Not only is the most wonderful time of the year, filled with the traditions and family time that we talked about last week, it’s filled with parties and gatherings – most of which you are asked to bring something to contribute to the spread of food and goodies. Here are my top three options in both the savory and sweet categories as well as three quick and easy gifts to give the hosts! Savory Favorites: Sausage Balls – these are my number one option because they are so quick and easy and this recipe make a LOT of sausage balls!…

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December starts in 4 days. HOW??? I feel like we were just talking about October and fall and yummy soups. And right before that, we were just starting school! Just thinking about it being December is enough to cause a bit of a panic. How about this one: there are only 35 days left in 2018. You’re welcome. December brings about all sorts of emotions: Panic – did I get all the Christmas gifts taken care of yet? Two nephew birthdays, one daughter birthday, anniversary, class parties, teachers’ gifts, PTA overload, etc., etc. Excitement – colder weather, countdown to Christmas,…

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Let me preface this entire post by saying: I am not a professional chef. I have never worked in a restaurant. I do not have any clue about food handling laws or “official” procedures, but if you’re looking for a few tips and tricks for managing and planning for a large family meal and the chaos that ensues when you have a large amount of people over then here you go! I love the holidays. I love the big family gatherings. I love friends getting together. I love hosting (I love hosting year-round, but the holidays make it a little…

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about being intentionally thankful during the month of November. This week I want to share three things to consider while you and your family plan for incorporating extra activities into your calendar for this month. Consider your budget. This time of year is expensive. All of the extra travel, extra groceries, and extra activities naturally lead to needing extra in your budget. Unless you’ve been planning and saving for these activities already, where does the extra come from? Check around your neighborhood and see if anyone needs help winterizing their yard: raking leaves, wrapping…

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We had a super wet October – record breaking levels of rain for some places, flood stage river levels, Disaster Declaration for some counties…it’s been bad. We also had a random cold front blow through and had 40-45* temperatures for four days toward the end of the month. It is way too early to be having that kind of cold in Central Texas, but I’m hopeful that it means an ACTUAL winter that last more than the usual two or three weeks! All of the weather played perfectly into my menu for last month: we had eight different types of…

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Since October 1 I have: - walked 63.8 miles; - Read (and implemented ideas from) The Miracle Morning and High Performance Habits; - Not had any coffee or candy; - Drank ¾ of a gallon of water every day (some days more); - listed 290 things that I am grateful for; - Changed my wake-up time from 6:00 (plus a snooze some days) to 4:35 am every.single.day.   Why? The Last 90 Days Challenge. What? Over the summer I read a book called “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. In the book she takes different lies that women face…

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This week’s post might come off as a bit of a rant, but there’s a good reason for it. When we started doing the decorations a few years ago, one of the biggest benefits for me was that I really had to slow down and focus on enjoying one holiday at a time. It’s hard to focus on getting in the Christmas spirit when you’re surrounded by spiders and pumpkins. That doesn’t mean that I’m not planning ahead - I’ve got my dessert list started for Thanksgiving and have about 60% of the Christmas gifts figured out and ready to…

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To piggy back off of last week’s post: I am currently undergoing a revamp of how I store all of our holiday décor. We don’t have a lot of storage space in our garage (mostly because, as mentioned, it needs a deep clean and reorganization), so I have been using our “attic”. I put it in quotes because we have approximately four square feet of usable storage area in our attic. Maybe a little bit more, but definitely not enough. We also don’t actually have an attic door / ladder so I have to drag the ladder over and set…

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Some people have a junk drawer. For some it’s that top shelf on the hall closet. Or the whole closet. This week, you get a small glimpse of my “junk drawer”, which takes the shape of an entire garage. The one area of our house that I continue to avoid when it comes to cleaning out and organizing. It makes the list, but never with high enough priority to actually happen. Don’t get me wrong - it’s not a complete disaster. There are sections of it that are usable and organized; but when you try to use one room as…

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Well, we made it through September! The first month of school, Meet the Teacher, Open House, Parent Teacher Meetings and filled out the 17,345 forms. We’ve already had three teacher appreciation donation requests and you better believe those napkins and cups got dropped off early! Now we settle into October. Fall. Pumpkins. Cooler weather. SOUP SEASON! I love fall, y’all. It’s my favorite. If we had an actual winter, with legit snow storms and a reason to bundle up in four layers of sweaters and wrap a scarf around my neck, then winter might win. Instead, we have an extended…

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