Things I'm Loving Lately {November}


I thought it would be fun to do a monthly post about things I'm loving lately... hence the title.  ;)  So here it is.. the first "edition"... maybe you'll find something that you'll end up loving too!

This sweet little circle necklace by Erin McDermott.  It's simple and classy.. and I'm a fan of gold jewelry.  I love most of her jewelry line.

 I pretty much love the whole line of Yes To products.  Their shower gels and body washes are fabulous.  I just got the travel sizes of the body washes because we'll be on the go for Thanksgiving - and bonus - they can also be used as a bubble bath.  I love the way they make my skin feel after a shower.

 The Yes To cucumber facial towelette and moisturizer are amazing (and they smell great too!)  I have the towelettes in the mini size so I can use them on the go.. and they're perfect.  They take off all my makeup, they don't leave any residue, and they make my skin feel super soft.  I use the moisturizer every morning and night and it keeps my skin from getting too dry. 

And my last two favorite things.. the Yes To facial cleanser and the spot stick.  This is my go-to face wash for morning and night.. it doesn't dry out my skin, and it removes all of my makeup and residue.  The spot stick is great for when I see a little break out coming on.. it just zaps it away!  ;)

Gnarly Whale Beach Waves spray.  I love this stuff.  It adds volume and waves to my hair... and it's super easy to use, especially in a pinch when you don't have time to do anything else with your hair. 

Mason Jars.  I use mason jars for everything.. including drinking glasses.  We always have a huge stash of them!

What are some of your favorite things this month?

Clara's VeggieTale Obsession {and a giveaway}


My child has a thing for VeggieTales.  For a while she had a thing for Minnie Mouse.. Elmo.. Dora.. but she's always had a thing for VeggieTales.  She's particularly fond of Sweetpea Beauty, though she loves them all.  My husband and I love these movies also.  We love them because each movie has a good, specific message.  For example, Sweetpea Beauty teaches a lesson about true beauty.  And now that Christmas is upon us (is it seriously almost December?), I think it's so important not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget about the 'true light of Christmas'.

VeggieTales has a brand new movie out called Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas.  There's lots for your kiddos to laugh about and learn about in this movie.  It's a great reminder that giving is better than receiving and that it's more than just presents and decor.  Christmas shines most bright and true when you give the love God gave to you!  

Clara takes her Sweetpea Beauty doll with her everywhere.  She sleeps with it, takes it to school... e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e... and it's a nightmare if we forget her.  And she asks all the time to watch VeggieTales.. I love that she loves it.  And I love that she's learning about God while watching them.

There's a new Veggie character in Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas... Silas the Okra.. who is played by Si Robertson of Duck Commander (which I'm sure 99.9999% know who that is).  And I have some very exciting news.... VeggieTales is giving away one copy of Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas signed by Si Robertson himself... to one of my lucky readers!  ;)  You can enter using the rafflecopter form below.. U.S. residents only, please.

OR if you want to grab up the DVD now (or any other VeggieTales DVD), they are having a 40% store wide Christmas sale going on right now... which means you could snag the DVD for only $8.99 plus shipping.  :)

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VeggieTales gifted me with this DVD for a review, all opinions are my own.

Chicken & Dumplings {recipe} and Kleenex for Sniffles


This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Kleenex but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #KleenexTarget

It's 'that time of the year"... you all know what I'm talking about.  Sniffles, runny noses, sore throats, and sickness galore.  And it feels like  Ever.  It's one thing after another around here, anyway.. probably doesn't help that I work with kids though, ha ha!

This weekend I've been recovering from a stomach virus, and well, we're all recovering from sniffles.  Arkansas has some insane weather changes... It was 50 degrees the other day and 80 degrees today.  Please tell me how that makes any sense.  This state's weather might be the death of me.  My poor child has had a constant case of the sniffles/runny nose for the past few weeks...

 There are a few ways we try to fight off the icky-ness around here.  The obvious one is lounge around and watch movies.. Clara has that mastered obviously.  When we're sick, we just don't want to do anything.. your body needs it's rest, and I'm a-ok with giving into that.  We always have a big supply of Kleenex in our house.. gotta have some for those pesky sniffles, ya know.  And I love Kleenex because they don't irritate Clara's nose (or mine!) when you're constantly have to wipe them clean.  They also have some fun Christmas prints out now.. because can you really ever have too much Christmas in your house?  I can't.  Stop by Target (use the $1 off coupon from here too!!) and grab you some.. you'll probably need them soon, if you don't already.

And lastly.. my wonderful Chicken & Dumplings.  Nothing warms you up and makes you feel good like a big bowl of comfort food.  The best thing about this?  It's EASY.  Too sick to cook?  Just throw it in the crock pot, it will cook itself.  The leftovers are great, too!

Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings
  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I usually use about 3 good sized ones, about 1.5 lbs)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can chicken broth (plus more as needed)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 carrots, diced
  • 3/4 cup celery, diced (optional)
  • Grands Flaky Biscuits

Place chicken in crock pot.  Add butter, cream of chicken, and chicken broth.  Add onions, bay leaves, garlic powder, pepper, carrots, and celery.  Cook on high 4-6 hours.

After cooking time has elapsed, shred the chicken with 2 forks.  Then, cut up 4 Grands Flaky Biscuits into 9 pieces each (feel free to add more biscuits if this isn't enough for your liking).  Stir into hot chicken mixture and cook for 30 more minutes on high.  Add more broth as necessary.  Enjoy!!  :) 

Stitch Fix #1


So I got my first Stitch Fix box last week!  I was so super excited to get it.  It's been a while since I've been shopping for myself.. with work, kid, and husband.. it's kind of tough to get out for myself now.  But this made it easy, and it came right to my doorstep.. really can't get much better.

When you sign up for Stitch Fix, they will have you fill out a style profile... a detailed survey asking you questions about your personal style and about what you like and don't like in your wardrobe.  You can even send your stylist a link to your "style" pinterest board so they can get a little better idea of what you want to see in your fix.  Then they'll put together 5 items for you, and send it off!  Sometimes they'll include something that's a little "out there" for you.  But that's the fun part - because you might just like it!

So here's what I got in my very first fix...

1 :: Jasmen Striped & Layered Hi-Lo Shirt by Ellison

It was comfortable, but I'm not a fan of hi-lo things... shirts or skirts.  I know I didn't get a shot from the side, but to me they just look funny.  Not my style - I will be making a note in my next fix for no hi-lo items.  I returned this item.

2 & 3 :: Johnny Skinny Jeans by Kensie Jeans and the Darby Printed Short Sleeve Henley Blouse by Fun2Fun

The jeans were really cute and comfy, however, they were a little pricey for me... there's one particular place I get all my jeans from.  So I didn't really need them.  I returned the jeans, and will make a note for no more jeans in my fixes.

I absolutely adored the blouse.  I love, love, loved it.  It's fun, it's different.. I liked the print.  It's a looser cute shirt, so I think I could have used a smaller size.  I will have to change my sizes in my style profile for my next fix.  I was sad that I ended up returning this item!!

4 :: Kirsten Printed Stud Detailed Blouse by Caramela

I feel that this blouse was a little bit edgy and out of my "norm".. however, I loved it!  But again, the same problem as with the previous blouse.. I would have been more comfortable in a smaller size.  So I had to return it.

5 :: Cavalry Open Lapel Sweater Tunic by Miilla

I fell in love with this tunic!  First, I love tunics.  This one was so soft and the color was a deep purple that I loved.  The open lapel was a fun detail.  And yes, I ended up keeping this one!  I wore this just the other day actually.. I was so excited to put it on.  :)

All in all, I had a really good first experience with Stitch Fix!  I will definitely be ordering another box.  I feel like after ordering my first one, I now know what to put in my notes for the future... like a smaller size, no jeans (I also requested no jewelery or accessories), and no hi-lo's.  It's so much fun to open the box and see what your stylist picked out for you.  They also send you style suggestion tags with each article of clothing, to help you style an outfit with the item!

Want to schedule a fix for yourself?  Click here!

Veteran's Day Weekend


First, happy Veteran's Day to my  Veteran.  My sweet, handsome husband.  For everything he does for our family and for our country.  This weekend we took a little trip to go visit my in-laws because my husband spoke at their church (the church he grew up in) for Veteran's Day.  It was a sweet little speech, that brought tears to my eyes.  In a part of it, he thanked all the men that played an important part in his life.. that helped shape him into who he is today.  Well, I also thank those men... for helping to shape the husband and father that I know today.  A wonderful one he is.

Other than that we did a little walking around in Memphis.. and a bit of relaxing.  And we also went out to eat at Huey's, a super delicious local burger joint.  Also a fun place because they let you blow your toothpicks into the ceiling with your drink straw.  If you're confused, just look at the photos below.. ;)

Not sure why, but it's just their "thing".  It's entertaining to say the least!  I hope everyone else enjoyed their weekend.. and happy Veteran's Day..... don't forget to thank a Vet.

Traditional Holiday Reads


The holidays.. it's my favorite time of the year.  It gives me the warm and fuzzies.  And now that I have a child, I think it's so fun to start up new traditions as a family, in addition to adding those from when my husband and I were a kid.  One thing we started doing was getting Clara a new book to read together every year as one of her gifts.  She loves to read, and we read to her every night before she goes to bed... she must take after me.. I'm a total book worm

Here's a photo from last year... her and her daddy, and the new books she received..

This year, I plan on getting her a personalized "The Night Before Christmas" storybook by MyChronicleBooks.  Of course, I'll be giving her this book before Christmas, so we can read it together before then.  This book is so much fun.. I love personalized things.  You can add your child's name, hometown, even photo to the book.. to make it seem like you're reading about them. 

I think she'll really enjoy this book, and I'm excited to give it to her this year!  The look on her face when she receives a new book is priceless.  :)

Also, MyChronicleBooks is currently offering 30% off of your next order, check it out here.  It's a really good deal!  Why not start a new tradition (or continue an old one) with your family?

What are your family's favorite Christmas traditions?

This post is sponsored by MyChronicleBooks, all opinions are my own.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins {recipe}


Are any one of you morning people?  Because I'm definitely not... though I always wished I were.. it would make my life easier.  But I'm not.  And while I absolutely love my job, being to work at 6:15am is difficult for me.. but it is getting easier.  Kind of.  Coffee makes waking up early bearable at least.  Coffee lover right here!  So I'm always excited for the holiday seasons because of the fun coffee creamer flavors.  Coffee-Mate now has their Peppermint Mocha, Dark Chocolate Fudge, and Eggnog Latte creamers out.  I'm a chocolate lover, so of course the first one I went for was the dark chocolate fudge... but I'm definitely going back for the eggnog latte next!  There's truly nothing like curling up with huge mug of hot coffee.. makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  ;)

Then, the other day.. I decided to make some muffins.  Because muffins and coffee go so well together (also, I had old bananas to use up).  And then I was like..... why not use the creamer IN the muffins?  Genius.  These muffins really are delicious and the creamer helps make them moist and more flavorful!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Coffee-Mate Dark Chocolate Fudge creamer
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. In a small bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Beat in the egg, bananas, vanilla, and creamer. Combine the flours, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture until just moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. 
  2. Coat muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full with batter. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 6-8 muffins.  Also, if you have 3 bananas, this recipe is easily doubled!
  3. If you want to make a fun glaze for the muffins (who doesn't love that?), then mix together 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to 1-2 tbsp of creamer.  Adjust to your preferred consistency and drizzle over the cooled muffins!

 Enjoy them warm, with a big mug of hot coffee..topped with whipped cream of course.. go big or go home!  Coffee-Mate's delicious seasonal flavors are only available through December so get them while you can!

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Swedish Pancakes {recipe + giveaway}


Anyone else love to make a big breakfast on the weekends?  I always do - breakfast is actually my favorite meal of the day.. heck, some days we also have it for dinner.  Why not?  Hash browns, sausage, bacons, eggs, waffles/pancakes.. though instead of the classic pancake, I decided to try out some Swedish pancakes this past weekend. 

These pancakes are so good.  They're much thinner than a traditional pancake, so I can stuff my face with more.  Always a plus.  A neat thing about the "Recipes Across America" cookbook (which is where I found this recipe) is that it tells you a little bit about the recipe itself, or fun facts about ingredients in the recipe.  A few things I learned.. these are not the same as crepes (when I saw the recipe, I thought they were).  They are much thinner.  And in Sweden they are traditionally served with lingonberries, or sometimes.. ice cream!  Hey, I'd be willing to try that.  #icecreamaddict

Swedish Pancakes
recipe from "Recipes Across America" by Taste of Home
  • 2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Frozen blueberries (or some sort of jam/fruit spread)
  • whipped topping

In a blender or stand mixer, combine first six ingredients.  Blend well.  Heat a lightly greased 8-in nonstick skillet, pour 1/4 cup batter into center of pan and quickly lift and tilt pan to evenly coat the bottom.  Cook until top appears dry.  Flip and cook 15-20 seconds longer.

Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet as needed.  Stack pancakes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.  Reheat in the microwave if desired.

Heat frozen blueberries in a small pot until juicy and warm (or you could use jam or fruit spread warmed up).  Fold pancakes into quarters and serve with berries or jam, and whipped topping.

Taste of Home gifted me their "Recipes Across America" cookbook, which is where I found this recipe.  I'm an a huge fan of Taste of Home.  I have a couple other cookbooks from them, and I also get their magazine in the mail.  When I meal plan I just spread all my magazine and cookbooks (along with Pinterest of course) out on the table and go to town.

This cookbook is divided into five "regions".  More than 735 recipes from each part of the nation... northeast, south, midwest, southwest, and west.  And these recipes are from real home cooks, that may have been passed down in their families.  There are hundreds of striking color photos (which is a huge plus for me.. I love seeing what the end product looks like), the cookbook’s pages are sprinkled with food folklore, recipe histories, fun facts and culinary trivia.

And great news!!  I've teamed up with Taste of Home to give one of you lucky ducks the new cookbook!  Just enter using the rafflecopter form below.  :)

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