{oh hey friday!}

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up today with Amy and Karli for oh hey Friday!

{one} If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, stop what you’re doing and go buy this cashew butter! It is SO GOOD! The kids and I have been eating it on apples, but it’s delicious just by the spoonful. Yum!IMG_5218.JPG

{two} Now that I’m back to school, Will and Harper go to Nana’s each morning. Earlier in the week, Will was out helping Nana pick vegetables in her garden and brought home these goodies for mommy. How fun! I love that my kids are able to explore and play on a farm.IMG_5216.JPG

{three} Cousin fun! Last weekend when we went home to the state fair, we got to visit Will and Harper’s cousins. We played outside, took walks, and enjoyed a yummy dinner together. Although their cousins live in Kentucky, we have been able to visit them several times this summer at Mimi and Grandaddy’s house. IMG_5197.JPG{four} I usually always have pictures for each of my topics, but as I was uploading additional pictures for this post, I got a message saying that I had maxed out on my allotted space for wordpress. Uh oh. Fortunately, this summer my brother started helping me transition to a different site. Unfortunately, I have no clue what I’m doing, ha! Luckily, he does, but we’re having to communicate via texts since he’s in NC. 

{five} So I’m on the hunt for the perfect blog template. I’ve been browsing Etsy but there are just so many to choose from…it’s hard to narrow them down. Eventually, my new site will be harperandwill.com but in the meantime, my blog might be pretty quiet as I try to transition to the new site. Again, any suggestions/feedback on this would be most helpful!

Have a great weekend:)

 

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5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Christina and several others for 5 on Friday! I love this weekly random blog link up and enjoy reading other 5 on Fridays:)

{one} Graham crackers…I usually don’t eat them as a snack. I prefer them with s’mores or as part of a crust for a cheesecake.  However, I came across these thick cinnamon graham crackers at Trader Joe’s recently and love them! Will and Harper love them as well. You must try them, especially if you already like graham crackers!

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{two} My Lisa Leonard necklace collection continues to grow! I wanted to get a necklace for Mother’s Day but the one I wanted was sold out.  I kept checking, and a few weeks ago, the fresh cut birthstone necklace was back in stock! I had Harper and Will’s names stamped on the front (not shown since I use their middle names on this blog) and their birthstones attached to them.  So pretty! 20140616-133823-49103990.jpg

{three} Chrissy from Simple Joys Blog and I hosted a fun summer blog gift exchange. Below are the fun goodies I received from Taylor of A Princess Made Mommy. Check out the full recap of what I received here and to see links to those who participated in the gift exchange. 20140616-133823-49103669.jpg

{four} Homemade frosty! Yum! Last summer, I came across this recipe for a homemade frosty similar to those at Wendy’s. I made it several times last year and last week our neighbor invited us to their house for a frosty.  The recipe makes so much that we each made a batch in our ice cream maker (she recently scored the same ice cream maker as me at a yard sale for $5! How cool is that?!).  Will and Harper were so excited about the homemade frosty and anxiously asked me every two minutes if it was finished yet! This is a fun and super easy summer treat!

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{five} I purchased this cute beach towel for Miss Harper recently from Pottery Barn Kids. It was on sale and I had free shipping, so it wasn’t too bad of a price.  It’s so cute, with a pink whale in the middle! It matches Will’s blue and white striped one with a green turtle. Now we’re ready for the beach!20140616-133822-49102930.jpgI hope y’all have a wonderful Friday:)

 

Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 27-Valentine’s Day Trail Mix

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Happy Monday! I have a fun, quick post today in preparation for Valentine’s Day! Will has to take snacks to preschool several times throughout the year and this week is one of them. I went on Pinterest to find something easy and yummy for him to share with his preschool friends, and I came across numerous Valentine trail mixes. I decided to use some Trader Joe’s yogurt covered cereal, freeze dried strawberries, mini marshmallows, and a few Valentine’s M&Ms (I was originally going to use animal crackers as well but I didn’t have many left and figured I already had enough different items in the mix).

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I recruited Will as my assistant after he woke up from his nap. He thoroughly enjoyed helping (and eating, ha!). I didn’t really measure-we just eyeballed it but I used more cereal than the other items.

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Cute snack cups from Target!

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Our finished product!

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Five on Friday!

20131025-194607.jpgHappy Friday! I’m linking up again with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday!  So glad it’s the weekend:)  Here’s what’s been happening lately…

{1} My parents visited briefly last weekend on their way back home from Pennsylvania, where they had been for the past few days visiting relatives.  Here’s my mom looking at a photo album with Will and Harper.  They love spending time with their grandparents:)  I’m looking forward to the holidays and spending lots more time with family!

visiting with grammy

{2} Once again on a pumpkin kick, I made some pumpkin cream cheese bars from the blog, The Girl Who Ate Everything.  It only took her ten minutes to whip up this recipe.  Me, on the other hand…it only took me 20 minutes. Not too bad, considering it was a pumpkin bread/muffin base from scratch and a separate cream cheese topping from scratch.  They turned out super yummy!  It’s kind of like a pumpkin roll, except much easier!

pumpkin cheesecake bars

{3} Will and Harper helped me carve a pumpkin last weekend.  Well, Will kind of supervised and Harper colored her mini pumpkin while I carved the pumpkin.  Will enjoyed scooping out the seeds and pumpkin goop.  Here are the kiddos playing with the jack o’lantern.  pumpkin carving

{4} I love the Young House Love blog!  It’s one of my favorite home blogs.  If you’ve never checked out their blog, you must!  Anyway, the other day on Facebook they posted info about sending them pics of design dilemmas.  So, I immediately jumped on this and emailed them.  We have a very open floor plan in our living room.  In the original house plans, there was a wall separating the more formal, front living room and the family room (where our tv is).  However, we wanted to have a more open space and opted not to include the wall.  We love the openness but I’m not pleased with the division between the two rooms.  I emailed them this pic (and several others) with the hopes that they will give me some advice (I even pointed out that I have a copy of their book on my bookshelf in the pic!).  I’m not getting my hopes up, though (they have so many people who email them for tips), so anyone else have advice?  I would love to have this as one big open space rather than two separate areas.  We never use the more formal part (at the front of the house, where the fireplace is), so I feel that it’s just wasted space.  living room-yhl

{5} I absolutely love this recipe for a super easy chicken parmesan bake.  Instead of breading and frying the chicken (I hate dealing with raw chicken, so this is an easy way to cook chicken without the mess), you put the chicken in a casserole dish with chopped garlic and olive oil.  Cover the chicken with spaghetti sauce and top with croutons (we love the Trader Joe’s croutons) and cheese.  Bake and voila, you have an easy chicken parmesan.  It makes great leftovers and freezes well, too. chicken parm

Five on Friday!!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up once again with Darci and friends for my favorite link-up! I love finding new blogs and reading other Five on Friday posts!

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{1} My parents spent last weekend with us and we went on our yearly apple orchard trip!  After our apple orchard adventures, they spent the afternoon playing with Harper and Will.  I love seeing my kids play with their grandparents!  Here’s Will and my dad putting together Will’s train set.  So much joy!  We need to do a better job of going home to visit our family.  The last time we went home was for the state fair in August.  My in-laws visited us the weekend before last, and we plan on visiting my parents again next weekend at our hometown’s annual food festival (another activity from our fall fun list!).  We’re so busy during the week with working that on the weekends, we like to hang out at home.

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{2}  What’s up with this crazy weather?! This past weekend, it was in the 80s!  It’s like summer in October!  Harper and Will enjoyed playing outside with a bowl of ice and water (seriously, this kept them occupied for an hour!).  They like to “paint” the sidewalk with ice and decided to make the pumpkins shiny with water.  So fun!

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{3}  Remember when I mentioned Trader Joe’s cookie butter and how delicious it was?  Well, here’s the latest product from TJ’s-cookie butter and cocoa swirl!  YUMMY! If you have a TJ’s near you, go out and purchase this now! I recommend eating it straight out of the jar!

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{4}  On Tuesday, I took the day off work to go on Will’s first preschool field trip to the pumpkin patch.  Here’s WIll that morning after we made a pumpkin craft.  We had a great time at a local pumpkin patch where we went on a tractor ride, rode a pumpkin train, found the perfect pumpkin, ate homemade pumpkin chocolate chip pumpkins, and ran through a pumpkin play area (big black tubes where the kids could crawl through).  It was great to get to know his teacher more and to meet his classmates.  I feel disconnected from his preschool since Nana drops him off and picks him up each time.  I get updates from Nana and Will about his day, but I still feel out of the loop with his preschool experience.  It helped to spend the morning with him at preschool:)  That afternoon, I got to spend time with both Will and Harper-so nice!  I would love to be a stay-at-home mom, but that’s not possible.  I am fortunate to have nice breaks throughout the year and summers off!

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{5}  I finally gave in and signed up for it! Stitch Fix!  My friend recently received her first box, and I had been thinking about signing up for a while.  I’m very curious to see what will be in my first box!  It’s scheduled to ship the week of November 4th!  Once it arrives, I will share what’s in the box!  In the meantime, if you’re interested in signing up, please check out this link.  I was not compensated by Stitch Fix, but if you use my referral link to sign up, I receive a credit off my next box!

Five on Friday!

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Hello, Friday:) I’m linking up once again with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday, one of my fave link-ups!

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Pumpkin spice latte has been all the rage lately. I love pumpkin but I’m not a huge coffee fan, so I decided to try a new chocolate chai latte at Starbucks. It sounded quite interesting, and it was. It was like drinking spicy hot chocolate…interesting tasting, but I don’t think I will be getting it again. I’ll stick with my regular chai tea latte with a shot of vanilla. Speaking of chai tea, some of the best is from Trader Joe’s. Last year, I found salted carmael (one of my favorite flavor combos) chai tea at Trader Joe’s! Yum-o! I need to see if they have it this fall:)

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Here’s one of my completed free books from Shutterfly! There have been several free photo book coupons recently (just pay shipping) and I’ve made a few books so far. This one documents our fun summer. I also made one from Instagram pictures from our spring and summer, as well as a a fall 2012 book. I’m still working on a Christmas 2012 book as well as one documenting Miss H’s first year.

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Miss H. and Will are both in Musikgarten class. We started Musikgarten back in the spring for five weeks with Will, and he enjoyed it! I signed him up for a 12 week Cycles of Seasons class this fall. I decided to sign up Miss H. for a ten week music class as well, and she had a blast at the first class. She’s the youngest in her group of 18 month to three year olds, but loves to dance and play with the instruments. It’s going to be a busy fall-Will has class each Monday and Harper has class on Tuesdays. It’s lots of running around for mommy (the class is in a local town about 20 minutes away) driving from work to the babysitter, and back into town, but they have so much fun!

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I love seeing how Will creates forts and plays independently! This was a recent creation that he made while I was cooking dinner the other evening. He took his toys and put them in the hallway, creating a blockade against his sister with some stools. Too cute!

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Pumpkin dessert success! These pumpkin chocolate chip bars from Two Peas and Their Pod turned out yummy! Thank goodness! I was disappointed after my chocolate pumpkin brownie disaster and wanted to find a delicious pumpkin dessert. I still want to try some new pumpkin dessert recipes this fall, but this was a start.

Happy Friday!

Weekly Pinterest Project: Week Four-Frito Pie

Happy Labor Day!

For my next Pinterest project, I decided to make another recipe (big surprise there!). I’ve been wanting to make a Frito pie, so I went to Pinterest in search of a recipe. My husband has been addicted to Trader Joe’s version of Fritos, which are known as “corn chip dippers.” As with many items, we prefer the TJ’s brand over name brand products. They taste much better and have no preservatives or other not so pleasant ingredients. Anyway, I wanted to try a “frito” pie with ground turkey, using the corn chip dippers. Even though it isn’t fall yet and this is more like a chili dish, it was delicious and quite easy! The recipe I used was from Sweet Treats and More. The only change I made was adding two cans of kidney beans instead of one. Oh, and I put a little less cheese in the recipe. Even Will and Harper ate it (though Harper mostly ate the beans!). I’m looking forward to all the yummy chili and soups I make in the fall (though I’m not rushing the nice warm weather of summer just yet!).

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