Oct 16, 2017

Fall 2017

We have had the MOST beautiful weather here in Minnesota!  I sometimes will complain about how cold it gets here in the winter, but truly, I could never live anywhere else.  I absolutely love every season!

Every fall we try to get one last boat ride on the lake.  This year it was impossible to find a day where everyone was home.  Insert sad face.  However last Saturday Brad and I found ourselves without any kids for the day and decided to take advantage of it!
We cruised the lake for a couple hours and the weather was perfect.

It was so nice to just hang out together, we don't get that too often!  Saturday night we had a bonfire and just chilled, it was glorious.

Sunday Brad and Alayna went duck hunting bright and early.  They didn't have much luck with the ducks, but they had a blast!  I know it was tough for Brad, as this was the first time in 9 years hunting without Jazzy.  Duck hunting is Brad's favorite, and seeing him not excited to hunt this year was hard.

Despite missing our sweet girl, Alayna had a ton of fun, her fave part is eating swiss cake rolls, haha!

This might be the coolest picture ever, Brad took it that morning.  Stunning!

Sunday afternoon we hit up the local apple orchards.  The weather was incredible, and the orchards were PACKED.  Holy cats.

Alayna's obligatory pic.

On our way to the next orchard, we stopped down the road at a little church in the woods and decided to get some photos.  These are by far some of my faves!!

We have been loving fall, the cooler weather, all the pumpkin breads/scones/muffins, the yummy fall  candles and the cozy nights.  Rachel had her volleyball team over for supper last week and several of the girls made comments on how cozy our house is, I LOVED that!  I just want people to feel at home when they walk in the door.

Oct 12, 2017

Well Hey There!

It appears it's been a wee bit since I've been on here.  Holy carp.  Life got a little busy peeps.  School started and shit hit the fan, let's be real.

Here's my beauties on the first day of school.  This was the first time in a loooong time that I was a nervous wreck.  Emma and Alayna both switched schools this year, Rachel made the switch last year and it was the BEST decision ever!  We just weren't happy with our school district, so we made the switch this year for the other two.  It couldn't have gone better, all three love it!

So basically our lives have consisted of this:

And this:

Rachel and Alayna play volleyball and Emma swims.  We pretty much have one night a week that everyone is home.  I'm not gonna lie, it's been really hard this fall.  I am really, truly a homebody and I miss my house.  And I miss my people...aka, my kids.  Everyone says it's just a phase, but in my neurotic mind, I feel like it's the beginning of them leaving me.  Am I crazy?

Anyway, like I said, it's been crazy around here., we typically rush home after work, eat and head out the door.  Thankfully, my meal planning has been rocking!  They are definitely easy, quick meals, but I feel good knowing that we are all still eating homemade food even if it's not all at the same time.

We are now on the home stretch with sports.  Emma is done next week and Rach and Alayna still have a few weeks left.

So between the craziness of sports and work, my incredible hubs decided to plan a surprise trip up north.  I got up Saturday morning and he had our bags packed and ready to go.  It was an absolutely gorgeous fall weekend up there and we just completely relaxed all weekend.  It was glorious! 

We found this beach called Iona's beach that when the waves crash against the rocks, it sounds like bells, it was so neat!

We stayed at the resort we honeymooned in, this is our 4th time staying there, it's right on Lake Superior, and the views are amazing!

I had already taken Monday off, and Brad had gotten tickets for the Vikings Monday night game.  We went with Brad's brother and his wife.  The new stadium was so cool!

It was such a perfect weekend, lots of relaxing going on and lots of fun!  

Tuesday morning I felt like this...

Hoping to be back to a more "regular" blogging schedule!

Sep 6, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Time for another Whats Up Wednesday post!  Seriously, I feel like I just wrote one and it's already been a month...


What We're Eating This Week:

School started on Tuesday, and with having stuff every night this week, we've had to improvise a bit

Monday: Roast beef sandwiches

Monday:  Cheeseburger Biscuit Bake

Tuesday: Rachel had a game and told us it started at 5, it didn't actually start until 5:45, so concession stand popcorn and pretzels it was!  The girls ate leftover hotdish.

Wednesday: Girls ate leftovers again as Brad and I had to driver an hour away to pick up Rachel's car we bought her. Since sports started the beginning of August, I've made sure to have a big pasta casserole or pasta soup of some kind so they can eat before and after they're done.  Makes me feel a little better if I didn't supper on the table.  :)

Thursday-  Beef Vegetable soup

Friday- most likely homemade pizza!

What I'm Reminiscing About:

I love Facebook Timehop pics.  The last week they've been full of first day and daycare pics.  I do miss those days, loved being able to stay home with my girls and doing the fun crafts/ snacks!

What I'm  Loving:

The cooler weather!!  It's been really cool, in the 60's and I'm  LOVING this!  I'm so ready for sweaters and scarfs.

What We've Been Up To:

Image result for crazy mom memes

This is literally me right now.  Life is crazy busy with school, 3 different sports all at once, work and life in general.  I'm just trying not to lose my shit.  If I make it through November, it'll be a miracle!!

What I'm Dreading:

I don't know that I'm dreading anything, but I'm feeling very overwhelmed right now which makes all the little things seem huge.  I know this is just a phase, but I want to feel like a normal human being again and not like this...

Image result for crazy mom memes

What I'm Working On:

See above.  Trying to stay sane, haha!!!

What I'm Excited About:

FALL!!!!  I am so excited to get my fall decor out and eat all the apple/pumpkin things.

What I'm Watching/Reading:

This book sucked me in by page 2!  Hoping to finish it this weekend.

As far as tv goes, I got nuthin.  By the time I sit down on the couch at 9, I fall asleep reading.

What I'm Listening To:

Right now I am listening to Indigo Girls on Pandora, SO good!

What I'm Wearing:

I did find some cute fall clothes at Old Navy, this is my fave, I bought it in cream, sooooo comfy!

What I'm Doing This Weekend:

We really have no concrete plans which is glorious.  I think we'll try and get on the lake one of those days, the weather is supposed to be gorgeous!  I took Monday off and I'm so freaking excited!  I have nothing going on, I just need a mental health day.

What I'm  Looking Forward to Next Month:

All the fall activities....pumpkin patch, apple orchards, football...

Bonus Question: Your Best Lunchbox Ideas and Tips:

Since we're only a couple days in, we haven't yet packed lunches.  The girls are at a new school and they all commented on how good it is!  Last year Emma and Alayna took a lunch most days.  Here's what worked for us:

I have a "lunchbox" drawer where I keep these Ziploc lunch containers.  I've had these for a couple years, but I don't think they sell them anymore, boo.

Costway 4 x Quick Lunch Boxes 3-compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers Classic Set of 4

I also have water bottles, mini containers, and fun little lunch picks and accessories.

In the pantry I make sure to keep the snacks organized and stocked.  I have a large plastic shoebox that I keep snack bags and applesauce packets in.  I also make sure one drawer in the fridge has washed fruit/cut up veggies for easy grabbing.

That's what's up with us!

Aug 22, 2017

Easy Homemade Granola Bars

I found this granola bar recipe years ago on cooks.com and have been making them ever since.  They are SUPER easy to make and taste amazing.  I love that you can mix and match what you put in according to your likes.

These do contain corn syrup, and I have tried them with brown rice syrup and honey, but my girls won't eat them.  So, as much as I'm not a lover of the corn syrup, I justify that they are homemade with ingredients I can pronounce.

1 c. brown sugar
2/3 cup sunbutter (we have a peanut allergy, so no pb here!)
1/2 c. light corn syrup -you can sub in brown rice syrup or honey too!
1/2 c. butter-melted; I like to sub in a Tbl or 2 of coconut oil instead of the butter.  Even with that small amount, you can still taste the coconut.  I sub's all the coconut oil once, and it was a huge mistake!
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. quick cooking oats
3/4 c. mini chocolate chips- you can also use regular, I just feel that minis work the best

I mix all the wet ingredients together first and then add oatmeal and chocolate chips, place in a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

I like to wrap these up in saran wrap so the girls can grab them for school/sports.  I will often times double the batch, wrap them up and place in a freezer bag and freeze them too!

Hope you enjoy them!

Linking up with Allie today!

Aug 16, 2017

Ladies Who Link- Back to School Prep

I am loving all the Back to School link ups like always!  I love finding some new tips and tricks of getting back into the swing of things.

Linking up with Allie and her crew!

And Erika for Friday Favorites!

So, fall sports practices started yesterday, and I will say that I felt completely on top of my game!  I have 3 girls who have 3 different things going on at 3 different times, plus Brad is traveling most of this week.

Well that all hit the fan when I forgot to tell Emma to wear workout clothes and tennies for swimming practice.  Oops.  And last night I listened to the moans and groans of 2 very exhausted and overwhelmed teenagers for no less than 3 hours.  I contemplated opening  bottle of wine at 10:00.

Image result for teenager memes

So day one was a bit rocky, but we've got this!!  So here's what works for me, to keep everyone's schedules organized.

Rachel (a junior) is in volleyball, and also works part time.  Emma (a freshmen) is in swimming and Alayna right now has a summer academy class 3 days/week.
I couldn't survive without my Erin Condren planner.  I love, love, love this thing!

I color code each girl, makes it so much easier to see who's where.  I absolutely love looking at everyone's planner layouts.  I would love to get more into that, since I used to be a big scrapbooker.  However, mama ain't got time for that now...

I shared my post last week with the Workin Wednesdays ladies about how we back to school it.  My biggest tip will always be to plan, plan, plan!  Meal plan is at the top of that list.  I have my meals planned through October right now.  The night before, I do a little prepping like getting the meat together whether it's chicken that needs to thaw, or hamburger that needs to be browned.

Last night we had a school sports meeting at 6, and I don't get home from work until 5.  Creamy Sausage Tortellini was on the menu.  I had my turkey sausage browned and tortellini thawed, so all I had to do was make the sauce and let it all heat through, literally took me 10 minutes to get a yummy supper on the table!

Homemade granola bars are a must for when sports start back up!  I will post this recipe next week, but my girls devour these!

I like to post our menu on a small whiteboard I keep on the fridge so I don't get asked a million times what's for supper.  I also like to post an encouraging Bible verse every week.

Lastly, we have a blank wall on the side of our kitchen pantry that keep s a large whiteboard, bulletin board and a file holder.  

We put everyone's schedule on the calendar so everyone knows who is going where. 
I LOVE the file holder! I bought mine several years ago at the Container Store, similar one here. Each girl has a folder and when they bring home 400 sheets of paper from school, I weed them out and put the important ones in their folders.  Super easy for all of us to find their stuff!
The bulletin of course holds any and all invites or really important things we need to remember.  I would be lost without this command center!

So that's how we do back to school!

Aug 14, 2017

Weekend Recap

We had a wonderful weekend full of  hanging with friends and relaxing.

Friday night was pretty low key...we got together with friends and had some drinks, lots of fun, but I stayed up way too late!  I'm such a sally when it comes to staying out late.  I'm more of a have a few drinks at happy hour and be home and in bed by 10, HA!

Saturday Rachel and I ran some errands and got groceries.  Love the times when I get my girls one on one!!

This picture makes me laugh, Emma (who is 14) is about 5'7" (I'm 5'4" on a good day!) but look at how much longer her legs are!!!

Saturday afternoon we had a wedding in town.  It was at this gorgeous farm that they turned into a wedding venue.  SO beautiful, and the weather was perfect!

My beauties all dressed up...

It was such a fun wedding!  And even though we didn't know anybody else there, we had such a blast!

Sunday was glorious.  It was rainy and thunderstorming all day long and we just chilled. I was up early and made cinnamon rolls.  Oh my word, the recipe was SO good!  They really are the best cinnamon rolls ever!
Brad made chili in the crockpot for supper and we literally laid around all day.  I finished this book...

Product Details

SO good!  Just a good ole chick lit book.

I can't even tell you how many times Brad and I commented on how amazing yesterday was, I think we all needed that.  This week is going to be insane with Brad traveling a lot and the girls start their school fall sports.  I was wide awake at 4:30 this morning thinking about how crazy this week will be.  Thankfully I got my meals all planned out and prepped, outfits put together and everything's on the calendar so everyone knows who is going where, lol!!

Have a great week!

Aug 9, 2017

Workin It Wednesdays

It's time for another Workin' It Wednesdays with Shay and Erika!
Today we're talking all about Back to School, let's be honest, it's one of my favorite times of the year!

I love back to school for many reasons.

1. It forces my kids to have a schedule again.  Amen.
2.  It means fall is on it's way!
3. It makes me re organize and purge alllll the things!

I always feel like September is the "new" January.  I like to have my house cleaned from top to bottom and closets gone through.  It's just my thing.

Here's how we do back to school!

Give me all the decor.  I love decorating for back to school, but I make sure to not put it up until a week before, or the natives get cranky.

The night before school starts, we have Spa LaZimm.  I would make them a big bubble bath, and do facials, manis and pedis.  Now that they're older, they don't want to do the bubble bath, but we still crank the music, do our nails and eat cinnamon sugar sandwiches (why do they love those so??)

When I stayed at home, I always made sure to make a special treat for when they came home on the first day.  I still make a special treat, but not quite as elaborate, haha!

The first morning I either make pancakes in the shape of their initial, or monkey bread.  Love the excitement they used to have!!

Sometimes we would make a welcome gift for our teachers!

And of course, nothing is better than school supply shopping!  Alayna declared our school shopping day the best day of her life!!

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Now, this year I will have 3 kids in 3 separate sports.  I may be freaking out slightly, but we'll get through it.  My main tip is to plan, plan, plan!
I LOVE my Erin Condren planner and couldn't imagine life without it.  I get everyones schedules and meals plans down.  I have my meals planned though the end of October which helps SO much!

I also have a large whiteboard calendar that I write all of our activities/appointments on.  Above that I have a paper organizer that holds folders for each of the girls, so I can put any important papers in there.  Makes it much easier so I don't lose things!

I also have a smaller white board on our fridge that has our weekly meal plan so I don't gt asked a million times what we're eating for supper!  Here's a post I did a couple years back about meal planning.

So there ya have it, we super organized and have it all together....at least for the first week, then it's all down hill, HA!!