five things FRIDAY

1) hubby is home for the weekend! We spent the evening running errands and grocery shopping with both kids in tow. It made me strangely happy. We were in the car on our way and I realized I had butterflies. Like the feeling I used to get when we would go on dates in high school. BUT THIS WAS A TRIP TO THE GROCERY STORE. WITH OUR KIDS. I must love him an awful lot.

2) We have had a lot of teething going on over here this week, and that is a new experience. Most of Max’s teeth came in without a whimper. But not his two year molars. And Drew is getting his two front bottom teeth in. Nobody has had a tooth actually come through, but we’ve had little sleep and lots of random crying all week…rough. Today has seemed to be better though!

3) Speaking of tough, do y’all have anybody to share those tough times with? Someone to pray for you? I’m part of a group text message prayer group, and it has blessed me tremendously to have those ladies constantly praying for me, encouraging me, and listening to me. I can’t even begin to tell you how they have lifted me up! Maybe you should start a group of your own! I was inspired to start this group by a devotional from the Proverbs 31 Ministries. It was based on this verse: “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)

4) Do y’all have any great meal planning methods that you love? Grocery shopping is definitely easier for me when I know exactly what we need for every meal, but it is seriously the bane of my existence. I feel like I should be more organized about it, but I’m not sure how to get that way!

5) The weather here has been fantastic. But weird. It’s the end of July in the South, but…tomorrows high is only 74! I’m not a hot weather girl. I live for Fall and Spring, so I can’t complain. But still, it is definitely weird.

apple pie oatmeal and mornings around here

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Mornings around here are sometimes a little interesting. Give me a good cup of coffee and a little bit of alone time before everyone else wakes up and I can definitely be a morning person. Max and Nick are definitely not fans of mornings. Actually, even Drew prefers to sleep in. Max actually sleeps until around 9am, and he’s usually in a decent mood when he wakes up. BUT by the time everyone is taken to the potty and changed and fed, it’s 11:00 and I still haven’t had breakfast. Seriously? Yes.

Well, usually I eat peanut butter on toast or cereal for breakfast. Today is grocery day, and we are out of milk and bread. So that forced me to get creative, and I’m so glad! I made apple pie oatmeal! I based it off of a recipe I came across on Pinterest, but there were some things I didn’t love about the recipe so I just made my own up. I never do this. It was a big deal, y’all.

1 apple, cored, peeled, diced (although I skipped the peeling part because I was hungry and in a hurry!)
1.5 cups of water
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I actually used more than that, but I’m a cinnamon person)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup quick cook oats
Brown sugar to taste

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small pot. Add the apples, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook this mixture, stirring and being sure it doesn’t cook down too far/burn to the bottom of the pot, until the apples are soft. At this point, add the remaining 1/2 cup of water and the oats. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until oats are cooked thoroughly.

Serve with some brown sugar sprinkled on top! This makes a heaping helping, and will keep you full. Gosh, I love oatmeal done right.

hooked + looped

Guys, I just mailed out my first crocheted item to my first official customer! I have sold a couple of baby cocoon wraps in the past, but I was busy getting ready for Drew’s arrival at the time and I wasn’t too serious about it. This time, I am really doing it. I spent some time while husband was home over the past few days working out a rough business plan and thinking it all through with him. I also played around with packaging and decided what that should look like as I prepared to ship out my first order! And it felt so good. I can’t even tell y’all how I’ve dreamed about doing this.

Crocheting is something that is very near and dear to my heart. It’s somewhat of a tradition in my family! I remember watching my great grandma, Daisy, crochet when I was very small. Our Christmas trees have always been covered in these beautiful lacy snowflakes and angels that she had so delicately created with just a string and a tiny hook. The ones she made for me are among my most prized possessions. She used to make bags of them and sell them around Christmas, and of course gift them to friends and family. I have always wanted to be able to make those same ornaments, and thanks to my Granny, I can.

When I was probably 8 or 9 years old, my Granny taught me to make chains, and she told me stories about how my mom used to make these same chains and tie them in her hair in place of ribbons. It is such a vivid memory. Then, when I was a senior in high school, I got a lot more serious about crocheting. I wanted to learn more than just a chain stitch. So, I bought some yarn and spent a lot of time with Granny going through all the stitches.

I love that the whole time my fingers are wrapped in yarn I am thinking about Grandma Daisy and my Granny. It’s so special to be able to continue this tradition. You take something so simple and plain…yarn, some string…and create something so beautiful with it. I have been teaching my oldest sister, Evie, to crochet, and it makes my heart so happy. I can’t wait to start teaching the rest of my sisters!

So, be watching for more from my shop, hooked + looped, coming soon! Right now I am working to build a stock of items to sell, which will eventually include garlands, ornaments, scarves and other accessories. I will even be selling those lacy white snowflake ornaments, made from my Grandma Daisy’s patterns.

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photo by my friend (and first customer), the talented Sabrena Deal of S. Carter Studios

dear max [just because]

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Dear Max,

I just can’t get enough of you lately, my sweet boy. Last night you woke up in the middle of the night crying, which is really unusual. I was so tempted to bring you to my bed since Daddy was out of town working, just because I didn’t want to be away from you. I wanted to just hold you all night long, because the days of you being little are just passing by too quickly.

We watched a movie this morning, when you woke up a little earlier than normal. Just you and me, bud. You picked “Wreck It Ralph,” and we snuggled on the couch and watched the whole thing together before your brother woke up. It made my heart so happy. I think it was just what we both needed…some mommy and Max time, just us two. You sat with your arm around me for a lot of it, and told me what you saw. A dinosaur, a turtle, Fix it Felix. I asked you if you liked the movie, and you said “yep!”

You are such a funny little thing. And it almost seems like you are getting funnier as you talk more and more. If we say “I love you” you say it back now, every time, and it just gives me the best feeling. I dreamed of these days from the minute I found out you were on your way.

Lately you love trains a lot, and we’ve been to Tweetsie twice this year already. You play with your wooden train all day every day, and you tell me “train goes choo choo” and I just laugh a little because you are so smart and fun and I’m just so happy to be your momma.

I love how you are my sweet boy and my rough and tumble wild man all in one. It’s really the perfect way to be when you are a boy, and I wouldn’t have you be any other way. You mean the world to me, buddy. My little love. I adore sharing my days with you.

Don’t grow up too fast, okay?

I love you to the moon and back!

Love,

Mommy

Five things Friday!

Whoa! It’s been forever since I did one of these. I’m trying super hard to get back into blogging, and I guess this is a start. Here goes!

1) Can’t. Stop. Won’t. Stop. Eating Granny Smith apples with peanut butter. Definitely my current favorite snack!

2) I’m part of “The Parcel Exchange”…8 girls across the country who send someone in the group a package of goodies in the mail once a month (and also receive a package once a month). It’s so much fun! You should check out Chelsea’s blog post about it here.

3) My brother, Tucker, is an amazing designer. He currently has a shirt up for pre-order on The Cotton Bureau, and he has to sell 15 more shirts over the next 5 days for them to go to print! It’s a great shirt, and you should check it out here. Also, he’s having a sale over on Etsy to get rid of some old stock of prints. They are great, and are only $5 plus shipping! Hurry on over a buy yourself one.

4) I’ve been using “blog lovin'” to keep up with all the blogs I read! It’s fantastic. They have an iPhone app and of course you can use it on the computer.

5) Max is talking up a storm these days. Yesterday, Nick told him he had to eat two more bites of macaroni and cheese before he could have a cookie, and Max responded, “no, one bite.” I was shocked! That shows me that he understands not only the order of numbers, but also the value! That’s huge. He’s such a smart kid.

my favorite (so far) iced coffee recipe

I have recently developed a strong love of strong coffee, probably out of necessity. I’m not sure how I could keep up with my boys and keep up with the house work without at least one cup of coffee a day. If you can do it, then you are super mom. This mom relies heavily on caffeine, my gratitude journal, running for stress relief, and tons of prayer. Because, lets face it, as much as I adore these sweet boys of mine, they require a ton of energy and I don’t have time to nap every day!

I’m not one to drink a lot of hot coffee when it’s also hot outside, so when I learned about the cold brew process I was definitely intrigued. I’ve been experimenting with it for a few weeks now, and I think I finally hit the jackpot this morning.

Last night I decided I would try brewing a concentrated cold brew, instead of my regular strength cold brew. I put about 1 and 1/3 cups of course ground dark roast coffee in my French press (its a standard 34oz french press) then filled it the rest of the way with cold water. I stirred it, then covered it and put it in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. This morning I pressed it, and tried it out immediately. Here is my recipe:

1/2 cup cold brew coffee
3/4 cup milk (I use regular 2%)
1 tbs boiling water
1 tbs sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract

Add sugar, vanilla and almond to the boiling water. Stir this mixture until dissolved, then add it to the coffee. Add milk and stir. Pour over ice and enjoy!

I seriously can’t believe how good this is! I will be doing this much more often. The concentrated cold brew that you don’t use can be covered and stored in the fridge for 10-14 days! I love that I won’t have to make another batch of coffee for probably 5 days.

So…give it a try! And why not experiment and make it your own?! I hope you love it as much as I do!

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life lately, according to my phone

Things have been sort of crazy around here! We’ve been busy, and its been a wonderful summer so far, with the exception of Nick still having to commute for work. Our days lately have been spent potty training, going to the pool, making no-bake cookies, and going for runs on the greenway! And let’s not forget the movie and snuggle time on the rainy days that we’ve had so many of lately (so much rain).

I’m also busy trying to get my shop, “Hooked and Looped” (which is only Facebook based for now), up and running! I’ve always wanted to sell the things I make, and I’m going to give it a serious shot. I’ve sold things here and there in the past, but with fall and Christmas coming up, it seems like there’s no better time than now to try it. Look me up 🙂

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