Monday, October 27, 2014

{October} loves





Here's the things I'm loving this month! 

Paddywax's Soy Lavender & Thyme candle is incredible. I keep it in my bedroom because I love the way it smells so much, I don't want to share its scent with the air downstairs. 
So selfish.
You know how a spa smells relaxing and magical? It's like that in an adorable mason-like jar.
Did I mention it's made in the US?  U-S-A, U-S-A! 

I love Target brand K-Cups and that surprised me. If you're a K-Cup user like myself, download Target's Cartwheel app, most of the time they have a 5% off coupon. Oh, and get yourself a Target (debit) REDcard!!! You get 5% off your entire purchase, so that's 10% off a box of K-Cups, you're welcome. 

Smith's lip balm is the best I've ever used! I've actually been using it for years and bought another can this month, so I figured it could be in my loves post. It's made from natural beeswax and it goes on incredibly smooth. 

The sweatshirt? I'm just excited that it has an "A" on it. It's no secret that I love everything monogrammed. 





Tell me what you're loving!  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Scarf Swap & sign up

 Guys, I'm pretty excited. 

 Jessica from Jessica Lynn writes is hosting a scarf swap,
it's NATIONWIDE 
and those living overseas with an APO/FPO address can join in too! 

You either have to have a blog or an Instagram account. Have both?
  That's even better.
Here's the low-down:

Step 1:

Sign-ups start today (using the form below) and end on October 24

Step 2:

On October 27, you'll receive an email with your swap partner's info and I'll publish a post here with all of the swap participants. (To keep everyone accountable!)

Step 3:

You must contact your partner within 72 hours (by October 30). If you don't hear from your partner, please contact me and I'll arrange a way to publicly shame them new partner for you. Take this time to get to know your partner and their likes and dislikes. Read their blog and check out their Twitter/IG feeds. Ask about favorite colors, fabrics, patterns, etc. You want to send something they'll wear and get the same in return! 

Step 4:

You have two weeks to shop and get to know your partner, but all scarves must be mailed out by Saturday, November 15.  

Step 5: 

Once you receive your scarf, create a post (or take pictures for IG) showing off your newest addition to your collection. Link up back here on Monday, November 24!! If you're on Instagram, you can also come back and link-up, but also use the hashtag #ScarfSwap14





Now that you've read the rules, who's in? 
Do you pinky promise to send a gift you'd want to receive & that it won't be an old crusty scarf?

.........................


If you're are going to participate, 
go to Jessica's page,
 grab a button
 and post it for all of the blogging world to see. 

Remember,  if you don't have a blog, but you're on Instagram {your account has to be public} you can still get in on this! 


Now, channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw and get to shopping!

Monday, October 20, 2014

{Weekend} Recap


Until this weekend Colten & I haven't done much of anything since Zack left.
 Actually, 
we didn't leave the house until late Friday afternoon. 
Yikes. 
I hibernate when I'm sad.


When I finally got myself together, I took Colten to a local farm stand. 
One thing I love about Maryland is how easy it is to eat & buy local. 
I'm a huge fan of the farm-to-table movement.  

Fact about Colten: He will eat that entire basket of apples in a matter of days. 
He can't get enough fruit.






There's no walking by one of these bad boys.
 What are they called? Head-in-a-hole? Face-in-a-hole?
He makes the cutest cow.




Colten got a flag!
NFL here we come.
He was so proud of himself. 
I have never, ever, ever been a morning person, ever.
So getting up at 6 a.m. on Saturday mornings is rough, 
especially since I stayed up to talk to Zack & got 2 hours of sleep.
Did you know Afghanistan is 8 1/2 hours ahead?! 
The struggle is real. 




We went to a Halloween party-
 pumpkin painting, delicious food, & a bonfire.
We have the best neighbors friends.
They make deployment so much easier. 


I'm planing on blogging weekly recaps, mostly for Zack. 
I think he'll love it. 



Tell me how your weekend was! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars





Move over Quaker, these homemade granola bars are amazing! My 4 year old ate them and he won't even eat a donut! Sometimes I wonder how we're related. I have a feeling this will now be a staple in our home since half of them have been eaten in a single night. 

These are so simple to make, and the best part is that you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry! Mix it up a bit! Take out the pretzels and through in a handful of dried cranberries or some almonds, I'd leave the chocolate in them. ;) There's so many different delicious ways to make these.  



No-Bake  Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars


Ingredients 
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1t. vanilla 
2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
3/4 cup chopped pretzels
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Line the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper. 
2. In a medium sauce pan, bring butter, brown sugar, peanut butter & honey to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble.  Cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
3. Mix in the oats, crispy cereal, and pretzels. Stir until all of the ingredients are blended together. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Press the mixture evenly into the pan, I used the back of a spoon.  Top with mini chocolate chips and gently press into the  granola bars with your hands.
4. Place the bars in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into bars and serve.

Pin for later!

Enjoy!


I linked up with:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The night he left




I would be lying if I told you I didn't think about sneaking into Zack's bag and taking out his passport so he wouldn't be able to leave. Shameful, I know.


Zack had to be at the airport by 10:30 at night. Colten couldn't stay awake for the ride, but the rest was good for him since we didn't get home until 3 a.m.! 



The line for ticketing was insane, but Colten stayed by Zack's side the entire time. He was in charge of pushing the luggage cart. ;)



I didn't ask our favorite photographer, Jill, to come to the airport this time. She's due any day with her third baby and I just couldn't justify asking her to meet us at the airport at midnight when she could be resting. So, I settled for my iPhone. 

Look at that face. Pitiful. 



Colten took this, he posed us and told us to kiss. hahaha


Colten decided he needed to eat a 1 in the morning.
Please excuse that crusty banana, courtesy of Dunkin' Donuts.  


After our Subway trip, it was time to head home and say our goodbyes. 
This is always the hardest part.

Zack giving Colten the "You're the man of house" talk

Colten couldn't let him leave without one more squeeze. 

And just like that, we watched him walk away to his terminal. 















What advice & tips do you have for surviving deployment?  I'd love for you to share! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Round 3



As most of you now know, Zachary is deploying, again. I can't tell you how much this saddens my soul. I do have to say, that this deployment is SUPPOSED to be super short. So I feel like I can't really complain.

Please Lord let it be short.  Colten's little heart cannot do 6 months again.

 I would be more at ease if he were stateside, but there is no peace when you send someone you love to a war zone.  This deployment came out of nowhere. I mean, he's only been home for 5 months!!
Sigh...I will get off my soapbox and go complain to my friends. ;)

Thankfully, we should stay pretty busy while Zack is gone. We have football 3 times a week,  the holidays, and my amazing MIL is coming to Maryland for Thanksgiving! Also, a trip to Virginia is planned to see family, visit a few wedding venues (eek!) and see my childhood bestie to take our kids apple picking! I've never picked my own apples but it sounds pretty amazing. I'll be channeling my inner Pioneer Woman while I make enough applesauce to feed our entire neighborhood.

That's an invite to an applesauce par-tay guys. I'm wild like that.

We're also having cabinetry installed in our mudroom, finally. I don't know if I'm more excited about the organization or designing the space, definitely designing the space! I wonder if I can convince Zack to add the laundry room to that. Maybe I shouldn't push it?

Back to being serious.
We would truly appreciate your prayers and positive vibes for his safety while he's away.
Tomorrow is our last day together before Zack leaves, and I really hope time crawls.



Max Steel had to be in the family picture.
Doesn't Colten look like he's 10 years old? Wahhhh



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Grieving a different loss.


I tend to have "feelings" about how things in my life will go. Sadly, with Cody, I had the worst fears that he wouldn't come home. The thoughts consumed me even before he deployed. Because I was so scared Cody and I talked about him not coming home a lot. I know that sounds morbid and maybe inappropriate to some, but when you send your Husband to Afghanistan to be put on the front lines it's what you do. And let me say I couldn't be more grateful that we had all of those conversations that no one ever wants to have. After Cody was killed and my head started to clear, I remembered the things he said to me. "You'll be fine.",  "You'll pick yourself up off of the floor and raise our son.", "Don't ever settle, you're a Princess and you deserve to treated like one.". I've relived that conversation for the last 4 years. Remembering his tough love has gotten me through some really hard times, even beyond the grave he continues to be my rock.

In August, I found out Zack and I were going to have a baby! We were ecstatic, this wasn't an oops, we planned this sweet baby. The first month of my pregnancy I was all nerves. I couldn't stop texting my best friend (who is almost out of nursing school), every fear I had. Zack knew that I was anxious and was Googling everything I could think of. What are normal pregnancy symptoms at 5 weeks, Back spasms at 5w4d, What does an ultrasound look like when you're barely 5 weeks. I was driving myself crazy.

Last Wednesday,  we went in for our second ultrasound. After what seemed like a hour of silence the ultrasound tech said that she was going to go show the Doctor. My heart was beating so hard I thought it would come out of my chest and I started to panic. Big time.  I told Zack that her leaving was bad, very bad. 10 minutes later the Dr. came in and told us that our baby only measured at 6w4d and had no heartbeat when I should have been measuring at 9 weeks. I was so overwhelmed I started to bawl, and sweet Zack was completely thrown for a loop. I have always kept my emotions bottled up and hidden but this just came spilling out. It's not my personality at all to cause I scene but one was made.

I didn't think I could feel any closer to Zack but I was wrong.  He laid in bed with me for two days while I cried and asked him over and over again to tell me how sad he was and, I saw his eyes fill with tears every time he answered me.  I don't know why I did that. I guess I needed the validation that being completely heartbroken was normal. He watched me binge on Ben & Jerry's and mashed potatoes. Healthy, I know. 

I hope that I made Zack feel as loved as he made me feel this past week.

We lived off of take out food for days and he was perfectly fine with it. He happily went and picked up Wendy's two nights in a row while I sat on the couch in the same sweats as the day before.  Zack took on being Mom and Dad. He dropped off and picked up Colten from preschool, got him snacks, took him to football practice, to his football game, got him showered and in p.j.'s, and did the dishes while I did nothing but cry. Zack is pretty much Superman and I'm so thankful for him.

Before losing a baby to miscarriage I was blind to how painful it really is. A baby is a baby no matter how young or small. This baby meant so much to us and should be known and remembered.  Zack and I have had our hearts broken over more than one loss and we are closer because of it.



 
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