Friday, October 30, 2015


Hip hip hooray! It's here! Halloween marks the first holiday into the 'holiday season'!
Two of my favorite things about the holiday season are food and fun festivities. And I love even more when the two are combined!
So here we have it. With today being Halloween Eve, what better time to share this festive Halloween snack mix concoction that of course too can be nibbled upon all Fall. Mmm... Mmm... Good!!
Muddy Buddies - recipe here
Cinnamon Life
Whole Grain Goldfish
Peanut M&Ms
Reese's Pieces
Candy Corn (of course!)

The sweet and salty combination is calling your name!
I mean it sure did call mine because this mix is now g o n e. Yep. Time to make a second batch :)

I'm so excited for this weekend and all of the fun that is to come! Costumes, candy, and good friends. 
Happy Friday + Happy Halloween {Eve}!!


Monday, October 26, 2015


It's a dreaded time of year when it comes to pesky colds. Am I right??!
We recently felt colds trying to make their way around here and I jumped right on that to try to kick them before they made a full appearance. Cause ain't nobody got time for that. And I succeeded! This time at least...  Thank goodness too! Because there isn't much else like having tissue in hand and chasing around a snotty-nosed toddler.

Having a {walking} toddler now, we go more places and do more things where she is able to pick up more germs. And they are everywhere! But I'm certainly not going to lock ourselves in the house and live in a boring bubble (although sometimes I wouldn't mind that) ;), so the biggest thing... keep the immune system up so the colds can't make their way in the first place!
But when that hasn't worked, follow 1-8 bellow :)
How many germs you wanna guess are all over that slide?!
1. Humidifier. I am so impressed with this Honeywell. Love it! I had the Crane Drop Shape before and it was worthless. I run the humidifier in Harper's room during naps and night while she is asleep. Helps SO much in breaking up that congestion!
2. Essential Oils (thyme, lavender, eucalyptus). I swear by 'em. In so many ways. My favorite to use is the ImmuBoost blend from Time Laboratories. I put my oil diffuser with a few drops of that in her room while she sleeps. Smells so good too!
3. Viamin D. This is HUGE for our immune systems! Around here we take a vitamin d supplement every day of the year. Brandon and I take 5000 IU a day and then baby Vitamin D drops for Harper.
4. Daily Multivitamin. Once a day I mix this multi powder in either yogurt or cottage cheese for Harper. A little extra umph to go along with her daily diet.
5. Fruits + Veggies. Pack these babies in and get lots of them! They are loaded with vitamins and minerals help the body fight off whatever comes its way.
6. Fluids. Fluids. Fluids. All day every day.
7. Rest. Just get it. Promise it makes all the difference! Otherwise those darn colds can linger, and linger, and linger. No thanks!
8. Wash hands. Extra attention to this one when it's germ killing time!

There ya have it! It's that season so start doing it before the cold even starts to appear.
We're healthy as horses over here. Praying it will stay that way!


Friday, October 23, 2015


I haven't a clue what day it is lately. And that is mainly because we have been having so much fun! And to be honest when you're a stay-at-home-mama with a husband who is a busy realtor (who works nearly 7 days a week) the day of the week doesn't matter. Tuesdays can feel the same as Saturdays. We take it day by day and embrace it all!
After our Boston trip, Brandon left four days later to make a HUGE check mark on his bucket list by going to the USC vs Notre Dame game with his dad and brother. You could say he was just a little over the moon ;)
Well while daddy was away, my little and I did some Saturday morning shopping! New rain boots were in order since we were heading to the pumpkin patch (for our second time!) later that day.
Doesn't she look just the cutest in her boots?! Harper however was a bit more into the aquarium and the balloon :)
We made round two to the pumpkin patch with Auntie and her sister and her two girls who were in town visiting for the weekend.
There isn't much cuter than three littles piled in a wheelbarrow!
Living in Washington, the weather can catch ya by surprise. And boy did it! We planned ahead by checking the weather the day before (which said there wouldn't be any rain Saturday afternoon) well... that was 100% w r o n g! By the end of our 4 hours, we all looked close to what drowned rats might look like. And the three littles were over it.
But memories were certainly made :)
Come Sunday, Grandma She-She made a visit from Idaho! We love when she's here and hate when she has to leave.
Grandma left Tuesday and by Wednesday I didn't have a darn clue what the day was and was shocked to find out the week was already half over! But then again, does it really matter the day?? NO.
Now here's to another weekend! (I think...)
Yes! Happy Fri-YAY!


Thursday, October 22, 2015


Easy dinner meals?? YES please!!
And here's one of my favorites. Stuffed peppers!
This is such a quick, easy, go-to meal around our house. I generally have these ingredients on hand, so when it's one of those nights where a meal wasn't planned (or there was a change in plans) I can whip these babies together in no time! And the bonus.. I don't need a side to go with them because... veggie, check. protein, check. whole grain, check. Now that's what I'm talkin' about! This here recipe covers T H R E E major food groups. Stuffed peppers really are an all in one.
**Disclaimer: now it definitely isn't the 'prettiest' of meals I've made, but let me tell ya, they are so so so good. Don't let the looks deceive you ;)

Ingredient List:
3 bell peppers (any color)
1 small onion diced
2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice (I use a quinoa rice blend from Costco)
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Shredded parmesan cheese

--Preheat oven to 350.
--Cut bell peppers in half and clean out seeds/stems.
--In a bowl combine cooked quinoa/rice, drained & rinsed black beans, diced onion, and seasonings.
--Spoon pepper halves full of quinoa/bean mixture.
--Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
--Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
How easy is that??!
The peppers get cooked just enough to where their flavors have come out, but yet they haven't gotten too soft. I'm a texture person and too soft/over cooked veggies make me wanna gag. So with 10 minutes in the oven, these babies have reached perfection!
Really you could use just about any sort of ingredients to stuff your peppers. Diced or shredded chicken.. Ground turkey breast.. Various beans & veggies. Get creative!


Friday, October 16, 2015

Harper Monaé || 15 months

15 months. how. how. HOW??!!
To think that we've had this sweet soul in our lives now for 15 months is mind boggling!
How is it that I can feel like she was only barely born into our family like yesterday, while at the same time feeling like she's been here all along?
I continue to be amazed by all of the changes in her development and what she's learned in just one month's time.
When days get busy, and moments get stressful and at that moment all I can think about is getting through it.. I try (now it doesn't always happen), but I try to remind myself to soak it up and enjoy it. Because one day, yes really, I believe one day I will miss e v e r y bit of the stage she is in. Even the difficult moments. Like when we were on the 5 1/2 hour flight just a few short days ago and she would not. stop. crying. One day I will look back and miss that. Right?? I mean maybe not today, but one day ;)
She is just the perfect combination of sweet, loving, silly, and fiesty.
Boy does this little one eat! Since the day she was born we have not had any problem whatsoever with trying to get her to eat. She nursed like a pro and she now eats like a pro. She eats nearly everything we serve her without a complaint. The dietitian mama in me is so proud that she accepts new foods so well! She is also so good with letting us know she is finished by turning her head away. Or sometimes even knocking the food out of our hand. Once we hit that point, we know she is done and we don't continue 'force feeding' her just so she will finish the rest of what is on her tray. It is so important to listen to her and trust that she is full and finished so that we are sure to not teach her to overeat.
Favorite Foods:
-fruit (kiwi, apples, strawberries, pears)
-veggies (squash, corn, tomato, zucchini)
-cottage cheese
-lite string cheese
-whole grain goldfish
Not-so-favorite Foods:
-potatoes (ahh this one just kills me! to not like potatoes?? where is the Idaho in her?!)
She LOVED sampling the fudgesicle at Costco :) and that face is proof of it!
Thankfully sleep is SO easy around here! Harper is so predictable with this, doesn't put up a fight, and once she's out, she's out.
I think we are in the transition of moving from two naps to just one. As of lately, she goes down 10:30/11-1:30/2ish. Some days she would like a late afternoon/early evening nap, but it's starting to push a little too close to bedtime. So a second nap can be hit or miss depending on how tired she and what we have going on that day. 
Sleeping at night is a breeze. I almost feel guilty saying this for those mamas where night time is a struggle. Our little Harper has her bedtime routine, goes down by 8pm, and sleeps entirely through the night until she wakes aroud 7:30am. Thank you Jesus! What a struggle it would be around our house if we all weren't getting a good night's rest. I am praying that our next children will be as good of sleepers as Harper has been!
Look at those pretty after-bath locks!
Little miss Harper Monaé is so active these days and every second she is awake, she is on the GO!
And I love it.
This is such a fun age. She is so interactive and her little personality is shinning though more and more. I feel so blessed to get to spend my days with her and witness all of these changes.
One of her favorite things to do is 'help' me unload the dishwasher.
She is so good at entertaining herself and playing with her toys. On the daily, nearly everything form her toy chest gets pulled out and the living room on into the kitchen has toys scattered all around. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I just love that kind of a mess in my house. It brings so much joy seeing her having fun and playing. Of course the toys do get cleaned up before we go upstairs for naptime, because it's such a good feeling to come back downstairs to a clean living space :)
Being so sweet giving her baby hugs.
Reading. This girls just LOVES to read. It isn't uncommon for me to be wondering where Harper went, and this is where I find her. In her closet, with books all over the place. She loves turning the pages and pointing out all of the animals that she recognizes. It warms my heart that she loves books so much. And it isn't just tossing books around, but she actually sits there and goes through them as if she is really 'reading' them.
I've yet to actually get a good picture of it (where her leg is behind her), but here she is 'practicing' her arabesque that I taught her :) All my dancer friends, you can appreciate this one!
P H O T O  D U M P!!
Thanks for the 'massage' ;)
All that HAIR!! Makes her look so grown up! #hearteyes
Height: 32.5 inches (96th percentile)
Weight: 27 lbs 9 oz (96th percentile)
So many tears at this appointment, but then she completely turned around when I gave her the apple :)
I love you my sweet girl. I am so thankful to God for bringing you into our lives. Life is so much more with you in it and my life has felt fulfilled in places I didn't even know were missing. Happy 15 months to you and I can't wait to see what this next month will bring us!


Thursday, October 15, 2015


I had never been to the east coast before this trip, but man! It's gorgeous. I would recommend anyone to go if they have the opportunity. The history, picture perfect scenery, old architecture, and views. Just stunning. And to be honest pictures don't even do justice to how eye catching it all is in person. So get ready. Cause as I'm sure you can imagine... a big 'ol photo dump is making its way! 
There were times when I did soooo good at taking numerous pictures to document this trip, but then other times I was so into my surroundings and soaking it all in, that the camera went untouched. 
There were less pictures taken of us, but more of the beauty around us. Can you blame me? Just look at all the colors of those trees.  And they were even more vibrant in person.
My little brother (well in a few days he'll be 23 and he's bigger than me - so I guess he's my 'not-so-little' brother now) is in the Navy and stationed in Groton, Connecticut. Soooo the fam (me, Brandon, Harper, mom, and dad) flew in to make a trip out of a few days of leave Nickolas had. And yes, I still call him Nickolas although nearly everyone else uses 'Nick' ;) 
Being that Boston is only a couple hours away from Groton, we thought it'd be a fun place to explore and just went with it. And I'm so glad we did! Boston did not disappointed one bit! It was so fun getting the opportunity to visit. So I guess I can thank the Navy for that one ;) 
Our 6 day trip... Here we go! (day 1 + day 6 were travel, BUT to me vacation starts the minute I leave my house until the minute I step back through my front door).

Day 1:
Plane rides. Oh plane rides.
Harper has been on many, many flights since she was a newborn and has always been so good to fly with. Well of course being (almost) 15 months old, she's now more active than e v e r. and therefor this flight was more challenging than e v e r. BUT we made it through and she did nap for some of it :) and how about that long-messy-baby mullet-nap hair!
Day 2:
We started out our first day by really exploring downtown Boston with the Freedom Trail Tour. It really was the best way to start our trip and throw us right into the history of Boston. This tour takes you all through downtown Boston and highlights all of the historic significance.
The Old State House.
Massachusetts State House + Boston Common (America's oldest state park)
The views of these gorgeous buildings are just stunning, but there's nothing better than my view of this man ;)
Harper slept the e n t i r e tour, which we were A-OK with. That meant for a more peaceful enjoyment of the tour for us :)
...but once it was over and she was up, she was ready to explore! Only with her blanke in hand, of course...
That cheesy grin!
Then it was dinner at the historic Union Oyster House. Which is the oldest running, restaurant in the country.
Brandon LOVED it.
Harper, not so much.
Day 3:
We toured the USS Constitution. Which is currently the oldest active warship in America. We followed that with some shopping and dinner. Yes, we were those people and did every touisty thing we could think of. And we loved it!
Day 4:
Concord, Massachusetts.
I thought I loved Boston the most, and then we went to Concord (which is only about 15ish minutes outside of the city). Concord is where some of the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired. I loved this town. They have kept it so historic and quaint. If I didn't know better, I never could've guessed that we were just minutes away from the busy, populated city of Boston. Concord was so calm and peaceful. And beautiful! I loved the old churches and houses.
I have some inner desire where I wish I lived back in those days. There's just something about that small town, less hectic of a life, feel.
It's times like this that make me have even more of a desire to slow down and simplify our life and enjoy those little things.
A day of lunch and exploring around the town :)
And look at those piggies of hers! #hearteyes
"Yes, Harper, that is a dog."
Her love for all dogs. And clearly I mean allll dogs ;)
Our walking then led us to the old battle ground where those first Revolutionary War shots where fired. What an indescribable experience to be setting foot on the exact ground where men fought and lost their lives while fighting for what mattered most.
While strolling the grounds, little miss experienced her first sucker. And that soon became a big 'ol sticky mess :)
Day 5:
Fenway Park + Boston Harbor
The oldest baseball park in America. Built in 1911.
That seems to be a trend here "..the oldest        in America.." But what would you expect, we are in Boston after all :)
Brandon + Harper (asleep yet again for an entire tour) + Nickolas (my Navy Nuke brother - so proud of him!)
The oldest seats in baseball. Think how many people have sat here since back in the early 1900s.
Our last evening in Boston ended at Boston Harbor.
It was perfect.
Perfect temperature.
Perfect scenery.
Perfect company.
Their love for each other melts my heart every day.

Day 6:
Traveling home.
No pictures were taken because I was sad to be leaving and to be honest, down right exhausted!

Thank you, Boston for creating so many lifelong memories for my family and I.
This will be a trip forever cherished and remembered.
And now back to real life of laundry, dishes, and making the bed. Ughh!