Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday! It’s hard to believe it’s already the last Friday of January. I’ve got a lot to love this week, so let’s get started.

o n e

Kenley has continued rock star status this week on her two wheeler! After bath and pjs this week, they insisted on a ride around the block.

Untitled

t w o

Our new recipe for the week was buffalo chicken spaghetti squash and it was a huge hit! It was our first time cooking or eating spaghetti squash and we were really impressed. I modified the recipe a little bit and cooked the buffalo chicken in the crock-pot during the day. We also cooked the spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot, which was super quick. I made way too much, so I used the leftovers with pizza chicken later in the week. It’s amazing to see the squash string right out like spaghetti.

Untitled

t h r e e

We are so excited that good TV is back! Suits started back up this week and we are loving Timeless. We still have to catch up on This is Us this weekend. Too much TV, not enough time!

f o u r

The kids celebrated their 100th day of school on Wednesday by dressing up like they were 100 years old. They loved it and thought it was hilarious to pretend to be an “old lady” and an “old man”.

Untitled

***

Friday I'm in Love Linky Party

Don’t forget to see what Misha is loving this week!

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday! I apologize for missing last Friday, but now that the semester has started, my Friday loves may not happen each week. I’ll do my best! The good news about skipping a week is that there is more to love, so let’s get started!

o n e

The Gap x Disney collection was released right after Christmas and it is absolutely adorable. There are so many cute things for babies, toddlers, and kids. It seems there are some items that are already out of stock, but I am eyeing a couple of things for the kids.

 -

// source //

t w o

I have shared a couple good books recently and I am always adding to my must-read list. Here are 7 books to help you feel fabulous right now.

t h r e e

We have been trying a lot of new, healthy recipes over the past couple of weeks. Michelle and I have been testing them out and swapping the good recipes that we find on Pinterest. This week we had BBQ Chicken Zucchini Boats which were a huge hit! We are really loving zucchini boats. They are a great alternative to carbs and surprisingly really filling. I highly recommend if you’re looking for a new recipe next week.

f o u r

I also am loving my Instant Pot. I have had it for almost a year now and I am finally feeling comfortable with it, even though I haven’t even scratched the surface of what it can do. I frequently use it for hard-boiled eggs, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and chicken. It’s been clutch on our big meal prep days on the weekend. I am excited to expand my horizons and start using more of the settings. Ha!

***

Friday I'm in Love Linky Party

What are you loving this week?

**this post contains affiliate links.

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday and happy new year!

o n e

There is just something exciting about the first week of the year. We were back to work and back to school on Tuesday, so it was great to start the year with a four day week. I think we all were excited about a fresh start. We’ve been diligent about our work-out schedules this week, as well as keeping the house tidy after taking down all of the Christmas decorations. Here’s to making it a habit this year!

// source //

t w o

We have been really on top of our game this week with our breakfast, lunch, and dinners. I have been thinking about sharing our meal plan on a weekly basis, but for now, I’ll share it here. We did a lot of food shopping and prepping Monday, so I was really thankful to have that extra day this week to devote to getting ahead. For breakfasts this week, I made Italian Sausage Egg Muffins which been quick and easy to warm up each day. For lunches, Greg and I had jar salads. It was my first time doing these and I am hooked! They are so easy and super filling. Our favorite dinner this week was Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes, but I’m also excited to try our Mexican Chicken Zucchini Boats tonight, inspired by this recipe. In the spirit of keeping it real, I will also share that the guilty pleasure we’ve been loving this week is the Cheez-Its Snack Mix. Oh my, that stuff addicting! I am hopeful we can keep this momentum going past the first week of the new year.

t h r e e

I have been getting back into podcasts lately. I haven’t listened to many since the first season of Serial, but the two I have been loving lately are Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey and I’ll Have Another with Lindsey Hein. Definitely check them out!

f o u r

Attention Florida residents — The Discover Disney ticket is back this year with both 3 day and 4 day options. We are so excited to take advantage of the great deal! Also, SeaWorld is offering the Preschool Pass again!

f i v e

I am loving several books right now. Last month, I finished Emily Ley’s Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy and it was amazing! I highly recommend it for any woman in any stage of life right now. I am onto The Magnolia Story and loving it so far. I am hoping to get it done before my classwork ramps up. I also got a couple cookbooks for Christmas too which is helping in the meal planning department: Run Fast, Eat Slow and Inspiralize Everything.

***

Friday I'm in Love Linky Party

What are you loving on this first week of the year?! Don’t forget to hop over to see what Misha is loving and I’m also linking up with Carolina Charm today.

Have a great weekend!

*this post contains affiliate links.

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday! What a week…so much to love!

o n e

20161031_142726

On Halloween, the kids had a vocabulary parade at school. Crosby’s class dressed up as community helpers and he was so excited to be a garbage man. Kenley’s class dressed up as Chica Chica Boom Boom and she got to be the G.

Speaking of Halloween, we had a great one! We also ended up with WAY too much candy in our house considering we went to five different Halloween events this month. We now have no more candy thanks to the kids’ dentist! The dentist’s office did a buy back event again this year and paid us $10 for our TEN pounds of candy. All candy is being sent overseas to our troops! How great is that?

t w o

Untitled

We play Legos a lot around these parts and the kids never cease to amaze me with their creations. Crosby built this car this week and he was SO excited to show me when I got home. He could build for hours, brick by brick.

t h r e e

GAME 7.

That is all. I said last week that all we were rooting for was a good series and after game 4, we weren’t sure we were going to get that, but dang. The Cubs pulled out three games in a row and WON THE WORLD SERIES for the first time in 108 YEARS. Unbelievable.

f o u r

We tried a new recipe this week and loved it — Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes. It was the perfect mix of sweet and spicy and it will definitely be going into the weekly rotation.

 f i v e

The holidays are right around the corner and I’ve already started thinking about Christmas gifts. I saw this great article, thought-provoking article this week surrounding gift-giving.

A Friendly Holiday Suggestion From a Mom with Too Much Stuff

***

Friday I'm in Love Linky Party

What are you loving this week?

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday! I have two weeks of loves to share since I inadvertently skipped last week. My apologies!

o n e

Kenley had her first field trip last week and I was lucky enough to get to go with the class! We went to the SEA LIFE Aquarium on I-Drive and it was super fun. I think the highlight of the trip for the kids was riding the big, fancy bus where they got to watch cartoons on the ride to and from, but the aquarium was really cool too. It was our first time there, but it is actually included in our Legoland passes we just got, so we will definitely be back. It’s also right under the Orlando Eye so it was cool to see that up close and personal too. Overall, it was a super fun morning with her preschool class.

Untitled

t w o

We tried a new recipe this week that I had pinned a while ago — Sweet Potato Noodle and Kale Casserole. I am not sure what took me so long to make it, but I had two sweet potatoes on the counter so it went on the menu for Monday. Greg was apprehensive because the word “kale” was in it, but we both loved it!! You could barely taste the kale, for the record. I was even pleasantly surprised with how good it was. The kids had some of it, but weren’t in love with it like we were, and that’s ok. It’ll be back on the menu soon enough. Speaking of, I’m over at Orlando Moms Blog this week sharing about how much I love meal planning! Check it out.

t h r e e

Thanks to not taking courses right now and not teaching quite yet, I have ample time in the evenings to catch up on what’s on TV. In the last week, I have watched about ten episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and I’m only three episodes away from being caught up. Shew, that is not an easy show to binge watch, my emotions can’t handle it! We also caught the first episode of the new season of Wayward Pines! I know that I’ve mentioned this show before and it was supposed to only be one season, but much to our surprise, it’s back! Yay!

f o u r

My new Simplified Planner has arrived and I’ve already started filling in the pristine white pages. This is my fourth Simplified Planner and I switched it up for this coming year. For the past year, I have been using the daily, academic planner, which I love, but the smaller, weekly planner looked too pretty to pass up. I am excited to have something new to try! Yes, I realize my level of excitement over a planner may be a little much, but it really helps me stay as organized as possible.

Untitled

***

Friday I'm in Love Linky Party

It’s the last Friday of the month, so head over and see what the other ladies are loving! Better yet, add your link to the link up and we can see what you’re loving!

Happy long weekend!

Friday I’m in Love

Happy Friday!

o n e

It’s spring break week! The kids have been out of school all week, my parents have been here, and Greg and I have been living it up. Each year we look forward to this little break from making lunches and rushing out the door in the mornings. Greg and I stopped by Starbucks on the wait to work twice and we ate lunch out every day. It’s always nice to break up our normal routine a little bit.

t w o

I have really wanted to make brussels sprouts for a while but never really got the courage to do them. Knowing that my mom would be here this week, I picked up a bag at Aldi last week to make. I used this recipe and also made garlic aioli to go with them and oh my goodness… they were so good!! Everyone loved them and we will definitely be making them on a regular basis.

t h r e e

As part of our pre-vacation ritual, my mom and I got a pedicure this week. We decided to take Kenley for her first pedi ever! She was very reluctant at first and only wanted me to paint her nails, which I obviously couldn’t do as I was sitting in my chair getting my feet massaged. She finally gave in and got her toes done with the cutest little flower, then decided that she was going to take it upon herself to get a manicure too. She was so happy that she did it!

Untitled

f o u r

Misha’s shop opened this week! If you haven’t already, check out The Petite Flag Shop. I can’t wait to add a flag to our gallery wall, but the problem right now is deciding which one to get!

f i v e

IU plays UNC tonight in the Sweet Sixteen! Go Hoosiers!!

***

Friday I'm in Love Linky Party

Join us for the last party of the month and add what you’re loving to the link-up below!

Pinterest Christmas: DIY Cookies in a Jar

I am finally here to share my first Pinterest Christmas project with you!

Pinterest Christmas

This year, I made (actually, I am in the process of making) cookies in a jar for the teachers at the kids’ school. I went with the Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie because I asked Greg and our friend Ryan what cookie they would prefer to receive as a gift and the answer was “oatmeal”. I figured the cranberry white chocolate makes it a little more festive since this is a Christmas gift. I found the recipe through Pinterest (obviously) from Thrify Jinxy.

Here are all of the ingredients and supplies needed:

IMG_43201

IMG_43211

I got majority of my ingredients at Aldi (which is another blog post for another day) except for the brown sugar since they didn’t have any. The 32 ounce ball jars were purchased at Ace Hardware for $10 for a case of 12! Do not purchase these from your local craft store… they are way more expensive. Michael’s had them priced at $3 PER JAR!

IMG_43221

My original game plan was to do one ingredient at a time over several jars, but after I made the first complete jar, I just continued to go one jar at a time. Here are a few things I learned from the process —

I do not own an 1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon, so I eyeballed the measurement using my 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon.

You will make a mess in the process and if you have little ones, they will want to help, which means they will want to eat all of your white chocolate chips.

Once you start adding in the ingredients, you may think they aren’t all going to fit in the jar, but it really ends up fitting perfectly every single time.

The layers of your jars though will not be perfect. I know, this was a hard one for me to swallow, but some of my jars looked better than others. Live with it!

IMG_43261

IMG_43251

I really love how they turned out! I am planning to add a little ribbon with the instructions for baking tied on to them, but right now, I just like to admire my hard work. I definitely recommend these cookies in a jar if you are still thinking about giving some homemade gifts this year!

***

Don’t forget to link up to the Pinterest Christmas 2015 linky party with your Christmas crafts the entire month of December. Click the link below to add your blog link!

Also, don’t forget to check out what Misha is crafting over at Emerald City Diaries!