Friday, September 30, 2016

Flashback Friday: Pittsburgh Zoo 2016

Flashback Friday might start becoming more of a regular thing around here. It seems like I have been forgetting to post about a lot of the pictures I took from our experiences from this summer. We have been having a lot of fun as a family and I don't want to forget about all these good times together!

Today's flashback is from when we went to the Pittsburgh Zoo in August!

The Pittsburgh Zoo is pretty amazing, and we're lucky to live so close. It was only a couple hour drive from our house!

Piper loved the aquarium at the Pittsburgh Zoo! She had so much fun running around, going from tank to tank.

The day was perfect, it was warm and sunny. We met our friends, Matt and Emily, at the zoo and they were our tour guides for the day.

Piper had a blast! I love watching her enjoy new experiences like this.

After the zoo, we went out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. It was Piper's first trip to the Cheesecake Factory and she was thoroughly impressed.

All in all, it was one of our many favorite days from this past summer and I just had to share more pictures to document it for my future self. Piper is at such a fun age right now I don't ever want to forget how much fun we all had together this year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Jalapeno Chicken Cordon Bleu

At the beginning of the month, I made some goals for myself. I accomplished three of those goals. I went back to church, I tried a new recipe and now, I am sharing that new recipe with you.

Today, I'm sharing with you an easy spin on Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Jalapeno Chicken Cordon Bleu!

I love making chicken cordon bleu. It's an easy way to make chicken taste a little more interesting. It gives it a lot more flavor!

I had an abundance of jalapenos leftover to use one day and so I decided to incorporate them into my chicken cordon bleu, two ways.

First, I added finely chopped jalapenos to my bread crumbs, to add more texture. Second, I added some finely chopped jalapenos to the inside, to really bring the heat!

If you're not too big on hot dishes but still want to make a more traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu, my original recipe can be found here: Chicken Cordon Bleu. If you want to add a little zing to the meal, just add the finely chopped jalapenos as described above.

My husband and I were both in love with the jalapenos added to this chicken and so I think it's a recipe we'll definitely go back to, again!

Let me know if you give it a try!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

October Health and Wellness Accountability Group

In one week, I will be hosting my second health & wellness Accountability Challenge Group on Facebook. My first Accountability Challenge Group was an enormous success. I was so impressed and so inspired by everyone who participated in the challenges, along with me. I am hopeful for another great turn-out for my October group.

If you think you might be interested in joining, please let me know by RSVP-ing below.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Flashback Friday: Pioneer Gas and Engine Steam Show

So, I found some pictures on my camera from this summer. I can't believe I forgot to post them! Since it's Friday, I figured I'd make it a Flashback Friday. I'm going to share these pictures with you now and tell you why they are so important to us.

This summer, Nick, Piper and I went to the Pioneer Gas and Engine Steam Show. This is the same steam show that Nick has been going to since he was a little boy.

This steam show was always special to Nick because it was something he use to do with his father every year. Now, it is so much more special to him since he's a father, taking his daughter every year.

The steam show lasts a few days and it has a bunch of tractors to look at, some good food, local vendors and a big flea market! The flea market is my favorite part because it's where I find some unique treasures that I can reclaim for my business.

I'm sure my husband would have a lot more to say about this steam show than I do. Before Piper came along, he would take me every year, and tell me about how he use to camp out with his father all weekend at this steam show. One day, I'm sure he'll be camping out here with Piper, and then our hearts will explode in bitter-sweetness.

Hand-me-down traditions like this are so sweet.

{Be sure to check back tomorrow, I'm sharing the sign-up link for my October Health & Wellness Accountability Challenge}

Thursday, September 22, 2016

2016 Fall Bucket List and Anniversary Date

Happy First Day of Fall!

It still feels a lot like summer here, and I'm okay with that for now. We have spotted some fallen and changing leaves, so we know it is coming.

The end of Fair Week (which I still have to tell you all about) and our wedding anniversary is always an indicator that Fall is here. Fall is probably my favorite season but, I don't really like to have a favorite season. I find some joy in every season we're in. 

Thanks to my wonderful husband, I have some beautiful Fall-like flowers in my kitchen right now. We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on Monday, and so he surprised me with a big beautiful bouquet of flowers when he got home from work. Then, we went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and ended the evening at Barnes and Noble. 

While at Barnes and Noble, my husband and I bought a book for ourselves. It's called "The Love Dare". Basically, we read a chapter every night and each chapter ends with a dare. The dare can be something like write down three things that you love about your partner and share it with them. 

So far we have completed a couple dares and it's been so much fun, and also a great way to end our days, focusing on one another. I am a firm believer that after you're married you're never done dating each other and you're never done working on making your relationship better. 

Nick and I have so much fun together, we are always on the same page and I am so in love with him. He's my safe place. Anniversaries have a way of making us feel like we're on our honeymoon, again. I am so grateful that we got to have a night out to celebrate. It was a lot of fun!

This Fall, I want to do a lot of fun things together as a family. In order to get the most out of this season, I've made a Fall Bucket List.

Our Fall Bucket List:
  • Visit a Pumpkin Patch
  • Host a Bonfire or Dinner Party
  • Visit Furhmans for Apple Cider
  • Carve Pumpkins with Family
  • Go to Zoo Boo with Piper
  • Go for some Autumn Walks
  • Go on a Camping Trip
  • Participate in a Craft Show
  • Overnight Fall Getaway with Nick
  • Bake Cookies or Pies with Piper

These are just a few of the things I want to make sure we do before winter comes. Who else is making a Fall Bucket List?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Official Last Day of Summer - 2016

Even though today is the official last day of summer, we still have plenty of summer-like weather on the way. Still, we made sure to spend a lot of time outside today, to commemorate the occasion.

With today being the last day of summer, I want to take some time to think back on all of the fun we have had this summer. This year, I made a Summer Bucket List for myself, and I am happy to say that I marked off everything from the list!

*We went to the beach and used our shade tent a couple times. 

*Piper and I went to the zoo, just the two of us, and also with friends. 

*Nick and I drank wine on our patio, around a fire pit, after Piper had gone to sleep. My husband and I layed together underneath a clear night sky, counting shooting stars. 

*Piper and I went on countless, almost daily walks together. We went on many walks as a family and bicycle rides. I went on some solo walks, with my dogs, too. 

The walks were so peaceful in the mornings.

Most of all, we all enjoyed the wonderful weather that summer brings.

This summer was so special to me. I feel beyond blessed to be a stay at home mom and I'm especially reminded of how blessed I am during our summer days. Piper is 20 months old now and I think she was the perfect age this summer to really explore and take advantage of all this season and nature had to offer. We went on almost daily walks together, which was a special time for the both of us.

Early this year, basically right as the weather was getting nicer, Piper dropped her morning nap and went down to one nap a day. While it's always a little hard when your child drops a nap, I think the bright side was that it couldn't have happened at a better time, with the weather getting nicer out. Instead of me being stuck at the house while she napped, we were able to go out and explore together.

Most mornings, we would go for a walk together. There are a couple things I never want to forget from our walks this summer. When we would pass a line of bushes, Piper would put her hand out, trying to feel the leaves as we pass by. We would also always have to stop on this one bridge to say "Hi fishes" and "Bye fishes" as Piper would look down at the water. 

Almost every month, I made sure to take a picture by the cornfield that we would often pass during our morning walks. I wanted to document how much the corn and my baby girl would grow throughout the summer. They both got so big!


Some of the best memories I have from this summer are also just from when we would hang out in our own backyard.

This summer was so sweet to us.

While I will miss summer dearly, I am so excited to see what Fall has in store. I am starting my Fall bucket list, now!