Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Favorites- Banishing Winter

I'm linking up for Friday Favorites again and saying SEE-YA to old man winter today!
A Little Bit of Everything
Grace and Love Blog

Well, we finally got our snow day in Alabama.

This week has sealed the deal, I am officially finished with winter for the year.

How do I call it quits on winter before the frost ends for the season? Simple. I change my mind...and a few other things.

1. Say hello to my little friend from The Charleston Soap Chef--Beach Music Honey Butter.

I bought this little jar of goodness in the fall at Market Noel in Birmingham and used it a few times then saved it for now. I knew I had a stash of some wintry scented lotion to work through and thought I would save this Beach Music to carry me into springtime.

I am SO glad I did. Its luscious and creamy and so much more indulgent than the lotions and creams you find at the mall. They have lots of fantastic scents, but I am a card carrying summer-kind-of-girl and this is my favorite.

2. We loaded up on some Essie nail colors at Target a few weeks ago and Lizzy and I have been sporting springtime nails ever since. No greige and taupe for us. Just lilac, pinks, white and shimmer. Springtime is everywhere we look!

3. Swimsuit shopping.

Get them now while the selection is good and just envision yourself with a tan while you're trying on some new pieces for summer. Its also a fun reminder to get back on the healthy eating/exercise bandwagon before spring break and summer time. :)

4. Popsicles aren't just for kids.

I've wanted to try this for about a year. I saw it on a blog or Pinterest or somewhere, so I cant take credit for the genius that is this cocktail. It couldn't be easier or more springtime--Prosecco and a Popsicle (I used LeMarca and a Blue Bell Strawberry Fruit Bar. I will be doing this again. Perhaps soon. Springtime sunset not required.

5.Pinning and Meal Planning

I'm finally embracing Pinterest as a place to gather inspiration and attempt to organize my brain. (Feel free to laugh along with me.)

Mainly I pin recipies and things for the kids and stuff like this...
Yes, my pins are reflecting my mental mind-fame lately.

I started trying to pin summer clothes, but then i realized that I really prefer to spend as much time as possible in my swimsuits in the summer so I am not going to kid myself and think I would prefer getting cutesied up from May-September, I really do hope the above is always true. Life life in a bikini. (this is a pin of a billabong ad. The 20 something beach girl in me loves this website. The 35 year old mom in me uses it for inspiration. Those bottoms are teensy!! But, I digress...)

Along with lightening up for spring break (See #3) I'm also thinking about things that are simple to prepare and things I'll be making at the beach this summer. These biscuit-muffins are sure to be included on that list just because they are so easy to make and would be great for the come-and-go breakfast crew. I'm also pinning quite a few this week, so if easy-beachy recipes speak to you, then feel free to follow me on Pinterest. 

6. Get out of town.
We've already started heading south here and there (like last weekend) , so the best way to get rid of winter is get out of town (if you can). the next best thing would be to plan your vacation, figure out how to fill your spring days and summer nights.

7. Swim School
I booked our swim lessons in Nashville a few weeks ago. I have to tell you if you are in Middle Tennessee, or can get to Middle Tennessee (we make the three hour drive every year just for these lessons)--sign your kids up for Swim Lessons with Brendan Sweetman Swimmers

Its worth every dime, every second, every struggle, every stroke to do this for your children and their safety.

Your children will learn to save their own lives, love the water, swim freely, have fun and maybe even become a fantastic swim teacher one day. (Hey I can only speak from my own experience!! :))

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Day

I know our little blast of winter is teensy compared to what my friends and fam in Middle Tennessee have experienced, but I didn't want to not-document just because it's been sort of a non-event.

Anyhow, Monday and Tuesday of this week we had a delayed  start Monday was super fun. Tuesday, wouldn'tcha know I had scheduled simultaneous doctor's appointments for Joseph and I for 10 am and preschool didn't begin until 10:30.

So, I am here to testify that you can survive an hour at the dermatologist with a 4.5 and 2.5 year old. 

Thankfully I had a few items from the target dollar spot stashed for emergencies and (miracle of miracles) my iPad was charged.
They were awesome and it was "peasy-easy" as Lizzy likes to say. 

Everyone was excited because the forecast was for a true snow storm to blow into Birmingham on Wednesday. 

We woke up, started a fun family day at home then Joseph and Jay headed out for some early errands (and to get some type of sled) then we waited. We watched all-day news coverage about the 5, 7, 9 inches of snow all over Alabama. And watched it rain at our house all day. 

We played inside and we're just about to say goodnight to our snow-less snow day when we saw a few flakes at 8 o'clock.  

We piled on a few extra layers over our pjs and made the most of our 20 minutes of snow, tossed some snowballs, played on the treehouse then came in for hot chocolate and bedtime.

It was a lot, LOT, LOT of waiting for a little snow. But when you're little even a little snow is a LOT of fun.

Now we've had our fun, delayed days (one more on Thursday) and are ready to jump into spring! 

Make These This Weekend-Sausage Cheese Biscuits

A savory, rich southern breakfast favorite in handy pass-me-one-of-those form? 

I found this recipe in the my new The Southern Living Community Cookbook. I have dog-eared so much in this book and can't wait to cook my way through it! 

These are just perfect for breakfasts, brunches, tailgates or potlucks. I hope you'll enjoy sharing these this weekend!

I made these for dinner on our snow day with eggs and fruit. The whole thing took 25 minutes.

1 pound breakfast sausage, cooked and drained. (I use Tennessee Pride.)
1 and 1/2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese
3 cups Bisquick
1 can Cheese Soup
3/4 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 375 and spray a muffin pan. Brown sausage until crumbly and cooked through. Drain sausage and let cool. In a large bowl combine cheese and Bisquick. In another small bowl mix together cheese soup and milk.  Stir sausage into dry ingredients then make a well and add wet ingredients. Scoop into muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes.
Yield: 12 amazing, filling yummy biscuit-muffins.

I hope you love these as much as we did! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Big Machine Day 2015

This past Saturday was a BIG one for us. 

We had our annual women's conference at church so the kids got to play with church buds all morning then as soon as the conference ended we went straight to the McWane Center (our city's children's museum) for their annual Big Machine Day.

The plaza in front of the museum is packed with dozers, differs, and cranes. 

All of the equipments is cleaned and ready for climbing and exploring.

There was even a Birmingham Fire Department ladder truck with every hatch, compartment and door opened for boys and girls to discover. 

We had lots of fun and decided to go ahead and join he museum for the year since Jay and Lizzy are such great ages to experience all the museum has to offer. 

It was a tad windy while we were outside, thus the hat-holding. Ha!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hunting Season 2014-15

Also known as the longest season in history!! Ha!

Certain parts of Alabama's Hunting season were extended through February 10 this year. Lucky for us, Daddy's hunting club was in the extended area. :/

Jay and Joseph have had the best time at the hunting club this year. Jay is totally exhausted after every trip and grows up so much while he is gone. He has learned lots and lots and really takes everything about it seriously-for a 4 year old.

He's fired a gun for the first time(s), learned what really happens to make the deer fall down and that they aren't alive anymore after you shoot them.

Sometimes I am just amazed at how life turns out. Especially when I think about the 21-year-old vegetarian I was when I first met Joseph and now all of these years later our 4 year old son is telling me what size deer you should shoot or not shoot.
My, how life can surprise us.

Lizzy and I made two trips to the hunting club this year-one for the day and one overnight. Everything is SO green there! This photo was taken in mid-January.

Here we are "getting our minds right" before we left the comforts of home. Ha!

And at the Oswalt's farm.

She enjoyed dressing for the occasion and referring to herself as "Hunting Girl" the entire weekend. She even picked up a stick and jumped in some muddy puddles. (Although, I think the puddle jumping was more to be like Peppa than to be a rough and tough hunter, but whatever, she got dirty so we'll count it.)

I'm so glad that Joseph has the opportunity to share something he loves with Jay. I love that they spend lots of time working hard, enjoying the outdoors and learning together. I don't love that Jay seems so grown up every time he comes home from a hunting weekend, but I guess that's just a fact of life.

The kids and I have also spent plenty of time this season doing fun things while Daddy is away. We've been to fun outings at parks, played countless games of tag and hide and seek, watched movies on pallets, nearly perfected church as a party of three and eaten yummy dinners of whatever we like on the weekends (usually chicken nuggets for the kids and pita and hummus/veggies and cheese for me). 

Lizzy and I got to do some bonding while learning the art of at-home toddler pedicures on Friday nights. We've conquered the mall and I must admit it, that girl is a little shopper. I've never been big on the mall, but Lizzy is changing that--she loves it so we've made our fair share of trips to the mall this hunting season. 

It's been good for all of us and the fellas even got a deer or two this year. We all made great memories, which makes everything worthwhile. 

See ya in November, deer. Spring and Summer are callng our names....

The Beach, My Birthday and our "Balemtimes"

We took a long weekend last weekend to  head down to the beach for some fun and family time and as a bonus got a little sunshine too!

(Don't worry we're back now to high-teens, low-30s so no need to be jealous.)

We kicked off the weekend with Valentine's parties at school for jay and Lizzy. They were super excited and had a great day!

We drove south on Thursday, had hibachi for dinner (Jay's favorite, Lizzy hates everything about it-sorry sis!)

Friday we spent most of the day in Foley exploring little areas I've always wanted to check out, visiting the L&N Railroad museum, the new Centennial Plaza and playing in the park. 

Saturday was Valentine's Day--or as Lizzy calls it "Balemtimes". The kids got goodies from us-candy, small toys and Snackeez cups.

They love them. In fact I could probably stop using actual dishes altogether and they would be just fine. 

We went back to downtown Foley Saturday. This time it was to visit the model train museum (great!) and take in the Foley Mardi Gras parade! 

Oh, and eat ice cream cones at 10:30 am!

The parade was lots of fun, we gathered our beads then went to lunch at The Gift Horse.

The rest of Saturday was a few errands, playing outside in the sunshine then dinner at home. A great day to celebrate love with our little family.
Spring cleaning at its finest. 

Sunday we spent the entire day at home playing outside in the sun and sand. Then ventured out to The Wharf in the evening for their Mardi Gras parade, more beads then grabbed dinner and headed home a very tired bunch.

Monday I celebrated turning 35 with more fantastic weather, some time in the hammock, not cooking (Chick-Fil-A AND Krispy Kreme for breakfast) and doing things around the house. It was low-key and fun. So very different than other birthdays but totally perfect! 

We ended up taking a little drive on Monday evening, and to my surprise ended the day like this!

His and hers kayaks for the four of us!
Needless to say this was an unexpected gift. We're excited to try these out as a foursome in a few weeks! Thank you, Joseph!! 

We scooted home Tuesday just in time to make it to the 2nd annual Mardi Gras annual pancake supper at church. 

It was a fun, easy few days and we certainly let the good times roll! 

This little taste of sunshine and springtime was perfect since the whole country seems to be frigid this week. Fear not, spring is coming--I have the pollen on my car to prove it!!