WHW: Happy Halloween!

Happy Wednesday and Happy Halloween, friends!
I hope your weeks have been off to a great start and you're ready for some trick-or-treating (or visits from trick-or-treaters) tonight! MG and I will be taking our cute little parrot out for some trick-or-treating in our neighborhood tonight!
Mine started with getting back home from Minnesota on Monday (we all survived flying with an 18 month old--alllllll the praise hands), and jumping back into work on Tuesday, which had me super exhausted, so I'm still kinda recovering from our 4 day weekend away.

We had a jam packed weekend with our friends that I'll recap soon. For now, look at this adorable photo of the four kids together! It was the best :)

In the meantime, link up and share with Jessi and I what's hap-"pinning" with you!

Weekly Wins: Minnie-So-Da

Happy Friday!
This week was a pretty fantastic one, made even better by the fact that we are currently on our way to Minnesota for our annual trip to visit our friends. Nothing makes a week better than having a short work week, a long weekend, and seeing good friends.
Pray for us that Ella is a doll on the plane. We're waking her up early this morning to make the flight so we could have a cranky pants on our hands at some point today.

Let's talk about some wins for the week:
~Having the best friends--I'm blessed!

~Speaking of friends, I got to see my girl Lynn this past weekend when she was in town! Catching up over chips and guac like no time had passed at all--the best :)
~Getting a new book recommendation, and loan, from a friend (hoping I can finish my current read semi soon so I can dive into this one).

~Ella has made it through the week without a cold (just regular daycare runny nose!) Praise!!

~I had a meeting for work on Monday that got out early and let me scoop up my baby girl and head home early!
~A beautiful 70 degree day in the middle of the week...wish we could get a few more of those!

~Getting to see our friends, and their three kids this weekend, plus a parents night out and Sunday Night Football at the Vikings game!
 from last year's visit
~We found a new bar that Ella can't get into, so now we can actually store our wine and liquor and glasses, without fear of a little someone getting into it. Plus we got it on a great sale at World Market, and it goes with our dining room table so well! MG was a master at putting this beast together!
~Ella cracked us up this week by taking bubble wrap from a package we got, laying it down, and laying on top of it! Then she'd say "night night". I love this kid.
What are some of your wins this week?

Tasty Tuesday....on Wednesday

Yeah, I had started this post in preparation for Tuesday, and well, we see how well that worked out! But, I'm here today!!
The temps are dropping rapidly here in Virginia (seriously we went from summer heat to early winter's chill), and that calls for some cool weather recipes!

Here's what I've been cooking in my kitchen lately:
For those of you with an Instant Pot, this recipe is a must! Stuffed Pepper soup! I lowered the pepper amount because it gave it a spice to it, that I didn't think Ella would like. She devoured it, and so did we!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup--home made. This is a tried and true recipe for me--one I bust out every year when the temps get cooler. We eat ours with croutons and rye toast and butter. It's the best! Time consuming, but so delicious (and even better when it sits for a day or two).

Cauliflower "baked potato" Soup: This one is a great dupe for a baked potato soup, but without all the carbs, and you get a healthy dose of veggies in each bite! I think you could adapt this to the Instant Pot with a little bit more chicken stock. Anything with bacon bits is a win!

Here are a few recipes I want to try now that it's warmer:

Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole--this just sounds like it's packed with all kinds of deliciousness

Chicken Bacon Ranch Baked Penne. It doesn't look healthy but it makes my mouth water just looking at the pic.
Swedish Meatballs. I've wanted to try making these for a while, plus I think it'd be a good change up from our easy crockpot meatballs (which we have on rotation almost every other week).
What are some recipes you bust out as soon as the weather turns colder? Share them with me so I can add them to my list!

Link up and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!


It's been a LONG time since I've done a confessions post (or, let's be honest, any post not on a Wednesday), so I wanted to get back on the train and do one!

I confess that....

....since my work took away my access to blogs, it's made it really hard for me to read anything in any free time that I have at work, or draft posts. So that's why I've been MIA a lot. And when I've gotten home lately, I have minimal to no energy to write a post, I just want to veg out and watch tv or read my Kindle.

....I can't resist buying cute clothes for Ella. And I always seem to think she has less than she actually does, until I go to put away the new stuff and remember all of the other stuff she actually does have.
Her new Fall/Winter coat is the cutest thing ever!

.....speaking of Ella's clothes, I'm sad that she's growing out of some of her cute summer outfits (and the weather isn't allowing it anymore). There's something about seeing that little body in the cute clothes that just gives me the warm fuzzies.

...my best friend announced her pregnancy a couple of weeks ago and I'm over the moon excited for her and her husband. And the fact that they're having a girl so Ella will have a mini bestie in Virginia Beach!
.....Ella's kisses are my fave.

....Loft pissed me off by changing their return window to 30 days from 45 days. It used to be 90 then 45 and randomly now it's 30 days. So I got half of my money back for a shirt that I didn't want because I returned it on day 43. Jerks.

....I was pleasantly surprised to get a note from my principal in my work mailbox, praising me. In addition to a compliment she gave me in front of parents, and thanking me for a good meeting. It's a wonderful feeling to feel appreciated and valued, something I haven't felt by my admin for a while.

....the most recent findings about climate change from the U.N. scientists terrifies the hell out of me. And the appropriate response isn't "well, it's too late now, so we may as well keep doing what we're doing." I wish our elected officials would start doing things to protect us and our future as opposed to undoing everything for corporate greed.

What are you confessing?

{WHW}: Lately....

Lately I'm....

Reading: Beneath a Scarlet Sky and really enjoying it so far!

Eating: Soups! With temps in the 50s and 60s this week, we've got soup on the menu twice. Broccoli Cheddar and Cauliflower "baked potato" soup! Alllllll the yum!

Drinking: Smoothies. More yum!

Thankful: for my tribe

Grateful: that a day off of work yesterday happened to get me out of a tough IEP meeting, for the time being 

Feeling: hopeful and loved

Excited: for our annual trip to Minnesota coming up, seeing our friends, and the Vikings game of course!

Dreading: flying with an 18 month old. (Also feeling like I may not be above whipping out an iPad to entertain her for the flight for our sanity and everyone else's. No judgement.)

Watching: Suits...we are just burning through the seasons. And Poldark is back!

Enjoying: that Ella now gives me kisses when I drop her off at preschool by leaning in and going "mmmmm" and then blows me kisses too. #ohmymamaheart

Link up with Jessi and I below and share what's hap-"pinning" with you too!

{WHW}: He's Back!!

Happy Wednesday friends! 
Last Friday was a really exciting day for us because MG got home from being in Thailand for 10 days. It was tough being a single mom for that long (praise all of you single moms, and moms with husbands who travel a ton or work insane hours), but we made it through. The evenings of nicely prepared, healthy meals were kinda thrown out the window for fast and easy (and still semi-healthy) because cooking with a 17 month old is just not easy.

So this past weekend we enjoyed having MG home. Ella's face when she saw her daddy NOT on FaceTime was priceless!
We ate in Friday night and went to the park in our neighborhood. Saturday morning we went for a walk since it felt like a crisp Fall morning, and by afternoon it was a hot summer day again. We headed over to our friends' house for a Fall party, and Ella enjoyed devouring Doritos, running around their backyard, and making friends with another little girl named Ellie. Our friends got the most amazing BBQ, and had cider sangria (it was so yum!) and other delicious eats. So we gorged and then went home to tuck our little busy body into bed. 
Sunday morning we just ran errands and Sunday afternoon we met up with friends at our local produce place because they have a great section for kids and tons of pumpkins. It felt anything but Fall standing in the sun, sweating our tails off, but Ella loved seeing her boys for the first time in a while.
Afterwards, we went to dinner at Yardhouse and the kids had a blast being together complete with jumping on the booth seats, hugging and giggling. At the end, our oldest friend Jude said "I love you so much Ella"...it was the sweetest.
We;ve got some exciting things coming up, but that's what's been hap-"pinning" over here recently--link up with Jessi and I below and share yours!

{WHW}: Weeks Are So Long

Hey friends...
Is it me or is the week dragging? I actually feel like every week is really long this school year. Maybe it's still adjusting to the schedule, etc, but by the end of some weeks, if I try and think about something that happened earlier, I have a hard time remembering if it happened this week or the week before. 

It probably doesn't help that Ella's got another runny nose, that apparently made it hard for her to nap yesterday at preschool. As in, she didn't nap. At all. So early to bed for her last night, and I started feeling a scratchy throat on Monday night and ended up going to bed early that night myself because I was just beat. Hoping we can keep the full blown sickies away!

I'm already looking forward to the weekend (which, at this rate, will probably happen in about 2 months haha) for a ton of reasons. 
It's a short one today because honestly, I'm just tired.  Hoping your week is going faster than mine! 
Here's a pic of my sick cutie pie from this weekend, because I can't resist :)
Link up below and let us know what's hap-"pinning" with you!