10.05.2016

{3 Ingredient Pumpkin Bread}

What do you do when work has been cancelled, schools have been closed, and you're at home with your kids prepping for Hurricane Matthew? Well, you make the easiest, most delicious pumpkin bread so you can live off of it throughout the storm. :)

How awesome is this?! 3 ingredients, bakes in less than 30 minutes, and it leaves your house smelling like pumpkin spice and cider...Pretty perfect for rainy days, and I already have all of the ingredients in my pantry.


This is all you need:
  • Spice Cake Mix (1 box)
  • Pumpkin (1 can)
  • Pumpkin Spice
Mix ingredients together and bake according to directions on Spice Cake box.

Whether you toast it with a little butter for breakfast or serve it after dinner as your dessert, it's a treat your whole family will love! Enjoy, and to all my friends in the path of Hurricane Matthew…Stay safe.

xoxo,
Katherine

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9.11.2016

{Proud to be an American}

I always say that my blog is my happy place, and it really, truly is. I love to write. Writing is therapeutic to me, and there is something so special about getting these thoughts out of my head and off of my heart...Typing them out in my sacred place, so I can go back and read them as often as I'd like.
What's heavy on my heart today (probably heavier than it has ever been in the 15 years since it happened) is September 11th. For those who don't know me, I'm a super emotional person. And those who DO know me will totally understand when I say I've already cried about five times today just thinking about 9/11/01. Every time I watch a memorial video, hear a father tell the story of his last conversations with his sons who died (one NYPD and one NYFD), see a wife sob as she describes the phone call she got from her husband as his floor collapsed around him, watch as the last know 9/11 rescue dog is saluted as she makes her way to her final resting place...I bawl. I just can't help it, and my heart physically hurts so badly for everyone.

It is weighing so heavy on my heart this year, and I know why. Motherhood. Motherhood is a tricky, wonderful, scary, amazing thing, and it's hard to put into words how it has changed me when it comes to events such as 9/11. Although every second of that day is still so fresh on my mind, I feel like the impact of it all is hitting me even more now that I have kids than it did when we were actually living through it. Because now, I can imagine how these parents are feeling, and I can almost FEEL hurt in my heart for their loss.

On September 11, 2001, I was a college junior, glued to the TV in my dorm room in South Tower at USC, surrounded by all of my sorority sisters, one who we lost just a few weeks ago (seeing her in my 9/11 memory makes me cry, too).

Today, I'm a 35 year-old mom of two...I've matured, I've grown, I've aged, I've struggled, I've strived, I've succeeded, I've learned....I have learned so, so, so very much about life. Life is so precious, and I have found that I live each day wanting to protect my kids....Protect them from everything...The bully at school, the scary things happening in our world, the negativity plastered throughout the media, and the cruelty that has unfortunately seemed to have taken over lately.

This morning in church, my husband and I taught the children what it means to be a good Servant of God, and today and everyday, my goal is to be a good Servant of God and to teach my kids to do the same. I pray every day that I can raise my kids as wonderfully as my parents raised me, and today, I'm wishing I could snap my fingers and be on one of the amazing Army bases on which we lived with the most amazing Lieutenant Colonel Dad there has ever been...I wish my kids could truly experience it like I did, but thank God they have all of us to instill in them the values, morals, and respect that I learned growing up. My dad has always said if we want to see change, we have to stand up for what we believe in.

So today, I'm flying our flag so high, I'm standing at attention and placing my hand over my heart for the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, I'm praying with my kids, and I'm playing God Bless the USA as many times as I need to.

Here are some of the 9/11 videos that touched my heart:

** One last thing...I'm over the NFL and all those players who feel so entitled to turn their backs on our flag. Let me tell you something...If you turn your back on our flag, you are turning your back on this great nation that gives you the right to play that sport for millions of dollars. You are turning your back on the service men and women who are fighting a war to protect your freedoms, you are turning your back on the policemen, the firefighters, all who protect our streets every day, and you are turning your back on all those before you who paved the way. So, until the NFL starts teaching some RESPECT AND HONOR of the flag and our great nation to these players, I'll be happily boycotting.

God Bless America,
Katherine

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8.03.2016

{Chopped Brussels Sprouts}

Hello sweet blog and sweet friends! I'm back in my happy place...Writing a quick post while one little one naps and the other runs around in Mommy's clothes. ☺️

The summer has been great...Busy, chaotic, a bit stressful, but overall, really great. I'll miss these summer days, but I'm secretly so excited about getting back into our routine and school year groove.

I have so many posts stored up in my mind, and I can't wait to get them all up on the blog. Looking forward to adding weekly posts back to my schedule when the kids are back in school.

First up is a recipe I've been wanting to share for a while now. It is one of my absolute favorite side dishes, inspired by a sweet friend of mine (Thank you, Becky!). It even gets the kids to eat their Brussels Sprouts, so I call it a win all around!! Enjoy!!

Chopped Brussels Sprouts

Fresh Brussels Sprouts
1/2 and 1/2
Butter
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Cut stems from brussels sprouts. Next, give brussel sprouts a good chop to dice them as small as you like. Heat butter over high heat. I use Smart Balance butter. Add brussels sprouts to pan and sauté over high heat. Once you see them crisping and turning brown, turn heat to low and add 1/2 and 1/2. I eyeball it depending on the amount of brussel sprouts I'm cooking. Next, add salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and cook until 1/2 and 1/2 reduces down into a creamy sauce. Serve as your side dish, and enjoy!!

xoxo,
Katherine



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4.10.2016

{Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Valentine's Day, Happy Easter, etc.}

Wow...I slipped into a brief {and completely unintentional} blogging hiatus, and boy have I missed this happy space. It has been really nice focusing only on my family and work, but I always realize when taking a step back from the blog that this very blog is such a big part of my life. I have missed you!!

Things have been wonderful and busy all at the same time, and we have yet to master our routine with two munchkins. :) We have, however, loved every second with them, and they have made holidays so much more FUN!!!!

I'm so excited to be getting back to my regular posts, and I thought I'd share some happy moments from the past couple months. Be back soon with some awesome posts, delicious recipes, and fun finds!
xoxo,
Katherine


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12.17.2015

{Gift Guide for Him}

Can you believe that Christmas is only 8 days away?? I sure can't, and if you're anything like me, you still have a lot of shopping to do before the big day! Ladies…If you need some awesome gifts for your men, I have the perfect solution. GuysIf you want to shower yourselves with some Christmas love, you need to check this out!

Their products are amazing, and you still have time to take advantage of their great deals:
  • Order by Saturday, 12/19 at 11:59 pm PT for Guaranteed Standard Delivery by Christmas!
  • Free 3-Day Shipping on $50+!
  • Use FIRST15 to get 15% off your first purchase 
Give the gift of comfort this year, and be sure to check out this special guide designed to fit any man on your list!

So hop on over to Tommy John, meet these awesome men, and be sure to snag some gifts for all your guys. I know what my hubby is getting in his stocking!! :) Merry Christmas to all!!

xoxo,
Katherine

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12.11.2015

{Personalized Video Messages from Santa}

I pulled this from the archives because it's a true treasure…Y'all HAVE to do this for your kids. :)

Kate was just a baby when I made her first video, but I showed it to her the other night, and she couldn't contain her excitement. She was giggling, grinning from ear to ear, and her eyes had the prettiest twinkle in them. Now THAT is the greatest gift I could ever receive!

Visit the Portable North Pole, create a personalized video for your sweet kids, and you can also download the app on your phone.
{PNP}
I immediately made a video for Kate as soon as I discovered the site from one of my favorite bloggers, and the process was so quick and simple.  I actually got a little teary when I watched her special video, and I can only imagine what the experience is like for older kiddos. You can watch Kate's video below, and if you have young kids, drop what you're doing and make a video of your own.  I bet they will find it as magical as I did! :)

xoxo,
Katherine
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12.02.2015

{Spinach Tortellini Soup}

My mom's recipes are the best, and on days that I'm homesick and would give anything to live in the same town as my family, I find comfort in cooking their food.

Mom's Spinach Tortellini with Spicy Italian Sausage is delicious, and y'all will love it. See recipe below: 

Ingredients:
1 T olive oil
1 lb Italian Sausage
½ cup diced onion
1 T minced garlic
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 32-oz box vegetable or chicken broth
2 T chopped fresh basil
½ t salt
1 t pepper
1 package 3-cheese tortellini
1 cup packed fresh spinach
** I used low sodium chicken broth, dried basil spice, and a bag of fresh organic spinach. 
Preparation:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add diced onion and sauté until onions are soft.
  3. Add Italian Sausage and garlic to pan.  Cook until sausage is no longer pink.
  4. Stir in crushed tomatoes, broth, basil, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover.  Let soup simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.
  5. Add tortellini and spinach and simmer for about ten minutes, until pasta is tender.
  6. Serve with shredded Parmesan Cheese. Enjoy!!
xoxo,
Katherine

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