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‘Tis the Season

December 23, 2017

TWO MORE SLEEPS! Our home is beyond excited for Christmas! The snow got me catapulted into the holiday spirit as I Amazon Primed the last of the gifts. So much nostalgia around our home! Christmas is so much more magical when there are littles around BEGGING to open a gift and singing Jingle Bells all day long. I feel like this is really the year to start traditions and make it as magical as possible for our children! Some of my best memories as a child are from Christmas with my family :)

We’re ready for Christmas, but I can’t help but laugh at all the craziness around our house lately. ‘Tis the season! Here are some things going on at our house to share for a chuckle – Naughty AND Nice!

‘Tis the season… for Amazon Prime. Thankful for 2 day shipping and every possible thing on the site. Forgot I need a thermometer for that prime rib I’m making Christmas Eve, prime it. Leo asking for a snow plow like the “BIIIIIIG trucks” that he watches out his window, prime it, and actually spend the extra $8 shipping to get it here in one day bc two days would be after Christmas. Like, AMAZING. Any reason to not leave the house with three children.

‘Tis the season… for COOKIES. I am not a baker, but I figured I better make cookies with the kids, bc, everyone else is. So, out came my hand beaters (should I add a kitchenaid on my list?), and we made the most delicious sugar cookies that looked NOTHING like the picture, but tasted so good. I’m not really a dessert lover but I may or may not have had 10 of these, or 15. But who’s counting. #winterweight

‘Tis the season… for Google. WHAT in the hell is a LOL doll? Is it a laughing doll? Is it for 4 year olds? Is it really a thing?? Oh, so like, you just unwrap it and there are layers of surprises? Oh, ok, weird, but, ✔️

‘Tis the season… for Frasier Fir candles! When your husband won’t let you get a real tree, you have to settle.

‘Tis the season… for no school. Oh Lordy, send help! Winter break starts today! All 3 kids all day every day for the next two weeks! EEEEK. Already getting hot sweats thinking about it. And I know that they’ll be over their new toys in, like, a day, soooo what do we do the other 13 days?!

‘Tis the season… for shopping… for yourself! Orrrr wait. That feeling you get when you feel guilty buying something for yourself since this is the “season of giving,” but you juuuuuuuust can’t turn down those new boots that were 50% off at J.Ella

‘Tis the season… for traditions! We’re starting a fun tradition this year! I’m going to have elfs deliver Christmas pajamas to our door on Christmas Eve! The Elf on the Shelf is going to disappear on Christmas Eve while he goes and makes the kids’ pajamas at the North Pole, then come ring the doorbell and reappear at the doorstep with Christmas pajamas! We also got this book to share with the kids about the tradition. I am excited! And we have a friend dressing up as Santa too, the kids will flip! In a good way I hope :)

‘Tis the season… for Santa!!! It’s been so much fun with Santa this year. No one cried, albeit Leo still skeptical, but it’s been exciting hearing them talk about Santa and really get into all of his magic. We see him again tonight! Can’t wait!

‘Tis the season… for gifts and giving! Leo wants “trucks,” and he already has a 100, but somehow I found some that I know he’ll love. Ivy wanted that LOL doll and Hatchimals (ok those actually look pretty cool), and some new clothes for her dolls. Then they all need some new clothes themselves (Ivy these and these shoes and Leo these slippers and this fire truck sweater and some other small little things), and done! John and I don’t share gifts on Christmas, we’re happy to make it special for the kids! And I bought myself those new boots, soooo :)

‘Tis the season… for FaceTime!!! All of my family that lives far away! Missing them all during this holiday. And my sister who just had a baby on Tuesday! Miles Elliott!!! MUAH!

‘Tis the season… for MUSIC! Ivy’s Christmas program, Leo’s Christmas program, and all of the Christmas carols in between! Love all the holiday music playing in our house right now.

‘Tis the season… for Christmas movies! When your Apple Itunes receipts come through your email and you’re like, whaaat. But you just couldn’t help it because Netflix or Amazon Instant Video didn’t have Home Alone, Elf, the original Rudolph, or Polar Express, and you just HAD to have your kids watch them. But thanking Amazon Instant Video for The Holiday, bc… JUDE LAW.

‘Tis the season… for LOVE! Realizing how special your family is and how much you truly love one another. The holidays always bring out the gushy in me and I’m squeezing everyone in the family a little harder lately. And friends! So lucky to have an army of girlfriends by my side to live this Mom life with.

Just some holiday thoughts and ramblings! Two more sleeps and then to celebrate Baby Jesus! Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! Ho ho ho!



August Goals

August 1, 2016

imageI could hardly write this title without my head spinning around. AUGUST?! Seriously? Where was June, and July, and how the hell is it already August?! Summer is flyyyyying by and this August is the bridge between soaking up the dog days of summer and anticipating the arrival of cooler temps and fall. I hate to even write the word fall yet because I’m sooo not ready for it! Long live summer!

This past weekend was so much fun as we wrapped up July. John and I traveled to Wyoming for my cousin Andy and his new gorgeous wife Rebecca’s wedding reception. Loved seeing all of my family and cousins! It was outdoors on the Horse Creek Ranch outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming and boasted an absolutely stunning scenery. Congratulations Andy and Rebecca!


Dress (reversible btw!!!) and necklace from Coquette Couture – use code PROMOKAYLEE for 25% off.

Perfect way to end July, celebrating with family and having a little vacay!

This month aims to spend EVERY weekend at our cabin! I’m ultra excited about that. Lots of lake and boating time to wrap up the summer.

Other than making sure I’m rubbing sunscreen in , my other goal for August is to get back on track with meal planning. I was doing so good at it this past spring and now since summer has hit, I haven’t been doing it at all! We are all over the place lately I feel like, so time to get back to the basics.

Last week, I had a deal for three free meals from Blue Apron, and they were so much fun! Super easy recipes to make and all of the ingredients were completely ready in the bag. And I really enjoyed each meal! Fun to try new things. I loved it! It got me really anxious to get back into a routine and get excited about cooking again.

So now I’ve found Gathered Table. I tried it a little this last spring and was really enjoying it. It’s an interactive weekly calendar that inputs recipes from their gallery into whichever days you want to cook, completely personalizable. I love that it picks recipes for you because that’s what takes me SO LONG with meal planning, is picking out what the hell I feel like eating! What’s nice too is that you can switch recipes if you don’t want something and can even input a recipe from other sites. Which is awesome because I love Pioneer Woman’s recipes! It then creates a grocery list for you, which if you have the app, you can check things off as you are shopping. I am really loving it so far! This site and app are making my life SO much easier!

So my goal for August is to get back into meal planning each week and start trying new recipes! I bought this lovely weekly planner from Rifle Paper Company to help me stay organized.

I am anxious to try new recipes. I’ve felt like in such a rut lately! Hoping our August is much more organized! I’m starting off my goal right this week, but ask me again at the end of August ;) The challenge is keeping up with it!

What are your goals for August? Hope you have a happy month!

10 Things to Love about Leo

June 18, 2015


Today marks 10 MARVELOUS days with our little Leo. It was supposed to be my due date and I’m so thankful that we have already gotten to have 10 days with him!

I admit. I wasn’t a newborn lover with Ivy. I loved when she hit a few months old and started interacting, smiling, giggling, and being silly. The whole just eat, sleep, poop thing wasn’t my thang. But I will have to say, this time around, I am totally smitten. Maybe I was too paranoid or cautious with Ivy that I didn’t take time to just enjoy it, but this time, ahhhh, everything! I’m loving it! There were so many things I forgot I loved about a newborn and am really taking in this time. I know how fast it goes!

10 things to LOVE about Leo

1. His newborn smell. There’s something about it. While they cuddle close to you, they have that sweet new smell. Totally pure and real. I love it.

2. His soft skin and long fingers and toes. I just love running my fingers along his soft arms! I’d give anything for that non-sun torched skin again. And his adorable little fingers and toes! Gah! I love how he holds my finger. 

3. His baby hair. That bleach blonde little hair all over his body! Adorable! Ivy’s was pretty dark it was so funny, but Leo’s is bleach blonde. So cute!

4. How he loves to snuggle. Oh this boy is a cuuuuudddler! He loves to be held extra close and tight. And I have no problem with that :)

5. His noises. Oh my gosh the noises this kid makes! Hilarious! Grunts galore. I just die. He sounds like he’s an old stiff man sometimes!

6. How he looks like his Daddy. Everyone says he looks like John and I couldn’t be happier :) Handsome husband = handsome boy!

7. How alert he is. He’s already looking all over! I remember Ivy was always taking everything in and Leo is no different. I love how they seem so curious at such a baby age.

8. How he’s such a good sleeper and eater. He’s been so good at nights! I often have to wake him up to eat still, not bad for this Mommy! And with Ivy, I didn’t get to breast feed her right away or even for the first couple days because of the NICU, so with Leo, I was AMAZED to see him latch on within the first few minutes of life. It was spectacular. Human/animal instincts are incredible. And he hasn’t stopped! He’s a boy alright.

9. How he just takes his sister’s antics. Ivy is ALL over him! Kissing, staring, trying to hold him, it’s great. And he just takes it from her. Tough guy! I’m sure someday he’ll hold his own :)

10. His name. Ok ok, I didn’t LOVE the name before, but now that I’m saying it and calling him my little Leo, I’m obsessed.


Onesie // Blanket here or here

Potato Ham Soup

October 9, 2014

IMG_7305Confession: My weakness is creamy soups. Creamy potato, creamy tomato, creamy broccoli, creamy chicken tortilla, oh my gosh, I just love a creamy soup!

One of my all-time favorite winter soups is creamy potato ham soup.  The creaminess from the broth and cream mixture with the heartiness of potatoes, ham, celery, and carrots is the absolute best combo. And to top it off, what soup is not dynamite without a bacon and cheese topping?! AH! So so so good. This may or may not be a reason I gain weight during the soup season :/

A creamy soup, well actually any soup, paired with a perfect crusty bread, and I j u s t can’t say no.

I use The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Potato Soup. She, Ree Drummond, is a witty ranch homemaker who has some fabulous rustic recipes. I love when I google a recipe and hers shows up on top, it’s bound to be delicious!

I get a Honeybaked Ham every once in a while for sandwiches and meals because, let’s face it, theirs are just the best, and that crunch on top, GAH! We were about at the end of the mini ham, so I take her soup recipe and add the rest of the ham (plus the bone for flavoring!) because the meat component in the soup makes it that much better. I love hearty soups!

I paired our soup with the best baguette I’ve ever had from Breadico and of course added a beer to toast with my hubs. I went with the Widmer Brothers Okto Festival Ale, because I’m addicted to seasonal beers. Delicious!

Here it is, folks (My edits to the recipe are in parenthesis)

Potato Ham Soup


  • 6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced
  • 3 stalks Celery, Diced
  • 6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced (I used 5)
  • (2 cups ham diced – I love to add the ham, it makes it heartier and I love a meat added! I add the bone also, just to increase the flavoring)
  • 8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Or Vegetable Broth (I used chicken)
  • 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream (I like mine really creamy, so I used 3/4 cup, ok maybe 1 cup, ha)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Parsley
  • 1 cup Grated Cheese Of Your Choice (I used Tillamook Sharp White Cheddar Cheese)

Preparation Instructions

Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.

Return the hot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.

(This is where I added the ham. I like to give it a little color and fry it a tad before adding the broth

Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove half to 2/3 the soup and blend in a blender/food processor until completely smooth. (I only did about a 1/3 of the soup. I like my soup hearty and rustic! So I didn’t want the potatoes all pureed)

Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Pour in grated cheese to melt. Let it heat back up as you taste for seasonings, adding more of what it needs. Stir in cream, then stir in parsley, reserving a little for garnish.

Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, extra grated cheese, and crisp bacon pieces.


Enjoy, and worry about the cream and bacon later ;) It’s just too good to mourn.


Ivy and Mommy

April 3, 2014

My sweet girl. I love you so much. You’re even better than I had dreamed about. You are my sunshine. Your smile just melts my heart. I promise to always tell you how much I love you. You’re my world, my muse, my little lovebug.

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