10.31.2015

{Chocolate Spiders}

Happy Halloween!! I hope you and your families have the best day, and if you need an easy treat to throw together, these chocolate spiders are for you!!

My mom has always made these (another awesome childhood memory), and I remember she would give them as Halloween gifts to everyone...Our teachers, our neighbors, our mailman, etc. So sweet, and everyone loved them!!
I decided to make a big batch for Kate's teachers, and they were so easy to prepare. I bet your family would love it if you whipped some up for Halloween night. :) Here's how to do it:

Ingredients:
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels (I used 2 bags)
  • Pretzel Sticks 
  • Peanuts
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, melt chocolate. I used the microwave, but you can use a double boiler as well.
  2. Add in pretzels sticks (I broke mine in half and folded them in gradually to determine how many I needed).
  3. Sprinkle in peanuts for some added texture.
  4. Stir all ingredients together really well.
  5. Spoon onto baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  6. Let cool and then refrigerate.
I hope y'all love these as much as we do!!

xoxo,
Katherine

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10.28.2015

{Roasted Pumpkin Seeds}

I love family traditions, and all of my holiday memories from my childhood are so special and perfect.  Our parents made everything so magical in our house, and I smile every time I think about what Halloween was like.

Mom and Dad would go all out with our costumes, home decor, spooky treats, etc., and my sister and I would get so excited when it was time to carve the pumpkins.  Dad would set up a pumpkin-carving palette on our dining table, and I just remember loving every second of digging in those pumpkins, getting messy, and spending family time together cleaning them out and then giving them their spooky expressions.  The fun didn't stop there for us though...Once our pumpkins were finished, we got to enjoy their insides by roasting the seeds in Mom's special spices.

Even though I'm {cough, cough} in my thirties now, I still love being elbow-deep in a pumpkin and squeezing those squishy insides in my hands...It's so much fun, and I can't wait for Kate and Reeves to enjoy it with us.  The pumpkin-carving experience isn't complete until we roast our pumpkin seeds, and whenever I do, I feel like I'm back in my childhood kitchen with my family.  My husband loves this {new to him} tradition that I have carried over, and I hope you will too!


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of cleaned pumpkin seeds 
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. Gather your pumpkin seeds.

  2. Rinse and pat dry.

  3. Place cleaned seeds in bowl.

  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well-coated.

  5. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.

  6. Spread seeds evenly on cookie sheet.

  7. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes (Time and temps may vary).

  8. Stir frequently until they are crispy and dry.

  9. Allow to cool...Enjoy...Then store them in an airtight container for future snacking.
Wanna experiment with some other tastes for your seeds?  Toss in some Worcestershire Sauce and cayenne pepper, or sweeten them up a bit by adding a little cinnamon and powdered sugar.  Enjoy!!

xoxo,
Katherine
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10.22.2015

{Beautycounter and Breast Cancer Awareness}

** This post was originally scheduled for the beginning of October, but we delayed in order to focus on the devastating floods in SC. **

Just a few weeks ago, I was relaxing on my couch at the end of the day, scrolling through my Facebook feed to see what was going on with all of my friends, and all of the sudden, a post popped up that immediately had me in tears.  A sweet friend of mine from college had just lost her beautiful mother to breast cancer. My heart hurt, my tears wouldn’t stop, and I just kept looking at the pictures of my friend with her baby boy and her loving mother.  As I sit here and type this, I’m crying again at the thought of my dear friend having to say goodbye to her mother, her best friend, and the grandmother to her precious one year-old son. Heaven gained a beautiful angel, and I pray for comfort and healing for my friend and her family.

Fast forward to last week…In one of our many text convos, another amazing friend of mine asks if I’d be interested in partnering with her on a blog series dedicated to highlighting different issues and statistics surrounding Breast Cancer, as well as other safety issues. My response…Yes, yes, YES!!!!

Here’s where the story takes an awesome turn…I head over to meet with my dear friend Christi Hucks, Founding Member of Beautycounter. to chat about our blog series…Only it turned into much more than that. The more I learned about Beautycounter, the more I was intrigued by and impressed with the company and the mission. I was already hooked on the Beautycounter Kids Line because it had helped my sweet Reeves’ sensitive skin tremendously, and that very day at Christi’s house, I started falling even more in love as I read through the literature. That night before bed as I reflected upon my day, something just felt right. I’m so excited to be a part of this great company, and I bet if you read this, you will want to be, too.
It is my absolute honor and pleasure to join Beautycounter and be a part of something so wonderful, and throughout the month of October - Breast Cancer Awareness month - I’ll be doing a series of posts all about Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention.

Here are a few FAQs:

Where can we find out a little about Beautycounter?

One story that tugged at my heart and caused me to want to join this movement is the story of Beautycounter’s Founder, Gregg Renfrew. Click here to check it out.

What steps have you taken to lead a healthier lifestyle as far as beauty products go?

I have started using everything Beautycounter, and I love it!! I get excited to shower, wash my face, bathe my kids, etc. because the products are so refreshing and luxurious. Knowing that I’m using safe and healthy products on myself and my family is icing on the cake!

Beautycounter’s mission is amazing, and I love that they have partnered with the Breast Cancer Fund.  Can you tell us a little about BCF?

BCF works to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease.

WHY WE LOVE THEM: The Breast Cancer Fund is a founding member and national coordinator of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a broad-based coalition working to eliminate dangerous chemicals from cosmetics and personal care products.

How can I get involved?

Let’s chat! You can email me at katelevico@gmail.com.

I would love for you to try our products. Once you do, you’ll be hooked. Click here to learn more and to check out our website.

xoxo,
Katherine

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10.20.2015

{No-Carve Pumpkins}

The kiddos have their costumes (Spoiler alert: Elsa and Olaf) :), and our pumpkins have adorned the front porch. Now, it's time to decorate them, and these no-carve designs are still some of my favorites. {See more pumpkin carving tips here}.

Have fun decorating your pumpkins...I'd love to hear which designs you choose! :)

Here are some of my favorites:
{Melted Crayon Pumpkins via The Swell Designer}

{Jack-O'-Totem via HGTV}
{Metallic Herringbone Pumpkin via Lacquer & Linen}




{Color Block Pumpkins via illi style}




{Washi Tape Pumpkins via Real Simple}




{Glittered Pumpkins via Martha Stewart}
{Swarm of Bats Pumpkin via Spoonful}




{Metallic Pumpkins via Real Simple}




{Candy Corn Painted Pumpkins via BHG}




{Chalkboard Paint Pumpkins via Real Simple}




{String Pumpkins via P.S. I Made This}



xoxo,
Katherine

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10.14.2015

{Nutter Butter Ghost Cookies}

These cookies turned out to be the cutest Halloween treats for my daughter's little class at school, and I have to admit, I whipped them up at the very last minute. I'm proof that these are totally doable…I made these last year for the first time, I had a 2 week-old at home, it was 10:30 at night, and I had just remembered that I should probably send treats to school with Kate for Halloween. That explains the picture quality…Sorry!

Here's the scoop…These are super simple, even if you're like me and don't have the mini chocolate chips in your pantry. I just melted some large milk chocolate chips, poured the melted chocolate in a Ziploc bag, snipped off the end of the bag, and voila! Perfect little eyes!
Ingredients:

  • 24 Nutter Butter sandwich cookies (peanut shaped, peanut butter cookies)
  • 8 ounces white chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Melt your white chocolate in microwave safe bowl or in double boiler.
  2. Dip cookies in white chocolate and place on parchment paper.
  3. Place two mini chocolate chips for eyes.
  4. Let cool. There you have your little ghosts!
xoxo,
Katherine

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10.13.2015

{Safe Bath Products for Kids}

I haven't been this excited about something in a long time!! My sweet Reeves has always had such sensitive skin, and it was the worst after bath time. I couldn't find a perfect solution, and then came Beautycounter. Clear and healthy skin...Happy baby and mama!!


I'm so thrilled to partner with Beautycounter and get these safe products into the hands of everyone. Click here to learn more.
xoxo,
Katherine 

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10.12.2015

{My Best Friend's Birthday}

What a special day it is!! Today we celebrate my beautiful Mom's birthday, and I can't even put into words how blessed, lucky, and thankful I am to have her. True happiness is when your mother is your very best friend, and what makes it even more special is that she's Kate's and Reeves' Yia Yia! We love her with all our hearts!!!
xoxo,
Katherine


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10.10.2015

{Reeves Turns One!}

The day has arrived...My beautiful baby boy turns one, and reflecting on our journey to get to him fills my eyes with tears.


At 10:39 AM on 10/10/14, my life was forever changed. There is no greater joy in the world than that of a healthy baby's cry, and holding my son in my arms for the first time is a moment I will never forget. It is still so fresh in my mind, and this morning, my sweet Reeves' first year of life keeps flashing before my eyes.


Every minute with him has been amazing, and I can't wait to see what this next year brings. We love you, sweet angel...Thank you for bringing us the most heartwarming and overwhelming feelings of joy and love.

xoxo,
Katherine


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10.09.2015

{Halloween Candy Bark}

Since it's finally Fall, I figured I'd keep with my theme of fun, festive recipes for the season.  Last week I shared this super simple, 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Bread, and today I wanted to share another delicious treat.  I'm all about easy when it comes to cooking and baking, and when I saw this simple recipe, I knew it was right up my alley. :)

This candy bark is so easy to prepare, and everyone in my family absolutely loves it! Stick it in a cute Halloween container, and you've got yourself a perfect little Halloween gift for friends and loved ones.

Ingredients:
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- peanuts
- candy corn
- Reese’s Pieces

Instructions:

1. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to microwave in 30-second intervals until completely melted. If needed, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the chocolate chips to make the mixture smoother.

2. Pour melted chocolate onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Spread to an even thickness.

3. Sprinkle peanuts, candy corn, and Reese’s Pieces onto the chocolate. Set the bark aside to firm at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

4. Once the bark is completely set, break into chunks.
I hope you all enjoy this yummy treat! :)
xoxo,
Katherine

** All photos courtesy of Brit + Co.

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10.07.2015

{Crockpot Cabbage and Sausage Meal}

With everything going on in South Carolina with the devastating floods, I'll be busy this week focusing all of my attention on helping those in need. While I'm away, I thought I'd post some oldies but goodies…Like this one. :) Yummy!

I just love a good crockpot meal, and I get so excited when I find something that becomes a favorite in my house.  I'm always trying new things in my crockpot, and I have had some hits along with plenty of misses.  :)  Well, this cabbage meal was a hit, and it has worked it's way right into my weekly meal rotation.

My husband and I both LOVE cabbage and we also try to eat healthy, so this meal really fit the bill.  It's so simple, easy to prep, and it can be ready in just a few hours.  Hope you enjoy!!
{via}
Ingredients:
  • 1 large head of cabbage (Quartered with stem removed)
  • 1 lb of smoked sausage (I use Turkey Polska Kielbasa to lighten it up a bit)
  • 1 stick of butter (I never use this because I try to make it healthy. I may add a heaping spoonful of Smart Balance just to taste.)
  • 1 large onion
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 cup of water
Directions:

Slice onion, cabbage, and sausage.  Layer cabbage, sausage, onion, and butter in crockpot.  Repeat until you have used it all.  Salt and pepper to taste, and then add water.  Cook on high for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.  Enjoy!!

** I have also added chopped mushrooms and browned, ground turkey meat to this recipe, and that was delicious as well.  Feel free to experiment. :)

xoxo,
Katherine

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10.05.2015

{South Carolina Flooding - How to Help}

I'm at a loss for words.  As I stare at my computer and think about what to type, my heart aches for friends who have lost everything and family who are in the middle of this crisis without water and electricity.  South Carolina is experiencing such major devastation as a result of this flood, and every time I read the news, it gets worse. 9 people have now lost their lives, and so many others have lost all that they own.  We're doing what we can to help in every way, and I thought I'd pass along this information along for you as well.

The American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross is in South Carolina to help those affected by the deadly floods and put out an urgent plea Sunday seeking for volunteers. The humanitarian organization  said volunteers are most needed in highly populated areas like Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach and the Upstate. Volunteers will help prepare shelters, assess flood damage and keep victims comfortable as long as they are in need of assistance, organizers said.
More volunteer information can also be found at the following numbers:
  • Charleston – 843-764-2323 x321
  • Columbia – 803-508-5251
  • Myrtle Beach – 843-764-2323 x321
  • Upstate – 864-270-9575
United Way of the Midlands:

United Way of the Midlands is working with many of their partner agencies as well as community and faith groups and local government to aid in relief efforts for people affected by the flooding. If you would like to contribute to those efforts, please click the link below.


The Salvation Army of Columbia, SC:

Support The Salvation Army as it responds to flooding in our area. Click link below for more info.


Local Drop-Off Sites:

The following sites will have donation boxes set up. Gently used clothes and toys would be appreciated. Toiletries will be accepted as well.

Columbia:

Brennan Elementary School

AC Flora High School

Myrtle Beach:

The Kangaroo Pouch will be accepting donations at their store tomorrow, October 6th. Please see Facebook page for more info.

I'll continue to update this info as it's received…Let's work together to help these cities that are so dear to our hearts.

xoxo,
Katherine

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10.02.2015

{Reeves' Animal-Themed Nursery}

Some of my favorite memories from being pregnant are those that were made with my husband as we designed and decorated our babies' nurseries. This nursery is by far one of my greatest labors of love, and everything in it holds such a special place in my heart.

As I look into this nursery, I see gifts from family and friends that fill the bookshelves, furniture that was assembled by my husband and me as we sat in the floor and chatted about our upcoming arrival, frames that were painted on a sunny Saturday afternoon in our back yard, and finishing touches that were bought with so much love by my parents. This space will always be special.

When I started thinking about my sweet Reeves' nursery, I didn't have my mind set on a theme or color scheme. The closer we got to his due date, the more things just seemed to fall into place.  I started off with the crib and bedding, added the glider and changing table, and before I knew it, I was drawn daily to sweet little animal prints, elephant bookends, and faux fur rugs. The rest is history! Reeves' animal-themed nursery was born {pun intended:)}, and, in my eyes, it is absolutely perfect!
Source List:

Mobile // Buy Buy Baby
Bookshelf // Nadeau - Columbia, SC
Crib // Jenny Lind (bought from a friend)
Changing Table // Target (hand-me-down from big sis)
Seagrass Storage Baskets // Target
Jumbo Plush Giraffe // Melissa and Doug
Safari Nursery Art Prints // Niko + Lily
Classic Faux Sheepskin Rug // Rosenberry Rooms
Wooden Monogram Name // The Good Stuff
Elephant Hamper // Home Depot
LED Lighted Letter // Stein Mart
Stuffed Rainbow Stacker // Melissa and Doug
Growth Chart // Land of Nod
"Wonderfully Made" Door Hanger // Little Angels
Animal Bookends // Serena & Lily
Babyletto Swivel Glider // Babies R Us
Navy Pouf // Overstock
Metal Accordion Side Table // Urban Outfitters
Serenity Star Sound Machine // The Kangaroo Pouch
Driftwood Photo Ledges // Target
Tripod Lamp // Lowe's
Reeves // Not For Sale :)

xoxo,
Katherine

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