Friday, August 29, 2014

friday favorites


F R I D A Y   F A V O R I T E S

1. Day dates with my babies

Steve works ALL day on Thursdays now, so yesterday the boys and I did a little adventuring. We visited a new town, did some window shopping, and sipped on some ice coffee (I did). Nolan broke a toy at one of the stores, so I wasn’t entirely happy with him, but it was fun to be out and about enjoying the nice weather! :)

2. Old Houses 

We have driven past this old house a hundred times in the past few years. Unfortunately, we heard that it’s being knocked down in a couple weeks to build a dollar store :(  It has been on sale for ten years for under $200,000, and no one wanted it! Anyway, we got the chance to go inside, and you would not believe how amazing it was! Ornate fireplaces in every room, 12-foot ceilings, crystal chandeliers, countless bedrooms. All of Steve’s work on his parents’ house has made us super fascinated with the character of old homes :)

3. Wendy’s Strawberry Lemonade

We got a snack at Wendy’s last night, and I haven’t had their lemonade in over a year. But man alive, it’s delicious!

4. Donut Party
Planning has been underway for a few weeks for Nolan’s 3rd birthday party on September 6th! I have a lot of work to do this week to get ready, but I’m super excited!!

Which leads me to #5. My birthday weekend!
Here is me at Nolan’s age. My birthday is Sunday (the 31st), and it falls right in the middle of Labor Day weekend this year. Can’t wait!  (P.S. My hair is in a ponytail here, not super short!)

Hope you all enjoy the long weekend!! :)

Linking up for Friday Favorites with Andrea, Erika, & Narci.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ephraim at 7 months

Steve and I look at this little guy and marvel at how cute and precious he is! His juicy cheeks, his soft, blondish hair and piercing blue eyes! Even though he’s baby number two, every little stage is still a miracle to us. Watching him grow and develop is so rewarding and fun; I only wish that we could keep him at this sweet baby age forever. He lights up whenever he sees me, and I don’t remember Nolan being quite so smitten with me (he has always been an on-the-go adventurer). Ephraim Luke, you are such a blessing!

7 Month Stats

Weight: 18-19 pounds

Length: Around 26 inches

Eating: He nurses every 3 hours during the day. He has eaten peas, bananas, apples, green beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and rice. He really loves to eat and gets excited when he sees the jars!

Bedtime: He falls asleep around 9, but is in and out of sleep until midnight.

Awake: He wakes up about once a night, although some nights are definitely better than others :) He likes to sleep in until 9 or 9:30 to make up for his later bedtimes.

Naps: He typically has a morning nap, an afternoon nap, and an early evening nap. It’s easiest to get him to nap when he’s in the Snugli.

Diapers: Size 3

Clothes: 9 months

Favorites: Playing on the floor, putting all of Nolan’s toys in his mouth, being held by Mommy, sitting in his highchair, jumping in the Jumperoo. When he gets upset, he has a favorite lullaby that immediately calms him and makes him smile. It is absolutely adorable :)

Latest Tricks: He says “ma ma”!! He also makes a little “boo” sound where he blows air out. He is days away from crawling. He gets up on his chubby little legs and lunges in the direction he wants to go. Somehow he ends up moving backwards. He is very close to sitting up on his own, but he’d rather lay on his tummy and try to crawl.


And for comparison, baby Nolan :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

s’mores cookie bars

s'mores cookie bars
These s’mores cookie bars were quickly devoured at our annual church picnic on Sunday. Who can resist a s’more mixed with a chocolate chip cookie?! When I was searching for a recipe on Saturday night, this one had my name written all over it. It starts with a buttery graham cracker crust, covered in chocolate chip cookie dough, and topped off with marshmallows and Hershey bar pieces. Yum!!

1 sleeve of graham crackers, crushed (or 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs)
1/2 stick melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened to room temp
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1  1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup mini marshmallows, divided
1 Hershey bar (12 squares)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press into an 8x8 inch pan.

Cream together the softened stick of butter with sugar and brown sugar. Next, add the egg and vanilla. Then gradually mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt.


Mix in 1/2 a cup of marshmallows and all of the chocolate chips, just until combined.

Drop spoonfuls of cookie batter over the graham cracker crust, and then smooth it over with the back of a spoon, or a rubber spatula. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Pull it out and sprinkle it with 1/4 cup marshmallows and the Hershey pieces. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. It is done when a toothpick comes out clean (about 22 minutes total oven time).

Feel free to share with friends, or hoard it all for yourself because an 8x8 is really not that big :)


Thanks to Mel for the original recipe!

Linking up with Andrea for her monthly Recipe Club!

See two of my other s’mores recipes by clicking on the images below!

oven s'mores s'mores bake

Monday, August 25, 2014

august favorite things

At the end of every month I look around the house to see if there is anything I’ve picked up recently that I want to recommend or rave about to you all. I saw these bracelets on Kelly Stamps’ blog—they’re $5 each at Walmart—and since I’m there so frequently, I sought them out and purchased a couple! They also have hot pink, orange, and black with several style varieties of each. So far I have found them to be of a nice quality. They are nice and solid, and they open on a hinge. Kelly also introduced me to the Instagram account @WhoaWaitWalmart. They find some really cute things that are worth searching for at the store. :)

Secondly, I love these $10 simple v-necks from Target. I’ve picked up Peach and Heather Gray. The above picture makes it look really pink, but it is actually faded and coral like shown below. I could wear these tees every day. Just don’t be like me and splash butter all over the front when you’re baking. . . any ideas on how to get that out??
Merona Vintage V-neck Tee.

Linking up with Andrea and Erika!  I can’t wait to see what everyone else posts about!

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Have a great day!

Come back tomorrow for a delicious S’more cookie bar recipe!

life lately

Although Steve starts the new school year today (teaching four classes), I’m not ready to admit that summer is over. My birthday is on Sunday (the 31st), and it will always be summer to me until September 1st rolls around :) This past Friday was my mom’s birthday. We celebrated with her—eating a feast at Pizza Hut, enjoying the boys, and singing happy birthday to her at our house accompanied by eight candle-lit devil’s food cupcakes. Nothing but the best for my sweet mama! :)

Saturday morning, Steve had a date with a friend to pour some concrete so I took Nolan to Lowe’s for the Build and Grow workshop. My mom and Don met us there, and we helped Nolan build a “Robot Puppet,” which was a big hit with the little guy :) We made a brief visit to JoAnn Fabrics, and returned home for a lazy afternoon with Daddy. We made some chocolate chip pancakes and did some baking for the church picnic.

Sunday morning was our church’s big “Rally Day” to mark the start of the new Sunday School year. Nolan is going to start Sunday School with the 3, 4, and 5 year-olds, and he is going to absolutely LOVE it! Steve and a friend pulled out their guitars for some classic worship music time. Nolan ran around enjoying the great outdoors. After the service everyone sat down to the annual chicken barbecue, with lots of salads and desserts. Yum! And Ephraim stole the smiles of all the ladies :)

How was your weekend? Hope you’re having a fantastic Monday! xoxo.

Friday, August 22, 2014

friday favorites

It’s time again for my favorites from the week! If we were meeting up over a cup of coffee and a donut right now (I would love that!), these would be the things I’d most likely be talking about :)

1. Almost-three-year-old FUN behavior

We had a box from Target arrive on our porch yesterday, and once it was unpacked, Nolan promptly climbed in, grabbed a blanket and Hammie the dog, and declared it nap time. Unfortunately, there was no real nap, but it was one of those “He’s never done that before!” moments :)
While playing Play-Doh, he wanted to keep making little pigs. What was fun for me was the dialogue that the pigs were having. I LOVE listening to him start to make up conversations.
2. E attached at my hip

It is the cutest thing that even at 6.5 months, Ephraim thinks he and I are one person. If he is not touching me, or in sight of me, he is in tears. I’ll admit that it’s frustrating when I really want someone else to hold him for a while so I can shower or eat. But for the most part, it’s quite adorable how he giggles to himself when I pick him up and hold him close.

3. Uncle Josh

Uncle Josh joked that he was disappointed he didn’t make it into my day-in-the-life post since he was out of town last weekend. So here you go, Josh. :)  The boys love having him around to teach him things like secret handshakes.

4. BLTs

My mom and I made some oatmeal bread the other day. We started making it at 3, and it didn’t come out of the oven until 10, so it was a labor of love! With some fresh garden tomatoes (from our friend Carol), lettuce, and crisp bacon, the sandwiches were so delicious!

The bacon came from Aldi—it was nitrate free and still very tasty. I am super impressed and excited about Aldi’s SimplyNature line. I came home with quite a few items like grass fed ground beef, sweet potato chips, and Clif bar knockoffs—all that I’ve tried has been yummy!
 aldi simply nature


We are celebrating this pretty lady today. Thanks for all that you do for us, Mom! Nolan is very excited to help you blow out the candles on your cupcakes :) We love you, Mormor!

Linking up for Friday Favorites with Andrea, Erika, & Narci.

What are your weekend plans?

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

on His peace


There are moments in your life when you learn something, or an event happens, and all of a sudden your life isn’t what it was five minutes before. You feel like something has been altered. It may be good, it may be bad, or it may be something you can't put your finger on right away, but you know that in that moment, God is always there with you. I had one of those moments this week. As my mind raced away from me, barreling down one worst-case scenario after another, the only choice I had was to rest in the peace that comes in knowing He is in control. Once I made that choice, I understood that it is the ONLY choice—and it was there all along. God doesn’t wait for my okay to give me His peace. It’s there before I even know I need it.

When the situation resolved happily, I found that God had used this minor trial to mold me a little bit more into who He wants me to be. For example, I had gotten a little bit whiney in the past few months about the littlest of things. And now, I’ve gained some perspective, and I see that these little things mean nothing in the grand scheme. Now that I have put the whining aside, I am experiencing so much more joy in my day to day life.

Accept the peace that waits for you daily. Keep your focus on God in the ups and downs, and the rest falls into place.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

what i wore wednesday

This is my very favorite skirt. It’s all cotton, super soft and comfortable, and the length is conservative enough for church. But a little secret? It’s maternity. The band is nice and tight on my waist whether or not I’m pregnant, so you can bet I’m going to wear it forever :) I paired it with a bright neon yellow boyfriend tee, with a cute little pocket (that you maybe can’t see under my hair). Me in all cotton = me in my element.

Shirt: Target
Skirt: Liz Lange Target
Shoes: JC Penney
Earrings: Nickel & Suede

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Linking up with Lindsey, Alison, and Shanna.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

a day in my life

One of my very favorite posts to read on other blogs is “A Day in the Life.” Call me nosy, but I think it’s so fun to see detailed glimpses of other people’s lives and daily schedules :) I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while, and finally put it on my calendar for last Friday so I could remember to take pictures from sun-up til sundown.

Usually Ephraim wakes me up, but Friday morning, he was still sleeping peacefully when I got out of bed around 8:30. Nolan and Steve were already downstairs. Nolan was watching TV, and Steve was working on his dissertation, as per usual.
I am THIRSTY when I wake up, so I immediately drink a small strawberry banana smoothie while I read my daily devo on the couch.

For breakfast, I eat a small bowl of granola with raisins and a cup of coffee.
I had a few minutes to start a load of laundry in the basement. Love those Buzz Lightyear big boy undies!

And the little guy was calling for me from upstairs. I fed him and put him in his Jumperoo for a little baby exercise and entertainment :)

Nolan kept playing all morning, and we got him dressed for the day.
For lunch, he asks for ham and cheese bagels and juice. He was enjoying making funny faces for the camera!
Ephraim hung out in his high chair while I got myself some lunch.

My lunch looks a lot like my breakfast—typically Oatmeal Squares because cereal is so easy to prepare.
After getting ready to go, we headed out to Walmart. Funny faces again.
Ephraim fell asleep on the way to the store.
We shop at Walmart at least once a week, since it’s our home goods store as well as our grocery store of choice. We checked the party aisles since we’re busy planning Nolan’s 3rd birthday, which is coming up fast!

Saved $5.25 with coupons! I’ve really gotten into collecting coupons and price matching in the past year. I am by no means extreme, but the savings add up over several months. I downloaded Walmart’s new “Savings Catcher” program on my phone, but it hasn’t found me any deals yet, so I’m not sure if it’s going to be worth it.
We stopped by a local farm for some fresh produce—corn on the cob and juicy peaches.

Ephraim asleep in his Snugli for nap #2. I gave Nolan a chance to nap for an hour in his room, but he’s been playing instead of napping for about two weeks now. At least he gets some “rest” time!
Friday was only a high of 65, so every time I asked Nolan if he wanted to go outside, he said no. He did really well at playing by himself for a couple hours!
When Steve got home from an afternoon of remodeling, we ordered a pizza from our favorite place—the Italian restaurant downtown and invited Steve’s parents over.

Grandma read Nolan a book or two. Steve showed his dad some of our recent house projects, and I played with the baby.
Bath time!
I stepped outside to check on the garden. Tomatoes are still green!

Steve read the boys a bedtime story and Nolan fell asleep soon after we left the room. I bathed the baby, and we sat down on the couch for some hot chocolate.

We’re making our way through the Duck Dynasty DVDs (currently on Season 3) and we’re loving it.  Ephraim is something of a night owl, so he sat in my lap for part of it before falling asleep. We ate a little bit of ice cream and headed to bed around midnight.

And that’s pretty much it! It’s not the most exciting of lives right now as far as going places and doing things. But there’s nowhere I’d rather be than hanging out at home with my three guys :)


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