Christmas Questions

Happy Friday and just 5 more days until the big guy comes down the chimney! I saw these fun questions over at Danielle’s blog, Sparkles & Lattes so I thought it would be a fun thing to share.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, do so! She’s got some great posts on Amazon Finds and overall life happenings.  It’s always a joy to look through her posts!

I’ve got a busy day going into the classrooms and enjoying the magic of a Pre-K holiday performance and a first grade holiday craft.  Super grateful I grabbed a BOGO at Starbs yesterday!  I enjoyed a chai yesterday and scored a Matcha Green tea for today.

1. Candy canes. Yes or no? Yes! I love them.  I prefer the standard red and white mint, but my family seems to like the fruity flavored colored ones.  I just had one yesterday!

2. Christmas morning early riser or sleep in? Joe and I get up around 6 am (or earlier) every day anyway, and I swear we are more excited than the kids Christmas morning! Joe loves building a huge fire in the fire place and we play Christmas music, I sip tea and we wait for the kids to come out!

3. Do you shop on Black Friday? Yes or no?  Not in the stores. I did find some deals online, but I have zero desire to brave the crowds.  Plus I’d need to hire a sitter so as not to drag the kids out with me, since Joe works.

4. Christmas trees up in November? Nope.  We are “Team Turkey” and really enjoy all things Thanksgiving, and then the first weekend in December we’ll get our lovely tree.

5. Do you get holiday ideas from Pinterest? Yes or no? I do! I found some yummy eats I’m going to try for Christmas {like this Cheesy Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole} and even over Christmas break I’d like to cook a bit more.  I love browsing but never put the “Pinterest Pressure” on myself to be perfect.
6. Christmas glam or ugly sweater? Depends on my mood, I have done both!! We got silly sweaters a few years ago and we also just like dressing a little nice some years.
This is Joe’s Ugly sweater he wears! He loves it.

7. Stocking stuffers: wrapped or unwrapped?Santa always wrapped ours in tissue paper and we opened them FIRST before we did presents.  Then I met Joe.  He grew up with things wrapped and opened them LAST after gifts.  It’s still an adjustment for me after all these years!
8. Tradtional or modern Christmas songs?I adore Christmas music so I enjoy both, but man the nostalgia that comes with the classics really tug at my heart strings! SO many beautiful memories growing up on High Street in our cozy little home, my two sisters and parents.  I also think a lot about my Grandparents at this time and the words of Christmas songs really have so much meaning the older you get.  My absolute favorite Christmas song is, “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”  The part where they sing,
Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now
gets me every time.  Maybe it’s because as I age I realize how nothing is forever and that these are all just pockets of memories and moments that will last for as long as we do.   I love getting together with friends and family and enjoying this time of year, and hope that I’m making my children’s childhood as magical as mine was.
9. Fruitcake? Yes or no?Ya know, I’m not sure if I’ve ever even tried?! I’m more about the cookies!
10. Is your Christmas shopping finished? Yes or no? Almost!  I still have a few people I want to actually get out and look in stores for, but I have had a wonky two weeks and not a ton of time. I’m hoping this weekend to finish up and WRAP!!!
11. Is there snow in December where you live?There is right now!! We’ve had a lot of snow already this month, but the weather forecast looks like it will melt it all before Christmas.  I do love a White Christmas, but I could go for some warmer temp!
12. Classic show: A Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph?I have to say that whenever I try to watch anything Charlie Brown, I can’t take the negativity! He’s so ‘womp womp’!  So Rudolph all the way.  Bradley loves the movie so much he’s been known to watch it Summer, Spring, Fall and Winter.
I’d love to read your responses!! Comment below on a few or tag me if you share on social media.  Remember, don’t get your tinsel in a tangle!! Enjoy friends!
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Crustless Egg Bake

A few weeks ago I shared a few quiche recipes (which are SO good!) but I just did a 10 day cleanse and cut out processed carbs, so I decided to try out this egg bake using ground turkey for the bottom.  — More on that cleanse later, but MAN cutting extra sugars and carbs make me feel so lean and great!!

I don’t know about you, but mornings can be crazy hectic, no matter how organized I am the night before, there’s something that pops up and needs attending to in the mornings.

I have my husband to get out the door–clothes ironed, breakfast made, lunch packed.

My first grader to get ready for school and catch the bus before 8:30.

Every other day my 4 year old has preschool.

Plus two dogs who need to be taken outside and fed as well.

Oh yeah, and there’s me!

This was awesome because it fed me ALL week.  I cut this into giant squares and it honestly filled me up.  I was able to run errands or workout and did not feel hungry at all.

Best part? You can use whatever veggies you have on hand!! Clean those refrigerators out people! I am really being more aware of how much food we have and trying to use it up before it goes bad.

Recipe:

Pre-heat oven 350

Brown the ground turkey (chicken, beef, whatever your preference!) and add spices.  I used herb de provence from Trader Joes.

Sauté veggies (if raw) until soft.

I used 4 eggs and I had 3/4 carton of egg whites left — stir in a mixing bowl.

In a 9×13 layer ground meat, then all of the veggies.  I double checked the fridge and found some broccoli leftover from a dinner so I threw that in as well!  Then pour the eggs on top.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.

I salt and pepper to taste before I eat it.

You could add cheese, but again I was cleansing so I didn’t until I was finished. I did add a little goat cheese after I was done, and it was so good!

I love when I can make something ahead of time and simply warm it up.  You could probably freeze this as well if you don’t think you’d eat it every single day, but I didn’t mind since I knew it was filling and healthy.

Enjoy!

 

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Quiche

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Believe it or not, I’ve never actually made a quiche before! Joe’s not a huge fan, but I am realizing how crazy my mornings/ok life are and as much as I try to meal prep or stay on top of cooking, I could use a little help!

I had a craving for some quiche after watching some YouTube videos.  I picked up my pie crusts at Aldis, they came in a pack of 2. I decided to make two different ones and see how they came out.  I wouldn’t consider these “clean” because I did use pie crusts, half & half and cheese, but you could totally lighten them up!  (Use egg whites, go crust-less & switch to a fat free milk). I really enjoy a hearty breakfast since I workout, but I’d probably make it not so rich in the future. This would be perfect for a holiday breakfast or for a bunch of people.

Spinach Mushroom Quiche

1 pie crust

1 cup of cheese (I used cheddar)

1 cup of spinach & 1 container of mushrooms

3/4 cup of milk (I used half and half)

6 eggs

Salt & pepper to taste.

Set your oven for 375 degrees.

Slice mushrooms & sauté in a pan with a little cooking spray.  Add spinach and cook until both are soft/wilted.

In a bowl stir eggs & milk — salt/pepper to taste.

Pour mushrooms/spinach into pie crust.

Top with half of the cheese.

Pour egg & milk mixture over that.

Add the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.  I had set the timer for 45 but they were done before that!

Let it set before slicing into it. Enjoy!

Ham & Cheddar Quiche

1 pie crust

1 cup of cheese

1 cup of cooked diced up ham

3/4 cup milk (I used half & half)

6 eggs

Green onions (I just used one)

Salt & pepper to taste

Set your oven for 375 degrees.

In a bowl stir eggs & milk — salt/pepper to taste.

Pour ham & most of the cheese into pie crust.

Pour egg & milk mixture over that.

Add the rest of the cheese.

Top with green onions.

Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.  (I baked the two together, so again I had set the timer for 45 but they were done before that!)

 

Do you have a favorite quiche recipe?  Please share! I want to experiment with different cheeses and such.  Bacon, prosciutto, Canadian bacon, sausage, ground turkey are all great meat ideas too!  I think this is a great way to meal prep but also use up what’s in the fridge.

Tea with Me

If we were to sit down and have a cup of tea, I’d enjoy this kind! My bestie gifted me a “Sipscription” and this was one of the teas from Sipsby.  This one actually kind of tastes like coffee!

I’d have so much to tell you, since back to school just started!  Summer flew by, but I so enjoyed every stinking minute.  I sometimes wonder why I feel so much emotion though; even the change from Summer to Fall has me all weepy.  I know I love Summer the most, but I do enjoy our Fall weather.  When the trees all change it’s so pretty! I enjoy going for donuts and cider, pumpkin picking and all the slow cooker recipes!  Football, red wine and cozy fires are in my future and I’m not mad about it.

I’d probably tear up telling you all about my babies going off to school for another year.  I was a teacher, you see, so of course I know the value of an education, the mingling of like aged children and stimulating my kids’ minds is so important to me.  But selfishly, I miss them.  I miss the baby snuggles, the bottles, the sticky cheeks, the consumption of them needing me.  No, I don’t want more babies, but I think it’s normal to always have a feel of just wanting your babies just a little while longer.  Don’t get me wrong though, 4 & 6 is such a fun age! They are so sweet and innocent and get along pretty well for the most part. My husband and I keep saying how much know we will miss this phase too! I really had such a beautiful Summer with them.  Parenting is so crazy; I am so ready for bedtime and to sit down quietly, but gosh they grow so darn fast!

I’d tell you if Summer 2019 had a sound track, you’d find these songs on it!

Dancing With a Stranger, Calm Down, Git Up Dance, Old Town Road, Have you Ever seen the Rain, and it would conclude with Dreams–this song has come to me over and over and over again in August.  I would see the lyrics, “thunder only happens when it rains” and I heard it on Big Little Lies.  My husband randomly played it, and I’ve heard it come on several times on the radio.  Why?!?

If we were having a chat, let you in on a little secret—I may not watch TV, but I am known for binging on You Tube! I can’t help it, but I get sucked down a rabbit hole once in awhile. Lately I’m back on the wife/mom bandwagon and adore these two ladies!  How Jen Does itBeauty & The Beastons

I would fill you in on my manifestations.  “What you think about you bring about.” Thanks to a mastermind training, I’ve started really putting things out there and whoa—they do come back at ya!  Something as small as Joe and I talking about how we wanted a picnic table for the land, and we just wanted to find one…I was walking with the dog and someone had it out by the road. Score! Now we can have picnics or even a bonfire before it gets too cold!

I’d say that I am pretty pumped that I have done 37 workouts out of my 100!  I’m feeling so great and can’t wait to just keep going! It’s amazing what CONSISTENCY does.  I don’t love every workout but I get them done and that’s what counts.  30 minutes or less, there’s really no excuses.

I was also proud of myself for not buying all the things at Home Goods yesterday! I did scoop up a few new pillows for our couch, because Bailey, and all of the Fall Decor was so cute.  I cannot wait until I have our new home to decorate!

I’d admit that I still haven’t used my Instantpot.  I don’t know what my problem is, I’m like nervous or something?! I did use my slow cooker yesterday.  I did the old chicken breasts, cubed small potatoes, green beans, butter & a packet of Ranch dressing. I didn’t want to have to grab fast food after a late afternoon at my sister’s gymnastic’s center, so I prepped before we left. I felt like a total badass for having dinner ready when we walked in the door.  So, I’m giving myself some grace on the Instantpot.

I am pretty excited about some “DO YOU TIME” tomorrow.  With Joe’s work schedule and the kids back to school crazy, I haven’t done much for me. I have worked out, but I am excited for a few hours of daylight alone! I see a pumpkin cold foam iced chai latté in my future.

I’m looking forward to doing some Freezer meals with my friend Cathy on Saturday.  Some of these recipes look so yummy!  I’m really making efforts to make more meals at home as we got into a bad habit of eating out a lot this Summer.  It’s okay, we’ll reign it in and it will be delicious!

Currently I am trying to read my Book of the Month book, The Reckless Oath we Made, but I haven’t been into reading much.  I am making it a goal to read tomorrow though!

Looking back at this Summer, I can’t help but believe that since I took all that time to work on me, it was truly the best gift I have given myself, my husband and my children.  I am so grateful for this crazy beautiful life.  I have never been happier, and it’s crazy because I know life is only going to continue to get better.  It’s what we make of it, and I know and believe there’s so much more in store.

 

4th of July 2019

We had so much fun on the 4th!  Joe and his best friend Chris LOVE this holiday and our kids all play so well, it’s always a good time.

Here’s the 2019 rendition of “the shirt”!

We enjoyed high 80/90 degree weather all day and it didn’t rain at all.

I’m not going to lie, it’s nice to not have him busy building firework displays and just hang out on his day off.

New recipe (thanks to my girl Ann!) We did Smoked Mac & Cheese.

1 lb of elbow macaroni

4 cups of milk ( did 3 cups 2% and 1 cup half and half)

1 brick of extra sharp cheddar

1 wedge of Gouda

1/2 velveeta block cubed

1 stick of butter

*I’d probably add another bit of cheese, muenster, colby, or even mozz.

We smoked it for 2 hours at 250 degrees, stirring every 1/2 hour.   There was nothing left and everyone had rave reviews. I thought it was great, but would add a little salt and more cheese next time.

I love these two.

This girl loves her fireworks!