Easy Holiday Treats

I am keeping the holidays pretty low key at our house this year.

Presents, some Christmas Day nachos, and lots of family time.


But I have been making some fun treats for a few get togethers we are attending.

These recipes are low-maintenance yet so delicious.

(click the recipe name for the link to the recipe)

Pomegranate jeweled white cheddar, toasted almond and crispy sage cheeseball

So yummy. The crispy sage and pomegranate arils are a fun twist on this traditional appetizer.


Reeses Pretzel Bites

I have posted about these before but they are so easy and well liked I thought they deserved another mention.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Stacks

And these are so fun. Lots of ways to decorate them. I actually used the snowflake shaped Ritz but they didn’t turn out as pretty as I had hoped. Next time I will just use the round shaped Ritz crackers. I think this recipe would also work well with clubhouse crackers.


For lots of other fun fool-proof appetizer recipes go to my appetizer Pinterest board.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Weekly Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning in 10 Minutes

Y’all, some weeks this motherhood gig just kicks me in the butt (bottom, sorry Mom). I am just being frank.

During those weeks I am so thankful I have started simplifying my meal planning and grocery shopping.

Because sometimes the thought of taking yet another 6pm trip to the Chickfila with a 4 month old makes me want to die.

I have made meal planning easier by organizing my recipe Pinterest boards with only things I will actually make for dinner. Because who am I kidding? I am not making pecan goat cheese encrusted salmon for dinner with a baby on my hip. Then I open up the recipes in my browser that I plan to make that week. I quickly scan the ingredients making note of the things I need from the store in order to prepare it.

Then I open up a Walmart grocery pick up tab.

Which means I am shopping at Walmart which I never thought I would say.

Well I am not actually shopping at Walmart. I am taking advantage of their free grocery pick-up. I order all my groceries online, and then schedule a pickup the next day.

On pick up day I pull up to the store, give them a call and an attendant brings everything to my car.


No hauling of a 16.5 lb baby through the store to find what I need.

Seriously, it could not be easier. I have even done it while the baby was napping in the car.


Could anything be better? I think not.

And the bonus is I am not making impulse purchases so I am spending less. Cue that multi-pack of underwear that seems like a good idea at the time. #grannypanties

And lastly, the Walmart website remembers what you ordered last time so it makes  the items you buy weekly even easier to order.

If you want to try it here is a $10 off coupon that you can use with your purchase. Just click the link and start shopping. :)


The Tale of Two Nightstands

We are finally settled into our new house with our new baby. And I am finally getting around to re-do our master bedroom. I had not liked the furniture arrangement when we first moved in. Plus the rug, curtains and bedding just didn’t look right in the new room.

We also needed larger nightstands as I am forever knocking things off mine. Anyway in my normal fashion I didn’t want to pay full price for new ones.

So I have been on a hunt for several months. This is the style I was looking for.


I spotted these solid oak nightstands at a local antique shop near my home. I thought they had potential, and I liked the fact that they were solid wood.


So I purchased them. And then promptly cut the legs off.


Yall, at this point I was so tickled that they looked so much better already. But just wait! img_20161019_163937546.jpg

Once I got to this point I painted the furniture with my new favorite paint, Fusion Mineral Paint in Coal Black to match my bed.

Next I went on a search for an inexpensive leg option. I found several that I liked on Amazon in the $15 each range, but since I needed 8 of them I kept looking.

Amazon came to the rescue with these sofa legs with steel hardware for $5.00 each.

So I grabbed 8 and a can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint for the metal foot.



I also ordered cup pulls from Amazon that fit the holes already drilled in the drawers, $2.19 each.


Once they were all painted my husband cut some simple 2×4 supports to hold the new furniture legs.


Viola! Can you even believe the difference?




This is hands down my favorite furniture project I have ever worked on.

I think they will pair so well with my other bedroom furniture, new rug and bedding.

Thanks for reading!

*this post contains affiliate links to Amazon

A Picky Eater’s Scrambled Eggs

I am a picky egg eater.

Basically I don’t eat them unless I make them or my mom does.

I like them scrambled, fluffy, super flavorful, and cheesy just like my mom made them when I was growing up.

AKA not like my dad made them with chocolate chips. See this post for that story.


A Picky Eater’s Scrambled Eggs

serves 2-3

  • 2 slices bacon, cut into small strips
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk or half and half
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese, cheddar or Monterrey jack
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of dried parsley


In a non-stick skillet over medium high heat fry the bacon strips. Once crispy, remove the bacon and most of the grease from the pan.

In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients. Return the skillet with the remaining bacon grease to the heat, and pour in the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula slowly fold the eggs until cooked through. Top with cooked bacon and serve.

Highchair Makeover- Part 2

Thanks for all your design opinions on social media for this makeover. I decided to go green with a stained tray, but I used a very brown, almost distressed looking stain and a lighter green than the kelly in the inspiration photo.

Here is the used Graco highchair before:


My sister-in-law Holly recommended I use Fusion Paint. It’s called mineral paint, kinda like chalk paint, but needs minimal prep and no waxing is required.

I really liked working with it, and you can’t beat the price for specialty paint.

The color options are beautiful!


Click here for the Fusion Paint website.  wp-1474060970772.jpg

Disassembled, thanks to my husband.


After one coat.


Sanding, sanding and more sanding. It look quite a while to get that faux cherry finish off of the tray.


For the tray I went with a brown stain with no red in it. It took about four coats to get it good and dark. But I love the finished product. I do plan to seal the tray with a kid-safe food-safe sealer.



The tray finish didn’t turn out perfectly, but I am kinda glad it didn’t because then when Parker bangs on it with a fork and sippy cup I won’t be worried about the finish :)

All done and put back together! img_20160916_171625.jpgimg_20160916_171549.jpgimg_20160916_171355.jpg

Highchair Makeover- Part 1


I scored a used Graco highchair on one of those local yard sale Facebook pages. The highchair is super sturdy and sound, but the finish is rough looking/not my style.

So I need help picking a new finish. What would you do?

Green paint with stained top.

Painted with place setting.

Painted with “dipped” legs.

Navy paint with distressing.

Or a blue stain similar to the TV stand I refinished a few years ago.





final 1

My sleep deprived brain needs some assistance on this makeover!

The Ultimate Dark Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

Since having a baby, I have been craving chocolate and oats. The first two weeks I was home from the hospital I am pretty sure I survived on Quaker Oats chocolate chip granola bars.

And since then I have made chocolate chip oatmeal banana bread and a couple batches of no-bake cookies (so much for getting the baby weight off quickly).

Anyway this is my favorite version of no-bakes. It is delicious! I use old fashion oats instead of the instant kind for a lot more fiber. And the coconut oil in place of the butter makes it a much healthier version.

The Ultimate No-Bake Cookies

makes 16

  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 heaping tbsp Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup half and half or whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups old fashion oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Nutella or similar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • optional: handful of chopped nuts, peanuts or almonds

In a saucepan, bring the sugar, cocoa, oil, and half and half to a rapid boil for 60 seconds. Remove from heat and add the oats, coconut, nut butters and vanilla. Combine thoroughly.

Place spoonfuls onto wax paper using an ice cream scoop and let cool completely.

Tip: Melt the coconut oil in a liquid measuring cup before adding it to the recipe. Then use the same cup to measure out the nut butters. The butters will slide right out of the cup when it time to add them to the sugar mixture.


Month One of Mommyhood and Postpartum Survival

I can’t believe we have had Parker for a month already. He wowed us at his first month check-up by being at the top of the charts for weight, height, and head circumference. He is going to be a big boy. His feeding schedule averages every 2.5 hours during the day; and thankfully, he sleeps like a champ at night (we are working on nap times :).

My recovery after labor and delivery took a lot longer than I expected. But I am happy that I finally am feeling stronger and more like my old self, sort of. If my old self was sleep deprived and more saggy than normal.:) Although I have been told I won’t completely feel normal again until after I am done breastfeeding. I plan to go back to work in September part time again. I have 4 decorating projects already lined up. I am really looking forward to having something to keep my mind busy and creative. I like being a mom, but I really NEED a creative outlet.

There are a few things that I wanted to share that have really made my life easier and more enjoyable these past few weeks.

Washable Memory Foam Body Pillow– My husband bought me one of these for Christmas. I used it during my pregnancy. But I have also found that I LOVE it now too. I use it to prop myself up in bed when I hold the baby, and it also helps elevate me during the night if I have engorgement (TMI?) pain. I have never been a huge fan of body pillows, but this one made me a convert. I really do LOVE it.

Glamourmom Nursing Tank – I have purchased numerous nursing tanks, and this one is the best! I actually purchased it at the breastfeeding center at my pediatrican’s office. The tanks are not cheap, but they are super high quality. If you purchase through their outlet online you can get them 50% off.

Playtex Nursing Bra– My favorite nursing bras have been several that I purchased from Soma a few months back. But like most good products…they discontinued the style I liked. But this style by Playtex is my 2nd favorite, and it is much more budget friendly.


Yummy breakfast– This may seem like a dumb survival tip, but especially when we were still doing the every 2 hr feedings all night, knowing that there was something good to eat for breakfast really helped my mental state. Several sweet people brought me breakfast stuff, and I made a couple loaves of my favorite banana bread (I just use regular chocolate chips). 


Nutella Swirled Peanut Butter Banana Bread- Sally’s Baking Addiction

Binge Watch TV series– My sister Annie gave me this tip. Binge TV shows during those early weeks when you are just in survival mode (mentally and physically)…but only the funny shows. And boy was she right. I tried watching one drama series, and it put me over the edge. My anxiety went through the roof. So watch the funny shows. Keep things as light as possible. Laughing is good for the soul, especially when you just pushed a baby out of your body.

Parker’s Birth Story

I can’t believe I am a mom to a 2 week old already!

Time has flown by (except during those 3 am feedings:).

I apologize in advance for how long this post is. And thank you for all the kind words on social media about the baby’s nursery post last week.

Back in November when I found out I was pregnant, I had only two wishes in regards to the baby’s birth: have a daytime birth and a safe delivery. I decided early that I was not (and could not) be a control freak about the birth. I had already tried to be a control freak about becoming pregnant…and of course it didn’t go at all like I planned. It took us a lot longer to get pregnant that I ever expected which lead to all kinds of anxiety and self-induced stress that was again compounded as so many people were asking when we were going to have a baby.

Tuesday, July 5th my husband and I had a leisurely lunch, and then we headed to my regular weekly OB appointment; I was 37 weeks pregnant. My blood pressure had been high most of my pregnancy so when the nurse told me the number on the cuff I thought nothing of it. Ignorance truly is bliss.

After reviewing my history, my OB suggested I go straight to the hospital for testing. So we jumped in the car and headed over to the hospital, only a 5 minute drive.

After checking in, someone handed me a hospital gown and said “Get into bed.” My husband and I were slightly confused because I thought “tests” would involve some blood work and we would be good to go. They took my blood pressure again. It read 175/100. I had never been hospitalized before. So just the hospital stay alone completely freaked me out.

I really felt great for the first time in the whole 9 months I had been pregnant. The physical therapy I undergone recently had basically fixed all the debilitating hip and sciatica pain I had been dealing with for 7 months. So we really were in shock that it seemed as if I would be staying in the hospital for a while.

After some clarification from the OB on-call we learned I would be in the hospital for at least 24 hours, and that there was a 50% chance I would be induced in the next few days. The doctor in the OB office had failed to mention that I had initial signs of pre-eclampsia which is why I needed further tests.

We called and texted family and close friends to let them know what was going on. My sister graciously picked up my dog. Joe ran home to get clothes and toiletries for both of us.

After the 24 hour testing they determined I had both pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia. My doctor immediately scheduled me to be induced at 5am the following morning.

To prep me for induction, my nurse immediately administered Cervidil which was the most painful things I experienced in the whole process of being induced. I won’t lie. I cried. I could not help it. Ugh, it was rough. Although I am not sure if it was harder on me actually being pain or my husband watching me be in pain.:)

We tried to get a goodnight’s sleep knowing that the 7th would most likely be a very long day. But if you have ever tried to get a goodnight’s sleep in a hospital you know it is next to impossible. And about midnight the Cervidil start to kick-in, and my body actually started having small contractions on its own.

5am came quickly. I took a shower and got back in bed. By about 5:30 my nurse started the Pitocin. My doctor broke my water within about an hour because I was only 1 cm dilated. At first it was easy going, but after about two hours on Pitocin I was in such intense back labor I could barely breath. Joe stood next to me and watched the monitor. I would ask him when the contraction peaked because then I knew the pain would not get any worse, and somehow it made it easier to get through them. I was trying to be tough, but after about another half hour I told the nurse I had to have some pain mediation. I could barely catch my breath to even get the words out because I was not getting any breaks between the contractions. Pitocin is nuts!

After about 15 minutes my nurse came back with medicine that basically put me in a labor coma. I don’t remember much of the next two hours or so. But thankfully I labored to 4 cm and was approved to get an epidural.

I can only imagine the scene I created as I was still in a slightly comatose state, trying to sit on the side of the bed, talk to my husband, and receive an epidural. I don’t remember anything that I said other than. “Wow that didn’t hurt at all.”

I climbed back in bed expecting to be relieved of all the labor pains. Unfortunately, that was not the case. My back labor intensified. And continued until I was fully dilated. I don’t blame the sweet guys who administrated the epidural. I truly think the severe pain from pinched nerves that I experienced during pregnancy had something to do with the pain medicine working in only certain parts of my body. In the meantime I learned my dad was in the waiting room. I gave permission for him to come into labor and delivery. He prayed with us for safety during the delivery.

By 3pm my nurse said I was ready to push. Mentally and physically exhausted I asked her, “How long does the pushing take?” She said well for 1st babies it can take 3 hours. I determined right then this pushing stuff was not going to take 3 hours. I could not take the back labor any longer. Unfortunately, Parker was face up, and he got stuck on my pelvic bone for a while. And I worked so hard at pushing I actually gagged from over-exertion.

After about an hour, my OB came in and said, “Let’s get this baby out.”

Three pushes later I felt the head, then the shoulders, and finally the hips being pushed out. The feeling was euphoric. I was so happy to be done! My husband cried, and I was still in shock that I had just birthed a baby out of my body. And that I had survived an induction with a slightly failed epidural.

Shortly after they took Parker to be cleaned up, I heard a flop on the floor and the surgical tech said, “Whoops.” Ladies and gentleman, they dropped the placenta and all the other stuff that goes with it all over the floor of the labor and delivery room. Talk about gross :) Thankfully I didn’t see it, and they got it all cleaned up right before my parents came into see the new baby and pray with us again over our new arrival.

We asked for no other visitors for a few hours while we recovered from the long day. And secretly I just wanted to eat all the sushi I could get my hands on. Joe ran to our favorite sushi place and picked up a feast for us to eat in our hospital room. Then at 7:30 my stepsons, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and great grandparents starting showing up to see the new baby. 


I am so so thankful for my husband who literally did not leave my side all day during the induction. During our entire hospital stay my sisters/sister-in-law were such a great help bringing us meals and stuff from home . And I am indebted to all the great nurses (especially the night nurses) and lactation consultants assigned to me. They were so patient with all my questions and concerns.


Finally on July 9th, we were released from the hospital with our new baby. We were SO happy to be home in our own bed. Parker is a great eater and sleeper. And we are blessed with such a great support system with lots of willing and available arms to hold the baby. :)

While being induced was not my first choice for having a baby, my doctors told me I would not have been able to deliver vaginally if I had gone full term. The baby would have simply been too big. So I was grateful not to have a Cesarean. 

Many nights since we have been home I have laid in bed(when I should have been sleeping) listening to my husband and baby breathing and cried in thankfulness for all the good gifts I have been given.