Hello Monday!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Hi Friends!!! Happy Monday!
And Happy Halloween too!! :)

Being that it's Monday, I am linking up with my wonderful friend Johannah today!! 
We had a jam packed weekend- full of fun Halloween festivities!!

Friday night, we went to our church's Trunk or Treat! It was SO fun and such a great crowd! The weather was fabulous and it really was such a great way to kick off the weekend!!
James wasn't really sure what was going on at first with the whole "trick or treat" business, but we kept on "practicing" and by the end of the night- he had it DOWN! He would look at me and I would say, "you have to say trick or treat buddy!" And he would say, "Trick or treat- get lolly pop?" HA! Love him. There was a DJ in the parking lot, where Trunk or Treat was taking place, and after the girls filled up their bags with candy- we all had a pretty awesome dance party. I can't help but bust a move when 'The Cupid Shuffle' comes on! HA!
Saturday- I went on a nice, long run and oh my goodness- it was glorious. I don't want to sound like a broken record- but the weather was INSANELY amazing this weekend- and I just couldn't help but have a perma-grin on my face the whole time I was running!! :)
We did our usual Aldi grocery trip later in the morning and then after the boys had taken their afternoon nap- we carved pumpkins!!! And when I say "we" I mean Aaron :) The kids got all the "goop" out of their pumpkins and then they told daddy what design they wanted for their pumpkin. We ended up with a quite the array of pumpkins...Aaron always does such an awesome job carving them!! 
Saturday night, Aaron surprised me with an impromptu movie night! He rented "Central Intelligence" with the Rock and Kevin Hart....and we really liked! The reviews are just so-so...but we thought it was really funny and it actually had a really good story line! It definitely is not a movie that is worthy of an Oscar nomination...but it's fun, light hearted, has some fun action scenes in it AND it doesn't have a TON of swearing in it and there is no uncomfortable s*x scenes. That's a great movie if you ask me! HA!

Sunday- we went to church and then the girls and I spent the whole afternoon setting up and preparing for our First Annual Spooky and Fun Halloween Dinner!
I put the girls in charge of decorating and they did SUCH a great job!! They made placemats for everyone and Charlotte made a menu for everyone. They were really big helps in the kitchen and we made Mummy Meatballs, Spider Hot Dogs, Spooky Trees in the Forest (broccoli) and Candy Corn Cupcakes. Everything turned out really yummy!! The girls and I had so much fun!! 
Just kind of a random side note...I was telling Aaron- I got absolutely NOTHING done this weekend as far as chores go- clean laundry is sitting in baskets needing to be folded and put away, everyone's sheets need to be washed and changed, and the bathrooms need to be cleaned. A couple years ago- this would have bothered me SO much- and I most likely would have chosen to get all of my cleaning done versus spending an afternoon in the kitchen with my girls. Being a mom of 5 kiddos has really forced me to CHILL OUT- because I literally can NOT do it all. And I have realized I would much rather dance around in the kitchen with my 3 girls (who are growing up SO darn fast) and shove candy corn on our teeth so we look silly- then go change a bunch of sheets and put away laundry :) 

And that's our weekend in a nutshell!! :)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend too!!
And Happy Halloween!! 
Hope you have a super FUN day!

Friday Favorites!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Hi!! Happy Friday!!!
It's been a bit of a nutty week around youngest daughter was home from school earlier in the week because she had a fever, I had to take James to the doctor because he's had a super yucky cough- he actually ended up having an ear infection :( and then last night...Marshall was acting really fussy- which is out of character for him- sweet thing ended up throwing up every where and he had a fever!! So yeah...if you want to stay healthy- do NOT come over to our house! HA!

In the midst of sick kids...and another FULL week...there were several things that made me smile :) Here are some of my FAVORITES from this past week!

My "fall" front porch :) It's festive, fun and totally NOT perfect...but I love it :) I love seeing all the pumpkins we have piled on the porch...and when I pull into our driveway and see our porch- it just makes me happy! :)

NEW MAKEUP!! I recently got some new makeup for my gym bag and this Rimmel 'Exaggerate Eye Definer" is AMAZING!! It goes on- AND stays on- almost like a liquid eyeliner...but can be smudged and blended like a crayon-like eyeliner! It is $4.44 at my Walmart- so cheap!! Love it when I try a new makeup item- and end up LOVING it!

Matching jammies, books and brothers. Does NOT get any cuter than this!! 
We bought Marshall and James a bunch of matching jammies for the winter and it is seriously one of my FAVORITE parts of the day- when we get them all snuggled up in their matching jammies after their baths!

Speaking of matching jammies- we got our's from Walmart! (If you "know" me at all- you're like- "of course she did!" HA!) Carter's has a line of clothing, called "Child of Mine," they do just for Walmart- and they have a BUNCH of blanket fleece sleepers starting at 0-3 Months- going all the way up to 5T!
It can be SO hard to find matching clothes when you have one child who wears a "baby" size and one who is in a toddler size! They are $7.44 and are SO soft!! You can find the boy's jammies HERE and the girl's HERE! You really can't beat the price or the quality of the comfy, snuggly sleepers- we just love them! :)

We eat dinner together as a family EVERY night. Even if Aaron is gone for a meeting- the kids and I sit down and eat together. Most of the time there is a HUGE hullabaloo leading up to dinner time...homework is getting finished, the kids are running around inside and outside, there are meltdowns, tantrums, the microwave is going off, the baby is know how it is :) Anyway- I always love it when everything finally calms down, we are sitting around the table together and we get to share about our day. We always go around the table and say something we are grateful for and/or what the "high/low" parts of our day were....but even with us doing that...getting the girls to engage in conversation while we're eating can still be a little painful- HA! In their defense- they just want to eat and get back outside to play- BUT- Aaron and I feel really strongly about teaching our kids about table manners AND being able to have a nice conversation around the dinner table. 
SO- look at these fun conversation starters I found on good ol' Pinterest! Aren't they great!? I love them! We have asked just a few questions off of this list...but already we have had some fun conversations because of them! 
Hope you've had a great week....and you have a WONDERFUL weekend :)
It is supposed to be unusually warm here in Indianapolis and I am NOT mad about that at all!! 

Hope you have the BEST day!

I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!

 I am also linking up with April for Five on Friday!
 Joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up! too!

And lastly, linking up with KatieTifDella & Caitlin for High Five for Friday!

What's Up Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hi friends!!! How has your week been going so far?? is the last Wednesday of the month...which means it is time for a What's Up Wednesday Post!  I am excited to be joining MelShay and Sheaffer for their super fun link up party today!

What we're eating this week...
Well...l like to keep it SIMPLE at meal kids are PICKY and this mama does NOT have the time or patience for drama at dinner time! HA! So far this week we've had meatloaf + mashed potatoes and taco chips/taco salads....for the rest of the week we're having grilled turkey sausage + baked potatoes, pizza, soup and grilled cheese and a special Halloween dinner the girls and I are going to prepare together! :)

What I'm reminiscing about...this time last year we were announcing that we were expecting Baby #5!!!
 And now precious Marshall is almost SIX MONTHS OLD. I cannot convey in words how grateful we are for our Marshall. He is an angel baby and I am literally soaking up every minute with him!!!
What I am that it is getting colder...I drink it ALL DAY LONG. Can't stop, won't stop :) Totally obsessed with this pumpkin pie smoothie- it's dairy free- and is SO yummy! (Just FYI- I use stevia in place of the maple syrup and I use this protein powder)
Loving this beautiful fall weather that we have been gifted this entire past month, loving my snuggly baby boy, my WILD 2 year and my sweet girls- they are growing and changing- and are just SO fun. They challenge me on a daily basis- but WOW. 
They are amazing little girls!!
What we've been up to...well...the kids and I just got back from a quick trip to visit my parents- which was so great! We have been spending TONS of time outside after school and on the weekends- the weather has been so gorgeous! Aaron's always super busy with work and the girls always have a lot going on with school and homework and just STUFF. HA!
And then there's my crazy 2 year old tornado and precious little 6 month old baby that keep me on my toes! :) I feel like we really haven't been up to that much, yet feel like we are always doing something or going somewhere. Does that make sense?!? HA!

What I'm dreading...nothing really! Well- that's not being honest- I am not liking that it is pitch black out until 7:45 am AND that it is getting darker much sooner at night AND that it is getting colder. I keep hearing these AWFUL rumors that we are going to have a ROUGH winter and I just cover my ears and pretend like I didn't hear anything. HA!

OMG. How funny is this?!? And SO TRUE (at least for me)!!
What I'm working on...well...I am once again behind on my kids' photo books. I started off this year with big plans to stay ahead of them- and upload pictures every month- so when I sat down to complete their books- it wouldn't be such a big undertaking. YEAH. That didn't happen! HA! I am almost done with Celine's book...gotta get James' book started next and then Cora Maye's! And then it will be Charlotte's book next! And then hopefully I will have a couple months where I am not working on a photo book..until it's time to make Marshall's first book! :)

What I'm excited about...I have some really FUN gift ideas for the holidays to share in the next few weeks!! Also- VERY excited about Thirty-One's customer special for November!!
Email me if you would like to know a few days early- and you can get a jump start on planning out some of your holiday shopping!!

What I am watching/reading...Like almost everyone else I know- I am LOVING "This is Us"
Also- Aaron and I are big fans of Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med. And we love watching Blue Bloods too!! The kids and I have a new favorite show we like to watch together- "Guy's Grocery Games!" They get so into the meals the chefs cook and they love when the timer is about to go off! HA! It's such a fun cooking show to watch! 
What I am listening to...been listening to good ol' Pandora whenever I get a chance and I am really loving anything that Ed Sheeran sings!! 

What I'm wearing...leggings- love these from Nordstrom and these from Old Navy, a layering tank- my favorites are from Old Navy, a sweatshirt tunic and a vest- I have this one from Old Navy and this one- which I got on sale from Nordstrom two years ago. 
Still rocking my flip flops!! HA!

What I'm doing this weekend...We have Trunk or Treat at our church on Friday night, a hike on Saturday with my two older daughters' Girl Scout troops and on Sunday we have church and our First Annual Halloween Dinner! I am putting the girls in charge of making the menu, decorating for our dinner and helping me with preparing our meal! I am really looking forward to having some fun with them in the kitchen!!
What I'm looking forward to next oldest's daughter's birthday! And Thanksgiving! And putting up my Christmas decorations! :)

What else is new...nothing! :) Life is full, somewhat chaotic and absolutely wonderful!

BONUS QUESTION: What is your favorite Halloween memory/picture/tradition??
I really love getting the kids all dressed up to go trick or treating! They are just SO excited to put their costumes on and they almost can't contain themselves!! I remember feeling the EXACT same way when I was little- I LOVED putting on my costume and I remember my mom always letting me put on a little makeup :) My brothers and I would trade our candy and it was just such a FUN night!!

Hope you have the BEST day!! :)

Tuesday Talk!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hi!! Happy Tuesday!!!

I took a little break from posting the last few days because my girls were on Fall Break and we took a little trip to visit my parents in Central Illinois!

Aaron had to work- so he couldn't come with us. Jobs can be SO annoying. HA!
This was the 2nd time I have taken a trip solo with all 5 of my kiddos- and they did great! I mean- they do your typically ask to eat a snack every other minute and want to know if we are in another state before we are even out of our own town....but other than that- they are great little travelers!!

We really didn't do anything "big" while we were visiting my parents...the weather was gorgeous- so we spent most of our time outside!  Even though I talk to my mom almost every day- I don't really get to see her that often- so just to have a couple days of "in-person" interaction with her and my dad- really did my heart some good :)

The one outing we took the kids on was to Meijer (it's like a super Walmart in that they have EVERYTHING). OMG. That was the worst idea EVER. Every single one of my kids (minus Marshall- who is an angel baby) decided to show their TRUE COLORS and I was soooooo PERTURBED. HA!  James threw one of his most epic tantrums ever, one of my daughters spent a good 10 minutes whining because they didn't have the cereal bars she wanted and another daughter "accidentally" dropped a glass container with a FISH inside of it." That was a real fun conversation I got to have with the manager! HA!
Needless to say- we made it out alive- BARELY.

This is the one picture I took of them at the store...don't let the cute way they are looking at the fish fool you! HA!
We got back to Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon- and we were all SO TIRED. The boys took a nap, Aaron took the girls out to run a few errands and for the first time in about 6 months, I RESTED. Like- I took a shower, got snuggled up in my bed and did NOTHING for about 2 hours. I even dozed off for a little bit. It was glorious and much needed :)

Sunday, I got us all unpacked and all the clean laundry put away.  I didn't have to do any cleaning- because my hubby got all of that done while we were gone!! Talk about AWESOME. He's the best :)

I tried out a new recipe- and I am going to share it with you later this week!!!
All I have to say is- 5 ingredient- gluten free (and can be dairy free) peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. SO SO GOOD!!! Be on the lookout for the EASIEST recipe on how to make them!
After the boys got up from their naps, we headed out to go on a family hike!
The weather was absolutely GORGEOUS on Sunday and after a busy couple of days traveling and visiting my parents- I just felt like we needed some fresh air and time spent outside!
There is a nature preserve really close to our house- and there are lots of trails to explore. All of the trails are really easy- which makes is so great for the kids! 
Look at this STUNNING picture of the woods!!! Seriously- it was a GLORIOUS day! 
We had the best time on our hike! Getting some exercise, feeling the warm sunshine on our faces, hearing the leaves crunch under our was the perfect way to spend our Sunday afternoon!
And now we are already back in the full swing of things....and I can't believe Halloween is next Monday!!! Hands down...October might win the award for being the month that flew by the fastest this year! HA!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and your week is off to a great start so far!!!

Have the BEST day!
Okay- now it's time to link up with my favorite ladies for Tuesday Talk! 

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Full Hands Full Heart

Recipe Club: Homemade Creamed Corn!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hi!! Happy Wednesday!!

I am super excited about today- because it's Recipe Club day!! Two of my best blogging buddies, Johannah and Heather, host Recipe Club, every 3rd Wednesday of the month. All you have to do is share one of your favorite recipes and link up with them!!
I am part of the meal ministry for funerals at our church and recently had to make a hot vegetable dish for a luncheon. I seriously had NO idea what to make- because I ALWAYS sign up to make a dessert!
So, of course, I did a quick search on Pinterest and this SUPER easy and YUMMY recipe from Damn Delicious (one of my favorite food blogs) popped up:
Slow Cooker Creamed Corn. It is made in the crock pot. You only need 5 ingredients- all of which I can almost guarantee you already have. It is ready to serve in 2-3 hours. 
Here's the main ingredients you will need:

1 cup of milk
(3) cans of whole kernel corn (15.25 oz) DRAINED (please note- I only have 1 can of corn pictured- but you will need THREE for the recipe!!)
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter- cut into small squares
(not pictured)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper

**Line your slow cooker with a crock pot liner for easy clean up!**

Place corn in slow cooker. Mix sugar, milk and pepper together until well combined. Pour over corn. Do NOT stir!! Top the corn/milk mixture with cut up butter and cubed cream cheese. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours.

Uncover and stir until butter and cream cheese are well combined. Cover and cook on high heat for another 15 minutes.

Serve Immediately!

Or you can do what I did- and put it in a dish that can be re-heated and serve it later!
Since this was the first time I made this recipe- I can't say if it would freeze well or not. I will have to make it again and try it out! 
Friends. This simple side dish turned out SO yummy! And seriously- it maybe took me five minutes- MAX- to get this prepped and ready to go in the slow cooker!

Wouldn't this be a great side dish to have at Thanksgiving? It is perfect if you are cooking for a big could have this as your "starch," make a big tossed salad, grill some steaks and chicken- and BOOM- you have a gorgeous meal!

My husband is from Texas and he looooveeess his creamed corn- especially with BBQ ;) I am excited to make this dish again so he can enjoy it with some BBQ pork!

Let me know if you try this recipe out and what you think of it! I have NEVER not loved a recipe from Damn Delicious- they are all so yummy (and easy to make)!!

Hope you have the BEST day!