Oh my gosh have I ever been dying to try a bee cake! My sweet friend Kim contacted me because she wanted something special for her beekeeping husband to ring in his big 6-0. She gave me total creative liberty (love when people do that!) and I was able to thrive!
I see you.
I dream about last minute meals with my mom and dad. Dropping the kids off with the in-laws for a free date night. Or just to catch my breath and clean my house. I dream about our parents getting to rock our babies to sleep and tuck them in more than just a few times a year. Having them witness all of the little milestones. Impulse sleepovers. Meeting at the play ground. Walks by the river. Grandparents day at school.
I love the anticipation of visits, but hate the tearful goodbyes. I hate telling my babies that Grandma will see them tomorrow, knowing it isn’t true, just to avoid the meltdown of the leaving. I hate canceled trips (thanks COVID) and the disappointment that comes with that. I’m thankful for technology, but hate that my kids main face-time with their family is through a phone screen.
If you can relate, know you are not alone! It’s hard and for most of us, there isn’t much we can do because the Lord has us where He wants us.
If you can’t relate, please don’t take it for granted. Thank your parents. Hug your aunts and uncles. Enjoy the cousin chaos. Cherish your date nights, knowing that those babies are being absolutely spoiled. Let your parents drop by for impromptu visits. Soak it all in. You have no idea the gift that you have!
Confession: I have never seen or played one second of Fortnite! I’m sure that’s simply because I’m a #girlmom. So when my sweet friend Jessica asked me to do this cake for her son, I had to do some research! I have done several Fortnite cakes, but this one is by far my favorite yet! With a fun galaxy look to the buttercream and big fat swirls of icing on top…plus who doesn’t LOVE Oeros?!
I used my Cricut to make a topper for it and it was good to go! Do you have a Fortnite lover in your life? Try out this look! No Cricut, no problem! Contact me through my Etsy shop and I can make you this exact topper!
I LOVE our home, but this spot down by our basement door has always been a bit of an eyesore. Throw in our slightly janky above ground pool and it was downright embarrassing to me. Knowing that we would be stuck at home this summer and hopefully spending a lot of time down there, we decided it was time for a change!
Overall, this makeover wasn’t all that expensive, but it makes a huge difference! Check out this gross before…
Once I got the wall done, it was the hubby’s time to shine! We went back and forth on if we wanted to do a paver patio or a floating deck. The floating deck won, largely for cost reasons but also because our ground is so rocky that digging for a patio could be tricky.
It really only took him about a day and a half from start to finish, even with a couple of little supervisors!
And some hug breaks. (Don’t mind the nasty door…it’s getting painted very soon!)
And maybe a few dance parties.
We used the Quikrete walk maker to put in a sidewalk over to our lower driveway so that you could get easily to it from the deck without getting muddy. This was SO much cheaper than pavers, and super easy, too!
We absolutely love the way everything turned out! Now that the pool is down for the season, we are working on putting a fire pit in its place (pics to come!). We will see if the pool makes its way back up next season or if we fall in love with the pit in that spot! It really is the perfect little family hangout area, and we spend a lot of time on it!
Because I love a good before and after:
Two recipes in one week? I’m on a roll! I’ve been making this Frito Taco Pie for so long that I am not even sure where the recipe came from to begin with. I can assure you this: it is a family favorite and a great quick meal! I promise you will love it, and you can totally freestyle! Want to add corn to the filling? Go for it! Top it however you like. You can even add some hot sauce if that’s your thing. Welcome to your new favorite way to taco!
Frito Taco Pie
- 1 roll crescent rolls
- Fritos corn chips
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- Sour Cream
- Shredded cheese (we like Colby Jack!)
- Your favorite taco toppings!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Brown ground beef in a skillet and prepare taco seasoning according to package directions.
- Spray a pie dish lightly with cooking spray.
- Place crescent rolls in the dish with pointed tips in the center, and press into the bottom make a crust.
- Layer a couple of handfuls of Fritos on top of the crust.
- Top with cooked taco meat.
- Spread a layer of sour cream over the beef.
- Top with a few handfuls of cheese (we go heavy on the cheese!).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crust is fully cooked.
- Remove from the oven, slice and top with your fave taco toppings! We love lettuce and tomato over here!
Seriously, guys. So. Stinking. GOOD!
Here I am again, with another rock-your-world recipe! I made this one up somewhat on the fly the other week and it was an instant hit! Bruschetta is one of our favorite appetizers when we go out, so I figured “why not make it the main course?!”
Because this one goes from stove top to oven, I definitely recommend a Cast Iron Skillet if you have one! Otherwise, you can do a normal skillet and a baking dish! I can tell this will be a regular in the meal rotation around here, and I hope that you love it too.
Easy Bruschetta Chicken
- 1-1.5lbs chicken breast, cubed
- 1 TBSP Olive Oil
- 3 tsp (or however much you like!) of minced garlic
- 6-7 Roma tomatoes, diced (not too small!)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 5 oz container of Feta Cheese crumbles
- 3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Fresh basil to taste (I use a LOT), cut into strips with kitchen shears
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat your olive oil in your skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown and most of the way cooked through.
- Add in minced garlic and cook until fragrant (1-2 minutes) stirring constantly so that it won’t burn. Remove from heat.
- Stir in tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Drizzle balsamic over the top and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and top with feta cheese and shredded basil leaves.
- Serve immediately! We like to eat it with a side of Uncle Ben’s wild rice! It would also be good with some angel hair pasta! Or even by itself, if you are low-carb. 🙂
Just over here DROOLING over the way that this cake came out! I have never done a chocolate buttercream cake with florals on it, but I think it will be a new thing around here! I love the brown backdrop and the way that the flowers absolutely pop right off of it!
I totally think the blue and purple flower combination is completely overlooked, too! I mean the two colors play off of each other so well. So thankful for the opportunity to have a little fun stretching my creativity!
I made one of these mobiles for Addilyn’s nursery before she was born, and I was instantly hooked! Ever since then, I have loved making them for clients through my Etsy shop! Most of the time, people ask me to duplicate Addie’s, which is easy peasy.
This particular one, the client was doing a flamingo themed nursery and asked me to match a gorgeous floral pink and lavender flamingo print. I absolutely love this color combo and the fact that this was perfectly customized for her sweet baby girl!
And hey, if you want this exact mobile, or a custom colored one, go HERE and I will hook you up!
The other day, I had some leftover blush buttercream from a wedding cupcake order and the strong urge to play around with some fall looking florals. I threw it out there and had a friend that wanted a “just because” cake for a family dinner, and she gave me total creative liberty. Those are my ABSOLUTE favorite kind of cake orders because I can just go with the flow.
To say I am happy with how this one turned out is an understatement! I down right love it! Scroll on to see all of the details. This one could easily be a wedding cake or a fancy birthday cake. I hope it inspires you!
Is there much worse than making up a batch of pancakes, only to look in the pantry and realize you are out of syrup? And is there much more delicious than warm, homemade syrup on hot pancakes or waffles? This past weekend, we made pancakes on our Blackstone griddle (love! love! love!) and I ran into this exact situation.
Thankfully, I remembered that I had learned how to make home made syrup years ago and decided to give it a go again. I’m going to set the people free and teach you how to do it too, just in case you ever have this happen! Or just want to treat your family to fresh, hot syrup.
Here’s the thing. You can make this basic and delicious syrup with things that you probably have in your house right now. But with a little planning, you can do the maple variety for that authentic maple taste! Either way, it turns out delicious and your family will sing your praises.
Easy Homemade Pancake Syrup
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla OR maple extract
- Stir together the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat to a rolling boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat just enough to allow it to simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the sugar is fully dissolved and it has thickened a bit.
- Add in your butter and warm until melted.
- Add the extract and stir well.
- Pour over pancakes and enjoy! Store leftovers in the refrigerator tightly covered for up to a month. You can simply reheat in the microwave when you are ready to use it!
The girls very well may wind up with a Boho Rainbow birthday party in March. I had way too much fun with these!
I made these “just because” I wanted to play with the theme some. I love the idea of putting positive affirmations, scripture, encouragement, etc on them and gifting them to a friend going through a hard time, or to a young girl to remind her who she is!
It’s been a hot minute since I have shared a cake on here with you guys! Not much to say about this one, it just turned out crazy cute and I wanted to share!
A simple pink ombre canvas with piped buttercream cacti and some brown sugar “sand!” This was for a sweet friend’s daughter for her birthday and we all love the way it came out!
During my quiet time this morning, I was reading about Stephen in Acts chapter 7. the Bible says that Stephen was a man “full of God’s grace and power” (Acts 6: 8) and that he did many great things for Christ. In the midst of his powerful ministry, those who should have been on his side (the religious leaders of that day) were strongly against him. You could say he felt intense pressure and persecution, but he stayed the course and glorified God.
Eventually, this persecution came to a head. If you aren’t familiar with the story, Stephen was drug out of the city and stoned to death. And these weren’t just little stones! In the middle of being struck down, Stephen asked God to forgive those who were actively hurling stones at him, with the intent to end his life.
Not many of us will ever experience being stoned to death, especially not in modern day America. But we very likely will experience seasons of hurt and betrayal, where people hurl painful words and accusations our way. It is incredibly easy to feel justified in asking God to avenge you and strike them down instead. I myself have prayed that prayer before!
But what would it look like if we took the posture of Stephen-and even Jesus Himself when He said “Father forgive them, they know not what they do,” as He hung on the cross? How could we radically change hearts and minds by praying for those who sin against us? Even just the simple prayer, “God, forgive them for sinning against me. Please help me to find it in my heart to forgive them, too.” could make all of the difference! This is a challenge for me as well, ya’ll. With God’s grace!
Our home has a beautiful loft area that I have always loved! It has been many things over the years that we have owned this house; my office, a boutique, a craft room. Once Addilyn started to get a little older, and mama started getting overwhelmed by the toys all over the place, I decided we needed to create a fun space just for her and all of her “stuff”- ahem (mama’s sanity). About this same time, I decided to close my boutique, so converting the loft to a playroom was the most logical thing!
Now that Lillie is here too, I really wanted to put some effort into making it special for them! I can’t wait to give you a tour, so scroll on! And if you see something you are loving, I will be sure to include links to where you can grab one yourself.
I’ve alway wanted a little teepee for Addie, but wasn’t crazy about the colorful ones. Then I stumbled across this one that was perfect! Light, solid color (you could totally customize this for a boy, too) and it came with the fairy lights for free!
The girls’ grandma bought them a little bookshelf (this is the same one!) that I placed beside it so that Addie could pick a book and snuggle in her cozy spot! Girl loves to read, and my hope is that it affords mama a little quiet time, too!
As you can tell, she’s a fan! The little curtains close, too…for those moments when a girl just wants to be alone.
Like I said, the teepee came with the fairy lights, which was a major plus! Baby girl loves them and they add just enough whimsy.
As for arranging the flowers, they are just tucked in the top with the stems to the back. No one really sees back there, so it doesn’t bother me one bit!
On the other side, we have some energy burning activities and some make believe! I made the flowers on the wall by hand using my Cricut. I made a little curtain out of strands on the vine, and the Sparkle sign was a TJ Maxx find! There’s also a gorgeous boho dream catcher in the corner…it’s a little hard to see in the picture here!
I’m obsessed with these shelves, and they make up a huge part of my office which is on the other side of the loft. I’ll have to show you guys soon! I needed some more toy storage, so I ordered a 4-cube shelf for their side of the room, and some bins. My OCD can hardly stand that the one doesn’t match, but it was a gift and I am all for being practical and not buying things I don’t need (usually!), so in here it stays for now!
Baby girl wanted a slide so bad, for so long. So Santa brought her this one for Christmas and it is perfect in there. To make things a little more fun, we wanted her to have a ball bit too. I tried an inflatable one (that sucked) and looked into the cute foam ones (those cost an arm and a leg!) and then found this life saver! It’s a great price, and fully collapsible so you could totally fold it up and store it in a bin with the balls if you didn’t want to leave it out all of the time. Win, win!
After review stalking, I landed on these balls, and definitely need to order another few hundred now that we have a bigger pit. Both of my girls love these, and it’s been a fun thing for Lillie as she learns to sit on her own!
Speaking of Lillie, she loves it up here, too! It’s the only carpeted room in our house, so she gets lots of floor time to roll and explore.
That awesome coordinating (and collapsible) toy bin? Target find! Check it out HERE. The round hamper was a gift and is full of dress up clothes. Some day, I will put a cute little rack and mirror in here, but it works for now!
After hunting high and low for a white kitchen for Addie for months, Santa brought her this KidKraft one and it has been the best! Just the right size for her and she could play with it for hours! It’s affordable and quality made!
(Side note- that little green handle to the left- Scoop and learn Ice Cream Cart! So much fun and a great learning tool!)
We grabbed her this cute little table for her second birthday back in March so that she could have a spot of her own. It has been in our kitchen for months, but with the re-emergence of the high chair, it was time to bring it up. This is where I intended it all along, and she has been thrilled to have her own table to play eat at and have tea parties! (This little tea set has been one of her all-time favorite toys! 10 out of 10 recommend).
Like I said, we are loving this new space! I cannot wait to watch the girls learn to play together up here and make lots of memories. I hope that maybe it gives you a little inspiration, if you are working on a girly play room or nursery yourself!
Here’s a list of links, all in one spot:
Apparently today is National Rainbow Baby day, which got me reflecting on my time waiting for my own sweet rainbow baby. I think if I were to find a word to sum up that season of my life, “longing” would be it. A deep, aching longing. And it was also a season where I spent a lot of time just a little salty with God.
It wasn’t until early 2017 when I got my hands on a book called “Wait and See” (I’ll drop a link below) that my whole outlook changed. That book was life altering for so many reasons, but to summarize, my biggest takeaway was that during my season of wait, I needed to find my satisfaction in the love of Christ. Because truly that is the ONLY thing that will satisfy us at the soul level. Not a job, money, spouse, children…no matter how great all of these good gifts are. We are designed for more. And once I really leaned into that truth, beautiful soul change happened.
And wouldn’t you know it that within a month or two of finishing that book and really seeking my satisfaction in HIM, we got pregnant with our little miracle girl. And now I have two of them!
Friend, if you are in a season of waiting, for anything, I challenge you to press into this truth and allow His love to satisfy you in a way that only He can! And if you don’t know His love, I welcome a conversation! Inbox me!
As most toddlers do, Addie brought home about 5,000 seashells when we made our getaway to the beach back in July! She put so much care into finding them that I hated to just throw them out, but we certainly did not need buckets of seashells (aka choking hazards for the baby) laying around the house. Since we have spent our summer redoing our patio area (more on that later!) I thought it would be fun to turn them into some step stones that we could use to decorate. She decided that she wanted to make some for her Grandmas, too (sorry to spoil the surprise, mom!) so that is just what we did!
I honestly was crazy intimidated and spent hours scouring Pinterest to see how to do it just right. Finally, I decided to just wing it and I am sharing what we did below in hopes that it will help save you some time!
This project is SO easy to customize, too! You totally could stamp little hands and feet (we are SO doing that soon), make “fossils” with leaves, add marbles or tiles for a mosaic look…let your kids’ imagination run wild!
First up, grab you a bag of Quikrete! You can order them on Amazon, or check your local Lowes!
You will also want some disposable foil pans. I only had one, so I improvised and wrapped an old cake pan in foil. I think the actual foil pan stone turned out better, so I will do that from now on. Once you have your pans, generously spray them with cooking spray to help your stone release when it dries. A 10lb bag of Quikrete will do approximately 4 stones. I knew we only had time to do 2 at a time so I only mixed up a half of a bag.
Follow the recipe on the bag for how much water to add, but I sort of just eyeballed it! You want it to be moist enough but not runny or it will separate and take forever to set up. Thick oatmeal is the consistency you’re shooting for!
Spoon it into your pans, a scoop at a time and spread it out. My pans sort of self leveled after a minute and then I gave them a good tap to get any air bubbles out.
You will want to be sure that you have any decorative items ready to go before mixing up your concrete. Since we were just adding sea shells, I had our pile close by!
My little artist, anxious to do her thing!
I tried very hard to set aside my spacing OCD prior to starting this project because I wanted them to be truly her work. Much to my surprise, my two year old correctly turned the sea shells and spaced them really well!
Once they are all finished, set them somewhere that they can rest for at least 24 hours (preferably 48) without being rained on. I just kept an eye on the weather and picked a day that I knew it wouldn’t rain. If you think you may get rain, it would be a good idea to bring them in!
After a couple of days, they were fully set and popped out very easily! Let them cure for a week or so prior to stepping on them, if you plan to do that. We are just using ours for decoration! You could even play around with the shape of the stone and do squares, bend the pans into hearts, etc! The sky is the limit!
This was such an easy, fun project to do! And Addie was SO excited to see the finished product and points it out excitedly every time! I can tell we will be doing these again!
As you all know, I love me some custom sugar cookies! It’s been a while since I have shared any here on the blog, but my little side gig is still going strong!
One of my very sweetest friends reached out to me a couple of weeks ago, asking if I could help come up with some cookies to announce the gender of their second rainbow baby! I jumped at the chance, and was so excited to try out these fun break apart gender reveal cookies! Of course, if you are not inclined to baking, I am MORE than happy to make a set for you! (Email me 😉 or Facebook me! ), but I thought for my fellow creatives, it would be fun to drop a little DIY tutorial here for you! If you try them out, make sure you post and tag me on Insta!
First, you will need to make up a batch of my No spread Sugar Cookie Dough and a batch of my Royal Icing! Make your icing thick enough that when you run a knife through it, it takes about 10-15 seconds for your line to disappear.
Then you will want to roll out your dough. I use this adjustable rolling pin to make sure my dough is always the same thickness, and I go with the second thickness…whatever that is! (hah! Sorry. I always forget which exact number it is!). Cut out 3 onesie shapes (See above for the links) for every break apart cookie that you want to have.
After you cut and transfer your onesies to the pan- but before you put them in the oven- take the smallest plaque cookie cutter and make a cut out of the middle of 1/3 of your onesies.
Bake them as usual and allow them to cool fully. Be super careful removing the ones with holes from the pan, as they will be a bit fragile!
While your cookies cool, bag up some of your white icing and get your sprinkles ready!
Once your cookies are cool, lay out one onesie shape:
Apply a thin border of icing around the outer edges. I actually put a bit more icing than I needed to on this one, so do as I say and not as I do!
Place one of your “hole” cookies on top, like this, and allow it to dry before moving on! (Now would be a good time to work through the rest of your batch, repeating these steps!)
As soon as your icing is dry, you can fill with sprinkles!
Apply another thin outline of icing and lay your top cookie over the hole. Repeat for all of your cookies and allow these to dry!
If your icing was on the thicker side, thin it a bit so that your line disappears after about 10 seconds. Outline and flood the tops of all of your onesie cookies and place them in front of a fan to dry! I let mine dry overnight.
From here on, it’s up to you what you put on the front! I chose to do “He or She?” using thick royal icing (it shouldn’t bounce back at all when you drag a knife through it!) and an edible marker.
Once you have added your decoration, use thick white icing to add details to your onesie if you want! I think it creates a more finished look, but I have seen people skip this step.
Allow these to dry and that’s it!
My friend wanted a few extra cookies in the “Muffins and coffee” theme for her family to enjoy after breaking the news!
She sent me this picture from their announcement! A fun little piñata of happy!
I did something brave this week.
It wasn’t easy to do. It made me feel silly and nervous and like a failure.
But you see, after 5 months of trying to hold it all together and pretend that things were much smoother this time around, I hit a wall this week.
A week that followed a series of weeks, stuck in quarantine and away from my family (ahem- help, free baby sitting, a break, whatever you want to call it).
A string of weeks where laundry piles have been never ending. I finally get a load folded and put away, only to replace it with the next load of thousands of tiny pieces of laundry needing to be folded. (Which the toddler promptly scattered about the living area)
A string of weeks where I realize as I am cooking dinner, that I am still in my pajamas and haven’t washed my face. Not in like…a cute “PJs all day” kind of way. Like in a “I’m a mess” sort of way.
A string of weeks where I struggled to get a single blog post written, deal posted in my deal group, a huge backlog of people requesting me to find things for them…my work list could go on.
A string of weeks where I realized I hadn’t sent a ministry partner update in two months. That’s a long time y’all! Not to mention the women I have failed to check in on.
A string of weeks where my baking orders made my kitchen look like a bomb went off. And I just didn’t have the energy to fix it.
A string of weeks where the 4 month old wouldn’t sleep unless she was touching me. And even then sometimes wouldn’t. Where we gave up and started bed sharing, despite my will to not do that this time around. Where the two year old woke up constantly at all hours of the night crying for us.
A string of weeks where I haven’t gotten any one on one time with my husband, because typically the only time he isn’t busy, he’s helping me with the kids or I am trying to get the baby to sleep.
A string of weeks where I have had virtually no quiet time to sit with Jesus and fill up my cup.
And do any of these feelings mean I love my family any less?? Of course not! But there is only so much “feeling like a failure” that a person can take.
As I sat, frustrated with my baby for not doing what I wanted her to do…I had a realization. My postpartum depression is rearing it’s ugly head. As much as I don’t want to admit it, my short fuse with my family would say otherwise. And the most loving thing that I can do for my kids is to give them the mama they deserve and get help.
So I reached out. I talked to my nurse and then spent 20 minutes on the phone with my OB. We set up a treatment plan. I picked up a prescription. There is ZERO shame in this!
I share this really raw moment, mama, to encourage you. I know I am not alone. And I know that even if you aren’t in the postpartum depression stage (your kids may be teenagers!). This season is hard, y’all. Things are weird. The world is weird.
If you feel off, talk to someone. Get help. There is NO shame! We are all in this together! I’d much rather you inbox me than go it alone.
Do you ever have that moment of panic when dinner time rolls around and you realize that you have nothing to make?? I had that this weekend, and had to get a little creative. We were supposed to get our Grocery Pickup the next morning (side note- if you aren’t using Walmart Grocery Pickup..you should be! Save $10 with this link!), and it was just a total failure to plan on my part.
I started digging around in my fridge and pantry and found a few things: a half used pack of fresh bacon that needed to be cooked, a pound of frozen beef, a stray white onion, a half used pack of tortillas….it got my wheels turning! Why not try out a new quesadilla recipe? We love quesadillas around here, and they are super easy for the toddler, too! After a little further inventory of my spices, I landed on a bacon cheeseburger flavor!
I have to say, the end result turned out to be something beautiful! It is officially in our intentional meal rotation! With some planning, next time I will have more of the burger toppings on hand for those that want them (mustard, pickles, etc). Read on to get the recipe!
First, you will want to cut up your bacon into small pieces and fry it until it reaches a crispy state!
Add in diced onions and sautée until translucent!
Next, the ground beef! Cook until it is browned through.
My favorite way to toast quesadillas is actually under the broiler, not in a pan! Sure, they are yummy in a pan, but this allows you a perfect restaurant crisp texture and you can achieve it with far less grease (and flipping!).
Simply spray cooking spray (or you can butter) a tortilla and lay that sprayed side down on the pan.
Next, it’s time for your filling ingredients! I actually smeared mayo on these shells prior to adding the beef/bacon mixture, but I forgot to take a picture of that step! Totally optional, but added that burger taste.
Then you lay your top shell on and spray that! The spray allows it to get toasty without being hard.
Place them under the broiler until they reach a toasty brown, and then flip and repeat for the other side!
Last, just cut them into triangles and serve with ketchup! (Or you know…whatever else you like on your burgers!)
Bacon Cheeseburger Quesadillas
- 1 lb ground beef
- 4-6 slices of thick cut bacon, diced small (I do this pre-cooking)
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Approximately 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese (you can put as much or as little as you like! I even used a slice of American cheese instead for my 2 year old)
- Mayonnaise (to taste- optional)
- Ketchup (for dipping- optional)
- 8 medium sized flour tortillas
- Pre-heat your cast iron skillet to medium while you cut up your bacon (you can use a regular skillet too…but cast iron adds SO much flavor!)
- Add your bacon and cook until crispy, stirring well. I bought good bacon, so there wasn’t a ton of grease. I didn’t bother draining off what little there was and just let it add to the flavor.
- Add in your diced onion and sautée until translucent.
- Add the garlic powder and stir for a few minutes to bring out the flavor. You could totally use fresh garlic here…but again…this meal was born out of necessity for me!
- Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until browned through.
- While your beef mixture is cooking, preheat your broiler and set up your pans.
- Spray one side of 4 of your tortillas and put them on your pan, spray-side down ( you can also butter them if you want that flavor added! I just use cooking spray most of the time).
- Spread with a thin layer of mayo (optional). I may attempt making Big Mac sauce sometime to use here instead!
- When your beef mixture is finished, divide it up between your 4 tortillas. You will likely have some left over. Stick that in the fridge for lunch tomorrow!
- Top with cheese. I went big on the cheese because we love us some cheese!
- Place your top tortillas on and spray those as well. I pressed down on the tortillas before spraying, just to make sure the cheese was smushed in there a bit!
- Place one pan at a time under the broiler and heat until the top starts to brown a little, but not burn. Watch them closely…this happens really fast! Once one side is browned, take the pan out and carefully flip them over. Brown the other side and then remove them from the broiler!
- Let them sit for just a minute, and then slice with a pizza wheel and serve with ketchup!
I am absolutely in love with the round nursery sign trend! Since my sweet Lillie doesn’t have a nursery of her own, I really wanted to pretty up her corner of our room (I’ll be sure to share her full “nursery” space on here very soon!). It totally would have been easier to just order her a name sign ready made, but after the labor of love that was Addilyn’s nursery, I felt like I owed it to my Lillie to create something just for her, from Mama. From start to finish, this project took about an hour…maybe an hour and a half! So in case you are like me and have been eyeing these up, I’m outlining how I did it below!
Using even strokes, I applied a thin layer of stain to my wood. I wanted a weathered wood look, so I only did one thin coat. After it dried (which only took a little bit in the sun) I gave it a light sanding to allow some of the wood color to show through.
*Side note- This Varathane Fast Drying stain is the bomb! Smooth coats, rich color and it dries so fast for those who are crazy impatient like me! I use it for all sorts of projects, and this teeny can goes a long, long way!
Next, you will want to use your Cricut to make a name stencil. (While I highly recommend getting one, if you don’t have a machine, you can message me on my Etsy and I can create a custom listing and make one for you!). I used Orcal 651 vinyl here because it is a bit thicker and sticks down better, to help achieve those clean lines. The color of the vinyl doesn’t matter, because you are going to peel it off anyway. Have fun with fonts and make something that you LOVE! Make sure when you are weeding your vinyl to remove the negative space, not the outside!
Use transfer tape to transfer your stencil onto your wooden circle, making sure to smooth out any bubbles. They happen really easily, as you can see in my picture! I also suggest laying it down on your circle to get an idea of placement prior to removing the backing, or you will wind up having to make a whole new stencil if it is crooked!
Before the paint dries fully, carefully peel the vinyl off.
You should be left with a nice, clean name! You may have to do some small touch ups, especially if your edges weren’t sealed well (so make sure you seal them well!), but otherwise should have something similar to this. Allow this to dry fully before you move on!
Play around with the placement of your greenery and florals prior to glueing them down. I couldn’t find the exact greenery that I used, because I have had it on hand for a while in my florals stash, but the eucalyptus stems here are gorgeous! Same goes for the florals, but I use THESE all the time and the quality is fantastic! Not to mention you get a bunch for other projects and there are a lot of colors to choose from. Once you have the look you want, just use some basic hot glue to stick them in place!
I initially was going to leave it with just the florals on top, but once I glued them, I felt like it needed balance. In hindsight, had I placed the name a bit lower I would have left it. But I absolutely love the way that It looks with the lower bunch, too!
I used to have a photo of Addilyn hanging above those pots in our room (I get asked about those ALL. THE. TIME! Get a set HERE!), but since we put Lilliana’s crib under it, I have been dreaming of this sign. Now that it is finally done and hung, I could not be any happier with the look! I feel like my sweet tiny girl finally has a little place to call her own, and it makes my mama heart happy!
It’s that time again! I absolutely love bringing you my top picks each month, and this one was super fun because it is all products that I used for a much needed vacation! We met my family at the North Carolina Coast for a week of R&R and it was so good to get out of this house! Sure, we had to social distance and eat in instead of hitting up our favorite restaurants, but I was just thankful for a break from the monotony. Read on to see why I love each thing, and as usual, click the pink links to shop!
My biggest issue with sunscreen is that greasy feeling. I absolutely detest feeling slimy! We discovered this stuff a year or two ago and I really prefer not to use anything else! It goes on smooth and dries well, leaving you feeling soft but not that gross sticky feeling.
My two year old loves to play with my stuff, especially my sunglasses. After having her lose a pair and seeing her track record with her own sunglasses (RIP), I decided that a cheap pair was the way to go! I found these ones and was very pleasantly surprised! They are actually a great quality, and they came with a cloth and bag to keep them safe!
I hardly use baby powder with my kids (for it’s intended use), but we absolutely love it for the beach! Mom hack for sandy hands- and everything else- is to dust with baby powder and then it will wipe right off! I prefer the Burt’s Bees brand because it is much better for babies and it smells wonderful!
This is one of my absolute favorite songs- and truths! This tee is super soft and a great quality. I’m all for comfortable and cute these days!
I have tried just about every makeup remover spray out there, and even the ones that say they won’t, leave my brushes feeling junky! A friend recommended this little sponge to me, and it has blown me away how clean my brushes are after using it! And at $6.99, it’s a steal deal!
I truly am a sucker for all things Tree Hut brand, as you all know! The scent of this alone is to die for! But since giving birth, all of the hair on my head is falling out, meanwhile my leg hairs grow at breakneck speed! I decide to give this stuff a shot and it has allowed me an extra day before needing to shave! Which in my book is a huge win!
As I said, Tree Hut fanatic over here! Their bath bombs do not disappoint!! This particular one detoxifies and leaves you feeling super hydrated, which is great after being out in the sun!
I love a bright pop of color on my toes in the summertime! This one is perfect for sandal weather, and OPI brand holds up great at the beach! Which I need considering I only paint my toes once a month most of the time! (mom life)
I don’t know about you, but my lips stay super dry, even though I drink like a camel! Especially in the summer time when I am out in the sun. This little tub of scrub tastes amazing (you lick off the extra sugar!) and leaves your lips feeling awesome. I am allergic to most lip products, so I was super excited to find something more natural that didn’t break out my mouth!
Tried and true, these are comfy and easy! Plus they come in TONS of colors and don’t cost a fortune. My summer go-to shoe!
If you’re looking for a low-carb meal idea, go no further- this is IT! Great for 2B Mindset/low-carb eating plans (Gestational Diabetes, too!), this dish packs a super flavorful punch.
One of my favorite Italian restaurants back home makes a dish very similar to this, and my little sister perfected the recipe on the stove top (which you can totally do!). After having it on vacation, Michael and I decided that we needed to try it out on our Blackstone when we got home! We absolutely love cooking on it, especially with that view!
Seriously, you need to try this in your next meal rotation! It comes together in minutes and makes plenty for leftovers, too!
Italian Chicken and Vegetables
- 1 lb chicken breast, cubed
- 1 16oz bottle of traditional Italian Dressing (you could go light here!)
- 1 yellow onion, cut into small pieces
- Two medium heads of Broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 good sized Zucchini, cubed
- 1 container of cherry tomatoes
- 1 jar of roasted red peppers (I like the already sliced kind, but you can slice them yourself, too).
- 1 container of baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 TBSP minced garlic
- Olive oil (for cooking)
- Feta Cheese crumbles- as desired!
- Place your cubed chicken in a bag and add just enough dressing to ensure that your chicken is fully covered. Allow it to marinate in your fridge for at least 2 hours!
- While your chicken is marinating, go ahead and cut/prep all of your other veggies to make life easier when cooking time rolls around!
- Heat your griddle (or skillet if you are doing stovetop) to medium-high and add a drizzle of olive oil.
- Add your chicken and onions, and cook until about halfway done. Drizzle a little extra Italian dressing on it as you cook.
- Add in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring well so it doesn’t burn.
- Add in the broccoli, zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms and the remaining Italian dressing and cook until your veggies are tender.
- Lastly, add in the tomatoes and cook until heated through.
- Remove to a serving dish, or plate it directly, and top with Feta cheese crumbles! (We go heavy on the Feta!)
In case you were wondering, this dish is even toddler approved! Yay for mama getting more veggies into my sometimes picky eater!
Losing a baby is hard. It is something that unfortunately, so many go through, and there really isn’t any way around it but to just grieve through it. (I’ve been there myself, and with my ministry I talk to so many women who are in that place, too!).
When someone you love has lost a baby, it can be hard to know exactly what to do to help. I wrote this post to help with what to say, but if you are like me, gift giving is my love language. I absolutely love to send something tangible. And while “things” can’t erase the pain, having something to hold (or lift your spirits) can go a long way to making things a little easier! My sister gifted me a beautiful necklace after our loss and it was one of the most meaningful things anyone has ever given me!
I have rounded up a list of things that I love to gift, just in case you need some ideas for how to help your loved one, too! (Click the pink links to go to the item!)
This verse is so comforting, especially in a season of loss. It may not feel like it in that moment, but God has a plan for every painful thing! With a blank inside, this is great because it can be used as a prayer journal, bible study journal, or just a space to mentally dump burdens onto paper!
This is one that I just recently discovered, but will definitely use all the time! Not only is it a beautiful gift for a friend (or yourself), but it is far from a basic journal. It has areas to write to the baby (this was super healing for me!) and add any other memories that you want to cherish. It also has worksheets for emotional support and grief to help work through special or difficult days (like the due date), gratitude prompts, and devotional prompts. It really is a beautifully thought out journal!
If you know me (or read me often) you know I love me some Lysa T. She hits the nail on the head with this one, for so many different reasons. She really helps refocus the heart on what to do when God’s timing and purpose seems doubtful. It’s a great book for anyone to read!
It is so easy in our hurry to care for the mom, to forget about dad and his heart, too! This beautifully written collection of letters brings some solidarity and comfort to the guys. Make sure you don’t forget them!
This book is so sweet for families that have other children. Many times, parents choose not to tell their kids about a loss. But often, especially in later term losses, the conversation has to be had. This precious book helps to explain the complexity of the topic to little minds in a way that is very healing!
I have to admit, when I first saw the price of this one, I wasn’t sure about it. But once I got it in hand, I am SOLD! This ring is so beautiful, and could be given to anyone going through something hard. It has the words “My Story Isn’t Over Yet” inscribed on the inside of the ring, which is an awesome reminder of hope through the hard. This one is especially sweet if she has been trying to conceive for a long time. It comes in a beautiful gift box with a silver cloth, and is perfectly dainty and sweet!
Another one I am sorry I ever doubted! This is a beautiful piece, packaged so nicely with a silver cloth, too! It is a more subtle way to honor a child (in that someone looking at it wouldn’t know specifically what it was for) and is really neat gift for those who don’t want to be public about their loss. It can also just be a sweet mother and child gift, with a gorgeous crystal in the center!
This one quote was my favorite after my loss. It is a beautiful reminder of the love that I gave my baby and will continue to give until I take my last breath! So of course when I saw this bracelet, I loved it! It is a great quality, and again, the inscription is tucked privately on the inside, just in case they don’t want to tell the world!
This little ornament is so beautiful and makes a sweet gift! They may tuck it away for the tree, so that their little one can be with them at Christmas time, but many choose to display it! I have seen these on book shelves and even hung in memorial gardens. Such a special way to honor loss of any loved one!
Last but not least by any means! This is such a beautiful gift for anyone! I love the simple charm of a Willow tree, and it can serve as a beautiful memorial piece. The perfect gift if you truly don’t know what else to give, and you can give it to anyone grieving a loss!
I hope this list is helpful! I know it can be so hard to know what to do when you see someone that you care about hurting. Like I said, I have gifted each of these items multiple times and they have all been received with extremely thankful (and emotional) hearts! You can’t go wrong with any of them.
Father’s Day 2020 is almost here! If you’re like me, your husband has done so much through this quarantine and deserves to be spoiled a little bit! My hubs got his gift early this year, but if you are running a little behind, I’ve rounded up a few finds for you! Most of these are Prime shipping eligible, so you should have them by the weekend! If they aren’t, they are worth the wait!
These are Prime eligible with great reviews! Get them by Friday! And if you click the link above, you can get them 50% off today! (Promo will apply automatically at checkout!)
These are also Prime eligible with great reviews! Get them by Friday, just in time for Father’s Day! Click the pink link above for 50% off! (Promo will apply automatically at checkout!)
Maybe gas grilling is more your dad style?! This is a GREAT grill! It may arrive a little late, but he will love it!
Hopefully that gave you a little inspiration!! What are you grabbing for Dad this year?
I’m so excited to share my first Design Consultation with you guys! My friend Lizzie contacted me because she needed some help decluttering and styling the built-in area in her living room. Bookshelf styling is my favorite, so I couldn’t wait to jump right in! The budget was $100, so we were trying to work with things that she already had. Here is the before:
Prior to finding any items, I always like to sketch out what is in my head for a few reasons:
- It helps me to see what elements are needed to fix the space.
- It helps my client with the placement of the elements so that they can achieve the vision!
Once the vision is laid out, I go shopping for items to link to my client! For her space, here is what I chose:
I love these in the white ceramic pot to brighten the room! The pot is sometimes available directly from the grower which helps. I have a few Costa Farms plants and they are fantastic!
Because she did not want to paint her shelves, switching out the frames for brighter ones helped to break up the dark wood! She actually opted to spend some of her budget on pillows, so she painted her current frames instead. I love how flexible these can be!
Leaning books in these can help break up the continuity of books on a shelf, and adds some visual interest! This set from Amazon is a major bargain buy, and I use them often in designs!
Again, anything that adds brightness and greenery to dark shelves is your friend! This little set of four is an awesome group and easy to split between your shelves! My client actually found some that were similar but slightly larger and went with those. That’s the fun thing about my digital consults! I make suggestions, but ultimately you can wing it and achieve the look with what you find if you want!
Ultimately, she pivoted a tiny bit and went with white chicken wire baskets, cotton stems (her cat eats plants, and fiddles aren’t good for cats!) and some clear jugs she found at Target. Either way, the shelves look much less cluttered, much brighter, and what is most important is that my friend loves her new space!
I gave my husband a 36″ Blackstone Griddle as his anniversary/Father’s Day gift from us a few weeks ago. Ladies, buy your husband one! It was basically a gift to me. He offers to cook almost every day that it isn’t raining and he makes good food!
In the height of the COVID19 panic, I stocked up on Steak-umms. Yep! Cheap ol’ Philly steaks! Simply because they were one of the only meats that my Walmart had available. In the interest of using up what I bought, I put them on the menu a couple of weeks ago. My intention was to make them the way we had them growing up: on toast with cheese and ketchup! A true 90’s delicacy! Michael had other plans…
In comes our fancy griddle! He whipped these up and they were SO good! Like I’m serious, you couldn’t even tell we weren’t eating at some fancy restaurant. And it was a bargain meal that cost less than $10 to feed our whole family! I am a huge fan of cheap meeting delicious! Read on to get all the deets on how to make these for yourself! And if you don’t have a Blackstone, go ahead and order you one! You will not be sorry. We haven’t missed our traditional grill for one second!
Philly cheesesteaks on the Blackstone Griddle- The Cheap Way
- 10 pack of Steak-Umms
- 2 Green Bell Peppers, seeded and diced
- Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic powder to taste
- Onion Powder to taste (it would be extra yummy to do a white onion, we just didn’t have one! If you do that, dice it and add it in with the green peppers. You could go crazy here: Red peppers, sliced mushrooms, etc)
- Good quality Hoagie rolls
- Sliced Provolone Cheese
- Preheat your griddle on medium heat.
- Put a drizzle of olive oil down, and then sautée your veggies until tender. Add a spritz of Worcestershire sauce here for flavor if you want!
- Once your veggies are cooked, slide them over to a “warm” burner.
- Break up your Steak-umms and cook them thoroughly in a drizzle of oil. Add a heavy pour of Worcestershire sauce and your spices to them as they cook.
- While the meat is cooking, heat a pat of butter. Slice open your hoagie rolls and place them insides-down on the butter to toast them.
- Add the vegetables back to the cooked meat and stir well.
- Divide the meat/veggie mixture between your rolls and top with two slices or provolone cheese (or whatever tickles your fancy! There’s no such thing as too much cheese!)
We have eaten these twice now, and I think I may just make them a regular! It’s been so nice living in our outdoor spaces with all of this nice weather, and we are loving our new outdoor kitchen staple!
Summer is finally here, and the quarantine is starting to lift! I’ve been testing out a few things to bring to you guys as we emerge into seeing other people again, and decided that these are all needs for the warmer weather! I have so much fun doing these posts and trying new things. Without further adieu, I bring you your summer kick-off must-haves! As always, click the pink links to shop!
I personally love CUPSHE! The black ruffle sleeve one is one of theirs (this one). Flattering and stylish, but also functional for a nursing mom who is chasing a toddler! The animal print one is actually this one from Tempt Me. Also tons of CUTE flattering styles that are high quality, but carry an affordable price tag.
I just love this stuff! It smells so good, and it helps get that healthy summer glow to your skin, but leaves you feeling super clean! It is great for scrubbing off sunscreen after laying by the pool or on the beach!
I am obsessed with these masks! They are an awesome value at less than $1/mask, and they leave your face feeling so relaxed and refreshed! That aloe one feels fantastic after getting a little too much sun, too.
I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t wear much makeup at all when I am at the pool or beach. I can’t stand the feeling of sweating with makeup caked on. If I am going to show my natural face, clean pores are a must more than ever! This Dead Sea Mud Mask works wonders for clearing out the impurities and leaves your face feeling cleaner than ever!
These are amazing for relaxing your facial muscles! Chill it in the fridge before using, and it feels even better after a sunny day! Plus, they reduce puffiness, and mama can pretty much always use that in my eye-region these days.
Druzy jewelry is the perfect way to add a hint of sparkle! These are so cute, and at less than $1/pair, you can afford to risk them while you have your summer fun!
My favorite self-care item right now! I love how it nourishes and buffs, especially on my feet! It feels like a fancy pedicure upgrade, but the whole tub costs less than one treatment would. Winning!
I am a fair-skinned redhead. I am either white as a ghost, or burnt, for the first month of summer. This little magic tube works wonders! No streaks and stains, just a fantastic, even tone! And it doesn’t smell like cat pee like most do. Wanna try it?! You can order yourself some HERE or message me on Facebook and I can hook you up!
Ok but seriously, who needs some wine delivered right about now? We have used Nakedwines for a few years off and on and have loved everything we have gotten! We actually just got a case and they have all been fantastic! Super affordable and supports small wineries that are struggling in our current economy. I love to unwind after a long day of mommin’ with the occasional glass!
If you use this link you can get a $100 Voucher to spend on your first case. (Make sure when you check out that you are on the NakedWines website! I had a friend wind up on a third party somehow )
We love tacos around here. Tacos in any and every form or fashion. Taco Tuesday is very much a thing in this house! Typically, we go soft-shell. But there is something to be said about a good crunchy taco! My main beef (pun not intended, but I’m rolling with it!) is that the shells always fall apart! Which is super annoying, especially when you are typically holding a baby while eating. #momlife
One day, I discovered this handy little trick that is SO easy and will dramatically improve your crunchy taco eating experience. Not really a recipe, but rather a tweak to the way you prepare them! Try this out and let me know what you think!
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grab your favorite 9×13 baking dish and stand your taco shells in it. I was able to fit 8, but it just depends on the shells you buy!
Sprinkle fiesta blend, or Colby jack, shredded cheese into each shell.
Bake approximately 10 minutes, until cheese is fully melted and starting to brown just a bit.
Add your favorite toppings and enjoy! The baking process makes the shells juuuust chewy enough that they don’t fall apart! But they still maintain that yummy crunch! The melty cheese holds all of your beef in, so that it doesn’t go everywhere. This is the only way to eat a crunchy taco! Try it and you will never turn back.
I am so excited to finally announce a new service that I am going to be offering: digital design consultations! As many of you may or may not know, I have a design degree. I also have a passion for making over spaces and interior decorating! Tie that in with a bit of an online shopping addiction, and this new project was born!
Here’s how it will work:
- You fill out this form, and then send me a few good photos of the space you want to makeover (can be indoor, outdoor, garden, patio, etc) either via email or Facebook.
- You give me a budget that you are trying to keep your makeover under for each space, including supplies and decor.
- I send you a detailed list, complete with links, of items to purchase for your makeover. Furniture, decorations, supplies… I can even find you paint (yes, I order paint online and its phenomenal!).
- I will also send you a sketch of your space, with the updates we discussed. This will help with placement, etc!
Your only obligation is my design fee. Anything else, you buy as you want, leave things off, etc! That’s it! Make the changes and love your new space!
Design fee is $50/space- paypable by Venmo, PayPal or CashApp and will be due up front. I will get everything to you within two weeks of payment (to allow time for sketching and finding products). Space will be limited each month, so contact me ASAP to get on the list! <3 Designs may or may not be shared on my blog (I can leave your photos out if needed!)
Check out below for some examples of work I have done! I have a major bathroom makeover in the works, too!
When I planned Addilyn’s Tea for Two birthday party, I knew I wanted to add a few light but savory finger foods. Being 9 months pregnant, I didn’t really want to fool with anything too complicated, and large quiches can be finicky!
So I set out to create a recipe for super easy mini quiche, and these fit the bill! All ingredients that you can grab quickly if you are in a pinch! You could totally make your own pie crust, and wilt your own spinach. But who has time for all of that?! They taste just as fantastic this way! Whip up a batch for a fancy tea party, or just a casual brunch. They are a crowd pleaser and make you look like a gourmet chef!
Mini Quiche Florentines
- 2 Refrigerated Pie Crusts
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Sprinkle pepper
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1-1.5 cups thawed frozen spinach (depending on how “spinachy” you want them to be! Squeezed so its not soggy!)
- Cooking spray
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 24 cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Unroll your pie crust, and cut 24 circles using a 2.5-3″ cookie cutter. Press the circles into the bottom and up the sides of each mini muffin cup.
- Sprinkle half of your cheese into each well, and top with spinach.
- Whisk together your half and half, egg, egg yolk, salt and pepper.
- Pour evenly into each well and top with a sprinkle more of parmesan cheese.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until filling is set.
- Remove from oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
These can totally be made a day before and stored in the fridge! Simply heat them in a 300 degree oven until they are warmed through! That’s what I did for Addie’s party, just to make life easier the day of!
Trying to conceive can be a super stressful time, especially if you are struggling with infertility. We had our fair share of hiccups, including the loss of our sweet first child, to get to our Addilyn. Over the course of our few years of trying, I found a few things that were truly helpful, both physically and mentally/emotionally! I am here to share those with you today, sweet friends, in hopes that it can help in your season of wait! (Click the pink links to shop!)
These are a major must-have, I promise!! When you are trying to conceive, it is easy to spend a small fortune on ovulation and pregnancy tests at the store. They are so dang expensive! Which only adds to the sting when you get that dreaded negative. These tests are incredibly accurate, and are actually what most medical facilities use! And at pennies on the dollar, you won’t feel bad about obsessively taking them!
It helps so much to figure out exactly where in your cycle that you ovulate. We had been trying around the standard window of when “most women” ovulate, without any luck. I started using these strips and found out that even when I have a normal 28 day cycle, my body didn’t actually ovulate until Cycle day 18-19 most of the time. This helped us so much with timing, which as you know is literally everything when you are TTC!
I won’t go into the details, but ya’ll this stuff works. It just does! I had so many ladies recommend it to me due to their success when TTC. I know it wasn’t the only factor involved, but I firmly believe that it helped!
Just temping did not work for me, but it was so helpful to compare with my ovulation strips! That being said, I know so many people that tracking patterns in their Basal Body Temperature worked perfectly for! Either way, it is a great tool to have! A lot of time I would look at the patterns in my BBT and then confirm my suspicions with a strip! This particular one has an app where you can log everything, as well!
This book was the single most transformational part of my journey while trying to get pregnant with Addilyn. It helped my heart find so much peace. It gave me a purpose during my season of waiting and took so much of the sting out of it! I would recommend it to literally anyone, even if you aren’t waiting on a baby. Grab it- you won’t be sorry!
I am a pen and paper kinda gal, personally! I used a plain, boring notebook back then, but I WISH I had had a pretty tracker journal like this one!! It helps so much to see it all mapped out!
Relax! Keep it fun! Its so stressful anyway, and if you are obsessing and stressing your partner out, it can make things harder!
Why, so often, when a mom says she is stressed about XYZ in life, do we so often say “you are too blessed to be stressed!” Why can’t we just acknowledge that feeling overwhelmed or stressed out is a part of raising little humans? That feeling stressed or overwhelmed is not in any way negating that we know how very lucky we are to have our family!
Why do we shame for feeling the need to clean or work, telling her to just ignore it and enjoy the moments? I know for me personally, the sentiment evokes an extreme sense of guilt. Like I need not feel the things I feel, because that means that I am taking my life for granted. I am sure that I am not alone in feeling this way, either! It’s no wonder that postpartum depression is on the rise. You can enjoy the moments and still feel like you need am minute to clean your house and get your act together!
Mamas! It is absolutely okay to be blessed AND stressed at the same time! There is not one single thing wrong with feeling the pressure, and that does not mean that you love your family any less. If anything, I think it means that we love them more.
I am here to cut the guilt game. Your feelings are valid. My feelings are valid. We simply need to lay those feelings at the feet of Jesus and allow Him to lighten our burdens. Allow Him to help you make imperfect progress, day by day. Let go of feeling guilty for feeling!
And if you are someone who typically echoes the “too blessed to be stressed” sentiment, cut it out! Instead ask, “How can I help?” Or if you are not close by, “How can I pray for you?” Let’s band together, ladies! We are not alone! (Even if this quarantine makes you feel like you are!)
Shepherd’s pie is one of my favorite comfort foods. It is also a great way to use up random ingredients that are about to go bad! We stocked up on ground beef a few weeks ago and some of it was on the verge of freezer burn, so I whipped this little recipe up. To be honest, it is one of my favorite recipes I have ever created! Super simple!
First, I sautéed my carrots in olive oil to soften them up a bit. Then, I added the ground beef and cooked it until fully done. I love making dishes like this in my cast iron skillet, since it easily goes from stovetop to oven!
Add salt and pepper to taste! Once the carrots are soft and the beef is fully cooked, add the frozen peas and carrots! If you don’t have fresh carrots on hand, a big bag of frozen mixed veggies works great! I was just trying to use up my carrots.
Mix the flour in very well and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add in the beef broth, garlic powder and onion powder.
Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the gravy thickens.
Top with mashed potatoes. I used a family size package of Bob Evans brand, because I had them on hand and was being lazy. You could totally whip up a batch of your own mashed potatoes and put them on top.
Stop for five minutes to get the baby to sleep. just kidding…that’s only for me!
Top with the cheese and pop that bad boy into the oven!
Bake until your cheese is all melty and just slightly browning on top.
This was absolutely delicious! My toddler loved it, and I am always game for things that help get her to eat veggies!
That’s it! A super easy weeknight meal that is savory and comforting!
Easy (Cheesy) Shepherd's Pie
- 1.5lbs ground beef
- 1 cup cut mini carrots*
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1.5 cups beef broth
- 1 family size container of Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes
- 2 cups Colby jack cheese
- 1tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat your oven to 350, and heat a drizzle of olive oil in a cast iron skillet on your stovetop.
- Add cut carrots and sautée until they are starting to soften.
- Add ground beef to carrots and cook until beef is no longer pink and carrots are soft.
- Add frozen veggies and cook for a couple of minutes, until they are starting to thaw.
- Stir the flour in very well and heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add beef broth and spices and then simmer 3-4 minutes, until your gravy thickens.
- Spread mashed potatoes over the top of the meat mixture.
- Top with cheese and place into the oven.
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes, until your cheese is melted and just starting to brown on top
- Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
You may remember last month when I announced my new top picks for each month! (See April HERE) Well, it’s time for the May edition!! I have found some pretty awesome stuff to share with you guys this go around! Some self-care, some beauty, some fashion- all make awesome gifts. Browse the list, just in time for Mother’s Day! Just click the pink links to shop.
I am in the process of re-doing our master bath and am going with a farmhouse look. I saw this sign and thought it was adorable, but also hilarious given the current state of our world! I will never take my TP for granted again! Grab this cute, cheeky sign for your bathroom to commemorate surviving the COVID19 pandemic!
I am legit addicted to this stuff! Short on time? Just use it on your dry skin! No nicks and your legs are super smooth. Literal life-saver for a new mom!
A true neutral nail girl- this speaks my love language! If you have never tried Essie polishes, the wide brush and smooth application is second-to-none. This shade is a must-have for spring 2020!
I have naturally auburn hair. I love shampoos that bring out the caramel undertones, and this brand does not disappoint! Plus it leaves your hair super smooth and shiny!
I’ll be honest, a full face of makeup is just not a priority for me every single day right now, being stuck at home and chasing a toddler with an infant in arms. I absolutely love this stuff because it gives you quick, lightweight coverage that doesn’t feel cakey. I apply a hint of moisturizer and then this BB cream and am good to go!
This stuff is so creamy…if you could call a powder that! It is a bronzer and highlighter in one, and the rose gold hue is perfect for the season! It smells heavenly, is hypoallergenic, paraben and gluten free. If you need a little something to add dimension and glow to your makeup routine, this little tub is it!
Would this even be a Kisses + Caffeine must-haves list if I didn’t recommend a coffee to you guys?! This stuff is so good, and a huge bargain on Amazon! You can get a whole bag for what one cup costs in the store! (Side note: I LOVE making iced coffees with this in our Ninja coffee bar!)
I was dying to try this after hearing so many people rave about this brand…it did not disappoint! Fun and fizzy with a little surprise inside!
A sweet friend gifted this to me as a beautiful daily reminder, especially on those hard days! I have it in rose gold, but it’s so pretty in gold as well! Grab one for yourself and for a friend to remind her that she is enough!
The shoes are a new favorite!! If you are familiar with Tieks, these are every bit as great, but with a much smaller price tag! Genuine leather, soft soles, and they fold up easily to stash in your purse! I am absolutely obsessed! You can purchase them through my online store!
There you have it! My May picks! Shop them below! What are you loving right now?!
What better treat is there when it is warm outside than home made ice cream?? And how much more fun to do it with your kiddos? Addie absolutely loves to make ice cream with us and it is a great way to keep her entertained for a couple of hours. Some of my absolute favorite childhood memories are of our family sitting on the back porch cranking ice cream. Thankfully for me, now that I am the parent, we have motorized ice cream makers!
This recipe is for cotton candy ice cream, because that is her favorite. It’s a great base recipe though, for many, many other flavors! Simply leave out the cotton candy flavoring to make a delicious vanilla (that tastes like the creamiest soft serve you have ever had!). Mix whatever you fancy into your vanilla base! Cookie dough pieces, brownie pieces, chocolate chips….I could go on!
So go on, mama! Throw those ingredients on your Walmart pickup list, and make some sweet summer memories with your babes!
Cotton Candy Ice Cream
- 3 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
- 2 1/2 cups Whole Milk
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 TBSP vanilla extract
- 3 TBSP Cotton Candy Flavoring
- Pink Food Coloring as desired
- Read your manufacturer’s directions for your ice cream maker. Most will say to chill the canister for a little bit prior to making your ice cream.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until sugar is mostly dissolved. If you can make it and allow it to sit in the fridge for a few hours, that rocks! But if you are doing this on a whim, like we usually are , it is totally fine just to stir it all up and go! The mixer will mix it more!
- Freeze up according to the directions on your ice cream maker!
That’s it! An incredibly easy summer treat for your family! As you can see, Addie is a fan!
You guys want the literal easiest meal in the universe?? I am bringing it to you today! You can even double (or triple!) this and stash away some in the freezer for a rainy day! Just assemble and place into gallon freezer bags and freeze flat! When you are ready to eat, just thaw in the fridge overnight and cook as directed!
You can either cook this meal in a skillet, or place it in the crock pot on low for 4-6 hours! And you could totally whip this up for a dinner party and look like a fancy Italian chef! It is quickly becoming a favorite in our house! Not just because it’s easy, but it is so delicious, too!
Spinach Pesto Chicken
- 1.5-2lbs chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup (8oz jar!) of your favorite pesto. I love the Classico brand!
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 4-5 cups fresh spinach
- 1tbsp minced garlic
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add all ingredients, and cook until chicken is cooked through.
- Serve over your favorite pasta, cauliflower rice or zoodles! Toss a sprinkle of parmesan on top, just for fun!
Our sweet Lilliana Grace joined our family on March 2nd! A week later, my beautiful friend Mandie Joy Dowling Photography came to our home to do a lifestyle photoshoot. It turned out exactly how I had imagined and the pictures are so dreamy! We will cherish these special moments in our home for life! I simply have to share them with you guys!
This little pumpkin was an absolute champ for the entire photoshoot! She was born for the camera!
She could kiss Lilliana all day long and never get sick of it!
And this pretty much sums up sister life. 🙂
My girls think their daddy hung the moon, and it is the absolute sweetest relationship ever. I am so, so proud of the #girldad that he is!
They both definitely have a healthy dose of “mama’s girl,” too! I am so blessed to be their mom.
That little newborn smirk!!!
Told ya. All the kisses, all the time!
I already miss her being so tiny. It breaks my heart how quickly babies grow!
3 generations! These next few pictures are so special to my heart! My sweet mama was here helping us when Mandie came out. I was super excited when she asked if she wanted to join in on the fun. I know we will cherish these for a lifetime!
My precious sugar baby. You are everything I never knew I needed. All of the struggles to bring you here (Thanks, Gestational Diabetes!) were worth it!
Lillie’s “nursery” is in our room for now! I will have to do a separate post showing that off! Simple but sweet.
I didn’t think that I wanted breastfeeding pictures, but I am so glad that I said yes when she asked if I did! We grabbed a few more “personal” ones, but I just think this one came out so special!
Literally pure sweetness!
The sweetest, tiniest little hands! SMUSH! I wish babies stayed this tiny for much longer than they do!
Totally thought the session was done and threw my mom bun on, but then Mandie saw an opportunity for some sweet shots and we couldn’t resist! Turns out, they are some of my favorite from the session. In my most natural mom look!
She even captured a little kiss attack with my sweet big girl!
I could not be more in love with my precious little family! I don’t even remember what it was like not to love two baby girls. They are so special to us and I am forever thankful to Mandie for capturing these moments for us!
Having your second child is a wildly different experience than your first. Especially when you’re pregnant while your first is still very much a baby. I struggled my entire pregnancy with Lilliana with the fact that we did not have the space to give her a room of her own in our current home. I felt guilty because I put so much time and love into Addilyn’s nursery, and I wanted so badly to do that for my sweet Lillie.
But the reality of our situation was that for the foreseeable future, she was going to be living in our room with us. Thankfully, our master bedroom is very large, and we were able to allocate her a special corner.
A few weeks before her arrival, we put together a mini nursery and I have been SO happy with the way that it came out! It is very simple, but it is just what we needed.
The potted plants were already hanging in that part of our room, with a cozy reading corner. I swapped out a frame with her name sign (you can grab one here!) to personalize the area a bit.
The nightstand is the perfect spot for the baby “necessities” in a neat little basket. To be honest, I do most of my diaper changing right there on the bed. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of moving our TV to put a changing pad on my dresser, and it works for us! The name of the game here is to keep it simple and efficient!
That’s really all there is to it! If you live in a small space, or don’t have room for a true nursery like us, don’t fret over it! You can get creative and still create a lovely space for your baby to grow and thrive. We are so happy with the way this shared space came out and the three of us truly enjoy relaxing in there!
(And that big king sized bed is the perfect spot for family cuddles when big sissy is up!)
Somehow, our toddler loves pork! It’s a pretty random thing for a kid to love, but she does. So I try to incorporate pork chops into our meal rotation pretty regularly! Anything to not have to fight her to eat…
I created these delicious pork chops while trying to make something a little different to switch it up. They have been a huge hit with both her and the hubs, and we have them quite often!
Serve them with mashed potatoes, roasted little potatoes or your favorite roasted veggie (Asparagus is great!). The sauce is so good on potatoes!
Savory Sour Cream Pork Chops
- 4 pork chops (I prefer boneless, but that doesn’t matter!)
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth (it doesn’t matter which!)
- 4 TBSP Sour Cream
- 2 tsp (plus a little extra) Thyme (dried or fresh!). You can substitute Rosemary here and still get delicious chops!
- 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Olive Oil
- Preheat your oven to 475 degrees and heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high.
- Season your pork chops on each side with salt, pepper and a dash of Thyme.
- Place your chops into the skillet and sear about 1 minute per side.
- Carefully move the skillet into your preheated oven and cook approximately 10-15 minutes, until the chops are cooked through.
- Remove skillet from the oven and move your chops to a plate to rest.
- Place the skillet onto a burner heated to medium and add your broth, scraping the pork drippings and oil from the bottom of the pan. Do not pour them out! They add the flavor!
- Add Thyme (or rosemary), garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until liquid reduces by half.
- Once liquid is reduced, remove the pan from heat and add your sour cream, stirring until well incorporated.
- Add chops back to the pan, turning them to coat in the sauce, and heat on low just until warmed.
- Serve and enjoy!
Months ago, a friend contacted me to do a fairy themed first birthday cookie set! She gave me relative free reign, but knew that she wanted silhouettes! I decided some edible moss (dyed graham cracker crumbs!) and florals would give them that forest whimsy. And what is a fairy without pixie dust? Thanks to Fancy Sprinkles for edible glitter!
To get the mossy effect, I dyed graham cracker crumbs green and allowed them to dry overnight. Then, I flooded the cookies with green icing and dipped them into the crumbs while still wet! Super simple and creates a really neat effect on the cookies that looks like real moss!
These were so fun and whimsical! Looking back at them makes me want to do all the moss cookies all the time!
Addilyn’s Tea For Two birthday party was my favorite gathering I have done yet! And it wouldn’t be a proper tea party without tea sandwiches, now would it?! We had quite a few men coming to the party, so I wanted to make sure these were a bit more on the savory side, but still light enough to be true “tea sandwiches.” Everyone raved about them, so I would call it a hit! The perfect blend of fresh cucumber, soft whole wheat bread, cream cheese and spices, you could totally just make these to have for lunches, too! I may have eaten more than my fair share…
Cucumber Dill Tea Sandwiches
- 1 loaf bread, crust removed (I used whole wheat)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 4 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- one English cucumber, sliced thin
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine mayo and cream cheese until well incorporated (a hand mixer is super helpful here!).
- Add in your dill and spices.
- Spread half of your bread slices with a layer of the mixture.
- Top with your slices of cucumber and then place the other piece of bread on top.
- Cut into 4 triangles (or whatever shape you want!) and serve!
- You can store these in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Just make sure to wrap them tightly so that your bread doesn’t dry out!
Introducing something new I want to start on here: my top 10 picks for each month! They may be beauty items, self care or just things that make me smile and I know that you would love! I’ve been testing out products so that I can recommend with confidence, and here are my picks for the month of April: 10 things to spoil yourself a little bit! You are my favorite people, so I have to share my favorite things!
This stuff is AMAZING for dry skin. It smells super good, too!
Would I even be a new mom if I didn’t rely on this?! It’s my favorite because it doesn’t leave your hair feeling junky, and it smells great. The perfect quarantine hair solution! Amazon has it on sale $5.98 for two!
Okay first of all, this palette is just pretty! I will admit that I initially wanted it simply because I liked the way it looked. Once I got it on hand though, I was hooked! I love a simple eye and nudes are my go-to. These shades are beautiful for any skin tone, go on smooth and last throughout the day. 10 out of 10 recommend!
Fresh from RISE Apparel, these sandals do not disappoint! They are so versatile you can wear them really for any occasion. Made with 100% genuine leather, they come in a variety of cute colors, they’re waterproof (in and out of water wear), non-slip rubber sole, rust-proof brass buckles. These shoes are high quality and durable!
I admit I have been hooked on this product for a couple of years now! I absolutely love that dentist-clean feeling every time I brush! Not to mention that my teeth are so much whiter (no thanks to you, coffee…) and my sensitivity is almost totally gone! You can order some HERE or by messaging me on Facebook!
We all know about YETI. But YETI cups are not cheap! Plus what girly girl doesn’t want a pink tumbler to sip her coffee out of?! #Momlife usually has me reheating my coffee like 10 times, but not since I got this little lovely! I can sip all morning and still have hot coffee! Total bang for your buck here!
I’ve never liked liquid liner. Mostly because I either couldn’t get it right, or I looked like a raccoon a few hours later. This stuff is my new FAVE! It is incredibly easy to apply, gives you that sharp wing tip and lasts all day without smudging! Plus it’s only $6! Major bargain!
I’ve used a lot of the more expensive face primers, and I have to say I am perfectly happy with this one! It gives me a great smooth foundation without feeling cakey! You can’t beat $6, either.
This stuff smells like vacation! Which is perfect since we are stuck at home and only dreaming of the beach at the moment. Natural oils and gentle exfoliation leave your skin feeling so soft! This is the perfect way to end a self-pedicure or just pamper yourself a few times a week!
I am a chronic nail biter, especially when I am bored. When I am actually able to get my nails to grow out, they rend to break pretty easily. This stuff is awesome! A few coats and my natural nails feel strong like I have acrylics on! I cannot stand the look of chipped polish, so I don’t always have color on my nails. This may just be the answer! If you are a biter or your nails break easily, you need to try it out!
That’s it! my April top 10! Do you have a product that you absolutely love?! Tell me so I can try it out!
My diagnosis with Gestational Diabetes was a bit overwhelming at first, I’ll be totally honest! I will also be the first to tell you that I very quickly got sick of eating eggs…especially for breakfast! (you can read my takeaways from that whole experience HERE!) After a lot of trial and error, I found some tried and true breakfast options that gave me fantastic sugar levels, so I rounded them all up to share with you, my fave people. And hey, if you are new to this whole thing, go grab yourself a FREE downloadable sugar tracker HERE.
So, without further adieu, let’s eat breakfast!
1. Greek Yogurt
I think I ate Greek Yogurt for breakfast 5-6 days a week, not even kidding! I grew to love it. While I had some success with the flavored ones, I got my best results buying plain and flavoring it myself! Remember, protein offsets carbs. But the lower you can keep the carbs, the better your numbers will be.
Most mornings, I fixed myself a big fat bowl of yogurt, added a couple of packets of Splenda (or whatever no calorie sweetener you prefer) and some vanilla extract . It tastes amazing but has no sugar! This is also a great addition to a more carb heavy meal to help offset.
3. Hard Boiled Eggs
I typically made up a big batch of these at the beginning of the week so that I had them on hand in the fridge and was set up for success. On mornings when you just don’t feel like making something fancy, or don’t have the time, grab and go hard boiled eggs are the answer! Jessica Gavin gives a great tutorial for the ways to make them over on her blog!
4. Almond Crusted Quiche
This one requires a bit more planning ahead but it is so worth it! In fact, we had it for dinner a few times, too! You could make a couple of these up in the evening and keep them in the fridge for a quick re-heat in the morning! The almond crust takes out most of the carb content, but it tastes so good that you hardly miss it! Grab that recipe HERE!
5. Protein Shakes
These are a life-saver for when you are in a hurry! Or when you make a bad choice and have too many carbs and need a quick fix to bring your sugar down! (Been there, done that!) They are especially delicious if you freeze them and then eat them with a spoon like ice cream! Premier Protein were my favorite and this variety pack gives you options!
6. Protein Bars
Just like the shakes, these are great for grab and go mornings! I almost always took one of these on OB appointment days, because I had an hour drive and was usually in a hurry! They are a tiny bit more carb-filled, but always still gave me great numbers. Plus you feel like you are having a treat! Here are a few that were my favorites!
7. Bacon, egg and cheese on whole wheat toast
I found that if I put enough protein in my sandwich, I could get away with whole wheat toast! The Incredible Egg has a great recipe, but you can totally keep it simple here! Try it and see how your numbers do!
There you have it! A breakfast option for each day of the week! My biggest recommendation: Find what you like. Keep it simple, but vary it up as much as you can!
Hang in there, mama! You’ve got this! And it will be SO worth it when you hold that little one for the first time!
As I will tell you time and again, I am a firm believer in galactagogues! And also in cookies! 🙂 They work very well for me in terms of increasing breastmilk supply and have been a staple in my establishing this time around, especially! (Check out my post about increasing supply HERE) Fenugreek does terrible things to my supply, so I have gotten creative. I came up with this recipe when I was nursing Addilyn, and after having a lot of success with them, had a few batches frozen and ready to go when I came home from the hospital with Lilliana.
I tried my hand at quite a few different lactation cookies, but most are dry and honestly just gross! I tried the expensive ones that you order online, but with our budget that was just not a sustainable option for me. Once I perfected these delicious milk bombs, I have never gone back! I keep them on hand and eat a few a day (sometimes for breakfast…) and can definitely tell on the days that I don’t.
Soon to be mama? Do yourself a favor and make about 5 batches before you have your baby! Struggling with supply? Make some today and enjoy a few extra! You will thank me, I promise!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 tbsp Brewer’s Yeast
- 4 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, Brewer’s yeast, flax seeds, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars.
- Add eggs and vanilla, and mix until well incorporated.
- Add in the dry ingredients a cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula until well distributed.
- Roll into balls that are approximately 1 inch in diameter.
- Place on your cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the bottoms are golden.
- Let cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
I spent a lot of time this past weekend reflecting on the sacrifices that Jesus made for us, as I’m sure many did. In fact, Friday afternoon I was reading in Matthew about the events leading up to Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, which I have read so many times in my life.
Then just Friday night as we were putting the kids to bed, tensions came to a head and my husband and I did not show the best versions of ourselves. (Hey, we are human!) He went on to put Addie to bed, and I stormed off to our bathroom to fume over it a bit more. As I stood in front of the mirror, I asked Jesus to give me some strength because I was at the end of what I felt like I could handle in that moment. Then I remembered a sermon on marriage that we had listened to recently.
See, marriage is not meant to be sunshine and rainbows. In fact, it’s not meant to be easy. Marriage is meant to sanctify us and teach us to be more like Christ. It is actually a place where the ugliest parts of us so often arise, and I don’t think that is by mistake. We can choose to peace out when things get hard, or we can choose to see that exposure for what it is-a call to pray for help and work on that area of ourselves.
In that moment of frustration and conviction, I prayed “Father, Instead of the vindication that I feel entitled to, may I seek the sanctification that you have called me to.” Instead of storming back into the room once it was just us and making sure that my point was made and everyone acknowledged that I was right and he was mean (hah!), I needed to follow the example of Jesus in the garden the night of his arrest.
“Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?””
Jesus was entitled to vindication, far moreso than I ever will be. It was His right to see that servant’s ear struck off. But He chose sanctification and grace over vindication. And if the purpose of marriage is sanctification, then I ought to do the same, right?!
Marriage is not the only avenue to practice this discipline though. We are wronged by people every day. The car that cuts us off. The keyboard warrior that gets us riled up on social media. The friend that ignores us or says a hurtful word. Our bosses and co-workers. The person who fights us for the last roll of toilet paper. 🙂
In every facet of our daily lives, instead of the vindication that we feel (and may very well be) entitled to, may we seek the sanctification that Christ has called us to.