Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Thanksgiving week!
It's here and it came so so fast! (kinda like I expected).
We've had a busy last week with celebrating Brandon's 31st birthday (nearly all weekend long - of course!), Christmas card pictures with the fabulous Candice, and then hosting Friendsgiving at our house. So much. But yet so fun!
A few pictures from the last week :)

31 balloons with 31 reasons we love him.
Birthday dinner at The Hub with just the three of us.
We had a family birthday dinner the night before at our favorite restaurant, The Table.
One of the two tables for Friendsgiving :)
And here we are, just t w o days away from Thanksgiving!
We are so excited for the great food, family/friend time, and a little bit of relaxation. But first {tomorrow}, we will be making our 12 hour drive to Pocatello, Idaho! Wish us luck for a long day of traveling with a 16 month old. She has always done great traveling before (she's been on many road trips/flights), but she is of course more active than ever and we are praying she will stay entertained! Once we arrive all will be good :) Pocatello shows snow in the forecast and I am so so excited for it! That's one of the things I miss most about home, snowy winters! There is nothing more magical and breathtaking than the city covered in perfect white snow.

Thanksgiving throwback to last year with our little {4 month old} Harper :)

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Christmas FOLLOWS Thanksgiving

I've always been 'that' person.
I've had a rule.  No celebrating Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving. No Christmas music. No Christmas decorations. No Christmas festivities. (I'm sounding a lot like scrooge...) Until that Friday after. Because we need to honor Thanksgiving and not blow right on past it to get to the Christmas holiday! And as soon as Thanksgiving passes, it is 100% Christmas season! Cheers! Right??!
...Well all that being said. I've felt that way until...now. And now my foot is in my mouth.
Having a child who is excited about all things.. I now get it. Her joy and the way she lights up makes for me to wish this time of year would never come to an end.
Bring on Christmas and let's embrace it all as 'the holiday season' :)
A couple weekends ago I was getting the itch to put up our tree and Christmas decorations (but I didn't).
Since we are hosting Friendsgiving this year it was imperative that I leave the fall decor up just a little bit longer :) BUT come Monday (Friendsgiving is this Sunday) fall is coming down and Santa's workshop will be taking place over here before we book it to Idaho for Thanksgiving!
And on that note... g i f t s. I would like to just burry my head in the sand on this one. I haven't bought one single Christmas gift. Nope. Not one. And we're looking at only five more weeks 'til Christmas Eve! With lots of festivities and major 'to-do lists' crammed on in there as well.
So this is another reason as to why I'm jumping on the 'start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving is over' bandwagon! I'm just running out of time :)
I can't be the only one right?! I know so many feel so strongly about how the holidays are celebrated.
Christmas FOLLOWS Thanksgiving. It's just the HOLIDAY SEASON!

One of the highest priorities on my list right now... To find new family stockings for us! I never got one for Harper last year so it's time we all upgrade :) These ones are really speaking to me. #christmashearteyes

Happy Holidays!!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Harper MonaƩ || 16 months

As I sit here and write this I feel like I just wrote the 15 month update! Sounds cliche... but truly, time f l i e s and what a thief it is! It down right amazes me as to how many, many changes there have been in another short 30 days. Who would've known that all of those parents who warned "cherish it all, because time flies" well.. that they knew what they were talking about. And although I make an effort to cherish it all, it still flies by!
Last month we were having fiesty, frustrated, mad-at-mom moments that were becoming too frequent for me to be ok with. Wellll... I should check myself before I complain so quickly, because that really only last about 10ish days. And wasn't ever a whole day. Little miss is now back to being my sweet, loving, funny toddler. toddler?! It is still so hard for me to get used to using that word! And as much as I miss her being my little baby, these toddler days are really so much fun!
I love seeing her personality grow and grow. 
Watching her as she understands nearly everything I tell her. (it's if she chooses to listen) ;)
Getting so good at feeding herself.
Having preferences and making choices.
Running around the kitchen/living room yelling + babbling.
Being soooo excited to watch her cartoons. or 'bubba' (bubble) as she calls it. Which became short for Bubble Guppies, and that is now the word she uses for any sort of cartoon :)
Jumping and dancing to music (particularly to the 'hot-dog' song) Thank you Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Cuddling + caring for her 'bae-bee' (baby).
The way she brings a book to me to read and sits herself in my lap.

And my absolute favorite... all of the many kisses she gives everyday. The puckering up is the sweetest thing, I keep giving/getting kisses until I've pushed her past her limit :) and she's clear in letting me know that we are d o n e.
No changes here from last month!
She's still liking nearly everything and is such a good eater. 
If there is ever a food that she happens to not have much of a liking for (like potatoes), I continue offering it to her in the future because it can take up to 10-15 times for a new food to be accepted. I swear one of these days she will like potatoes! 
I recently make her some fruit popsicles for some variety and she LOVED them!
Again, thankful she is so good in this department!
We are officially condensed down to one nap a day and it is going great! She first has her milk then goes down so easily and will nap about 12:30-3:30/4ish. Sometimes I don't know what to do with myself! But don't you worry, I surely find things to do :)
And bedtime sleep is also for the win. Down by 8 and up about 7:30. With not a single wake up in the night. 
Bless you, my sweet girl!
All day every day!
During every awake hour, it is nonstop playing. With some meals and snacks in there too :)
If we aren't at home playing in the house or outside, we are at swim lessons, toddler gym, or on a play date with friends. 
Coloring is Harper's latest activity. I bought some color crayons and a couple coloring books and she is in love! I make sure to have all of the 'reading' books around her put away because I have this feeling that having a coloring book now means that she can color in her books. I know... I'm sure it will eventually happen...
Baby girl, though you aren't really a 'baby' any longer, to me you still are. You bring your daddy and I so much joy. You light up our worlds and make waking up every day worth it. When I think about how much I love you, it brings me so many emotions filled with tears of joy. You are always learning so much and it amazes us at what you prove to know.
I love you my sweet girl!! Happy 16 months!


Monday, November 9, 2015


Not a whole lot of 'big-fun-exciting outings' lately.
But I'm alright with that, because I know in the next couple of weeks as holidays and events draw near, it's gonna get a heck of a lot busier! So we're going to just soak up these go-with-the-flow days while they last :)
Between Brandon's (31st) birthday, family pictures, hosting friendsgiving (one of my favorite things!), and going to Idaho for thanksgiving, life is going to get busy real quick! And that's all before December (which is only 22 days away!) and not even touching on any Christmas festivities!
Whew I'm feeling busy just talking about it!
With Brandon's schedule being so busy and really kinda all over the place. (life of a realtor). Harper and I take advantage of the moments when he has some down time. Even if it's just an early Tuesday afternoon walk down the street to the playground :) It all counts and those are sometimes my favorites. And she is currently in a daddy stage and wants him to come join us in everything we do.
Daddy-Daughter pics - my fave! #allllthehearteyes

After-dinner cleanup :) It's usually better for us all (easier cleanup) if she eats dinner in the nude.
And I love the excuse to get a peak of those thigh rolls that are still hanging on :)
This little mover LOVES to play. Toddler gym has been a huge hit with her after swim lessons at the Y on Mondays + Wednesdays :) And I can't complain because afterwards she is w i p e d and naps so hard.
naptime = me time :)

She would stay out playing in the yard all the live long day if I let her. Running around with the 'dog-dog' :)

Brandon and I snuck in a much needed date on Friday night to one of our favorite restaurants The Table!
Cheers to good food + wine + the most handsome date!
Saturday brought a girl's day for Angela + I with some Stella and Dot followed by some Christmas decor shopping. 'Tis the Season!
Harper had the afternoon with 'da-da' and then later joined us for pizza and ice cream :)
...and that's life!
Here's to another week and I'm already sensing my 'to-do' list getting longgger!


Friday, November 6, 2015


Let's just say. to.die.for.
I don't know a soul who doesn't love themselves some lasagna.
Can we say comfort food?!! And this is just the time of year when 'comfort food' is calling our names!
I've thought about sharing this recipe before now and then I've resisted it.
This isn't just any recipe but one that is a family recipe where I've made some of my own {healthier} modifications.
But it's a family recipe(!) so it's not the easiest to share because it feels like there's a little piece of me + mom + grandma in it. But it is just TOO darn good and I hope know sooo many will love it! It is absolutely one of the regulars around here and quite possibly our number one favorite meal.
This is the best, easiest lasagna you will ever make. I can nearly 100% guarantee it! You do NOT have to cook the lasagna noodles prior to assembling! Now I told you it was easy :)

1 lb ground turkey breast*
1 medium onion diced
3/4 cup water
1 - 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 - 24 oz can spaghetti sauce
100% whole wheat lasagna noodles (uncooked)
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dried parsley
1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese

--Preheat oven to 375.
--Brown meat in large skillet. Once meat is about halfway done cooking, add diced onion. Continue cooking until meat is fully cooked and no longer pink.
--Add water, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce. Bring to a boil. Let simmer about 5 minutes. Sauce should still be runny.
--In a bowl, mix together cottage cheese, shredded parmesan, and parsley.
--Begin layering. In 9x13 baking pan, place one layer of noodles evenly over bottom of pan, half of cottage cheese mixture, half of mozzarella cheese, and half of meat sauce.
--Repeat layers. (ending with meat sauce).
--Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.
--Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

That's it!
I paired our lasagna with this Cranberry Pear Kale Salad and it was a great combination!
And leftovers. Talk about leftovers! With a large pan like this we have lots of leftovers for our family (even if we have dinner guests over). And it almost tastes even better (if you can imagine it!) the next day after the flavors have mingled over night :)

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as my family does!

*A little dietitian note: Now the ground turkey breast. The breast part makes a huge difference. In the grocery store you will find ground turkey and then also ground turkey breast. Without that word 'breast' all parts of the turkey meat can be in your ground meat. That includes the fatty parts. Which makes ground turkey not that much different than ground beef. Don't believe me.. check the fat in the nutrition facts! So look for 'ground turkey breast' and get that one. You can often find it on sale. Buy a couple extras and thrown them in the freezer to use later.


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Monday, November 2, 2015


Hasn't been my favorite of holidays over the past few years.. I mean, adults dressing up is (kinda) fun, BUT now Halloween with a one year old makes the holiday SO FUN!!
Last year was fun dressing up our little 3 month old as a mouse, but we didn't go trick-or-treating and she of course didn't have a clue as to what was even going on :) BUT this year! She still may not have known what was really going on, but all that mattered was that it was F U N!! And she knew it! Although her facial expression here doesn't quite show her excitement ;)
I think this will start to be a favorite holiday for me. Seeing the joy and excitement it brought to my sweet Harper - I could let her wear costumes + eat candy every day! I won't. But I could ;)
Pre-Halloween I was a little nervous as to how she would handle wearing her costume. I was feeling pretty certain that she wouldn't want the hood anywhere near her head. But boy am I glad I was wrong. So wrong! This girl absolutely LOVED wearing her costume!
Friday night the Y held a 'Harvest Fest' that we took Harper to. Numerous different booths with activities for the kids (Harper was still a bit too young to participate) but it was fun walking her around. She enjoyed some good ol' 'people watching' since there were characters of all sorts wandering the gym :)
On Halloween day we went with some friends of ours to take our girls out for some trick-or-treating to some of the local businesses downtown. Not too long before we went out it was complete down poor raining. It was still raining when we first started, but about half way though it let up and Harper was able to get down and walk the street. She got a hang of things quickly! She would walk herself over to where the other kids were so that she too could have some of what they were getting :)
Ladybug Harper + Monkey Aubrey
Once we were done gathering our treats we headed back to Jacob & Kaylani's for some food + relaxation + and of course story time!
Doesn't Brandon look good with two on his lap ;)
I made this Halloween candy bark and it was TOO good + TOO easy to eat! Like we really needed any more sweets...
The recipe is here.
...and like I said, she loves her costume. s t i l l wanting to wear it the day AFTER Halloween.
But with how cute she looks in it, I just can't resist it either :)
We had a great Halloween + now looking forward to the holidays ahead of us!