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Tuesday Talk: LEGGINGS!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Hi friends!!!

Happy Tuesday!!!

Sooo....the temperatures are cooler and that makes me SO excited...because it means I can wear my LEGGINGS!
Aren't leggings just the best??

This pretty much sums me up. HA!
I wear jeans pretty frequently...but leggings are definitely my favorite :)
So- I thought I'd share the three pairs of leggings that are in my closet, that I am constantly wearing!!

First up are these leggings from Amazon. 
These are my FAVORITE "everyday" pair of leggings. They are the High Waist Power Flex leggings by the brand 90 Degree. You can find them on Amazon HERE!
They are SO comfortable, do not fade with multiple washes and hold everything nicely in place, if you know what I mean ;)
While I don't wear them for working out- they would totally be great for that.
These are the leggings I wear with my tunics and sweaters and tall boots. Huge bonus- they are under $25 a pair and worth EVERY penny!
Next up are the leggings I wear when I work out.
I have mentioned before I have really bad varicose veins- so I like to wear leggings that have "compression" in them.
These are my favorite workout leggings from Old Navy. They are called the "mid-rise compression legging" and I LOVE them. They are definitely VERY fitted (due to the compression)- but they make you feel so held in and supported. This legging comes in all different styles/colors- I just have them in black because I am boring like that. HA! Normally they are $26.99- but as you know, Old Navy is ALWAYS running a sale. 
Right now they are $22! 
While I typically wear my leggings from Amazon for "everyday" outfits- I have definitely worn these leggings with sweaters and my tall boots and you can't tell at all that they are "workout" leggings except for the stitching down the side of the legs...which you can barely see!

And finally, I own a couple of pairs of the Hue Leggings from Nordstrom.
Being totally honest, these are my least favorite pair of leggings. 
Now I know they have awesome ratings- but here's what I don't care for- 1) They fade. Because they're made mostly out of cotton, they have faded with multiple washes. 2) I sont find them to be overly supportive. I do like the high waist band- but overall- I don't feel "held" in when I wear these leggings and I don't care for that. 
While these leggings are my favorite, I still wear them. They are my "comfy" leggings and I usually wear them when I am hanging around at home. 
Obviously- just because they aren't my favorite- doesn't mean you won't like them! And the best part about buying them from Nordstrom is that they have free shipping and free returns. So it is totally worth trying them out- if you are on the hunt for the perfect pair of leggings for yourself!!

So there you have it- my TOP THREE pairs of leggings that are in my closet- that I pretty much wear all the time until it becomes warm enough to wear shorts again! HA!

Do you have a favorite, "go-to" pair of leggings?? Where are they from?? Tell me in the comments!!

Hope you have the BEST day!




Hello Monday!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Hi friends!!

Happy Monday!!

How was your weekend??

It was an especially good one for us because the kids didn't have school on Friday and Aaron took the day off!! It was actually a super rainy, gloomy day- but we went to the gym, the kiddos played, Aaron worked on a couple projects and I tackled our never ending pile of laundry.  

Which leads me to a question for all of you....am I the only one who feels like they are NEVER caught up on laundry?? Obviously this is a SUPER first world thing to be even be whining about...but I tell you...I feel like one or two shirts multiples into an overflowing laundry basket in a matter of seconds! HA! I do a pretty good job of trying to get ALL of our laundry done by Sunday evening and put away sometime on Monday morning. But...then we get going through the week and while I stay on top of washing and drying all our dirty clothes...getting it folded and put away is another story. HA! 
ANYWAY. Enough about laundry. HA!

Saturday, we went on an adventure and drove about an hour from our house to go to the Sylvan Heights Bird Park. We had the BEST time!! It was a chilly, fall day and it just felt magical to be walking around a beautiful nature preserve exploring!! The kids had so much fun seeing all the different types of birds. We had a picnic lunch, explored a little more after we ate and headed home in the early afternoon. It was just a really, really good day! 
I wanted to share  meal that I made on Saturday night that was SUPER yummy and EASY.

I picked up some chicken breast tenderloins on sale at Aldi along with some pre-made macaroni and cheese (it was in the refrigerator section where they have their specialty prepared foods). 

I cut up the the chicken tenderloins into bite sized pieces and put them in a large ziploc bag. I dumped a bunch of ranch dressing in the bag (I get ranch at Walmart and Aldi...we don't have a specific brand we prefer). I also put in about a 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. I shook the chicken up and made sure every piece was coated and then put it on a covered baking sheet. Then I sprinkled some more parmesan cheese over the chicken pieces and baked it at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.
I warmed up the pre-made macaroni and cheese along with some green beans and we had a complete meal ready to go in under a 1/2 hour!
The kids and Aaron LOVED the chicken and I loved that it was an easy, NOT messy dinner that everyone ate happily!
BOOM!
Some Monday Motivation for you!!!
What is one thing you could change or switch up this week that could positively impact you (and your family)??
I am going to make it a goal to get my laundry put away throughout the week so I am not overwhelmed with it by the time Friday rolls around. This is going to free up more time to hang out with my kiddos- which is WAY more fun than putting away laundry!!

Hope you have the BEST day!!!

Linking up with Heather, Johannah and Lindsay today!!

Friday Favorites!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Hi friends!!

Happy FRIDAY!!!

How was your week???
It's been pretty low key at our house...and when I say "low-key" you know that our baseline is CRAZY...so I really just mean nothing EXTRA crazy happened...right? HA!
Speaking of crazy, we were at our school's annual Halloween Carnival last night and another parent asked Aaron, "I just don't know how you guys do it!!! How do you get out the door in the morning?? We can barely do it with ONE kid!"

UM. Aaron and I burst out laughing. Morning time at our house is completely nuts and no matter how much we prepare, organize, get up waaayyyy earlier than the kids- it never fails- usually at least 2-3 of the kids scream at us about something, no one can ever get anything done without at LEAST 20 reminders and we almost always running late. HA!
We've just come to accept that are house is a looney bin between the hours of 6:00 am - 7:30 am!!
Anyway...with that being said...it's Friday and we are headed into the weekend where we get a break from that "special" morning routine. HA! Tell me you know what I am talking about!!!


//ONE//
It is finally feeling like Fall here in Eastern North Carolina!! I am wearing long-sleeves and and pants and NOT sweating. HA!
I really do feel like we went from 90 degree weather to having frost in the mornings! And while I am definitely Team Summer ALL THE WAY...I am not minding the cooler weather. I am snuggling under my favorite quilts at night, drinking LOTS of hot coffee and it's just fun to have a CHANGE. 
Since it's been cooler, I have been wearing my two FAVORITE booties from Walmart- (you can find them HERE and HERE), these jeans from Walmart and these tops from Target (I have at least 4 of them! HA!) I'd love to know...what's your FAVORITE fall clothing items??
//TWO//
This past Monday I shared what was on our menu plan for the week. We were trying out these parmesan herb chicken tenderloins from Aldi for the first time  and I wanted to report back on how they were!!!
One word: DELICIOUS. 
The kids LOVED them. Aaron LOVED them. I used them to make chicken parmesan sub sandwiches...but Aaron and I decided they would also be so delicious, cut up, over a big salad!!
If you have an Aldi- definitely look for these chicken tenders in your freezer section!!
//THREE//
Earlier this week on my Insta-stories I shared about this adorable sleep top from Walmart!! 
Friends. It is SO cute and cuddly. Several of my friends mentioned they had gotten the other version, a burgundy colored top with the words, "snuggle." SO FUN!!
It is only $9.96 and I think it would be such a cute gift idea!!! You could get this top, pair it with some cozy PJ pants and slippers and you have the PERFECT gift!!
The link to them on Walmart's website is HERE! Unfortunately, it looks like the "baby it's cold outside" top is sold out- but they still have size medium in the "snuggle" top!! I know they are both in the store- so be on the lookout for them!! They are in the pajama section!!

//FOUR//
I got a craving for some brownies last weekend...so off to Google I went...searching for a yummy brownie recipe! I have a good one that I normally use..but I wanted to try a new recipe. I found a recipe that claimed to be "quick and easy" and taste like a box mix (which I happen to love)- so I decided to try it! You can find the recipe HERE!
They turned out SO yummy and they were SO easy to make! 
Also- I have decided that I my FAVORITE way to enjoy a brownie is the next day, at room temperature. Don't get me wrong, they're delicious when they are warm and just out of the oven...but I love them even more the day after.
What about you???
//FIVE//
We have an extra fun weekend ahead of us...for the FIRST since Aaron started his job (in July 2017), he took off a Friday!!
The kids don't have school today and I don't have to work, so last week I asked him if he would take the day off so we could have a 3 day weekend together. After some switching around of things on his schedule...he was able to make it happen and we are so excited to have him home today!
We have fun plans to go to the Sylvan Heights Bird Park tomorrow, we might try and visit a local pumpkin patch, the girls have a fun halloween party at Charlotte's dance studio tonight and Aaron is really hoping to finish the inside of our sunroom!! 
Most of all...I am just SO looking forward to a few mornings of NOWHERE to go, with all of us HOME!
Hope you have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL weekend!!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

Linking up with TifBeckyDella and Katie too!



My Health and Wellness Journey: Part Three

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Hi friends!!!
Happy Wednesday!!!

Well...here we are..Part Three of my Health and Wellness Journey!! Thank you SO much if you have read my other two posts. You can find Part One: HERE and Part Two: HERE!

Okay...so where I left off last time was leading up to Marshall's birth. My pregnancy with Marshall was a good one. I have always had HORRIBLE varicose veins issues during my pregnancies, but have always managed them by wearing medical grade compression hose. While I wore my compression hose with Marshall, my veins were still VERY bad. It was a combination of it being my 5th pregnancy in 7 years and that my veins were just DONE. Overall, though, I had a healthy pregnancy and was working out up until 39 weeks! I gained an average amount of weigh...I can't remember the exact amount but it was between 30-35 pounds. 
I ended up being induced with Marshall just after I hit 40 weeks. My doctor just wanted to get things going, considering my age and this being my 5th baby. I had an appointment the morning of my induction and everything looked GREAT! He was head down and my body was definitely ready to have a baby ;) 
I got checked into the hospital later that afternoon and had a super typical labor. Aaron and I were having the best time together in the hospital and were just SO excited to have a baby!!
Well...right when it was time for me to push...my doctor checked me and she started to say a couple swear words :) Instead of feeling a head, she felt a baby BOOTY. Marshall had FLIPPED sometime after my appointment. My water had broken at that point and it was pretty emergent for me to get a C-section to avoid any infection.
At this point I started FREAKING OUT. Like I went pretty nuts. I did NOT want a c-section. I had 4 babies at home to take care of and Aaron had to go right back to work. I was pretty sure this was my last pregnancy and I just didn't want it to end this way. 
It didn't matter though...we had to get the baby out.
On our way to the operating room, if you can believe it, he flipped AGAIN and became transverse. My delivery ended up being one of the most difficult deliveries my doctor had done in her 25+ year career and it was quite scary. I lost over 2 liters of blood and it was just NOT good.
Some much needed comic relief happened right after Marshall was born- he was weighed and the whole operating room went into an uproar when we saw he weighed ELEVEN POUNDS (and 2 ounces :) and he was 23.5 inches. He was absolutely HUGE!
The next 24 hours are pretty blurry for me as I was VERY out of it due to the amount of blood I had lost. It was just a VERY hard delivery, mentally and physically. Despite being pretty traumatized about the whole thing, I just couldn't get over God's faithfulness and his providence over Marshall and I. I just felt SO thankful.
Okay...sorry for the novel about Marshall's birth story..but it's important to know...because it played a huge part in my struggle over the next 6 months after I had him. I worked hard to lose my pregnancy weight...but things were just NOT the same as before. I still looked VERY pregnant despite being back at my pre-pregnancy weight. I was in A LOT of pain, especially after I worked out. After doing a lot of research, I realized I might have diastasis recti. I went to see a physical therapist who confirmed that I did and I began going to PT to work on healing the opening in my abdomen. The PT could not confirm that Marshall's intense c-section caused the large separation in my abdominal muscles...but it definitely didn't help. Either did the fact that he weighed 11 pounds. HA!
After doing PT for almost 2 months and getting NO WHERE, Aaron and I decided to seek an opinion on whether or not a surgery to repair my torn abdominal muscles would be the best option for me.
At this point, I will be honest- I was feeling pretty down. It was such a weird time for me. I was SO SO happy to be a mommy to my 5 children...I literally could burst. Aaron was my rock and amazing through everything. But- I was hurting physically and feeling so UNLIKE myself. It was a hard time. 
We met with an amazing surgeon and he told us that I was a great candidate for surgery. We booked the surgery that day and were just SO ready for me to get it DONE and move on so I could start healing!!
For those of you who have been reading my blog for several years, you might remember that I shared about having a procedure in November 2016. That was my abdominal repair surgery. I didn't want to share much about it at the time because I just didn't :)
But that's when I had it. 
So I had my surgery and the recovery was pretty intense. After my surgery was over, the doctor told Aaron my abdomnial wall had a 6 + inch tear and he could understand why the last several months had been so difficult!
I did not take any painkillers AT ALL because I needed to get back to nursing Marshall. The first few days post surgery were the worst- but through a strength only God can provide, I made it and started feeling better and each day.
Fast forward to December 2016, when I underwent 4 more separate procedures, 3 of them being pretty involved surgeries to help all the issues I had with my varicose veins. In the course of 6 weeks, I went under anesthesia 5 different times. It was A LOT- but it was so important for me to essentially "fix" my body so I could move forward and just feel good and be able to take of my family and myself!
I made it through all my surgeries, ALL thanks to God, and in January, I decided to re-join Weight Watchers as a "meeting" member so I could achieve Lifetime status.

I was feeling stronger and stronger and knew I was ready to commit to this BIG goal!!
I worked REALLY hard, experienced a few bumps along the way and hit my lifetime goal in April 2017.
And here I am...1 1/2 years later and I have maintained my Lifetime WW goal (and actually have lost several pounds below my goal weight and maintained that)!
I hesitate sharing my weight...but I do think it can be helpful to have a reference point of where I used to be and where I am now. 
At my heaviest- I weighed right around 195 pounds. 
I currently weigh 140 pounds. (and if you're curious I am 5' 8"). 
So over the course of 10 years, 5 kids and SEVERAL surgeries, 
I have lost 55 pounds and kept it off.
Here's what keeps me motivated: 

- God. He is my reference point in all that I do and I truly feel a way that I can glorify Him is through respecting my body and treating it well.
- my health. going through what I did after I had Marshall and then going through my recoveries after my surgeries has completely changed my perspective on just how THANKFUL I am to be healthy and have a strong body. I was working out yesterday and while my legs were burning during my workout- I could only smile and just feel SO grateful for my strong body. 
- my family. they deserve my BEST. I am NOT at my best when I am overweight and out of shape. I want to be around a long time and while I am guaranteed nothing, I sure want to do everything I can to ensure I can be the best version of myself for the people I love the most.
- it feels good to FEEL GOOD. I am the best version of myself when I am taking care of myself. simple as that.
What I still struggle with, even after maintaining a healthy weight for over a year and a half:

- emotional eating. This is SO hard for me. I have certain "triggers" and it never fails...I can be having the best day and then something happens and I make one unhealthy choice that leads into MANY unhealthy choices.
- I still have self control issues with food. I am not the type of person that can have "just one" cookie and feel satisfied. If I have one cookie it makes me want to have another. And then I just think to myself, "Well, you've already screwed up your day...might as well eat all of them!" Yeah. SO NOT HEALTHY. I am working VERY hard on this right now. I do NOT want food to have any control over me...so this is definitely a work in CONSTANT progress for me.
- getting out of my workout groove. Life gets busy and I have to be very careful not to skip my workouts too many days in a row...because than I just start making excuses why I can't exercise. It is a daily EFFORT for me to CHOOSE to exercise. 

And there you have it. That is my story. I feel like I shared A LOT. But truth be told...I could talk about this topic more. But I promise I won't. HA!

Thank you for listening to my ramblings. I have appreciated SO much the kind words of support and encouragement. 
And my biggest hope is that maybe one of you who reads this feels less alone in your own journey of health and wellness.
PLEASE reach out to me if you want to talk, have any questions about ANYTHING or just want to vent/share about where you are at!
Linking up with one of my favorite bloggers, Whitney, today!





Hello Monday!!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Hi friends!! 
Happy Monday!!

How was your weekend??
Our's was a little nutty. Aaron is on call every 3rd weekend of the month. So that means he takes care of any patients that come into the hospital (with foot/ankle issues) starting Friday afternoon through Sunday evening. Well...while he was at the hospital on Friday afternoon, things started getting crazy and by the time he came home, he had 4 people on his list he needed to do surgery on by Sunday morning. Well...he works at his office on Saturday morning, THEN goes to the hospital to see patients..which means he has to do surgeries in the evening after he has seen all of his patients. Is this confusing? Am I rambling? HA! 

All of this is totally normally and fine...except- we were supposed to go out for a special birthday dinner with my brother, his wife and their best friends at Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, NC (a neighboring town about 40 minutes from us)!!! My sister-in-law made our reservations 3 months ago because Chef and the Farmer is ALWAYS booked!

Um. YEAH. Aaron and I did NOT get to go to dinner. 
Aaron was stuck at the hospital until 11 pm on Saturday. 
It was fine!!...we watched my niece and nephew for my brother and sister-in-law and they were still able to enjoy dinner with their best friends..we just didn't get to go with them.
You win some and lose some. Anybody who works in healthcare or has a spouse who does, will tell you- you just gotta roll with it....because if you don't- it will end up driving you crazy! HA!

Sunday was a good day! We went to church and had to get our picture taken for our church's directory (THAT was a super SPECIAL experience- HA!) I did a lot of baking for our upcoming school carnival and made my brother a lemon meringue pie for his birthday. We got to hang out with him and my sister-in-law before they all headed back up to Raleigh, so that was really nice!

And now it's Monday. And I am feeling slightly organized because I got all of my meals planned out last Thursday and did my grocery shopping Thursday night (at Aldi) and Friday morning (Walmart grocery pickup). 
Several of you mentioned that you really enjoy when I share meal ideas- 
so I thought I would do that again today! 
Everything is from Aldi- so just for fun- I will include the price of each item. Obviously if you don't have Aldi- you could get all of these items at Walmart or your local grocery store to make these meals!!

Meal #1
Crunchy Beef Tacos
93/7 Ground Beef- $4.89
(this is little over 1 pound of meat and this will feed our whole family- BUT we will not have any leftover.)
Lower Sodium Taco Seasoning Packet- $0.29
(I know I can make my own...but I am lazy. Ha!)
Shredded Mexican Style Cheese- $1.65
Fat Free Refried Beans- $0.69
(I warm these up with some water and salsa to make them not as thick)
Corn (in a microwaveable steamer bag)- $0.75
Thick and Chunky Salsa (this is our FAVORITE)- $1.69
Crunchy Taco Shells- $0.89
Meal #2
Teriyaki Chicken in the Crockpot with Steamed Broccoli and Brown Rice
Teriyaki Sauce- $1.97 
Soy Sauce- $1.97
I just dump in about a 1/3 of the bottle of the Teriyaki sauce and about 1/4 cup of soy sauce into the crock pot with the chicken along with 1/2 cup of water and cook it on low for 8 hours! You can adjust the seasoning/add more sauce at the end!
Broccoli (in a microwaveable steamer bag)- $1.09
Ready Rice (I get it from Walmart! I always keep several bags of this on hand for taco bowls or nights like tonight!) - $1.73
Chicken Breast (1.68 lbs)- $7.21
FYI: The kids will have grilled cheese and applesauce for dinner on this night. I RARELY make them a separate meal- but they strongly DISLIKE this meal and Aaron and I love it. So to avoid them FREAKING out about having to eat it- I just make some grilled cheese and it is just a much more pleasant dining experience ;)

Meal #3
Chicken Parmesan Sub Sandwiches with Broccoli
Italian Rolls ($0.50 off!)- $2.29
Parmesan Chicken Tenders- $5.79 
(I don't plan to use the whole bag of these!)
Mozzarella Cheese- $1.15
Marinara Sauce- $0.89
Steamed Broccoli- $1.09
I have never made chicken parmesan subs before....but I figured my family would love them! I totally lucked out when I saw that Aldi had these parmesan herb chicken tenders! I plan to bake the chicken tenders in the oven. Then I will melt mozzarella cheese on the rolls. To put them together, I will put a couple tenders on a cheesy roll, then spread a little sauce over the tenders and done! They might be a little messy...but I think they should be delicious!

Meal #4
Pizza Night!
I think almost all grocery stores have these "take & bake" pizzas.
We always get our's from Aldi and the kids and Aaron love them!!
Aaron in a huge fan of thin crust...so this is the pizza we get him!
Pepperoni Take & Bake Pizza- $5.99
You could definitely find a cheaper frozen pizza at Aldi (which are also really good!!) but it is still a pretty good deal considering it's a couple dollars less than Domino's or Pizza Hut (places Aaron also LOVES. He's never met a pizza he doesn't like. HA!)

I like to "doctor" his pizza up a little bit and add mushrooms and banana pepper slices before I bake it!
Canned Mushrooms-$0.55
Jar of Mild Pepper Rings- $1.35
And that's what we're having for dinner this week at our house!!
What's on your menu plan for the week???
Let me know in the comments- I am ALWAYS in need of meal ideas for my family!!! 

Hope you have the BEST day! It's Monday- so here's to FRESH STARTS and BEING JOYFUL...no matter what life throws our way!!
Linking up with Johannah, Heather and Lindsay today!

Friday Favorites!!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Hi friends!!!

Happy Friday!!! Did this week fly by or what?!?
I truly feel like it was one of those weeks where it was Monday, I blinked and now it's Friday! HA!

I sure hope you've had a great week!!! And if you haven't....saying a prayer for you that your weekend makes up for it! :)

Here's a few, fun FAVORITES from this past week that I thought I'd share today!

//ONE//
My friend April got me hooked on Ja-Vie flats last year...and I just ordered my second pair- this super FUN leopard print!! I have been wearing them to work all week and I just LOVE them!! They are SO comfortable and you can WASH THEM IN THE WASHING MACHINE!!
They are definitely a little pricey- but as a person who rarely pays more than $20 for any type of clothing item- I can tell you- they are totally WORTH it!
They are definitely one of my FAVORITE pairs of shoes in my closet and they just make me happy when I get to wear them out and about (I usually am wearing sneakers or flip flops- so getting to put these on feels extra special :)
//TWO//
I am loving this little area in our kitchen!! Aaron made this picture holder by attaching chicken wire to a big, old frame I had and it is where we display all of the kids' artwork!!
 I don't put anything on our refrigerator...so this is the place where I get to show off all the fun things the kids have made. Since they bring home soooo much stuff everyday from school, I have them pick out their FAVORITE project or piece of art they made that week and we put it on "display." We change out their creations every week and it is just so fun and precious to look at everything they have made!! Definitely one of my FAVORITE spots in our house! :)
//THREE//
I have mentioned before how much I love my wax warmer from Walmart. It is super cheap and simple...which I LOVE :)
With the boys being SO crazy...I RARELY burn candles anymore. I love our house to smell good though, so the wax warmer has been the perfect solution! I get my wax cubes from Walmart and I have been loving the wax melts by Yankee Candle. The scents are very strong (in a pleasant way) and long lasting. My house always smells good!!
I just picked up this scent yesterday and it is my NEW FAVORITE!! It is the perfect fall scent!

//FOUR//
On Wednesday, several of my blogging besties and I hosted a Fall Recipe Swap! So many yummy recipes were shared- you definitely need to check out what everyone posted!!
I shared my semi-homemade cinnamon roll recipe. They are SO easy to make!! 
They are definitely one of my family's FAVORITE treats I make!!
//FIVE//
We don't have much planned for the weekend...this is Aaron's weekend to work..so he won't be home much. My big goals are to change everyone's sheet and get in some exercise. I know- I dream BIG. HA!
We do have a fun dinner date on Saturday night planned to celebrate my brother's birthday- so I am definitely looking forward to that!
What about you?? 
Any fun plans??
Doing anything "fall-ish" ??
Hope you have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL weekend!!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

Linking up with TifBeckyDella and Katie too!

Fall Recipe Swap!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Happy Wednesday Friends!!

So today is a super fun day...because it is FALL RECIPE SWAP day!!
I hope if you have a blog you are sharing your favorite fall recipe and linking up with us and if you don't have a blog, you are taking notes and jotting down all of the fun recipes that are being shared today!!
Okay- so I have to be honest and let you know this is a recipe I shared about two years ago. BUT- it is one of my BEST recipes and I am constantly asked for it! 

The recipe I am sharing today is my semi-homemade cinnamon rolls!!
I consider it a "Fall" recipe because to me there is nothing cozier than making a warm, yummy batch of cinnamon rolls on a chilly, fall Saturday morning, making the whole house smell like cinnamon. These are PERFECT paired with a warm cup of coffee (with pumpkin spice creamer, OF COURSE ;) or tea. While my family LOVES it whenever I make these cinnamon rolls...they get especially excited about them in the colder weather months...because they are just that type of treat! 

So this is what I consider a "semi-homemade" recipe...while I make/bake many things from scratch, I have no problem using some store bought ingredients to help me make a recipe easier!
I grew up with a mom who made cinnamon rolls from scratch...you know the kind where the dough has to rise at least 2 times and it was just an absolutely labor of love (and ALL day affair. HA!). I am not that type of baker...so when I figured out a way to make cinnamon rolls that only took about 10 minutes to prep...I felt like I won the jack pot!

Here's the recipe!

You are going to start with the following ingredients:
3 cans of crescent rolls
Sugar
Butter/margarine/whatever butter spread you use in your house
cinnamon
Cream cheese icing (I share how I make mine later in the post)
First- roll out your crescent rolls onto a smooth surface. Spread a generous amount of butter or margarine- probably 4-5 tablespoons (I use margarine just because it is softer and easier to spread) over the crescent roll dough.

Then- sprinkle 1/4 cup white sugar over entire, buttered dough, then sprinkle cinnamon over the sugar.  You can adjust the amount of cinnamon to your liking- I would say about 2 tablespoons.
Roll up 2 rectangle crescent doll pieces at a time, length wise, and cut into equal sized pieces. (By rolling up two rectangles together- it makes a nice, full roll :)
Put rolls in a greased dish- I like to line my foil for super easy clean up!
Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees (based on your oven).
Okay- now time for the cream cheese icing!
I used to buy the icing in a can- which is very yummy- but it doesn't have the best ingredients in it.  So now I make my own cream cheese icing!  
I make a huge batch and freeze it (YES! It freezes beautifully!) in small containers for when I make cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, or a cake.  It is SO easy to make!

I know there are a lot of recipes for cream cheese icing out there- but I think this one is pretty darn tasty! :)  And I use the term "recipe" loosely since I don't have exact measurements for all the ingredients! HA!

I get all my ingredients at Aldi- so if you shop there- this is what you will need!
Cream Cheese Icing
1- 8 oz block of cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat and you can't taste the difference!)- softened
1 stick unsalted butter- softened (use REAL unsalted butter for this- NOT margarine!)
1- 2 pound bag of powdered sugar (don't worry you won't use the WHOLE 2 pounds- HA!)
splash of vanilla extract (if you don't have any- it is not a huge deal)

In your mixer, beat softened cream cheese and butter together, until it is smooth and they are incorporated well together.  Then start to add powdered sugar.  This is where it gets kind of tricky- because I do not have an exact measurement of how much powdered sugar I put in the icing.  I just add a couple of cups, mix on medium speed, then add another couple of cups, mix again, ect.  It is totally up to how you prefer the taste and texture of your icing as to how much powdered sugar you put in. I put in about 1 2/3 lb of a 2 pound bag.  Once I have added all of my powdered sugar, I drizzle a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract into the icing and then beat the icing on high to make it nice and fluffy.  
Then, I like to taste at least a couple of times to make sure it is super delicious- HA! 
This stuff is addictive!! :)

To ice our cinnamon rolls, I put some cream cheese icing in a bowl and add a splash of milk to it, so that I can thin it out almost to a glaze like consistency.  Since the icing and the cinnamon rolls are so sweet, a little icing goes a long way!

Here is what the semi-homemade cinnamon rolls look like, out of the oven, with some cream cheese icing drizzled over them!  
They are YUM!!
You can make these "Fallish" by adding some fall colored sprinkles...or Halloween themed sprinkles!

These cinnamon rolls freeze beautifully! I make these as Christmas gifts for Aaron's bosses as well as our neighbors. They are a HUGE seller at our school's carnival...people just love them! And it is seriously the simplest "recipe" ever!

I am so excited to see all the other recipes that are being shared today!! I definitely feel like I am in kind of a cooking "rut" and could really use some inspiration for some yummy meals to make my family!!

Hope you have the BEST day!




 
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