Thursday, February 18, 2016

Friday Favorites!!

Hi everyone!  It's been a hot minute since I've joined into any Friday blogging fun, but we've had some stuff happening around here lately, and what better way to share than with a quick recap!?
When we were on our way to pick Redmond up from school one day, Ashlyn was busy in the backseat with her Magna-Doodle.  Much to my surprise, she ended up doodling a pretty good portrait of Jason and I.  I mean, she's no Picasso, but she's well on her way ;)
(I'm on the left, Jason on the right.  "Those are bees coming out of daddy's head.  And he doesn't like those bees." :)
Swim Lessons: Round Two!
The last round of swim lessons did not go so well for Mr. Redmond.  He was that kid.  You know, the one screaming at the top of his lungs for the majority of the lesson, completely hysterical and uncooperative.  But this time?  Totally different!  Of course he was nervous at first, but he and Ashlyn are in the same class this time so having his little sister there to protect him makes a huge difference.

I mentioned a few posts back that I'm now a Young Living distributor.  I'm loving what these oils have done and can do - they're amazing!  My girl Marie has graciously opened up her house and I'm hosting my first party/class! 
I may be just as excited about the food as I am about the class :)
(If you have any questions about YLEOs, drop me a line - I'd love to chat!!)
We are totally learning this whole having chickens thing as we go.  The most recent thing we learned?  If they get bored, they will attack each other and could potentially turn into cannibals.  Seriously, chickens? 
A few days ago, I noticed that Libby Mae had a nasty open wound on her back.  Well, after researching, we concluded that the other chickens were bored and taking it out on poor LM.  It's been pretty cold here lately, the coldest it's been all winter, and that plays a huge part in it.  So, Jason pulled our old Christmas tree, some large stumps and a few other things into their run to try to occupy them.  So far so good.  Fingers (and wings!) crossed!
Did you see the recipe I posted earlier this week?  One of my favorite things about Fall and Winter is soup.  I love a good soup.  A few weeks ago I whipped up a Cheesy Corn and Potato Chowder with some ingredients we had that needed used it up.  It was so.good.
That's all I've got for this week - have a great weekend everyone!!
~ Sara :)
I'm linking up with, Darci, AprilNatasha, and Christina for the Five on Friday link-up Party!
I'm linking up with A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals, and Grace and Love for my Friday Favorites!
I'm linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for the Oh Hey Friday linky party!
I'm also linking up with The Diary of a Real Housewife for Friday Favorites!
Also, I'm linking with Caitlin, Della, Tif and Katie for High Five for Friday!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Cheesy Potato Corn Chowder

A couple weeks ago, I was stumped on what to make for dinner.  Jason graciously said we could just go out to dinner, but I didn't want to (weird, right??).  I wanted something warm and satisfying.  We had some potatoes that were barely hanging on so I needed to do something with those.  I decided a potato/corn/veggie chowder sounded just right.  And it was!

This is a great, hearty, vegetarian chowder, but could easily make any carnivore happy with the addition of ham or bacon. 

Cheesy Potato Corn Chowder


6 cups vegetable stock
3 cups potatoes, diced (about 2 large)
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup whole milk (2% will work also)
2 cups frozen corn
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
Additional salt and pepper to taste
Green onions for serving (optional)


1.  Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add the stock, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary.  Bring to a simmer, cover and allow to simmer away for 20-25 minutes.  Just until the potatoes and carrots are cooked through.

2.  Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, stir in the milk and corn and bring back up to a simmer.  Get a large spoonful of the hot broth and put it into a small bowl.  Whisk the cornstarch with the hot broth until completely smooth.  Add back into the pot, turn the heat to medium high and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the chowder thickens slightly.  *If you'd like the chowder a bit thicker, process 1-2 cups of the soup in a blender until smooth and add back into the pot.

3.  Turn the heat to low and add the shredded cheese.  Allow to melt and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.  Ladle into bowls and top with more cheese and sliced green onions, if desired.  Enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

~ Sara :)

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Monthly Meet Up!

Hi Everyone!!
It's been a hot minute since I've been on this little blog of mine.  Sometimes you just need to take a break from things, you know?  But, here I am, ready for another month of 2016. 
I'm still in shock we're in the year 2016.

It's a new month, and you know what that means - it's time for the Monthly Meet Up, y'all!!

My girl Marie, over at Family and the Lake House, and I get together every month to host a fun link-up party.  We want to know - what are your goals for the month of February?  Big, small, it doesn't matter.  Your goals could be any and everything.  Maybe you want to cut out fast food, keep a clean kitchen, exercise more, not go shopping, organize your pantry, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

You can be as ambitious as you like - maybe you only have one goal for the month, maybe you have 10.  Just join us and have fun!

Not only do we want this to be a great opportunity for you to gain some awesome, creative ideas from other bloggers, but we also want this to be a great networking tool as well.  So please, grab a cup of coffee, tea, water, vodka (we won't judge) or whatever you fancy and party with us.  It will be fun!!

First thing is first.  Just like anything fun, we've gotta have some rules.  Ours are short and sweet:
  • Link back to us - copy and paste our linky button on your post - we want your friends to join in the fun too!
  • Follow us!  We'd love to connect with you, and you to connect with each other!
  • We challenge you - visit, comment and follow at least four other partiers.  Are you up for the challenge?
  • By posting, you give us permission to feature an image or post on our blog(s).  We'll always give you credit and post links back, don't you worry!
Easy enough, right!?  So, grab our button, link up, and par-tay!!!

Here is a recap from last month's goals:

1. Guest Room - Jason had to travel for a week last month for work and, let me tell you, I got busy while he was gone.  It took days.  Days!  But I cleaned out and cleaned up the guest room.  Here are the before and after shots:

The room still needs some major decorating/repainting/etc.  But, it will be a long while before that's done - there are too many other things that are higher up on the ol' to-do list (like the master bedroom!).  But, it's nice to have this back to a functional guest room.
Those diaper boxes and bins were full of kids clothes/toys/shoes.  I took some to a children's consignment shop and what they didn't want, along with some of my clothes and a few other things I found, I took and dropped off at a local women's and children's shelter.  My car was full.


2.  Laundry Room -  Good news and bad news here.  The good news?  The floor, boiler, water heater and softener have all been replaced and it's like a brand new room!   Bad News (which isn't really even bad)?  We haven't had time to figure out where to hang our shelves and organize yet.  But, here is a picture of my new floor to hold you over:

I love it!!!!
3.  Stretching/Toning - I joined a yoga class!  It's only once per week, but I'm loving it.  I'm doing it with one of my best friends, Katy.  I've also joined a weight loss challenge that lasts until we head to Florida in a couple months.  It was perfect timing and hopefully the push I needed!
4.  Continue Researching/Learning about EOs - This may be why I've slacked in the blogging department - my nose is always stuck in my EO guide when I have free time!  I'm looking forward to learning more and using them more.
5.  Throw a Kick Ass Party - If I do say so myself, we did just that.  It was so fun with lots of laughs, lots of good food and lots and lots of good drinks.  Here are a couple photos from our shin-dig:

Ok, on to this month's goals!!
Blog More
Easy as that.  I have become such a slacker!  How am I ever going to make my millions by blogging if I don't ever blog!?!?!?

Continue Purging/Organizing
I really don't know of too many more things that make me feel accomplished like having something organized and de-cluttered.  I'm a packrat and am too stuck on thinking I might need that someday...  So, I'm going to tackle something else this month.  Our linen closet (which houses zero linens) is like an abyss of extra soap., nail polish, jewelry, q-tips, and who knows what else.  So that's number one on my list.  If I have time (ha!) I'll tackle the guest room closet (which is temporarily our closet).
Free February - Round 2
Remember last year when Jason and I did "Free February"?  I'm thinking we need to do it again.  Well, a modified version.  I'm not going to make absolutely every single thing from scratch (because, that is seriously time consuming), but eating clean, no junk, minimal processed foods and eating at home 99% of the time this month. 

Get up.
In the good ol' days, when Jason got up at 5 am to head to the gym, I'd get out of bed too.  I'd blog or just scroll Facebook and Instagram in silence.  It made my mornings flow so much better and put me in a more relaxed state for the rest of the day.  But, I've gotten lazy and I've been staying in bed for another 30-60 minutes and when I do get up, I just sit and stare at my phone until he gets home.  Time to start getting up again!  And, I need to either blog, meditate, stretch, or do yoga for at least 30 minutes.  This is the only point in the day that is completely mine.  I need to take advantage of it.  No sitting on the couch perusing Facebook....which is what I normally do :)

What are your goals for the month of February?  We'd love to hear about them! 

Grab our button, tell your friends, and link up with us!!

~ Sara :)