blend cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, guacamole
- Brown and crumble your ground beef. ( I like to use my Ninja Foodi here so that I can do all steps in one spot!)
- Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker. Stir well to combine.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Serve with whatever toppings you like! We love cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream in ours!
A good friend of mine reached out to me asking for these hilarious Goodbye Cookies for her boss’ final day last week. I think they may just be some of my favorite cookies yet!
Seriously. How cute are these? The most fun way to send a coworker off in style!
We started home preschool with my 3 year old and 1 year old a few weeks ago. This past week, their lesson was “A is for Apple,” so of course, mama wanted to do all the fall things! Including making up a recipe for this dang delicious apple pie from scratch!
If you want to see more of our Homeschool journey, get ideas for your own, and more, make sure to check out my Instagram Story Highlights! I’ve added tons of ideas for inspiration!
Note: Cold butter is SO important! Make sure you chill it first. I like to stick mine in the freezer for a bit while I am prepping.
First, you will stir together the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands or a pastry blender (we think hands are fun!), smash the butter and the flour mixture until most of the butter is incorporated. You’ll have some chunks of butter coated in flour. It will look lumpy and dry, which is what you want.
My sweet girl had so much fun squeezing the butter chunks in her little hands, and it was a great sensory activity. Those big chunks of butter give your crust that flaky texture that makes it so divine.
Drizzle the ice water and vinegar into the flour/butter mixture. Use your hands or a pastry blender to mix this together until everything pulls together into a dough. Knead the mixture a few more times until you’ve got a nice, smooth ball. Cut the dough into 2 equal parts, roll each into a ball and wrap individually in plastic wrap or a ziplock.
“Korintje cinnamon is the most popular type of cinnamon used by professional bakers. It’s what makes their cinnamon rolls and apple pies taste extra special! Trust this high-grade pure cinnamon to provide the classic, sweet flavor your remember from your childhood.
Look at that gooey goodness…
It’s super important, unless you love scraping the bottom of your oven, to place your pie on a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet! Because this pie is packed with goodness, sometimes that goodness spills over the sides. If you don’t follow this step, that goodness will drip to the bottom of your oven and burn there for all of eternity. I doubt you want that. Do the cookie sheet!
- Deep Dish Pie Plate
- Pie Crust Shield (optional)
- Rolling Pin
- Pastry Blender (optional)
- For the crust:
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces Salted or Unsalted doesn't matter.
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup ice water I always make the ice water and let the ice melt, and then pour out to get what I need!
- For the filling:
- 8 apples, sliced. I personally love HoneyScrip or Fuji! Granny Smith are good, too!
- ½ cup sugar divided
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon This Korintje cinnamon is my favorite! SO flavorful!
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg gently beaten with a 1/2 TBSP of water.
- First we will do the crust:
- Chill your butter. I like it stick it into the freezer for a few minutes while I am prepping. The colder, the better!
- Stir together the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands or a pastry blender (we think hands are fun!), smash the butter and the flour mixture until most of the butter is incorporated. You'll have some chunks of butter coated in flour. It will look lumpy and dry, which is what you want. The butter chunks are what make that flaky crust!
- Drizzle the ice water and vinegar into the flour/butter mixture. Use your hands or a pastry blender to mix this together until everything pulls together into a dough. Knead the mixture a few more times until you've got a nice, smooth ball. Cut the dough into 2 equal parts, roll each into a ball and wrap individually in plastic wrap or a ziplock.
- Now, here is the deal. You can do this step a couple of days out and store in the fridge, or the day of. It needs to chill for at least an hour to firm up, two is optimal.
- While your dough is chilling, we will make the pie filling!
- Core your apples and then slice into thin slices (See the recipe notes for the easiest way to do this!)
- In another large mixing bowl, toss your apple slices, half of the sugar, brown sugar, flour, vinegar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Set this mixture in the fridge until your dough is ready.
- Once your dough has chilled, go ahead and beat the egg and water in a small bowl, just enough to blend. (This is your egg wash. It gives the crust that delicious golden sheen!)
- Preheat your oven to 375º.
- Remove one of your dough balls and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. You want a circle about 12 or 13 inches in diameter, to allow room to overlap.
- Carefully wrap the dough around your floured rolling pin to make transport easier. Gently lay the rolled-out round of dough to a 9" pie dish, allowing the dough to slump down into the bottom and up over the sides.
- Scrape your apple filling into the pie crust (make sure you get all of those yum juices!).
- Brush egg wash around the outer edges of the crust.
- Roll out the remaining disk of dough and place it on top of the filled bottom crust. You could get fancy here and cut your top crust into strips for a basket-weave, etc. Most of the time, I prefer to just keep it simple!
- Press the edges of the top crust to the edges of the bottom crust to crimp and seal. I like to roll them upward and tuck/crimp to make sure the pie stays together.
- Place your pie on a baking sheet (I like to put a piece of parchment over it) to catch any drips from baking.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the pie all over with egg wash mixture. Sprinkle it with the remaining sugar (I like to add a dash more cinnamon here, but you don't have to!). Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in the top of your pie to allow it to vent while baking.
- Place the pie into the oven, and put a pie crust shield on if you have one (you can make one out of foil if you don't! This will keep your edges from burning).
- Bake the pie for about an hour and 15 minutes, until it is golden brown and the juices are bubbly. It's really important to make sure you don't underbake it! I remove the crust shield at this point and bake about 10 more minutes.
- Allow the pie to rest on the counter for a half hour or so before serving. This gives the juices time to settle.
- We like to drop a big fat scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!
- When making this pie, you can chill it, unbaked, overnight and bake it the next day to make things go more smoothly. Just don't forget to add the egg wash before baking.
- You can also fully bake it the day before and serve it at room temperature or warm it back up in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.
In an effort to adopt a healthier lifestyle, and maybe save some money since the world has gone mad and the prices of meat are through the roof, we have been trying to work more meat-free meals into our rotation. We are by no means vegetarians, but I am learning to appreciate the simplicity of these recipes. Cutting out the meat doesn’t mean you have to cut out the flavor! Thus, this dang delicious Meat-Free Spaghetti Parmesan recipe was born!
Now, there are a few variations that you can do here. Personally, I love using my Ninja Foodi for its multi-use functionality. Less dishes, easier cooking, faster time to get dinner on the table…all big wins for this mama! (Check the recipe notes for my reasoning/method).
If I am not using my Foodi, my RockCrock Dutch Oven is my go-to! I absolutely love that I can take it from stove-top to oven and not have to dirty an additional baking dish. You could even cook your pasta in it and remove to drain/keep warm while your sauce simmers. These two tools (the Foodi and RockCrock Dutch Oven) are my kitchen powerhouses. They have both been the best investments!
If you want to make this meal with meat, you can either add browned ground beef at the “simmering the sauce” stage, or (my personal preference!) make it with chicken. To do the chicken variation, combine your sauce, tomatoes and seasonings in a slow cooker (another win for the Foodi!). Add a few chicken breasts and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Shred the chicken breasts with a fork (or this amazing meat shredder). Proceed with the recipe as is- or- you can do the cheese/crumb steps and then serve over pasta rather than stirring it in.
Okay whew! Now that I have loaded you down with variations…the recipe! Let me know in the comments if you try it!
- Ninja Foodi, Slow cooker or a deep baking dish. (I prefer the Foodi, myself)
- 1 Large can of Italian style diced tomatoes
- 1 Can or jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
- Italian seasoning to taste (I use about a TBSP)
- 1 Bag of frozen spinach, microwaved and squeezed out. (You could use fresh and wilt it in a pan first)
- 1 6oz bag Shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1.5 cups Panko crumbs
- 4 TBSP melted butter
- 1 box spaghetti, cooked and drained
- Combine tomatoes, sauce and seasoning and simmer it for a few. It brings out the flavor! *See notes
- Add the spinach and stir to combine.
- Add cooked spaghetti and stir it in well.
- Top with Parm cheese and cover to melt.
- Combine Panko crumbs and melted butter.
- Top with Panko crumb mixture and brown (this is why I LOVE using my Foodi!)
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If you don’t own a Blackstone yet, you need to hop on the bandwagon as quickly as possible. (Walmart consistently has the best prices on them! That’s where I would buy one if I were you. Click HERE for current deals on them.) It is our favorite way to cook, and I secretly love that my husband does most of the work and cleanup on days that we use it. 🙂 Making breakfast is one of our most common uses, and I have rounded up a handful of the most bomb Blackstone Breakfasts to help you break yours in.
Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned vet, cooking at home or on the go at the campground, these are tried-and-true crowd pleasers. Click the pink links or the images for the recipe.
When you’re done, head over to my viral Blackstone Recipe Roundup and grab a few dinner ideas, too….
Oh. Em. Gee. This is fantastic, y’all. If you are familiar with my Favorite Blackstone Griddle Recipes, you know that I love the Or Whatever You Do blog! Fluffy eggs, sliced sausage and a load of cheese, wrapped in crispy hash browns? Sign me up! Grab the recipe here.
French toast is good. French toast stuffed with gooey cream cheese and fresh fruit? To die for! This is one of my top favorites, and you can switch up the fruit to suit the seasons! Fresh berries or peaches in the summer, apple in the fall…you get the idea. So good.
Okay so, these may feel like more of a dessert than a breakfast…but they are so good! Perfect for birthdays, company or special occasions. My girls love pineapple anything, so this is a huge hit!
Last, but definitely not least: a spicy and savory Mexican breakfast! She does this one in a skillet, but its really easy and delicious on the griddle! Plus, you can go ahead and cook up some breakfast potatoes and warm some tortillas while you’re at it!
There you go! A super delicious round-up of all of our favorite Blackstone breakfast dishes in one convenient spot. Make sure you Pin and save this one for later, because I have a feeling you will be checking back often!
Have you tried any of these? Do you have any other bangin’ breakfasts we can add? Drop me a comment below!
Is there a much more cozy breakfast than slicing up a warm loaf of banana bread, adding a little butter and relaxing with a cup of coffee? My Brown Sugar Banana Bread is moist, chewy and delicious, with a crispy texture on the top!
This particular recipe will make 6 loaves, using these foil pans. I prefer to do them this way because they come together in minutes, and then I have a stash in the freezer to thaw out when I need it! If I have a friend who had a baby, or is having a rough week, I just pop one of these out and deliver it a few hours later! Surprise guests over for coffee? Warm it up and I’m good to go! Or if I just want a little something special for my sweet family, having a loaf ready to roll makes my mornings so much easier.
I personally am obsessed with the simple brown sugar sprinkle on top. My kids love the ones with chocolate chips! You can go crazy here. Add peanut butter chips, walnuts, caramel bits…whatever you like!
Hop on down to the bottom for the Brown Sugar Banana Bread recipe.
- Loaf pans (See note)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 8 large over-ripe bananas
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Sprinkle Extra Brown sugar or chocolate chips , optional for topping!! (But sooo good! 🤤)
- Heat oven to 350°
- Mash bananas (I use my mixer!)
- Add oil, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix well.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon.
- Gradually add dry mix to wet ingredients and combine well.
- Spray pans pans with cooking spray (I like to use foil for ease of freezing/deliver! See the recipe notes for the exact ones!).
- Divide batter evenly among pans.
- Top with extra brown sugar and chocolate chips of desired.
- Bake 25-30 minutes, until center is set.
- If you’re freezing, let them cool and wrap tightly! Then place inside of a freezer bag and store for up to 3 months!