July 30, 2018

Rotisserie Chicken Chili

You know those days when you seem to be one hour (or more) behind on everything? You realize you forgot to plan for dinner so you quickly pull up Pinterest and type in the search-bar, "quick and easy recipes". After a few minutes of scrolling, you find something and click on the link for the recipe. After all this time, you then have continue scrolling and scrolling until you accidentally pass the recipe because you were trying to get through their story about the rainy Saturday morning that inspired the recipe!

I have been through this more times than I can count and while I love to read blogs and learn from other's experiences, I also sometimes just want to find the recipe and make it. Everyone has to do their own thing and for me, my thing is going to be sharing the recipe that you clicked the link for. So, without further adieu, I give you my Rotisserie Chicken Chili recipe!

1 Shredded Rotisserie Chicken

28 oz. Diced Tomatoes, Undrained

25 oz. Pinto Beans, Drained

16 oz. Canned Corn, Drained

4 Cups Organic Chicken Broth

4+ Tbsp Homemade Chili Seasoning 
(depending on how much you like!)

Place everything into crockpot and give it a good stir

Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours

Add some of these to your bowl when it's finished! 

Sour Cream
Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Green Onions
Hot Sauce
Tortilla Chips

One of my most favorite things about this recipe is not only is it so simple and quick, it is good even after a few days! You can store in your fridge for up to 4 days or in your freezer for up to 3 months! It use this recipe for meal prep because it makes a lot and it will keep you full. With fall coming up quick, I'm excited to start making this again regularly! 

I hope your family enjoys it just as much as mine does! Happy cookin'!

July 10, 2018

n o v a : n i n e | m o n t h s

I was just here, sitting at my computer, putting together Nova's eight month update yesterday. I swear it was yesterday! Seriously, where is the time going?! (Anyone keeping track of how many times I've said that?) This month flew by faster than most and I'm already beginning to plan her first birthday! What is this?! Okay, maybe I'm a little ahead of schedule but I'm a planner at heart. It is really exciting to plan too, so that's a bonus ;)

Nova is such a joy. She's been giving lots of hugs and kisses which make me melt. It makes me cry almost every time she leans in, wraps those tiny arms around my neck and lays her head on my shoulder. Can she get any sweeter?! Every time I get her up from her naps or first thing in the morning, she reaches up and gives the best cuddles. I mean it when I say she is sweet. 

| h e r  n i n t h  m o n t h |

 learned to say "dada" on father's day!

 still nursing and loving it

 can say "apple" "bubbles" "puppy" but never knows what she's saying

♡ loves to make funny noises with her tongue and lips!

 working on her top teeth coming in

 loves to feed herself finger foods like ham, turkey, feta and any fruit!

♡ gets a little overwhelmed meeting new people but quickly warms up to them

 climbs stairs all on her own, with mama or dada right there of course

♡ learned how to turn the light switches on and off

Everyday she is learning something new and it is so fun to watch her curiosity grow into knowledge. Nova is advanced on a lot of her milestones and it makes me so proud! Being her mama is my biggest honor in this life and I am so grateful that God has trusted me with this sweet spirit to raise. It doesn't mean it's easy... I still struggle but honestly, it is so worth it - even if that's a cliché. I love my job being Nova Violet's mama!

July 2, 2018

A Complete Guide to Baby's Bedtime Routine

This week I shared my 7-9 month old schedule and got amazing feedback! Thank you! I have become really passionate about putting my baby on a schedule over the last several months. This is what has helped her to be the happiest she can be. Scheduling our day together has also helped me to perform better as a mother and created structure in our home. It works wonders for us but full-day schedules are not realistic for everyone. It's so important to do what is best for you and your family!

With that said, I firmly believe in a bedtime routine above anything else. It's the perfect way to send signals to your baby or child that it is time to unwind and prepare for bed. For the longest time, I went without a bedtime routine for Nova. She would go to bed at different hours every night and seemed to be getting grumpier and grumpier. Not only was it effecting her mood but because she wasn't getting adequate sleep, she was growing at a very slow and concerning rate. Right around the time I started to prepare our daily schedule, I committed to a very specific bedtime routine. It changed everything. This bedtime routine was a necessary step before we could even think about putting her on a full-blown schedule. 

While her bedtime routine is quite lengthy and specific, it is also really fun! Nova knows exactly what time it is when we start everything and very obviously looks forward to each step. This routine did not come to me over night. It took a lot of trial and error, research and prayer to know what was best for my baby. I have said it before and I will say it one million times more: EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT! They all have their own needs and wants. It's so important that we pay attention to that and ensure that their routines and schedules are suitable for their personality and age. 

Quiet Time We start around 5pm by reading stories about bedtime, like "Night, Night Farm" and sing soothing songs. Nova helps me put away all of her toys followed by nursing.

Dinner  I will mix 3 portions of veggies to 1 portion of fruit (like apple or pear). Occasionally she will have cut up turkey and feta that she can feed to herself while I prepare her bath.

Bath ♡ This is Nova's favorite part of the entire routine! Considering we get out of the house everyday and we are typically around a lot of people, I feel better bathing her every night. It is also a great way for her to explore and play in a quiet and calming environment. 

Lotion & Song ♡ After cleaning out her ears and nose (when needed), I bring her into her room for the rest of her routine. I sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" while putting her lavender scent Johnson & Johnson lotion all over. She tends to get squirmy at this point so I never take too long. 

PJs & Sleepsack  Because it is so hot right now, we typically put her in a onesie and her sleep sack is muslin material so very breathable and thin. Her crib sheets are made of the same material as her sleep sack during the summer as well. 

Oil & White Noise ♡ I turn off the lights and walk her over to her dresser where her diffuser is. We turn it on together to the purple light with lavender essential oil. She sleeps to river water sounds on the app "White Noise" (you can find it for free in the app store). This is when I will give her gas drops or nighttime gripe water if she has been more fussy than usual.

Last Snuggles & Lay Down At about 6:30-6:45pm, after a couple of snuggles, I say "night, night, I love you" every time. I lay her down while she is awake, but drowsy, rub her back a few times and walk out of the room.

Here is your complete guide and elements you can include in your baby's bedtime routine:

Nova and I wish you luck as you try different ways to create the best bedtime for your little babe! It can take time to find what works so don't get discouraged, just keep trying! Once you do find your routine, it will make putting your baby to bed much smoother and hopefully allow you some time to yourself. Good luck, mama!