Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sweet Snack: Yolos!

Have you ever had these yummy little bites of salty, melty, sticky chocolate goodness? If not, make them. They're super easy and super delicious and friends really love it when you show up at their doorstep out of the blue with a plate of some fresh from the oven. They'll also make a perfect last minute snack to finish off your Thanksgiving meal!

What you need:



What you do:

Unwrap Rollos

Put them on pretzels

Put pretzels and Rollos in the oven until melty- 3-5 minutes

Top with pecans

Let cool, and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Men and Stocking Stuffers

For the men on your list:

Gift Guide: Men

1. For your cool little brother. Or your husband. We bought a kid's pair of these on super sale at Brickyard Buffalo for Emmett this Summer, and I can't wait till he grows into them!
Handmade wooden sunglasses from Tumbleweeds Handcraft $85

2. Ray has the Clark's version of these boots, and we'll be replacing them soon with a cheaper pair of these from Target.
Merona Estes Boot from Target $40

3. For the whiskey/scotch/bourbon/sweet tea drinker in your life. These are amazing.
Jumbo Ice Round Molds $9.99

4. Also this.
Glass Whiskey Bottle with Monogrammed Wooden Stopper  $23

5. The ultimate Dad gift, with a twist.
Knit Wool Skinny Tie $15

6. For the real man on your list.
Tea Tree Beard Oil $25

7. This watch is so awesome I might buy one for my husband and then steal it.
Arvo Watch (On sale at Brickyard Buffalo!) $41

8. Every man wants a phone charger that fits in his wallet.
USB Charge Card $25 (Use this link for $5 off your first order!)

9. For the wanna-be handy-man (or woman).
The Art of Fixing Things, principles of machines, and how to repair them $11.66

10. For the Ron Swanson on your list.
English Hunting Flask $55

Stocking stuffers: Adults

Stocking Stuffers

1. These were on my gift list last year. My mom got them for Ray and I and I've used them every time we travel. They're great for keeping smaller items separated in your luggage, and keep your suitcase super organized!
eBags Small Packing Cubes $19.99 for a 3 piece set

2. These were also on last year's gift guide. I bought a few and put them in everyone's stockings. We've used ours a hundred ways (best use yet- baby-proofing our cabinets!), and they're cheap so get some for everyone!
Quirky Bandits Rubber Bands with Hooks $6.99 for a pack of 10

3. For the boy (or girl!) scout in your life.
Stormproof Matches $12

4. For the stylish homeowner/ Christmas party hostess.
Wishbone Bottle Opener $14

5. For your little sister/niece/girlfriend/coworker/self.
Ryan Gosling Coloring Book $13

6. For your dearest cheese lover.
Gold Cheese Knives Set $23

7. For the fashionable single gal on your list.
Glitter Bow Shoe Clips $20

8. For your annoying little brother / Secret Santa at work.
Coal Soap $4.99

9. These little "jam jars" are so great. Small, portable, and they connect via blue tooth.
JAM Classic Bluetooth Wireless Speaker $32

10. For every man on your list.
Wall Mounted Bottle Opener $9

Stocking Stuffers for kids:

Stocking Stuffers for kids

1. & 2. Airplane and dumptruck shaped crayons from CrayonCraft Etsy shop $7 and $13

3. The sweetest baby and toddler headbands from Little Hip Squeaks $10

4. Little ballerinas and teenagers alike will love this one.
Conair Perfect Bun Maker $7.65

5. Every little boy needs a portable road playset!
My First Autobahn Road Tape with Toy Car $19.99

6. For all those kiddos who won't have a real white Christmas.
Instant Snow $2.99

7. Sarah Boynton's books are some of our favorites. These are great for babies and toddlers!
Boynton's Greatest Hits Board Book Set $16.55

8. These are so fun for bedtime, bath time in the dark, playing under home-made tents, etc.
Glow Stick Bracelets (Tube of 100) $9

9. Perfect for kids, annoying for parents. But it's Christmas, so they won't mind. ;)
Wooden Musical Instruments $17.67

10. This site has so many cool temporary tattoos for kids (and adults)!
Tattly Temporary Tattoos $5

Check out my gift guides for the ladies and kids on your list here, and you can find last year's gift guide here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Keepin' It Real + Our Weekend

I hope ya'll are having a wonderful Thanksgiving week! We're having a blast in Georgia with my family! I'm especially enjoying the fireplace and the food. Emmett is in heaven, and has already adjusted to the time change, waking up a whole two hours earlier than normal each morning. Yay! And thank God for grandparents!

I just wanted to share a quick Keepin' It Real moment from last week to link up with Corinna over at Track 8!

The other day I let Emmett play with a box of tampons while I made the bed. He does this from time to time- don't judge me- it keeps him distracted for a few minutes while I clean up or fold a load of laundry. A couple of minutes went by before I realized the toilet might be open. I sprinted to the bathroom, but I was too late. Way too late.

And yes, that's me in my slippers. Just all kinds of real going on in this picture.

Here are a few more photos from our weekend (linking up with Mary Beth at Annapolis & Co for Our Weekend!):

Daddy's home from work, the weekend can start!!

Working on the car in the rain. Such a man!

Let me go outside!!!!

Apparently Emmett loves boots. Funny story- he put a pair in the stroller's basket and
I didn't realize... We beeped on the way out of the store and I almost died of embarrassment.

Playing sticks with his papa!

The world's most bundled baby!

Oh, how I love seeing that baby in that backyard! This place is so full of memories from my childhood, and more recently from our wedding, so it's a wonderful treat to see Emmett running around and enjoying it too!


I've been thinking a lot about what I said (typed) the other day. I've realized that I was focusing on the negative things that have happened the last few months, and not giving enough thought to the blessings we've experienced. So, I'm going to re-tell the story, with a new perspective.

After a year + of working full-time, and spending so much time away from Emmett, I was given the unexpected opportunity to stay home part time. This opportunity presented itself as a seemingly negative out-of-the-blue how-are-we-gonna-get-through-this surprise, but almost immediately I saw it for the blessing-in-disguise that it really was. It's been a huge gift to our family in so many ways and I'm incredibly thankful for this change.

After being open to another baby for months, we became pregnant with our second child in August. I carried him for 8 short but beautiful weeks before he went to heaven to wait for us. I loved those weeks with him, and I'm so grateful for that time. Once the problems began, so many friends and family members and even strangers began to pray for us, and we experienced so much joy and peace during those weeks. After I lost the baby, I experienced an outpouring of love and grace thanks to all of the prayers, cards, text messages, and emails sent to me by all of the people who love me. I encountered so many women who've experienced the loss of a child, and I knew that I wasn't alone. So many of you reached out to me to let me know that I'd be okay, and that you were praying for us. I feel so loved and so blessed by all of you.

We've struggled with finding the perfect child-care for Emmett as long as we've had him. Every time we get into a good routine, something changes and we find ourselves searching once again for the perfect solution. When Lucia moved home, we knew we wanted to put Emmett into a daycare-type situation part time so that he could spend time with other children, and we ended up finding a place that we really really love. It's a pre-school run by a church just down the street from our house. They take infants up to 5 years old, and Emmett has really grown to love it. He's excited to go in the mornings and he's playing happily right until I scoop him up to take him home in the afternoon. I love his teachers and all of the staff and really couldn't be happier with the whole program. This has been such an enormous relief for me! It makes going to work so much easier, and I know God is using that place to bless me and many other families.

A few weeks ago, we moved in with Ray's parents, which has been hard and humbling in a lot of ways. But it's also been a huge blessing. It's taken a big financial weight off of our shoulders, allowed us to relax a little bit, and has given me the freedom to work part time and spend the rest of my time at home with Emmett. It's allowed us to spend more time with family which I know is a huge gift for Emmett, and it's helped us to simplify our life. We are in a much smaller space than we're used to, so we've scaled down our possessions and life just seems simpler now.

Before my hours were cut, we were always in a rush. We rushed to get ready each morning and then flew out the door just in time to get Emmett to school and then sped to get to work on time. We rushed home in the evenings in time to throw dinner together and spend a few measly minutes with Emmet before we rushed through his bedtime routine and put him down to sleep. Everything we did was rushed and stressed and exhausting. Now, we can relax. We have time to spend together, time to talk to each other and listen to each other and time to just be as a family. We play with Emmett and watch him learn and love every single minute of it. We don't have to worry about making dinner every night because we have dinner with Ray's family most evenings. What a blessing.

While the last few months have been so hard and have stretched us and forced us to change our plans and our minds over and over again, we've also been blessed in so many beautiful ways. We are being forced to trust in God and in His plan for our life, but He's given us the grace and the peace that we've needed as well. He's holding us in His hands, and we feel that every day. We are blessed y'all, and we can't wait to see what comes next.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Friday!

Emmett is taking an unusually long nap, so I thought I'd stop in for a quick sec to wish you all a happy Friday! This is an unusually happy Friday for me, since we are packing up and getting ready to fly to Georgia tomorrow to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Woohoo! I'm so excited. I can't wait to see my brothers and sisters and hug them so tight, to spend mornings with hot chocolate by the fire, and to eat as much turkey as my belly will allow.

Also, it's raining! Such a wonderful treat.

I hope you have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I Want To Be Good

This morning I was hit, out of the blue, by a deep, strong conviction. I became suddenly aware of a situation where I failed to be Jesus to someone I love. This person was hurting, and alone, and needed the people in his life to show him love and to be there for him, and I failed. At the time, I told myself that if he wanted to talk about it, he would. If he needed me, he would let me know. But that was a lie and I think I knew it then too. He needed me, but I wasn't there for him.

I never want to make that mistake again. I want to be the one who always comes through for people. I want to show people love. To show them Jesus. I want to be love to the people in my life. I want to encourage people, to make them feel strong and beautiful and important. I want to build people up and make people happy.

I've always wanted to be a source of love for people. It has been a desire of my heart for as long as I can remember. I want to be only a positive influence in the lives of those around me. I want everyone I meet to leave feeling better than they did before we met. It's a weight on my heart, and today I was reminded of this in a big, big way.

Each day in the late afternoon, when we're all tired and hungry and waiting for dinner, I find myself frustrated. Emmett is fussy and hungry and just wants me to hold him. Mama mama mama mama all the time. I get frustrated and I show it to him. Every day I struggle with that and every day I fail. I never want him to see me frustrated or annoyed. I want him to see only love when he looks at me. Every day.

I want to be better. I want to be only good. Only love. I want to radiate love. I want to radiate Jesus to everyone I come in contact with. That starts at home, with my sweet, innocent, gentle and kind baby boy. With my husband, who usually sees the worst of me after every long day. It starts with my family. Today I feel a conviction to be better, to love more, and to start right here, where it matters the most. Jesus, help me to love more, to be better, to show your love. Help me to be love to everyone I meet.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Ladies & Kiddos on your list

For the women in your life:

Gift Guide 2013- Ladies

1. For the old lady in all of us.
Gap Elbow-Patch Cardigan $39

2. This sweet bracelet has been on my wish list since I was pregnant with Emmett. Perfect for your mama, your baby's mama, your niece's and nephew's mama, or any other mama on your list.
Coatt Morse Code Bracelet $48

3. For your glam-iest girlfriend.
Flapper Coin Pouch $38

4. For the crafter on your list. Everything in this shop is beautiful and special. The items are inexpensive so you could put together a great little gift bag!
Thatch & Thistle Supply Co. Etsy Shop Items starting at $2.50

5. For your wife. Ahem. (Someone tell my husband!)
JCrew Crystal Triangles Bracelet $135

6. For the organized lady on your list.
Wire Storage Basket $18 and up

7. For the homebody.
JCrew Lodge Moccasins $49.50

8. These are perfect filled with candy or tea bags for your kid's teacher, your coworkers, your mom, your babysitter, your pediatrician, your hairdresser, etc etc etc. :)
Golden Monogram Mugs $10

9. When it comes to buying gifts for girlfriends, my strategy is to find something she wants but would never splurge on for herself. This fits that bill.
Holiday Mercury Candle $24

For baby:

1. Every kid needs this t-shirt! (Especially Emmett)
Y'all shirt from Mamacase prints on Etsy $22

2. For the camera (read: iPhone) obsessed kids on your list.
Pixie Moss Wooden Toy Camera from Twig Creative $30

3. For the stay-at-home mom who needs a little help entertaining her kiddos. Or the working mom who just doesn't have time to be super creative. So basically, every mom ever.
TogetherBox Subscription $29/month

4.  I'm a huge fan of The Animal Print Shop. Everything in the shop is so sweet! This would be a great gift for any baby or toddler on your list.
Giraffe Print from The Animal Print Shop $25 and up

5. Aren't these fun? Kids love stacking toys, and these are a clever and different take on the usual stacker.
Grimm's Wooden Rainbow Nesting Blocks $21.55

6. Emmett got one of these for his birthday and we love it! We keep all of his books inside and he sits under his teepee reading and playing. It's great for the kid with the big imagination on your list!
Teepee Play Tent from B.E Little You and Me on Etsy $115

7. This personalized memory game is so so awesome. I'm dying to get one for Emmett with photos of all of his aunts and uncles in Georgia. So sweet! (Find coupons here!)
Personalized Memory Game $19.99

You can find more gifts for the men on your list, and stocking stuffers for everyone here, and last year's gift guide here!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Our Weekend, in photos

Our  weekend, in photos:

Our weekend started with dirt...
Husband grilling = happy wife.
Cloudy day, lovebirds on a wire. 
I obviously just woke up.
Day date!

Baby's first bike ride! He loves it.

Walking with Pepere.
Saying "buh bye!" to all the cars during dinner.

And ended with dirt.

I hope you had an awesome weekend too! Linking up with Annapolis & Company!


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