Friday, September 29, 2017

Happy Friday

 Happy Friday Friends!

This week has been busy!  So busy in fact that I didn't even realize until yesterday that my kids don't have school today.  I'm thankful they reminded me yesterday so I didn't set alarm clocks.  That right there, is probably my favorite this week.

Here are a few more favorites of mine from the week.


Good company, instant friends and a gorgeous Fall evening.

On Wednesday we hosted a dinner for a missionary family that was passing through town.  The couple also has 3 kids, and it was sweet to see our kids all become instant friends.  Both of our oldest daughters found each other on Instagram and Snapchat so they can keep in touch, which I think is so fun.


I am excited to be starting a new study soon.  When I read and study on my own, I don't push myself hard enough, so I'm ready to be pushed by my group of women.  We knew we wanted to study Ruth, but we just weren't sure which study to use.
We finally decided to do the Ruth study with Kelly Minter and I'm hoping it becomes a favorite!  I've heard a lot of good things about Kelly Minter's studies, and then some "okay" reviews.  I'm hoping that we really like her.  Have any of you done her studies before?  Also, I'd love to hear who's studies you love doing.  So far Beth Moore has been my favorite, but I wanted to branch out and see what else is out there.


This pumpkin mug is a new favorite.
I found it on Amazon, and felt that I needed it.  ;)  I like mugs with a nice handle.  Which for me means a handle that isn't too small.  So, I was excited when I found this one.


I shared a few days ago about some sweet care package ideas for those college kids in your life, but really, who says it has to be a college kid?  I don't know if you're like me, but I've already been keeping my eyes open for Christmas gifts.  I know, I know... but I like to keep my eyes open and get what I can when I can, so I don't have to do it all at once.

If you missed that post, you can check that out here, otherwise feel free to pin this image and come back to it later.  ;)


I opened a new Instagram account, and I'd love for you to come follow me if you haven't already!  I'm really excited about it!  I've only ever had my personal one but my kids follow it, and so do their friends... so I've always tried to be careful not to embarrass my kids.  Well, now I can just embarrass myself.  ;)
I'm still keeping my personal account for family related stuff, but my new account will be centered around my blog and my daily happenings.  So be sure and go check it out.

Well, that's it for today.  I'm going to go refill my coffee mug and head on over to check out what you all have been up to!

Today I'm linking up with Andrea, Erika & Narci.

Have the best weekend!


This post has affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting this little blog of mine!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Gift Ideas For Your Favorite College Students

I've been thinking of all those high school grads that have went off to college a month ago, and I've been trying to think of something fun to send them.  Well, not all of them... but a couple of my favorites.  ;) My first few ideas were to send baked goods, and maybe a gift card or some cash... which I still think they'd love!  But as I got to thinking about it, I decided to get online and find a few fun ideas that wouldn't break the bank, but at the same time would still be fun.

 So today, I thought I'd share with you a few of the things that I found, in case you've been thinking of a special grad as well.

Whether it be a fun tapestry for their wall, a jewelry tray, or a personalized coffee mug... I think they'd be excited.  Heck, I'd be excited to receive any of these in the mail, and all of these items range in price from $4.99 to $24.99!

I have two girls I'm sending care packages to, and I've decided to go with the mugs for now.  I'm thinking I'll fill it with some candy corn, or something fun like that.   Maybe this Spring, for a fun pick me up, I'll send a new notebook with a gift card to their favorite restaurant.  There are so many different ways that you could mix and match these items, or add in your own.

What is something you'd love to receive if you were back in college?

Feel free to shop the links above.

*This post contains affiliated links.  Thanks for supporting my little blog.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Friday

Happy Friday Friends!

Today I wanted to share with you a few of my favorites from this week.  Now that we have officially entered Fall, I'm ready to commit 100%... which means, give me all the boots, scarves, hot coffee's and good books.  I may not be sharing all of those today, but you can bet you'll be seeing all of those around here soon.

Okay, onto my favorites...


I ordered this scarf, and it showed up in the mail yesterday.  I love all of the different colors!  One scarf can change up a wardrobe and make for some fun new outfits.


After looking around on Pinterest, I decided that I might just be a Yankee's fan.  I love their hats paired with so many different outfits, and if I'm a Yankee's fan, that means I eventually need to visit NYC, right?!  Yep, I'm a true baseball fan over here.  Ha!  So if you're wanting to become a new fan like myself, you can find this hat, here.


I'm loving this bag!  If I needed another one, I'd definitely be looking at this one.  The price isn't bad, and for a new Fall/Winter bag, I think this one would be a fun!  And how great would it be for a travel/carry on bag!


Aren't these mugs cute!  Right now they are only $12.49 for the set.  I've had them in my wish list and I've been debating on whether to just add them to my cart.  The price is hard to beat and I think they are fun, cheery little mugs.


Last night, Dan and I went to a business dinner of his, and I had a hard time trying to figure out what to wear.  Yesterday was the last day of Summer, but it sure didn't feel like Summer in Montana.  We already have snow in the mountains and the temperatures have dropped quite a bit.  I finally grabbed this black dress out of my closet. 
It's a little different than your average, "little black dress" but with it having long sleeves, it kept me a bit warmer.  I'd gotten this dress in my last stitch fix box almost a year ago, and was thankful to finally have a chance to wear it.

The kids are keeping us busy this weekend with sleepovers, a birthday party, and a soccer game.  What are you guys up to this weekend?

Once again I'm linking up with Andrea, Erika & Narci.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend!


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Master Bedroom Makeover

When we built our house 11 years ago, we were young and honestly, we didn't really have a clue what we were doing.  Yes, we thought we did, but we didn't.  We didn't know what color we wanted to paint our bedroom, so I told the painter to paint it a cream color and that we'd just repaint it once we figured out what we wanted.  Remember there was no Pinterest 11 years ago, so we were on our own for ideas.  We didn't love the color then, but we figured we'd wait a while to repaint since we had just spent our money building the house.  Years and years went by, and we still had no idea what to do.  I think I was just having a hard time committing to any color that wasn't white or beige.  Well, 11 years and one very talented friend later, this room finally got a much needed makeover.

Here's the Before...

The flower bouquet on the wall is mine from our wedding.  It may not be what some consider stylish anymore, but it was a wedding gift from my Mother in law, and I love it! 

And here's after...

The only thing we did to the room was paint the walls, change out the curtain over the door and we replaced the night stands.  It was a cheap makeover, but one that I feel made a huge difference.
We got our night stands from Costco, which worked out perfectly since that's where our headboard and dresser are from as well.  We've been able to get a piece every couple of years, and none of them were expensive enough to break the bank.

I'm keeping my eyes open for a lounge chair for this little nook.  I think it will be the perfect spot to cuddle up with a good book, a warm blanket and a hot cup of tea.

We have a pocket door in between our bedroom and bathroom.  I left it open in this picture so you could see where the door leads to... because if you are anything like me, you'd have been wondering.

The fun thing about this paint color is that it looks different in different lighting.  One time of day it will look more blue.  Then later in the day it will look kind of grey, and then other times especially in the evening, it takes on more of green tone.  It's a little harder to get tired of a color that never seems to look the same.  ;)

My advice to you today is, if you are ready for a change in an area of your house... buy the paint.  I can't get over how drastically different our bedroom feels. 

Have you updated a room in your house lately, or are you looking to?

Enjoy your day!


Friday, September 15, 2017

Happy Friday!

 Happy Friday Friends!

Weekends are definitely a favorite around here.  To celebrate the kick off of the weekend, I'm sharing a few of my favorites from this week.


Football season has started back up, and even though the Seahawks didn't play well at all last game, I'm glad it's that time of year again!  There's something to be said about a lazy Sunday afternoon of football, yummy food, and relaxing with your favorite people!

Do any of you play Fantasy Football?  I wasn't planning on playing again, as I've played the last couple of years, but Dan signed me back up because they needed a couple extra teams.  So what did I do?  Well, my team beat his, this first week.  I wonder if he'll sign me up again next year.  ;)


A blue sky was a favorite!  The smoke moved out of the valley and Monday morning was beautiful!
There was just a bit of smoke by the mountain, but nothing like what we've been bogged in with.  Unfortunately, it didn't last too long... the smoke is back.  Regardless, Monday's blue sky was still a favorite!


 Danielle at Against All Grain
I don't know if any of you have food restrictions... if you do, I would highly recommend following Danielle on Instagram.  We eat a lot of gluten free foods around here, because one of my kiddos has to.  And let's face it, if I'm going to make dinner it's going to be something that everyone can eat.  Who has time to make two separate meals, and honestly how sad would that be for her to feel excluded.  So... all this to say, I have loved following Danielle and getting everyday tips and tricks, plus tons of fun recipes.


I shared this scarf with you guys a week or so ago.  Well, in the mean time it finally arrived and I love it!  It is so soft, light weight and it was only $19.   This is not an affiliated link, it's just me telling you how seriously pretty a scarf is.  You're welcome!  ;)


Yesterday I shared my chili recipe.  Be sure to head over and check it out.
It's simple and delicious, and the best thing is you can mix things up a bit to make it your own.  Personally, I like my chili with a bit of a kick, as where my family prefers it on the milder side.  The possibilities are endless, but with this recipe, you've got your layout set so you're free to play around.

Well, that's it for me today.

What's a favorite of yours from the week?

Linking up today with Andrea, Erika & Narci.

 Enjoy your weekend my friends!


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Homemade Chili

 If you love homemade chili but don't want to be in the kitchen all day, then I have a recipe for you!

This recipe is quick, simple, and delicious!

 After years of making chili without a recipe and just adding whatever I wanted until I thought it was just right... I have finally sat down to write it out.  This is an easy recipe that you can use to mix and match or add to as you'd like.  If you want your chili to have a bit of kick, go ahead and add more spice to it.  If you only have certain beans on hand, no problem.  Substitute whichever beans or can of tomato sauce you like.  If you stick to the basics and mix and match where you need to, you'll be just fine and your chili will taste great!

If I'm going to a potluck or having people over to watch football, I usually double this recipe.  Plus we like to have extra for leftovers.  Soups and chili are actually better the 2nd day, as they tend to absorb even more flavor.


  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (rinsed)
  • 2 cans kidney beans (rinsed)
  • 2 cans chili beans (do not rinse)
  • 1 large 29 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of water


Cook and brown up ground beef with with diced onion and minced garlic. Shut off pan and drain any grease.

Rinse all beans except for the chili beans.

In a large pot or slow cooker, add in all the beans, tomato sauce, and the meat mixture, along with the water, chili powder, cumin and salt.

Cook on low for 8 hours or on high in the slow cooker for 4 hours.


For maximum flavor, don't leave out the chili beans and cook on low for 8 hours. 

Serve with cheese, sour cream, Frito's, or crackers of your choice.

For a spicier chili, add in a can of tomatoes with green chili's.  You can also add in more Chili powder or cumin to taste

For our family, chili is a staple throughout Fall, Winter and Spring.  When it's cold outside, we look forward to a hot meal at the end of the day.  I love knowing that I can put this in the slow cooker first thing in the morning, and that I don't have to think about dinner again until it's time to set the table.

Feel free to pin or print this recipe.



Monday, September 11, 2017

Our Home

Today I'm sharing about our home and all the reasons I love it!

 We love where we live in Montana.  Even though I probably whine too much about not having a Target or a Starbucks... I am thankful for where we live!  The streets are quiet and the nearest freeway is about 60 miles away.  For the most part, we live in the country outside of a sleepy little town.

This is our little valley that we live in.  I took this picture from up on the mountain across the river from our house.  The only way in and out of the valley is to take the highway along the river in either direction.
Both my older sister and I built out in our parents hay field.  My Grandpa first acquired the land, and over the years, a good part of our family has settled in this valley.

 It's hard to beat these gorgeous mountains.  
This is the view from our front porch.

Here is our backyard.
We have tons of windows on the back of our house, because we don't have neighbors this direction.  We have tons of privacy unless someone is horseback riding or driving the tractor through the field.

We lived in town for the first couple of years of our marriage, and I missed living in the country so much, that Dan agreed that we could build out by my parents.  Bless his heart!  :)

We built this house 11 years ago.

Okay, so I've covered the outside of the house, now onto the inside of it.

My kitchen is one of my favorite spots in the house.  This where life happens.  Homework gets worked on, dinner is cooking, conversations are had.  No matter how comfy the living room is, the kitchen is the happening place in the house.

Even though white cabinets are the in thing right now, I still love my dark cabinets!  The moment I painted them white, dark cabinets would come back in style.  So I'm waiting this phase out.  ;)

Our living room...

I don't claim to be much of a decorator, but I like a simple and clean look.  I just want it to be homey.

Our bedroom is my getaway.  When I've had too much football, or Disney, or noise in general, I retreat to my bedroom with a book or my laptop.

Since this picture, we have repainted which I'm hoping to post pictures of soon.  It's long overdue.

All of these are reasons why I love our home, but the number 1 reason I love my home is because these people and their Dad live here.   Home is where the heart is, and these 4 have my heart!

Today I linked up with Erin.  Make sure and head over to her blog to check out the rest of the link-up. 

I hope you had a great weekend!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Today, I'm Linking up today with Mel, Shay & Sheaffer to share what we've been up to this last month.

 What we're eating

Last week we had Taco salad, Chili, and lots of Fair food.

What I'm reminiscing about

My sweet little Emma turned 10 the end of the month.
 I've definitely reminisced about all the fun years of being her Mama.

What I'm loving

I know this sounds a bit vague, but I'm really loving the ages that my kids are right now.  They are old enough to be pretty independent, funny and fun to be around.

What we've been up to

This month was a crazy one.

Gracie got her drivers license.

Jesse's ear drum ruptured and he lost over half of his hearing. (Thankfully it was only temporary) But that also meant no more swimming, which was not what we wanted in our last month of summer.

School started back up

& volleyball and soccer have begun.

Our firewood showed up.
Every year, we have one of the loggers drop off a load of logs.  We hire someone to cut it up, and then we are ready for the long winter.

What I'm dreading

Even though I'm not dreading anything, I'm also not excited about all of the fires and smoke we have in Montana currently.  There is no rain in sight and some say we might have to wait for snow to put them out.  The smoke is so thick through out our valley, that they are calling it Hazardous, which isn't great especially for those who have health issues already.   It's so thick that the aircraft's aren't even able to fly to help with the fires.
This picture was taken from my front porch.

I know there is a lot going on with the whole country right now, but if you think of it, Montana would LOVE your prayers for rain up here!

What I'm working on

 I took senior pictures for my nephew and a friend of his last month.  I'm trying to make the time to sit down and finish editing them.  I'm hoping now that the kids are back in school, that I'll be able to finish them up.

What I'm excited about

Two of my friends both have Freshman at the college in Bozeman this year, and we are planning to spend the weekend over there and check in on them.

What I'm watching/reading

I just finished Hart of Dixie, and haven't started anything else yet.  Randomly, we'll watch Last Man Standing.  It is such a funny show!

As far as reading, I have done absolutely nothing.   I blame it all on this new game I downloaded.
Anyone else a Pinochle fan?  It's addicting, and fun to have a card game right at my finger tips.

What I'm listening to

With the kids back in school, my house is really quiet.

I really want to start listening to podcasts, but how do I find them?  I've listened to Jamie Ivy's, but that's it.  Do you have favorites?

What I'm wearing

In the summer, I keep it simple.  Capri's, tanks, shorts, and Birkenstock's.

I'm sure going to miss wearing these outfits.  Within the next month, my outfits will have completely changed, and I'll be wearing jackets and boots.

What I'm doing this weekend

Not too much.  Gracie has an away game that we won't make it to, and Jesse has a soccer game that we'll attend instead.  It's hard missing one to go to the next, but her game is quite a ways away, and she has a lot more games than her brother, so we'll miss this one and hit the next.

What I'm looking forward to next month

I'll be watching lots of volleyball and soccer games, which are fun!  I'm looking forward to being back into the school routine.

What else is new

I can't think of anything else...

What is new with you?

I hope you are having a great week so far!