The best gift I ever got.

I swear to y’all the best gift I’ve ever been given is my DSLR camera. It’s taught me so much about photography, it’s easy to use, and I don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars whenever I want frame worthy pictures. So if you need an idea to give to the hubby this is a great one! (Seriously!) And the cameras last forever if you protect them. I mean it’s always fun to upgrade, but quality photos have much more to do with how you take the photo rather than the camera. I took my kiddos holiday portraits yesterday afternoon, and they came out SO CUTE! I’m SO happy! Can’t share the card yet, because I’d like to keep that a surprise for those getting them as gifts and such, but here are some shots I nabbed.

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I hope you enjoyed them as much as I do! The last one just describes our house perfectly right now, a little wild a crazy and far from perfect.

Merry Christmas!

Top 25 Advents on Pinterest

I LOVE Christmas. I LOVE everything about Christmas! I love Elf on the Shelf, I love visits with Santa, and I LOVE anything that gets that little glimmer a glowin’ in those little one’s eyes in those days leading up to Christmas. Last night I was browsing Pinterest and since I’ve already committed to a boring old store bought Advent Calendar this year, I thought I would get my fix by pulling together some of my FAVES for all of you!

So here you go…and YOU’RE welcome. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

1. Santa’s Beard CUTdown!

2. Santa’s Beard Fill In.

3. Ornament Advent

4. The Advent Christmas Tree

5. Scripture Advent Calendar

6. Advent in a Cupcake Pan

7. A Joke a Day Advent (In the Lunchbox!!)

8. Advent Activity Jar

9. Super Easy Budget Friendly Refrigerator Advent

10. Up-Cycle Paper Towel Roll Advent Calendar

11. Marriage Scripture Advent Calendar

12. Adorable Christmas Tree Advent (Sew Pattern)

13. The Advent Cake

14. Up-Cycled Record Album Advent

15. Clothes Pin Advent 1

16. Clothes Pin Advent 2

17. Clothes Pin Advent 3

18. Up-Cycled Baby Food Jar Advent

19. 25 Days of Baby’s First Christmas Advent

20. Let’s Get Toasty Advent!

21. Free Printable Advent Calendars

22. Paper Stocking Advent Calendar

23. Coffee Cup Advent Calendar

24. Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

25. Up-Cycled Toilet Paper Roll Advent Calendar

 

Lots of fun DIYs to get the kiddos excited about Xmas! Even a few special ones for the adults. What are your family’s favorite ways to countdown till Xmas? Tell me in the comments below!

Homespun Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes

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This Sunday, Mama wanted HER favorite breakfast…BLUEBERRY PANCAKES! We’re always so busy making everyone else’s favorite things, that sometimes its nice to make something special just for you. So, this Sunday I set out to develop my very own recipe and…I think I finally NAILED IT! I swear to you, these are THE BEST pancakes I have ever had! SO yummy, and just sweet enough.

Here’s what you’ll need:

3/4 c. sour cream

1/2 c. regular Almond milk (you can use regular, this is just what we drink. Also, it adds a little sweet nutty flavor!)

1 c. all purpose flour

2 tbsp. white sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg

2 tbsp. melted butter

1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Cooking Spray

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Recently, I picked up this coconut oil cooking spray and I really love it!

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Anywho, combine all ingredients except the flour and whisk till smooth and creamy.

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Lastly, stir in flour leaving some small lumps in batter. Pour batter into prepared (sprayed and heated) non-stick pan to desired size. Quickly dot with blueberries, then allow cake to cook for a minute or so before flipping.

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Cook till batter is done through. Serve warm with maple syrup.

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Mmm…my mouth is watering just thinking about how amazing these were. Try these next weekend with your family, you can even make extra and freeze the rest for a quick filling breakfast before school or work! My kiddos LOVED these and they are NOT blueberry fans!

Happy cooking!

 

Mom Chat Monday: Breastfeeding. (Warning harsh language follows)

As I begin writing this post I question my sanity for even taking on such a hot topic in the first place, I surely hope I’m not begging for a fight here but…

WTF IS THE BIG DEAL?!?!

I never understood why ladies who breastfeed get so hot under the collar about this topic, until I became a breastfeeder myself. NOW I see things that have happened to Mamas on youtube or read incredibly despicable comments online and it makes my blood effing BOIL! LOOK AT THIS!!!

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Photo courtesy of: Breastfeeding Mama Talk on Facebook.

Why do complete strangers get to have ANY opinion about how I CHOOSE to nourish MY children?!?! I will say that I don’t feed all full exposed boob, but sometimes I wear a cover and sometimes I don’t. It depends a lot on what I’m wearing and that’s because it is MY choice and has to do with MY comfort level and NO ONE else’s. PERIOD. It makes me SICK to see people attack Mommies online (hiding behind a computer mind you) all because a baby needs to eat.

I have three children. The first is 5, the second is 3, and the third is almost 3 months old. My 3 month old eats about every two hours during the day, sometimes every hour…and she does not take a bottle easily. Sometimes she just wants to sleep but can’t settle down enough to fall asleep, and she doesn’t take a pacifier. So let me ask you, am I supposed to keep my other two children from having a life the summer before my oldest goes to school JUST because YOU people can’t LOOK THE OTHER FREAKIN’ DIRECTION?!?!?! AND IF SOMEONE SAYS I COULD SEND THEM OUT WITH A BABY SITTER OR FRIENDS I’M GONNA LOSE IT! (So now I’m supposed to miss out on my kid’s lives? And um…we can’t afford a sitter, I’m not working right now due to the fact that umm…I just had an effing baby!)

UGH!!

Hey, people who have a problem with me breastfeeding…guess what?!?! I don’t give a F*CK! YAH…I said it…I DGAF! Remember what that means? If not, I just spelled it out for you! Go pull your heads out and mind your own god damned business.

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Now I understand why some choose to stand in or to bring attention to this topic, we need to band together and stand up for each other because it’s just disgusting.

That is all, my rant is over. Thanks for reading! Oh, and feel free to rant with me below!

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Fit Bit Friday: I did it!

Welcome to my Fit Bit Friday post! I decided to start this weekly health challenge for my readers and I feel like Friday is the PERFECT day to start planning for the next week. There is always some kind of prep work involved when getting ready to make any type of change whether it’s grocery shopping, or laundry, or even if you just need a couple of days to psych yourself up for the change…it’s always best to start a challenge with an open heart and open mind.

To start, let me give you a little background on a recent challenge of my own that I am SO proud of overcoming!

I officially did it! As of July 26th I am a certified Jazzercise Instructor, and I must say…it feels REALLY good! As we pranced our little butts up on stage to “Mony, Mony” to receive our Instructor t-shirts, I remembered back when I first really started going to Jazzercise religiously and thinking “I could NEVER have the B**LS to get up on that stage and show people how to shake their behinds!” Well, I’m doing it, and I’m LOVING it.

Physical activity is SO important for your health…and not just your physical health, but ALL areas of health and wellness. Jazzercise has changed my life in SO many ways, and I’m thrilled to share that with others! I love being an Instructor, because it challenges me in all of these areas everyday, and I feel as though I have made a long term investment in my own health and wellness.

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Photo courtesy of http://www.workingmystic.com

Anyway, this next week I want to challenge all of you to get up and out of the house and engage in a physical activity that YOU love. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try Karate or learning how to twirl around on silks! Maybe you’ve always wanted to try that JAZZERCISE class (wink, wink) or maybe you really enjoy running…whatever it is, get out and do it at least three times (one hour each) this week! Surely, we can all promise to give ourselves three hours out of 168.

What will you get out and do this week, and what challenges will you have to overcome in order to accomplish this? Share with us in the comments below!

PS I’ll announce the giveaway winner today on my Facebook page, so make sure you like me! The link is at the upper right of this webpage. Talk to y’all soon!!

Homespun Pickles.

I LOVE to pickle. Mostly we pickle onions and cucumbers, but I’m hoping to try peppers soon too! Anyway, I threw together this quick pickle the other night and it turned out GREAT, so I thought I’d share!
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1 Cucumber

1/2 Small Onion

1 C. White Vinegar

1/4 C. Water

1/2 C. Light Agave Nectar

1 TBSP. Honey

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Coriander

1/2 tsp. Fennel Seed

1/2 tsp. Dill

 

Slice Cucumbers and Onions thinly, I used a mandolin since I wanted them really thin. I was doing a quick pickle for dinner, so I wanted them to really soak up the flavor. Soak for at least 20 mins. Store in Refridge in airtight container. Pickles last about a week, the longer they soak the better they taste!

Now, go get creative, you can pickle anything! Share your ideas below! I’d love to hear about your recipes and tips!

 

PS. There’s a giveaway going on over here all you have to do is leave a comment! EASY PEASY! Oh and…here’s the prize! DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!

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A Skin Care Kit from NYR organic! Yay!!

You’ll even get to pick your skin type. The one above is what I use, for normal skin and I LOVE these products! I would get horrible acne while I was pregnant, and if I just washed my face with these (I also used one of those scrub brushes) every couple of days, (NO not even everyday!) I had NO issues at all! And of course (beware of shamless plug! lol) but if you want to check out these products for yourself you can click on the link at the right side of the page. They even have baby products! Sometimes I swear that a lot of health issues we face today simply come from the added chemicals in the products we use every day, so check it out!

Ok, that’s all for today but check back in on Friday for a fun new weekly feature I’m doing called Fit Bit Friday!

Love y’all!

Back in the Saddle.

Well Hello there beauties! It’s been quite a long time since I last checked in, and my oh my have things been goin’ on! First I’d like to announce the birth of little baby J! Miss Justice Marie Varn arrived May 17th at 1:12 am. She weighed 8 lbs 3.4 oz and was 21 inches long! We’re ecstatic about her being here, and are enjoying life as a VERY FULL family of 5!

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As you can probably guess, adjusting to life as a Mom of three has taken the life right out of me lately! Hence my absence online, but I’m so glad to get back to doing something that I LOVE and get back to some normalcy around here at the same time! During my hiatus, I found some pretty amazing things that I can’t WAIT to share with you over the next few weeks. I’ve got Recipes, Mommy Chats, Crafts, DIY’s and more to share so come back by the blog and check in with me, and I’d LOVE to hear about what y’all have been up to lately as well!

PS. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a VERY awesome incredibly relaxing treat at the end of the week! I’ll announce the prize on Wednesday, but it’s a special treat just for Mom! For now…feast your eyes on some of the adorable newborn photos I took of my little JuJu Bee! Thanks for stopping by!

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