Friday, July 31, 2015

Five on Friday

Here I come screeching into midnight and hoping to get this post up while its "officially" still Friday!

Below was my IG & Facebook post the other day. It is my heart and I wanted to share it here.

The picture is one I took the other night on our walk. Around the corner from us is a huge sunflower and the kids love it. I snapped this picture and then added text via the "A Beautiful Mess" app. The too-lengthy-for-social-media-but-I-posted-anyway comment is below it. The text is paraphrased from Chris Tomlin's song "Whom Shall I Fear" and if you don't have it on your play list, you should add it!

"I often am asked "how I can stay up all night" or "why I don't just go to sleep." Some nights, it's because the house is finally quiet and I have a moment alone; some nights its because I am knee deep in a blog post or craft project and some nights its because I can't turn off my brain from the next event, trip or thing I am planning. Eventually, those things, I tire of and I go to bed. Of late, my watchman hours are not due to fun crafts or exciting plans or even kids fussing. Instead they are filled with prayer, seeking the Lord and thoughts as I attempt to process all that is happening in the world today. It's sometimes challenging, sometimes frustrating and sometimes thought provoking to scroll through my Facebook feed and see all of the posts in favor of one side or anger towards the other. I can't fathom the killing of a lion. Its unbearable even the idea of some of the planned parenthood allegations. All of the racial stuff is awful and it goes on and on and on. I literally cannot process it all and there have been nights that I just pray and weep. Some nights, I've turned in as my husband rises for work. Every night, despite the good, bad and ugly this world holds, despite the opposition and the hate and the confusion and despite the uncertainty, each night as I think, there is one thing and only one that I come back to and am able to rest in and that is Jesus. All I can fathom is my sinful nature and my need for grace. Grace from my husband, kids, family and friends. In the most questionable of times I am filled with His grace and His love and I know that He is good. I want to fix my eyes on Him and extend His love to others. In a world where I don't have answers, I have the greater thing, Jesus. As I rest in Him tonight, "I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind...the God of angel armies is always by my side" and for that, I am so thankful."

These kids have played so sweetly together lately! I have been pretty tired {always am, I suppose!} and so while Mary Poppins, Bo on the Go and a few other shows have been on more than I'd like to admit, I am thankful for the good days and moments!

Brother Bear's vocabulary and sentence structure has really taken off and he is done a gazillion times better expressing himself! This has resulted in less fits, more opportunity to talk through things and overall less drama. #canIgetanAmen?

Also, he responds to everything question asked of him with, "Yes, I ab-tho-lute-ley may."
Like, Me:: "Hey Brother, do you want a drink?" Him:: "Yes! I ab-tho-lute-ly may!" Its the cutest thing ever.

I think we have decided on Annie M's birthday party theme. For awhile, she was on the Elsa thing, but since we are going to Disney soon and since we did the princess thing last year, I am trying to avoid it like the plague. She mentioned her desire for a pinata the other day and between that and her ability to drink cheese dip with a straw, I asked her about a fiesta. 

She thought it sounded "pretty cool" and after a quick peruse of Pinterest, I found a few inspirations and went with it. I promised her she could wear her flower girl dress again and that we would have a pinata and she was sold. 

Assuming we have no fits or major mind changes, expect to see a "Fabulous Fifth Fiesta" party here in a few short months!  

Here is the inspiration board I have pulled together so far! Looks fun and salsa and chips sounds easy enough, right! 

Speaking of her flower girl dress, Sister posted this picture the other day and I stole it. How sweet, adorable, picture-perfect is it!? 

Yesterday was my little Stella & Dot event at the Buckhead DryBar! It was so fun! About 15 people came and we had blow outs, drinks, snacks and jewels! I always appreciate friends who come and it made the night extra special just to have some besties there! 

Sister took this pic a few weeks ago when we were there, but DryBar reposted it and I just think its adorable! Can you tell Annie M was in her element!? 

Here are a few more pics of my new goodies and a few pics of the event last night! I have another at DryBar Alpharetta next Thursday and am excited about that too! Lets be honest, we all love a good hair day, yes!? 

And that's it for this Friday!! We have a crazy weekend ahead. Lots of love to you and each of yours. 

Linking up, with these fine folks! 
5 on Friday:  DarciAprilChristina, + Natasha 
Oh Hey, Friday: September Farm + The Farmer's Wife

P.S. I made it. 11:59 PM, baby!
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gluten Free Key Lime Pie Recipe

I shared the story a few weeks ago about how we found out my husband had Celiac's Disease. Since then, I have been on the hunt to find easy gluten free recipes to make for him.

There are lots of "normal recipes" that are gluten free and easy to make and honestly, its a pretty healthy way to eat.

We often do steak and potatoes or chicken skewers on the grill and he just eats things like burgers with out bread. For pizza, I use gluten free tortillas and we use those or lettuce for lunch wraps that he makes. I do barbecue chicken often and make sure that whatever BBQ sauce I get is gluten free. We make tacos and he eats hard {corn shells} and McCormick's makes a seasoning that is GF.

He eat lots of fruits, nuts and yogurt and on salads, we just don't add a ton of extras. Snack wise, popcorn is a great gluten free option and now a days, there are gluten free pretzels, cookies, chex mix and more!

Key Lime Pie is my favorite and I used to make the Pioneer Woman's Key Lime Pie often. When we switched to a GF diet, I decided I would try to find an easy, not one million ingredients way to make hers - without the graham cracker crust. I wanted something still flavorful, yummy and a tad crunchy, so I figured I would go with nuts!

I use her same recipe (and similar proportions) for the crust and pie just substitute nuts for graham crackers.

1 bag of slivered almonds {not sure what size the bag is?? Maybe 6 ounce?}
Half a bag of pecans {again, not sure on bag size...maybe 2.25 ounce?}
1/3 cup of Sugar
1/3 cup of Salted Butter, melted

To make the crust, put all of the nuts into a blender or food processor and puree, chop, pulse, whatever the heck out of them. Add the sugar and the melted butter and mash into a pan. Bake this at 350 to let it set. Yesterday mine was in the over for almost 20 minutes. I just watch it til the nuts are starting to brown. Set it aside to cool before you add the filling.

While that is firming up and cooling off, I make the filling. The Pioneer Woman uses lime zest for texture, color, flavor and to be fancy, and while I have before in the past, if I am feeling lazy, I skip this step.

1/2 cup lime juice {I fresh squeeze, but if I am short, I add a squirt of the stuff in a squirt bottle...cheating I know}
2 whole egg yolks
14 oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk {I use the Eagle Brand and its GF - I would assume most sweetened condensed milk is but haven't really looked into it?!}

To make the filling, mix the egg yolk, condensed milk and lime juice in a mixer til its well blended. If you took the time to zest the lime, add your zest in too and mix up. Pour this over your cooling crust and pop back in the oven for about 15 minutes. Once it cools, refrigerate til you serve! We top it with whipped cream from a can the Pioneer Woman makes her own, recipe here. Most of those are gluten free, but read ingredients to be certain!

The nutty crust is yum and adds a crunch and a good flavor. I use this same crust when I make peanut butter pie and its perfect with that too! Maybe I will show you my recipe for that soon!...think two gobs of peanut butter and a carton of cool whip and mix. I cant remember who gave me that recipe, but its a good one too and obviously pretty quick and easy! :)

Late last night, I asked hubby for round three of Key Lime Pie. He served it to me on a kids plate and covered in whipped cream. What a gem that man of mine is. I may {or may not} have licked the plate.

Enjoy and let me know if you try it! 

Cooking Disclaimer:: I cook Gluten Free for my husband and fam, but he has no major side effects if he ingests a tad of gluten. 
Please read ingredients and double check for yourself since I am not a certified, professional!  
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Upcoming:: The Talking Mom Series

Happy Tuesday!

This past weekend was so great and my husband and I were able to catch up a bit with life post sisters wedding. {Read that last sentence as "catch up on housecleaning."}

Now that we are re-entering life post wedding stuff, my brain is churning and flip flopping between end of summer wrap up, upcoming travel, the beginning of school starting and more. My Grandmother is also not well and we are just in a holding pattern there.

As I have still so many pictures to post and things to share, I also am excited to share with you a fun little series done by some of my best bloggy friends {BBF's kind of like BFF's but internet style} that I will soon be posting!

These ladies are some of the most adorable and sweetest Mama's you'll meet and I cant wait for them to share with you in a series called, "The Talking Mom." They all have kids ranging from 3 months old to school aged, and from home school to preschool to new baby and from working mom to SAHM, these Mama's do it all and are are going to be sharing with you!

I emailed them and asked them to introduce themselves, send a few pics and then to pick from questions {if they needed ideas or prompts} - or to share however they feel led! I cant wait for you to read some of their stories and hear their hearts! Here are some of the questions I gave them just to get people thinking!

  • Best Mom hack?
  • Where have you eaten your words?
  • As a Mom, what did you never forsee yourself saying?
  • What is the most expensive/sentimental thing your kids have ever broken?
  • What is the most fearful you have been as a Mom?
  • Best registry gift received?
  • Worst registry gift received?
  • Tips for Mom's making a baby registry?
  • Tip to new Mama's out there?
  • What do you remember your kids being most proud of accomplishing?
  • Best excuse given from your child? 
  • Funniest mis-spoken word when learning to talk?
  • Worst potty training mishap?
  • Biggest mess made?
  • Your sweetest moment.
  • Worst Mommy moment.
  • Biggest win?
  • Anything you would change or regret?
  • How did you announce to social media you were expecting?
  • Most embarrassing kid moment in public?
  • What is your most repeated threat or phrase?
  • Have you ever made an ER run and any tips?
  • Does your child have any allergy? Tips?
If you are a Mom and still want to participate, I would still love to include you in this series and share your post! Email me and I will get you more deets!! 

First up and posting Monday will be Chelsea!! Can't want for yall to meet her and her family!

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Friday, July 24, 2015

DryBar Atlanta

As I have wrapped up Sister's wedding plans, I have begun to plan a few events of my own!

 I am SO excited to announce that I will be teaming up with the DryBar in Buckhead and in Alpharetta for two of these events.

Details are below and let me know if you can make it or want to come. I would love for friends to help me spread the word, invite others and make this fun and huge!

I hope to have a few bloggy friends at each as well to document, post and take pics! I have emailed a few Atlanta people, but message me if you want to be a blogger for the event and I can get you more info.

See you there!
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