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Beef stew in an instant pot

Ingredients:

1 pound of stew meat

1 small can of stewed tomatoes

1 bag of tiny carrots (Petite or baby)

A few peeled and chopped potatoes

1 can of corn drained

8 ounces of tomato sauce and 8 ounces of water

Brown the stew meat on sauté in the instant pot.

Then mix all the ingredients.

Press stew.

Add salt and pepper to taste when it’s done.

While this is how I make this beef stew, feel free to mix it up! Sometimes I add garlic seasoning and season all at the end with the salt!

Let me know in the comments if you make it, trust me, you’ll love it!

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My 10 New Year’s Resolutions

2019. I can’t even believe I’m saying that. 2018 was a whirlwind year for me and my family. We found out a lot about Rowan and Eden’s personalities and health this year. I lost a baby, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. I’m so ready for 2019 to be a year of growth. 

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I make a few resolutions at the beginning of each year that aren’t very important, but this year is really going to stick. These 10 resolutions are very important to me and my growth. ❤️

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  1. Build my current friendships and meet new people
  2. Create and maintain a workout routine while also eating cleaner and healthier.
  3. ❤️ Love myself through everything ❤️
  4. Stop comparing myself and my life to others and to people on social media
  5. Be kinder and more patient
  6. Go to church every week and do my devotional everyday
  7. Stay steady in my faith
  8. Stop stressing the small stuff
  9. Be more grateful
  10. Drink more water

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16 last minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Customized Oven mitts:

$6-$8

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These super cute oven mitts are the perfect gift and the price is great too! My sweet friend Shreece actually makes these oven mitts! Then get some cookie mix and a cute spatula at the dollar tree to complete this look! 

Cute Marshmallow shaped hot chocolate mugs:

$37.95

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A cup of hot chocolate will taste even sweeter in an adorable marshmallow mug! The perfect way to cozy-up on a cold winter night, each of these 4 ceramic mugs features a different funny face and a puffy marshmallow body.

Electric car blanket:

$39.89

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These are a perfect gift for the winter! Frigid commutes are a thing of the past thanks to this heated blanket made for the car. It plugs into the 12-volt port and it’ll keep things cozy even in the back seat.

Mini Bluetooth speaker (with a travel case):

$15.99

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This portable speaker is palm size and has up to 6 hours of battery life! This speaker is small but very loud and who doesn’t love music? 

Leather tassel keychain iPhone charger:

$10.39

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Anyone can use a charger on the go, but with a leather tassel that hides the the charging cord, this keychain packs a little extra pretty!

Amazon echo spot:

$129.99

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This is a little bit on the pricey side, but the Echo Spot packs all the voice-enabled features we know and love, while also being able to display things like song lyrics, the weather, etc!

Bodum Chambord Coffee Maker:

$40

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In just 4 minutes this beautiful French press brews eight cups of coffee! Plus, the copper finish protects the glass beaker, making this press extra durable. So cute and perfect for your coffee lovers!

Coffee of the month club:

$14.00

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No matter how someone brews or grinds their coffee, they need some good quality beans. Atlas has a really good selection that taste delicious!

AMC Stubs A-list:

$20.00

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Take your favorite film-buff out to the movies over and over with a subscription service. AMC’s offers 3 free movies a week for $20 a month. They also have other perks, like savings on food and drinks. 

Good chemistry rollerball fragrance gift set:

$14.99

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This is the perfect gift for pretty much anyone, and it is vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben free! This gift set comes with three vibrant and playful fragrances. 

Fuzzy socks:

$21.99

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Fuzzy socks are a personal favorite of mine! They are perfect for cuddling up at night or even wearing throughout the day. This pack of 6 is great to give as a gift for anyone you know that loves fuzzy socks and different colors! 

Joco 12 oz Glass reusable coffee cup:

$22

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This last minute gift is perfect for your coffee obsessed friends who want to ditch their disposable cups! It’s made with sturdy glass and covered with a silicone lid and sleeve for leakproof handling. 

Flint reusable lint roller:

$17.99

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Though this product may seem simple, your pet owner friends will light up when they receive this rose-gold lint roller as a gift! This is the perfect, discreet, on-the-go essential.

Simple elephant planner:

$18.99

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Designed to be simple & uncluttered, this is the perfect gift to give someone to use for the beginning of the year! This planner is the perfect motivation to go after those new year goals!

Bath bomb gift set of 12:

$25.99

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Whether they want to relieve their stress at the end of the day, or refresh in the morning before a long day, bath bombs are the perfect relaxation gift for absolutely anyone.

Amazon gift card:

$25.00

If you’re still not sure what to get someone special for Christmas, you can never go wrong with a gift card from amazon! 

A Letter to My Future Self:

Dear Future Self,

I hope you’ve let go of the small things that bother you about yourself, and found joy in how strong you are. I hope you haven’t dwelled on the little mistakes that you thought were the end of the world. 

I hope you have confronted your inner fears, smashed your insecurities, and let go of your doubts about your strengths and embraced them as well. I hope you have let go of the stress that used to build up and eat away at you.

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I hope you aren’t afraid of what people think of you, and love yourself no matter what they do think. I hope you’re embracing feeling vulnerable, making connections, tending to relationships, and looking for adventures.

I hope you have given all that you could to your family, your friends, and those you care for you, but not forgetting to take care of yourself.

I hope your dreams have come true, that you’ve lived life to the fullest and made the most of each day as you always said you would when you were younger.

I hope you feel confident that you’ve tried your best to be the best mom, despite a constant weight of ‘mom-guilt’, worry, and judgment that you put on yourself. I hope you have realized that you were just the mom your children needed.

I hope you continue to have a desire to learn and grow, to never stop figuring out how you can be a better version of yourself, and to help others see what they cannot.

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I hope you traveled and saw places in the world you thought you wouldn’t and made lasting memories with family and friends along the way. 

I hope you’ve stayed strong in your faith. I hope you’ve known He was there every step of the way and trusted that He had you in his hands, always.

Most of all, I hope you are happy with your life as you look back on all the beautiful memories. 

Until we meet, Future Self,

Me

7 Keepsake Ornament Ideas

Baby’s hospital bracelet and hat ornament 

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These are such a great way to save your baby’s hospital bracelet and hat. Every year, when you decorate the tree you will be reminded of the most special days of your life, the birth of your babies ❤️

To make this ornament, place the baby’s hospital hat, bracelet, and mom’s hospital bracelet into a clear ornament. We prefer plastic, so we don’t have to worry about the kids breaking it. 

These clear plastic ornaments are perfect, as the opening is all the way across the middle for easy opening. To finish is off, add your favorite ribbon to the top. 

Snowman ornament

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For this craft, you can buy a plain blue or ornament (or whatever color you would prefer). Next, paint your child’s hand (we prefer the Crayola Washable Paint) and have them grab the bottom of the ornament like they are holding a ball. Each of their fingers are a snowman. 

Then, use sharpie markers to make the snowman’s features and write the date and child’s name on the bottom of the ornament. 

Wedding invitation ornament

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This ornament is such a cute idea for a keepsake wedding ornament, or even an anniversary gift for your friends or family. For this ornament, I recommend these glass ornaments that open up at the top. (Just keep them on top of the tree if have kids who love to mess with the ornaments! 😜) 

  1. Cut the invitation up into long strips. I usually throw out the solid pieces and keep any sections that include words or decorations.
  2. Wrap the long strips around a pencil tightly to form a spiral. 
  3. Slide each spiral into the ornament and shake it around. 
  4. Add your favorite bow to the top.

Salt dough ornament

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These are a fun ornament that your kiddos can get involved in as well! 

First, make your salt dough. 

Mix together: 

2 cups flour 

1 cup salt

1 cup water

Then, use your kids hands to create fun characters or shapes.

Once you make your creations, poke a hole at the top with a straw for hanging them on the tree. Then, bake at 200 degrees for 3 hours. You want to make sure the ornaments are dried all the way through. 

Next, you will paint your objects. I recommend using acrylic paint for these if you want them to stay for a long time. 

Last, spray your ornaments with an acrylic sealer to help them last. 

Baby’s first Christmas handprint ornament

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For this ornament, I recommend buying a kit to make it super easy. We like the No-bake pearhead kit. This is such a great ornament that you can make with all of your kids each year and see how big their hands have gotten since their first Christmas. There’s nothing better than seeing your baby’s real handprint each and every Christmas. 

Memory time capsule ornament

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To make a yearly time capsule you can place all your special items you want to save into a large ornament through the year. You could include small photos, little drawings, ticket stubs, or anything that means something to the family. You can even write or type out some memories and place them inside!

Then, each Christmas a new time capsule can be hung on the tree. Here is a very large plastic ornament which can be opened at the center to fill all year long. 

Another variation of this would be to write out something important each of your children accomplished that year, date it, and add it the ornament. One day, you can open up the ornaments and look back at all the amazing memories from all the years. 

Map ornament (mason jar lid)

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These are super cute if you have someone in the family who loves to travel, or if you have a favorite place, such as your wedding venue or where your children were born. 

You’ll need:

•Map of choice

•Mason jar ring

•Twine

•Pink (or red) puffy paint

•Sharpie

•Scissors

•Hot glue/hot glue gun

  1. Loop a piece of twine through the lid ring and tie the ends into a knot.
  1. Trace the outside of your lid onto your map around your city of choice
  1. Cut the circle out carefully with scissors
  1. Glue the map circle carefully into the back of your lid ring (you might need to trim a little extra off around the edge of the circle).

5.  Turn your ornament over to the front and use your puffy paint to draw a small heart over the dot of your favorite city.

  1. Allow your mason jar ring map ornament to dry overnight.

I hope everyone loves these easy keepsake ornament ideas!! ❤️

Eden Jade

My beautiful Eden Jade is my first child and my first daughter. She is 2 and a half years old. She has such a caring and sweet personality. She’s very smart, and can remember just about anything that she learns! Eden knows most of her ABC’s, can count to 10, and can sing twinkle twinkle little star, baby shark, rock a bye baby, and so many different songs! She loves to cuddle, have conversations, and play at the park. She loves her brother and she is the best big sister ever.

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When Eden was a baby, we noticed she hated things that were seemingly normal things. She hated wearing clothes, blankets, and people touching her when she didn’t want to be touched. When we started baby food, she barely ate it. As she got older, we realized she had Sensory Processing Disorder. It is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses. 

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Eden is very over sensitive to the world around her. Certain noises hurt her ears such as vacuums, air conditioners, and high pitch sounds. When we go into public bathrooms, she keeps her hands on her ears the entire time and the hand dryer scares her so badly. She hates having her hair touched and refuses to let anyone brush it. One year ago Eden was diagnosed with sensory food aversion and failure to thrive. She wasn’t gaining much weight because she couldn’t eat certain things. Most textures made her gag and even throw up just looking at them. We have been on a journey with her and she has gotten so much better from a year ago. Eden had OT twice a week for 6 months and it was the best thing ever. It helped her be able to eat different textures and show her how to do sensory play. It even taught us how to help her.

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Eden still struggles with noises and a few different foods, but overall has overcame this obstacle. She is the strongest little girl I know and I am so proud of all she has accomplished in these few years. She didn’t let this define her, but we also didn’t set out to change her. Just to help her on this journey of being a kid with SPD. We absolutely love Eden’s personality and we even love her Sensory Processing Disorder. It has shown us how strong she is and we love learning new things about her every single day. 

Update on Rowan

My sweet Rowan Andrew is my second child and my first boy. He has such a funny personality and it is so fun to watch him grow and learn! He can walk and climb up anything, and says a few words such as mama, dada, and night night. Rowan will be a year old on December 4th. 

When Rowan was a month old he had RSV. We had to call an ambulance and rush him to the hospital because he was retracting pretty severely. Since then, he’s still had trouble breathing. At around 2 months old, he was diagnosed with asthma and tracheomalacia. My sweet tiny boy had to get on nebulizer treatments for about 3 months. Finally, we got his asthma somewhat under control and now he just needs an inhaler. He has a daily inhaler and one for emergencies and when he is wheezy. 

 

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Rowan has also had chronic ear infections since a month old. We have tried everything from oral antibiotics to rocephin shots. So, we went to an ENT (an hour away from us), and decided tubes would be the best way to fix it. Well, we also found out that Rowan has a tongue and lip tie. So, Tuesday November 27th, at 6:30 am, Rowan had tubes placed, his tongue and lip tie cut, and they did a scope of his throat to check out his tracheomalacia because we have not done a scope before. 

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Everything went great, Rowan was a total champ and was absolutely amazing! Of course he was fussy but is starting to feel better. We also learned that along with Rowan’s tracheomalacia, he also has a laryngeal cleft and Subglottic stenosis (a 38% obstruction in his airway). We don’t know much about either one of these. We have a follow up on December 3rd, and I will definitely be updating everyone as we find out more.

 

My sweet boy is so tough and can come through anything that the world throws his way. I am so proud of the big boy he has become and I thank God everyday for him and his sister! (Update on Eden on Monday! 😌)

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