Friday, August 17, 2018

5 on Friday

Happy Friday! This week has seemed extra long so I'm excited for a weekend at home and squeezing in as many trips to the pool as we can before Labor Day.


I finally used my KitchenAid Ice Cream Mixer and I don't know what took me so long. Actually, I do. The last time we used it J was in charge and the ice cream was just a big soupy mess and never froze. This time I took the lead and we ended up with the most delicious, fresh strawberry ice cream we've ever had. Now that I know how to work the attachments (and the necessary recipe ingredients) the possibilities are endless! 


Ben and I went to a Charlie Puth concert recently and I couldn't believe how much actual talent the guy has. And despite being several years my junior, he's pretty dang cute. This was Ben's first concert and he was a little worried that he would be the only boy in a sea of teenage girls. I'm happy to report there were quite a few guys in the audience...cheering and singing right alongside the girls :)


The nearest Lush store is an hour and half away so I like to stock up when I'm there. I took a late bath the other night and used the Cheer Up Buttercup bomb. Bath bombs are a dime a dozen these days, but the Lush ones make your skin feel so smooth and they smell heavenly!


My friend Karen got me hooked on the My Favorite Murder Podcast and I can't stop listening to it. The podcast is a "true crime comedy podcast" and nothing like typical crime podcasts which is important to know before diving in. The hosts, Karen and Georgia, are comedians and I find myself laughing out loud more than I'd like to admit. Anyone else a murderino? 


This week was back to school and it's been an adjustment getting into the school routine again. Ben started the 4th grade on Tuesday followed by Jack's first day of Kindergarten on Thursday. Even though they both go to the same school, kindergartners start a few days later to give the big kids a chance to get settled before the little ones arrive. As usual, Ben was a pro and Jack handled it much better than I expected with not a single tear or cling to me at all. I also did surprisingly well and only teared up once which was a relief considering I thought I might ugly cry. 

***I'm sure many of you have heard, but April at Smidge of This, and one of the hosts of  the 5 on Friday linkup, recently learned that her daughter Charlotte has Luekodystrophy, a rare, incurable, and terminal disease. April also learned that Charlotte is not a candidate for any kind of treatment. In order to document sweet Charlotte's journey, April created this Instagram page and is determined to make Charlotte's life filled with as much joy as possible. My hearts breaks for this momma. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prays as they navigate this journey they never imagined. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Easy Oven Roasted Green Beans

Easy Oven Roasted Green Beans

If I would have known that we could have fresh, crispy, flavorful green beans in about 15 minutes I would have made these a long time ago. These green beans taste way better than anything from a can and I make the kids jump in and help by snapping the ends while I work on the rest of dinner. 

What You Need:

-1 pound fresh green beans (washed, ends snapped)
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-pepper (to taste)
-2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

What To Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 425F degrees.
2. In a large bowl, toss the green beans in olive oil.
3. Add garlic powder and pepper and toss the beans again.
4. Place green beans in a single layer on a baking pan (line with foil for easy clean up). Bake for 7-10 minutes then flip beans and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheese. Serve hot.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Life Update + Weekend Recap

Hello and happy August! Things have been pretty quiet over here on the blog. I've been soaking in all things Summer and also doing some behind the scenes work on the blog so new posts were put on hold for a bit. Although it was a nice little break, I'm excited to be back with an update on what we've been up to. 

Between using the gym and our visits to the pool, we're definitely getting our money's worth from the HOA fees we have to pay. While at the pool we had a visit from this little guy who must have gotten turned around. 

I stopped using my curling iron awhile ago and have been using a straightener to curl my hair. It's taken a little bit of practice but I'm pretty pleased with the final look.

My best friend's dad passed away unexpectedly the week after the fourth of July. Her kids came over to play a few times while they were in town and it was controlled chaos of the best kind:)  It's so special watching our kids grow up together. 

I talked about searching for painted rocks earlier this summer and Jack is still just as obsessed with finding and hiding them. We went over to his friend Clark's house and painted some of our own to hide. I looked up some ideas on Pinterest because I have literally zero artistic ability. 

Gorgeous Summer sunsets. 

Every Summer we set the tent up in the living room for the boys "camp" and make S'Mores. It's something they look forward to every year and it saves me from having to sleep outside with bugs. 

Slowly but surely our garden's been producing vegetables including one nice big green pepper. I know a lot of you are probably laughing at our little garden, but this is pretty good for us. 

And that brings us to this past weekend which technically started on Wednesday with a trip to Des Moines, Iowa. If you've been following me on Instagram you know that Ben made it to the Jr. Olympics for track where he ran the 1500m. It's still crazy to me that he actually made it and we are so freaking proud of him. Full post coming later this week!

On Friday Ben and I went to Six Flags in St. Louis and I managed to not throw up after riding 4 back to back spinning rides. I'd call that a success. 

And like the fools that we are, we braved Target on tax free weekend, the week before school starts, to get school supplies. While we made it out alive, it wasn't my best idea. 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Linking up with Biana for Weekending. 
Friday, July 13, 2018

5 on Friday

We made it to Friday! Each day seemed to go by quickly but yet the week felt long. Anyone else feel that way? I'm linking up with Christina to bring you my 5 things from this week. 


I'm on the hunt for a good Mexican Street Corn recipe and came across this one from Little Spice Jar. If you've made this type of corn before and have an easy and delicious recipe let me know!


The boys had Vacation Bible School this week and I'm happy to report that they both loved it. It was Jack's first time and honestly, I was expecting a few tears. He ended up doing great even though he told me he was "a little nervous."


Everything about this screams disaster. And I took the picture while we were barely moving so don't worry. 


I started a 21 Day Arm Challenge and although it looks relatively easy, Day 5 was rough. I may post before and after pics depending on how it goes :)


My best friend's father passed away suddenly this week. He was pretty young and left behind a wife, 3 daughters, and lots of little grand babies. The family is clinging to their strength in the Lord but could use a lot of prayers as they begin to navigate this new life without him.

In case you missed it, there's a few new posts this week including my June Goals Update and our 4th of July Recap

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

2018 Goals Update: June

This month's update is really a two in one since I didn't post a May recap. With our trip to San Diego at the end of May I just didn't get it done in time, but I'm back and with a few more goals added at the halfway mark of 2018. I'm chugging along on my current goals but felt like I needed to add some new ones to keep me on track.  

//Write down ten things that I am grateful for at the end of every single day//
I'm reflecting on the previous day as part of my morning routine instead of at the end of the day. In addition to listing the things I'm grateful for, I also want to jot down some ways I can show kindness towards others. 

//Complete at least 3 devotionals or bible studies//
Still reading Awaken by Priscilla Shirer. I'm more than ready to move on to something else but really want to finish this one first. Did anyone else struggle to get through this book?

//Workout at least 4 times per week for at least 30 minutes//
I've been super inconsistent with this one but I made it a point to get back on track this week and I'm doing great. I also started a 21 day arm challenge.

//Lose 20 pounds//
I’ve lost 13.4 pounds since January and while that's a good number, I've lost like 1 pound the last two months. I know most of it has to do with what I'm eating and I've been horrible about tracking my food in My Fitness Pal. 

//Give up soda for at least 30 days//
I completed this one at the end of January and am doing really well with limiting how many I drink to 1-2 per month. 

//Wake up an hour earlier on weekdays in order to have the best start to my day//
Most days I'm waking up at 5:30am but I've been staying up way too late which makes those early mornings rough. 

//Drink half my body weight in ounces of water each day//

//Read 12 books throughout the year//
I've read 13 books so far so I've officially met this goal! I've set a new reading goal of 24 books which I should hit if I stay at the same reading pace. If you're looking for some new books to read I recently posted my 5 Summertime Must Read Thrillers.  

//Declare our house a yelling free zone and create a plan on how we'll do this//
I still find that having "me" time in the morning really helps start my day off right. We also had a "no complaining day" recently and anyone who complained (adults included) had to do 10 push ups each time. It ended up being fun but also super successul and I think we'll have to do it again in the near future :) 

//Have bi-weekly date nights with my husband. Whether we go out or do something at home, a time carved out for just the two of us to strengthen our marriage//
We celebrated our anniversary in early May and then J got to tag along to a conference in San Diego over Memorial Day. It was the first time in a long time we went on a trip just the two of us. We had so much fun and we'll definitely be doing it again soon. 

//Continue to create a budget each month and update the budget at least weekly//
Still creating a monthly budget, tracking our spending, and trying to set money aside for trips and upcoming house projects we want to do. 

//Create a house where stuff does not cause chaos. Each room will only have things we love and all of those things will have a place//
I've gotten into a routine where I go through and purge the house once a month getting rid of anything we've accumulated since the previous month that we don't want or need (I'm looking at you Happy Meal toys). I've also been working with the boys on picking up their room and the playroom before bed so it doesn't get out of control.

//Carve out a time each week to devote to all things Cortney & Co including publishing posts 4 times per week// 
New goal!

May Feelings: Excited, happy, refreshed

June Feelings: Busy, unmotivated, thankful