Right Now….This Is Life

Welcome as I look at where things are right now, in our lives!  Thanksgiving is over! I had 4 days straight with my guys and I couldn’t have been happier in those 4 days! I am so blessed! We’re now in the spring to Christmas!

I’m sure you’ve noticed that there’s been a significant absence of me here on the blog. I’m back at that point where I feel like I’m drowning in life! Anyone else feeling that right now?! So, I thought I’d just give you a bit of an update of where things in our house and life is:

Right now…I’m in the midst of another round of the 21-Day Fix!  I was happy with the results the first time and haven’t really been eating “clean” the last several months and decided that right before Christmas was a good time to start! Check out how I feel about it, HERE!

Right now…R has started basketball season (last night) and we’re now at basketball games for about 4 hours two days a week.rye-bball

Right now…there is a load of laundry waiting for me to move it to the dryer!

Right now…I have a Norwex party this weekend and I’m thinking about how I should prepare for it, but just want to sleep!

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Wordless Wednesday: Works of the Lord

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Psalm 104:24-25 – “How many are your works, Lord!  In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.  There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number – living things both large and small.”

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

I love the fall because I turn my oven back on and bake up a storm. This past weekend (in one morning) I whipped up muffins for breakfast this week, ham balls for the football banquet we had on Monday night, brownies, and this new recipe for Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake!

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

During the month of October and November, the whole world seems to be obsessed with pumpkin flavored everything. I am NOT one of those people and I don’t traditionally even gravitate towards pumpkin pie! The only pumpkin thing I like is pumpkin chocolate chip bread because, well…come on, it has chocolate in it! 😉 And I don’t think apples get enough glory in the fall!

November is an interesting month in our house!  At this point, football is over and basketball practice starts next week.  We don’t have games on the weekends, but can’t make plans because at any moment T will get busy with NH3 (Anhydrous Ammonia/Nitrogen) season and we won’t see him.  Fall can be very similar to planting season in our family!  Check out what I’m talking about HERE! I try to plan some fun things to do with the boys on the weekends when this happens!  This weekend may bring wood splitting at my dads house and a campfire with s’mores on Saturday night!

But, I digress, so the inspiration for this recipe came from the fact that I love a good caramel apple, but hate how messy they can be, so I came up with this recipe to combine that fall treat with a moist cake! YUM!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cake
 
A delightfully creamy caramely delight!
Ingredients
  • 1-2 Jonagold apples
  • 1 bag caramels
  • 2T water
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cup flour
  • ½ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Begin by unwrapping the caramels from the plastic wrappers and placing them in a small saucepan with 2T water over low heat stirring occasionally.
  2. Next, cream the butter and sugars until they are smooth and creamy, then beat in the egg.
  3. Next add the baking powder and cinnamon and mix well.
  4. Add in the flour and milk, alternating by the ½ cups, mix until smooth and set aside!
  5. Grease an 8x8 pan with real butter.
  6. Peel and slice the apples and lay them in the bottom of the greased pan!
  7. Once the caramels are melted and smooth, pour the caramel sauce over the apples.
  8. Evenly spread the cake batter over the caramel and place in an oven that has been heated to 375 and bake for 35 minutes!
  9. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, then flip on to a plate.

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This recipe is a little more involved than a cake mix, but so worth the efforts.  When I made mine, I actually mixed up the cake batter first and then set it aside and started the caramels.  While they were getting warm is when I tended to greasing my pan and prepping the apples.  As the caramels begin to melt down more, you will want to stir constantly until the sauce is smooth!

This cake is best served warm and thankfully (since I’m the only one eating it in my house…it has fruit in it), it reheats very well.  The caramel stays nice and gooey and keeps the rest of this cake moist!  Of course, a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream wouldn’t hurt anything either!

 

Random Monday Thoughts, 10/31/2016

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It’s Halloween and November is tomorrow. Holy cow the fall has gone fast!!  We’re still on “vacation” mode since the ending of football and cross country seasons and it’s glorious although, I will admit…sometimes I’m not 100% sure what to do with all my time!

Halloween is not for me! We don’t really observe Halloween in our house.  I have some fall/autumn/pumpkin decorations, but we don’t do witches, ghosts, etc.  Thankfully the boys are old enough that they don’t trick or treat, so no worrying about a costume.  And we’re the scrooges of the block…we don’t hand out candy!  Normally, we sit in our house with all the lights off until the commotion dies down.  Yup, we’re those people!

Friday nights at home are weird.  We had our first Friday night at home this past weekend since August 12th…no joke!  It was awesome!  R and I both concluded that it didn’t even really feel like a Friday night since we weren’t at a game.  And we officially have only 4 more before basketball games start on Friday nights!  I’ll take them while I can get them!

Home is good.  We were home all weekend.  Yeah, we went to my  mom’s for supper on Saturday night and game night, but other than that we were home.  I was reminded of how much being at home with my three guys makes me happy.  There is nothing better in this world to me!

The real heroes to me.  The real heroes in the world to me…or at least at this moment are the makers of coffee and leggings.  I mean really ladies, is there anything better?  The end.

When I’m Not Busy, I Can Create – Now, that we’re in between season, I have time to just “be”.  It does amazing things for me and my psyche.  When I’m not running a mile a minute, I can have time to create..not only recipes for the blog, ideas to give back (more coming on this later this week), and ways to be more in the moment with my family.

I hope you have a fantastic week!!

Easy & Simple Banana Bread

It’s fall and that means I start baking again! My boys LOVE banana bread and they can easily clear a loaf in less than 12 hours!  But since they are 12 and 16, that’s not an uncommon event!  November is right around the corner and that means we’re officially done with football and cross country seasons!  This means that we’re currently in “vacation” mode, which means no games.  From the last football game to the first basketball game, 38 days!  That’s it, but I’m enjoying the down time with my three guys this fall!

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I love the smell of baking banana bread and we all love banana bread, but I hate recipes that are fussy! I’ve tried about every banana bread recipe known to man.  The recipes have included things like cinnamon, cream cheese, sour cream, etc and they all seem to complex and seem to miss the mark.  So, when I decided to that it was time for the first loaf of banana bread of the season, I mixed up this super easy and simple recipe!  It’s been in my recipe box for quite a bit of time (not sure where it came from originally) and I decided to make a few tweaks and it turned out fantastic!

Easy & Simple Banana Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Sweet Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
 
A super simple & easy recipe on a classic recipe!
Ingredients
  • 4 bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 3 pinches sea salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together by hand and pour in a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Remove from the pan, cool slightly, slice, and enjoy with butter.

just-pinch

As you can tell from the recipe this banana bread is super simple to mix up and prepare!   It also gave me the opportunity to use my “Just A Pinch” sea salt from my October Taste Box!  How fun to use this ingredient in an unorthodox way!  I love the simple ingredients that allows the banana flavor to come through and there isn’t a need for a hand mixer either which makes prep and clean-up even easier!  Since the recipe is easy mix up and prepare, it means I can spend more time with my boys enjoying the simple things like sleepovers, pumpkin carving, and movie night!  Meanwhile, apparently since there is fruit in the recipe, that means it’s acceptable for a breakfast food.

 

Wordless Wednesday: Power through His Spirit

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Ephesians 3:16-17 – “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love”

Random Monday Thoughts, 10/17/2016

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It’s been quite awhile since I’ve done one of these, so I thought it was time! Without further ado…here are my thoughts for this Monday!

1. Fall is the best season of all!  I love that everything it brings with it.  Cooler temps, the turning of the leaves, pumpkins, and soups!  You can’t go wrong with any of that!  It’s the perfect balance of needing a sweatshirt at night and short sleeves during the day!  I get to watch the boys play football and run cross country!

2.  The song “Don’t Blink” is 100% true! When people tell you not to blink because time flies and kids grow too fast, believe them!  I have to be honest that I see parents of young (8 or younger) say that time is going to fast and think, “you’ve got no idea”.  The 5 years that T and I have been married and I’ve been step-mom to two amazing boys have been the fastest 5 years of my life!  I feel like if I blink too many times, R will be graduating and M will be in high school.  Maybe I’ll just stare into space for the next 10 years! 😉 I don’t think too much about it all, I’m living in denial for the next 3 years…I have to…it’s my coping mechanism.

3.  Weekends at home are just what the doctor ordered.  This past weekend we got to be home the entire time (other than Friday night football).  I seriously don’t know the last time we had that!  We had lazy breakfasts and coffee, I got groceries, and really cleaned the house, we worked outside, and we were lazy.  I feel refreshed coming back to work today and that is a great feeling!

4.  Making memories can happen everywhere.  We sold our camper and truck this past August.  As hard as it was to do, we just didn’t have the time in our schedules to make it worth the investment.  We vowed to each other, and to the boys, that we would make memories in different ways and experience new things.  The first of those started this past weekend.  Since we don’t have camping to enjoy campfire food, we dug and installed a fire ring in our backyard.  Saturday night we had our first fire in it.  We made homemade cheeseballs and onion rings, followed by grilled burgers (eaten on our laps and without plates), and finished off with funnel cakes.  It was great to see the boys playing with each other, putting their devices down, and just enjoying each others company!

5.  I am the most blessed woman in the universe!  I think most people with fantastic families feel this way, but I especially do!  We got our new family pictures back and you’re going to get a a rare peak at my boys!  They are spectacular and I can’t wait to get the big ones (16×20) printed, framed, and up on my world.  These pictures are a great narrative of how happy I am in my life!  (Thanks to Jill McCaslin Photography for capturing these shots!)

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Have a great week!!

 

Be Healthy, Not Skinny

Body image, healthy, skinny..our society is so confusing, right? Models and celebrities are show as having the “perfect body” which is usually very slender and fit. But, then we see amazing videos like this:

What are we, as women, to think?  We need to be skinny.  Just be who we are.  We need to work out.  We need to eat healthy.  We need to cut sugar, carbs, and fat out of our diet.  We need to not care what we look like.  So, what is the real story?  Where is the truth in all this?  What are we really supposed to be and believe?

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Girls Day at Enchanted Acres

If you’ve followed me for any certain amount of time, you know that I’m surrounded by boys and guys.  It’s all guys at work and all guys at home. (Ms. Nike doesn’t count, does she?!)  So, when I heard about all the fun happening at Enchanted Acres this past weekend, I knew it would be a great day for a Girls Day!  I called my friend Erinne and she happily joined me for an afternoon of fun at the pumpkin patch.

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