Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rustic Bean Bake

I recently discovered Nothing But Delicious, a local blog that has some of the most amazing recipes. I made her Southern Strawberry cake for Matilda's birthday, and made this Rustic Bean Bake the other night, which was absolutely incredible. Do yourself a favor and check out Hannah's blog and all of the amazing recipes. I have my eye on the Sweet Corn Pots De Creme with Strawberry Compote next. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta

4-6 ripe tomatoes (depending on size), chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 large basil leaves, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste

1 baguette, sliced in half inch wide slices
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 450. Add the first 5 ingredients in a bowl, mix well, and then add salt & pepper to taste. Brush each slice of bread with the olive oil, and place oiled side down on cookie sheet. Toast for about 5-6 minutes on top rack of oven, until the slice turn a nice golden brown. Place oiled side up on a plate, top with bruschetta and enjoy. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

family reunion

Every year, at the end of July, we head up to Natural Bridge State Park for a family reunion with Jon's Nana's side of the family. It's the only time of the year that we get to see most of them, and we so look forward to this trip every summer. 

On Saturday morning of the retreat weekend, we always hike up to Natural Bridge, and this year was no different. It was in the sixties and overcast (pretty much the most perfect day ever in my humble opinion) and we took Matilda with us for the first time. She rode most of the way, but got down a couple of times to walk and pick up leaves and rocks along the way. I love including her in things Jon and I have always enjoyed, and this hike was no different. 

Friday, August 9, 2013


This little free spirit is starting preschool in the fall, not in a typical setting, but at home. I have always loved the idea of homeschooling our children, since I myself was homeschooled, as well as my siblings. I loved it, and never felt like I lacked any social aspects of going to school. I think as long as you have a good network of friends and homeschool families nearby, you can totally set yourself up for success. 

Growing up, we used a variety of curriculum, but what I look back on and remember loving most, was a study where we would pick a specific event or people in history, and we would base our reading, history, art, science, etc., on that specific thing. I loved a more hands on learning approach, vs using a textbook to learn, and I hope to take that idea and use it to form the base of how I homeschool our kids. 

A few of the books I have been reading are below, but I would love more suggestions, if you have them! 

Teaching Montessori In the Home: The Preschool Years

You Are Your Child's First Teacher

The Unschooling Handbook

Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series (if you have a kindle, these are SUPER CHEAP in the kindle store!)

Pinterest has also been a wealth of knowledge, and I have started a Homeschool board - feel free to follow it, as I'm adding more daily. 

If you homeschool, or are thinking about it, I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. I'm definitely not new to homeschooling, but have never been on this side of it, and am just so excited to start!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lunches at home

 On this specific day, Matilda requested pizza for lunch. We had been out running a few errands, and normally would have stopped and picked one up, but I remembered I had everything to top it with, and could just whip up the pizza dough in a couple of minutes. It was much more fun this way, as Matilda was able to help me make it. She loved putting all the toppings on, and watching it cook through the oven door. (Hazel might have even gotten a little taste!) 

The pizza was delicious and we had so much fun making it together. I love easy days at home where I am able to spend quality time with these amazing girls of mine. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Matilda's 3rd birthday

We celebrated Matilda's 3rd birthday party with her favorite little friends on August 3rd (we couldn't celebrate right after her birthday because we were in Kentucky for a family reunion). 

We hosted a brunch at our house, and though it was a little crowded, we had so much fun celebrating our girl. This was the first party of her own that she really understood why everyone was there, and she was bouncing all over the place, so excited! She and I had been talking about her strawberry cake for a couple of weeks, and she could barely keep her eyes and hands off of it until it was time to blow out the candles and eat it! As soon as that was done, she was BEGGING to open presents, which she did in a whirlwind! 

We are so thankful to have so many amazing people in our lives that we love dearly, and we are even more thankful that most of them were able to celebrate our girl with us! 

Strawberry cake recipe: Nothing But Delicious blog

Tuesday, August 6, 2013



Before Hazel was born, I was gifted this amazing vintage baby dedication dress by a sweet friend (who just happens to be my pastor's wife), and from the moment I saw it, I knew I wanted to get a few photos of Hazel in it. It is hand embroidered, and is literally everything anyone could ever want for a dedication dress. I'm only sad I didn't have it for Matilda!

My sweet friend Joy, (who is an amazing photographer) took these photos for me, and I just adore them. The b&w one of Hazel from a distance looks so old fashioned to me, and I am obsessed! 

Hazel was dedicated in this a few months before we did this shoot, and I was so happy her chubby little arms still fit into the delicate fabric. 

zoo days

One of our favorite things to do pretty much any time of year (unless rain or snow) is the zoo! We had so much fun petting goats and watching tigers and monkeys and flamingos and alligators and much more on this specific day, all while running around with some of our favorite little pals. 

I absolutely love watching Matilda with her friends. She loves them SO much, and is so gentle with the younger ones. She has the sweetest spirit and I am honestly in awe that I've been blessed with such amazing daughters. 

Hazel thought riding around in the stroller at the zoo was the perfect place for a LONG nap. She slept almost the entire time we were there!