LIFE + STYLE BLOG

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday!

If you saw my post yesterday you know Ben turned 8 on Sunday. It's becoming harder and harder to remember him as this sweet little baby and not a handsome young man with thoughts, feelings, and opinions of his own. I know it seems weird, but I've really seen the most growth this year in the past month. He's becoming more mature, taking on more responsibility, and every once in awhile he will say something so profound and compassionate that I  know were doing at least something right with this whole parenting thing. 

Ben loves his little brother so much and although they can fight like brothers, they also have the best bond. This past year he's started reading chapter books, wants to do math for fun, and loves playing games as a family or having a good nerf gun fight. He's also become very into his looks :) He fixes his hair every morning and is super particular about what he wears. Gone are the days of rolling out of bed and getting ready or having mom pick out your clothes. Even though he's almost too big to fit on my lap, I'm trying to make an extra effort to cuddle with him and give lots of hugs and kisses while he'll still let me.  

I'm so excited to see what this next year holds and to watch him continue to develop into his own person. Last year I had Ben answer these questions and I did it again this year. Some of the answers are the same, but overall I'd say this year's answers were more accurate. Number 1 made me laugh.

1. What is something mom always says to you? Stop
2. What makes mom happy? When I listen
3. What makes mom sad?  When I don't listen
4. How does your mom make you laugh? When you tickle me
5. What was your mom like as a child? Playful
6. How old is your mom? 30 
7. How tall is your mom? 21 inches
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Take pictures
9. What does your mom do when you’re not around? Watch t.v.
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? singing
11. What is your mom really good at? Can we come back to this 
12. What is your mom not very good at? Riding the hover board 
13. What does your mom do for a job? Help kids
14. What is your mom’s favorite food? Grandma Debbie's lasagna
15. If your mom were a character, who would she be? Phoebe from The Thundermans
16. What do you and your mom do together? Cuddle 
17. How are you and your mom different? We have different eye colors
18. How do you know your mom loves you? Cause you give me kisses at night and tuck me in
19. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go? Disney
20. How old was your Mom when you were born? In your 20's...23
Happy Birthday Ben! We love you so so much.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Weekend Recap {8th Birthday Edition}

Guys, I officially have an 8 year old. And I look way too young for it :) Ben turned 8 yesterday and we celebrated all day long, but before I get too carried away, let's back up a bit.

Thursday night we wen't to the women's basketball game and while Ben enjoyed it, Jack was more focused on his Dip n Dots. Can't say I blame him. 

I posted this on my Instagram, but Friday at work we filmed a video for one of our programs and I also got to do the voice over for it. Now all I need is an animated movie. 

Friday night was super low key and I managed to read a few more chapters in The Good Girl. If you haven't read it yet, add it to your list. I also managed to eat a leftover cupcake from Ben's birthday celebration at school.

Saturday was spent running errands including haircuts for the boys and a trip to Sam's. I'm trying monthly meal planning for February so we'll see how it goes. That night we went to Mexican for dinner. Queso for the kids, strawberry margarita for the parents.
And despite his face, he wasn't actually in pain. 

Don't mind the vodka and orange juice :)

Sunday Ben turned the big 0-8. He picked Smoothie King for breakfast and then his friend/neighbor came over and played until it was time for his party. This year the party was at a gym and the kids did different warrior games and timed races. Everyone had lots of fun and the birthday boy was so excited about all the Pokemon cards he got. One of his little girl friends told him, I got you this pack, and I reaalllyyy wanted to keep it, but my mom said no. It seems like all the kids are obsessed with Pokemon right now. 

After the party, we ordered pizza back at our house and J's mom, brother, and niece came over. We gave Ben our gifts and the kids played with all the new toys. This was one honestly one of my favorite birthdays. Ben was so excited, he was grateful for each gift, and everyone just had a really good time. It's so neat to see him mature with each birthday that passes, but also bitter sweet that he's growing up so fast. 

Linking up with Biana for Weekending. 
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gooey Cookies & Cream Brownies


Oreos, chocolate, and devils food oh my. These brownies are not only addicting, but super easy to make. Are you noticing a theme in all my recipes? 

I was inspired by a pin that ended up being a bad link, but that didn't stop me. After doing a little searching I finally stumbled upon this recipe which I adapted to make these brownies.

What You'll Need:
-1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
-1 stick of salted butter, melted
-1 egg
-1 cup white chocolate chips
-1 can sweetened condensed milk (14oz)
-15 oreos, crushed

What To Do:
-In a bowl, combine cake mix, butter, and egg. The batter will be thick.
-Press the cake mix into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan
-Spread crushed Oreos on top of cake mix and sprinkle with chocolate chips
-Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk evenly over the entire pan
-Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Because of the condensed milk, brownies may not appear done, but do not overcook. You want them to be gooey. Mine took 20 minutes exactly.

Let brownies cool completely before cutting. 
Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday, Friday

I had grand plans for posts this week but then a sinus and double ear infections happened. I'm finally starting to feel better (fingers crossed) and let's hope we don't get any more germs this winter. If you want to see what death looks like, check out my Instagram from when I was sick. Keeping it real you guys. As usual, I'm linking up with ChristinaKarli, & Amanda for this week's five.

one.
It's Inauguration day and I'm really hoping no one loses their shit and goes crazy. So many emotions come up every time I turn the news on that I have to turn it off. I pray and hope that our new president will make the right decisions and that Betsy DeVos does not confirmed. If for nothing else, children with disabilities deserve more. Way, way more. 

two.
On a lighter note, I took the kids swimming on MLK day at our local rec center and they had a blast. They have a lazy river which Ben loved, but I thought it needed a swim up bar for all the mommas :)  

three.
I need to post the recipe for these cookies and cream brownie bars I made because they are addicting. With devils food, sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate chips you can't go wrong.

four.
Everyone needs a friend like this.


five.
I finally finished all the Gilmore Girls and holy ending. How can they just leave me hanging like that? And I want Alexis Bledel's hair. Cut, color, the whole thing.


It's supposed to be in the 60's on Saturday and I'm planning on opening the windows, giving everything a good Lysol, and letting the kids run wild outside. What are your weekend plans?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Christmas 2016

Before we get too far into the new year I wanted to recap our Christmas. This was probably my most favorite Christmas yet. The kids were so excited for all their gifts and most importantly they were grateful which is something we've really worked on.

On Christmas Eve Eve we made our cookies for Santa. I used the Betty Cracker sugar cookie mix in a bag where you add butter and eggs. It worked perfectly and the cookies held their shape.

So many choices.

We celebrate with J's side of the family on Christmas Eve which started with lunch and presents at his mom's house.

I just adore them.

Cousins.

Later that evening we went to J's aunt's house to celebrate with his aunt and uncle, grandma, and cousins.

It was pretty late once we made the hour drive home, but after the kids put the milk and cookies out for Santa, mommy and daddy had to finish getting everything set up. 

Ben was up first on Christmas morning and he could not wait to wake up brother and daddy. 

My favorite present was this family portrait Ben made at school and both J and I got a little teary-eyed looking at it.

The Aftermath

After breakfast and playing with presents, we went over to my parent's house for a late lunch and to celebrate with them and my sister and her family. If you're keeping count this was number 4. 

Merry Christmas!