Friday, October 30, 2015

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!! I am so excited for this weekend and the cuteness overload that will be happening. Not only is it Halloween {duh}, but Trent is also in a program at school about Heroes in History and will be Albert Einstein. Can't wait to see that adorableness. So let's do a Five on Friday, okay?!


Has anyone heard of the brand Leesa for mattresses?  Brent and I just bought one of their mattresses. It's a pretty cool concept - they don't have any stores so the price is super competitive, and the mattress comes in a box compressed delivered to your door. They also offer a 100% guarantee - try it for 30 days and can return if you don't like. We've had it about a week, I'll let you know what we decide to do!


Allison and I are engaging in another book challenge. In case you had any doubts over our level of nerdiness, I'd say this would solidify it. And if that didn't, then the emails and word documents we've shared compiling our lists would for sure! We both still have a few more to add, but I love using this as a chance to try new stuff!


I bought a pair of Tom's booties and have major mixed emotions about them. I think they are adorable {after vehemently hating booties for years} and will help me not look so blah in the winter, but I am also a little scared to wear them. They intimidate me, ha!


I may or may not have already paid for the installation of our Christmas lights! A lady was in our neighborhood because our neighbors are using her company to hang theirs and I totally got a quote from her and booked them. I am so stoked! I warned Brent when we moved that there WOULD BE lights every year.


Speaking of all the cuteness in the world, behold my cuties in their costumes.

You might be asking yourself 'Wasn't Trent a storm trooper last year?' Well, no, he was a CLONE trooper {although I called him a storm trooper and those are very different things}! I got their costumes over a month ago when they were 40% off at Target randomly - amazed they each found something they liked, found their size {especially tricky with peanut Drew}, and that they still like them!

Happy Friday, friends! Hope your Halloween is full of treats!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Whole 30 Recipes

I don't know if there is anybody out there {besides Veronica} who cares about my Whole 30 journey, but I'm still blogging about it! 

I mentioned on Monday that I enjoyed 'bad' eating a little longer than I intended after our weekend away, and that was largely due to poor meal planning when we got home. The most important thing for me {and sometimes the most annoying part} is the meal prep. But I can tell you that I've noticed a big difference in how I feel when I'm eating clean vs. when I'm not, so I'm so excited to get back on track!

I used the Whole 30 book and Pinterest a lot accumulating recipes. I am a pretty picky eater, so a lot of recipes I found were immediately vetoed. Luckily there are hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes out there, so I've gathered a lot that worked for me and our family. My goal is to get a month's worth of recipes, I'm not there yet, but I'm still searching and saving! I thought I'd put all the recipes I've liked in 1 place in case anyone out there is looking for healthy recipes or even contemplating Whole 30!

I am not a huge mayonnaise person, but man, Whole 30 mayo is amazing. I eat it on food, as a veggie dip, in recipes. It literally takes less than 5 minutes to make, has only a few ingredients, and is delicious. The mayo is an easy way to get a healthy fat with your meals. It's also the base for Whole 30 ranch, but I haven't made that yet {although I intend to}. Here's a link for a ton of Whole 30 sauces. I am a huge sauce person!

This meatloaf was super easy and good. Next time I might blend up some spinach to get some more veggies in it. The only things I did differently were I only used 2 pounds of meat {3 seemed a little excessive} and omitted the onions {I hate them and used onion powder instead}, and I made it in cupcake tins to have individual servings - it cooked faster and made it easy to serve.

I crave this pan-fried lemon chicken. It was a little too tart for the kids, but I think I ate it for 3 or 4 meals during my Whole 30.

I found this recipe for chicken baked with potatoes and green beans before Whole 30, but it's easy to make compliant by subbing ghee for the butter. I also use fresh green beans instead of canned. The whole family loves this one.

I have 2 pork recipes from the Whole 30 book - one is for pork carnitas in the crock pot and the other was for walnut-encrusted pork tenderloin. Both were AMAZING, but I can't find online links. I can email those to anyone who might like the sound of them. {grin}

My boss recommended chicken zucchini poppers. I liked these but the rest of the family wasn't wild about them. You could too easily see the shredded zucchini, so Brent and Trent wouldn't try it. Grrrr. Next time I try this, I might try puree-ing the zucchini?

As a kid, my mom would fry salmon cakes, and it was one of the few fish dishes I would eat. I am still not a fan of fish, but when I found this recipe for Whole 30 salmon cakes, I had to try it. And they were awesome! I will admit it was kind of gross touching the fish because I had to dig around to make sure there weren't any bones, and I almost couldn't finish, but I'm so glad I did. This one is a keeper!

I will admit I haven't made these buffalo ranch chicken meatballs, but they are up next on my 'to try' list. I love buffalo chicken wings with ranch, so I'm hopeful these will be similar.

I follow @whole30recipes on Instagram. There are only a few recipes I've tried from there, but bacon wrapped chicken was a winner. I salted and peppered chicken tenders and then wrapped each tender with bacon. Then I baked at 350* for about 60 minutes in a baking dish. {I actually put on a cookie sheet and smoked out the house because the bacon grease dripped, so don't make my same mistake.} Easy, simple ingredients and delicious.

For a take on chicken nuggets, try these zesty chicken bites! Again a little too spicy for the kids, so next time, I'll cut down on the cayenne pepper, but the breading turned out so good.

There were also a lot of meals I ate that we ate before Whole 30 - I just modified.
  • Spaghetti on Zoodles - I made spaghetti like normal for everyone and just ate mine on sauteed zucchini noodles. {Just make sure the sauce you use doesn't have added sugar.}
  • Tacos - I ate mine as a wrap inside big pieces of lettuce.
  • Hamburgers - Just ate without a bun. The Whole 30 website has a whole blog post about things you can use instead of buns, I didn't try any but I think a sweet potato bun would be yummy! You can also make your own french fries - just slice up a potato really thin, put on a baking sheet, salt and pepper, and coat with olive oil. Bake at 350* until soft.
  • Chicken salad - I made this pretty much every week and ate it as breakfast or lunch a lot {including yesterday and probably today}. Canned chicken, mayo, apples, grapes, pecans, and celery - yum! I would usually eat it on spinach with a little bit of balsamic vinaigrette. Delish!
I also had plenty of lazy meals too. Planning is important, but you can't cook 3 meals a day every day without going a little crazy!
  • Chicken apple sausage - there are several brands you can buy {Aidell's, Applegate, Coleman's} - I would just grill it and then eat with mayo, a fruit, and a veggie. Super easy!
  • Applegate turkey pepperoni
  • Lunch meat - this is tricky because a lot of them have carrageenan {a Whole 30 no-no} or added sugar, but you can find it.
  • Bacon - again be careful with added sugar - I've only been able to find one brand without added sugar, Pederson's, and I've only found it at Whole Foods and Natural Grocer.
Hopefully this was helpful to someone out there! If you find anything you think I might like, I'd love some new recipes to work on my list of 30!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Currently: It's a Rainy, Cold October Sunday!

I hope everyone is having a great Sunday. It's been such a weird weekend with all the rain. Typical Texas - monsoons in May, then dry as a bone for 4.5 months, and now monsoons again! It finally feels like fall. So here's what's been going on currently with me!

Current Book

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - our latest book club selection.
The premise sounds pretty good, so we'll see how it goes!

Current Song

OMG. I can't wait for Adele's new album! Have you listened to Hello? Amazeballs.

Current TV Show

I've been rewatching Once Upon a Time. It's so cheesy but I love it!

B and I still need to pick a new show to watch...

Current Drink

I just drank a big glass of water {I have a headache}, but a chai sounds really good on this rainy, cold afternoon. I'm thinking I'll be hopping in the car soon to get me one!

Current Shame-Inducing Pleasure

I enjoyed this past week a little too much but have everything read to get back to Whole 30 eating tomorrow! Not sure that I'll do another 30-day round {we'll see} but plan to eat that way about 90% of the time. I'm going to post all my new recipe discoveries later this week.

Current Outfit

What I wore to church today - it was 55* when we left!

Current Celebrity Crush

Of course a show like Once Upon a Time is going to have a few love stories!
I love them all!

Current Mood

Ugh, grumpy. I'm taking a little break from house cleaning. 
We have neglected the laundry and the picking up a little too much this week! {grin}

Current Anticipation

I am really excited for Halloween. I love all that cheesy childhood stuff!

Current Film

Mockingjay Part 2 will be happening pretty quick after it comes out.
Already got a group set to go!

Current Picture

Morning snuggles. These 2... LOVE.

No, T isn't going to be a jack 'o lantern this Halloween with all his missing teeth!

What's been going on with you currently?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Happy Files: It's Fall

It finally feels like fall in Texas! I am embracing this season and soaking it all in before the hustle and bustle of more popular holidays come along. Growing up, I was all about summer and Christmas and couldn't enjoy anything in between. I thought it would be fun to record all the things that are making me happy in this season now that I'm old smart enough to appreciate it.

1. playing outside
2. riding boots
3. getting out all my decorations
4. pumpkin patches
5. scarves
6. less humidity
7. warm drinks {although to be fair I drink them all year}
8. the colors in nature
9. hoodies
10. trick or treating
11. Brent's aunt's pumpkin roll
12. extra time with family
13. the smell of cinnamon and cloves
14. turkey and mashed potatoes
15. all things plaid
16. sweater dresses
17. pumpkins everywhere!
18. crisp air
19. fireplace fires
20. layers

What do you love about fall?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Show & Tell Tuesday: Costumes of Halloween Past

I haven't dressed up for Halloween since I was a kid. But I love celebrating Halloween with the kids. It has been so fun dressing them up - especially once they have started to have a personality and choose their own costumes.


Trent's first Halloween! My mother-in-law made Trent's pumpkin costume for Brent's cousin many years ago, so it just seemed perfect for him to wear it. He was not happy with the ribbon, so we just sat the top of the pumpkin on his head. My sweet little boo boo!


The boys were supposed to be The Biscuit Brothers and Blair was their sister, Buttermilk. Trent wouldn't cooperate for the pictures because he was melting down over Miles' guitar, so the pictures are pretty awful!


The T-BOT 630! I loved this costume and even enjoyed making it.


Drew's turn to be Nana's pumpkin! I was worried she'd be too big by the time Halloween rolled around, but she is still small enough to fit into this costume now, ha! Trent was Spider-Man and LOVED his costume. I think this is really when he got into wearing costumes - we have quite the super hero collection.


Star Wars! All things Star Wars! Trent was dying to be a clone trooper, and Drew had no opinion {about costumes at least}, so we thought it was a perfect year for coordination. He was Commander Cody, and she was Princess Leia.

Monday, October 19, 2015

John & Ninna: An Anniversary Weekend Wedding Getaway

Get ready for picture overload! We had a great weekend away celebrating our anniversary and our friend's wedding. The wedding was in San Antonio, so we decided to make a weekend out of it. Our hotel and all the wedding festivities were on the River Walk which is a really neat part of SA. 

Happy anniversary! We have no kids!
Can you tell we were excited?

My sneaky husband surprised me with roses in our hotel room.

And champagne! Here's to us!!

Rehearsal dinner shenanigans

Brent and the groom...friends for 15 years

Brent and John in our wedding...exactly 11 years earlier.

I stole the groom's niece and held her for literally 3 hours.
Brent is SOOOO in trouble!

This weekend did mean a break from Whole 30. I absolutely love Whole 30 {as I'm sure many of you are bored with hearing}, but it isn't a plan that doesn't allow for choices. I made the choice to enjoy the heck out of our weekend and boy did I!

Well, hello old friend! Haven't seen you in 46 days!

Saturday was not quite the day we envisioned because I might have over-imbibed {well, we both did} and needed a nap on Saturday. We had plans to have yummy Mexican on the River Walk...but that didn't happen. Brent met up with some friends from college who were in town, but I wasn't up for it. #oldlady

All dressed up.

You guys know how I feel about CAKE!

Everything was so pretty and nice!

Finally got a pic with the happy couple!

We went to a bar after the reception called So-Ho.
I had a chocolate covered strawberry martini. YUM!
The flash might have blinded Brent, ha!

We were much smarter Saturday night and headed to the hotel much earlier.

Time to head home to our babies!

I had to drive home with these lovely ladies the whole ride!

While we were gone, the kids were absolutely miserable spending time with both sets of grandparents. They went to a fall festival at school, ate lots of junk, played at the park, got filthy...pretty much had the time of their lives!

Friday, October 16, 2015


I read the following quite in What Alice Forgot by Lianne Moriarty. I loved this quote and feel like this sums up how I feel about my marriage.

I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that's true of beginnings, but it's not true of this, now.

I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.

From here...

To here...

And everything in between...
I choose him, and he chooses me.

Happy anniversary, my love!