Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Super Man

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Growing up we didn't trick or treat. There is only one time in my life I remember dressing up and it was when I was a teenager and did it with friends for fun. I am sure we attended church events, I really do not remember! But I always knew that I wanted our kids to be able to participate. Not teach them bad things about Halloween... but not shelter them the way my husband and myself were and not allowed to trick or treat. It isn't a bad thing, I do not feel like I missed out.. but I wanted to relive it with my kids! 

This year I asked my 2.5 year old what he wanted to be! He actually responded "Super Hero, like Super Why!" He has also learned about trick or treating from Super Why.. and Halloween, Skeletons. Etc. Someone try and say TV doesn't affect our young ones. Anyways, so super hero he will be! 

I have a friend who owns a boutique. You really should check her out over at Halo Collective. She does some awesome things.. when I find out if this new baby is a girl- I will for sure be shopping with her. So she put together my boy's SUPER N on the front of his shirt. I just loved it.. as did he! Thanks Karissa!! 

Little Sis had made my boy a super hero cape. I had intended for him to wear it the whole time I was planning this- but it didn't match very well with the front of his shirt AND it buttons around his neck. Which I love. But he never leaves it on longer than 5 minutes. He wears it after his bath.. naked.. running around being a super hero. ADORABLE! 

So I took it upon myself to attach a cape I made on his shirt. This might not look like much- but!!! I am the non-creative one. I am the one that stresses about ironing something vs. sewing. I am so proud of my little cape. Haha. This was so much better.. because he could not take it off and he loved it! My little Super Hero! 

All ready for our Halloween Festival! 

He was so stinking cute! He loves to do his little Super Hero Spin! He is such a blessing in my life! 

-Big Sis

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Linky Party (#34)

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Spooky huh!? :-o

I am so excited today to be hosting a Halloween Linky Party! I know most of us bloggers love the holidays because that means new mantle decor, fun crafts, unique recipes, and more! So I know you all have done some amazing things for the Halloween/Fall season that is upon us and I cannot wait to see it! 

Before I do though I wanted to show you all what my Halloween mantle looks like.  Keep in mind though that I don't do "scary" Halloween decorations....I stay more towards the "fun" Halloween decorations with bright colors, and glitter :-) You will see more of that in my mantle project below. 

Like I have mentioned several times before I am big on reusing things like wine bottles and spray painting them for mantle decor.  
 So what I did was buy candle sticks and candle holders from the Dollar Tree, then I also took my old wine bottles.  I stuck the candle sticks in each holder and wine bottle.  
 Then I spray painted them all fun colors.  I used black, lime green, purple, and I tried to use orange but I ran out of paint and never got more.  
 See here are a few finished.  I also think for a darker look you could do a bunch just black.  The matte black paint looked great on the bottles and candle sticks! 
 Then I added those along with my BOO that I made last year out of 2x6's and scrap booking paper.  I love the way it turned out.  So simple and I only spent around $15 on it all after buying the pumpkins and stuff. 

Now it's time to see all your creative ideas!!! I would love for you to link up all your Halloween and Fall fun here, and grab a button under our buttons tab!!! 

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Keeping My Life Simple!

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Being a Stay At Home Mom who runs a daycare it is vital that I find ways to make things easier in our day to day lives. Being able to be home is a dream come true for me and it is important to me that my husband and son have hot meals most days/meals of the week. I have taught school the past five years and being home is something I never saw myself doing-- until I had a baby. 

I have many outlets to making life simple in our house and they include LISTS, no TV until baby is asleep, gardening, routines, oh and did I say LISTS? I have lived by lists the past few months as they are the only way I can even keep up it seems. But today I wanted to talk about something that is a bit newer in my house and something I am loving!! 

Batch Cooking! 

Somedays finding the time to ensure that all of my kids in daycare have a healthy, home cooked meal can be difficult. Though I plan our meals each weekend for the next week... there are some days that life takes over and I am not able to make our meals the way I do on all days! Also, with the schedule my husband works I am able to cook him a hot breakfast, but I have to pack his lunch and dinner... and to be honest, there are some days I am lacking a meal to pack if not two. What better answer to this than batch cooking? It did take a little bit of preparation and time on my part... but after the initial day of doing the batch cooking... I have had lots of quick meals that are frozen. So what did I do?

I spent one day preparing pizza muffins (similar to pizza bagels), pizza hot pockets, ham and cheese pockets, and burritos. After I cooked and prepped each of these meals, I packed them up individually and froze them. It is awesome because if I am in need of a quick meal for anyone in my family all I have to do is walk to the freezer and pull out one of these meals... pop in the microwave and BOOM! We have a meal. 

It seems about once a month I will spend a day batch cooking. I usually do it during Daycare so the kids can help.. they have a lot of fun. It is one of the best things I have ever done.... and I am quite addicted to it! I always try and make an extra 'whatever' to freeze... it is great for daycare, my family, AND for when I need to cook for someone in need... I like to cook for the families in my church who are sick, have had babies, or just need the extra help. 

If you have any other questions about this- please ASK! So far I have batched cooked:

-Pizza Muffins
-Pizza Pockets
-Ham and Cheese Pockets
-Pie Crust
-Pigs in a Blanket
-Enchiladas (I will let you know how that turns out, I have read mixed reviews online)

Happy Batch Cooking! 
-Big Sis

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Home Sweet TEXAS

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Big Sis Here! I tried my darndest to put these pictures in order.. After two failed attempts you get them in this order! This post is picture heavy! We did so many things over the 10 days we were with family in Texas... we visited Aunt Britt Britt in Abilene and we had so much fun. We were surprised to have our Grandma and Aunt Trisha tag along for the weekend.. It was fantastic! 

Our mom riding the dragon with my boy and my niece! 

We went to the East Texas Yamboree. It is a huge festival our small little town has.. people spend thousands of dollars trying to be the next Yam Queen.. No seriously. I really don't think you realize how crazy it is until you... move away. My freshman year in college my roommate thought it was so funny. I did not understand what was so funny about it! I just knew that I had a great time getting three days out of school, riding rides, and eating great food. If you are interested in what is it.. google East Texas Yamboree! 

My boy and I

My boy had so much fun riding rides at his first Yamboree. He also had a blast hanging out with all of his cousins.. All 7 of them! 

Me with my oldest niece and nephew

He had so much fun at our ALL DAY affair at the Yamboree that he passed out in the middle of eating his Nachos. He was sitting on the curb and just started falling over with the nacho in his mouth. It was so funny. So I picked him up and he woke up long enough to get one more nacho and then fell out. Uncle Brian helped me put his jacket on him so he could go home and sleep with his Gammy and TawTaw. 

My boy, Mommy, Uncle Brian

Someone got A LOT spoiled in Texas. We have honestly been trying to retrain him since getting back home. It is crazy what a little lot of spoiling can do to a 2 year olds soul. He was so excited to get a new bike from TawTaw on his first day in Gilmer... he really learned how to ride that bike quickly. From day one until the day we left.. he changed so much. He has a tricycle he uses at home and he rides SO fast.. so this was new, but he did GREAT! 

Aunt Britt Britt and my boy

Someone got lots of loving from his family too! Times like these are when I HATE living so far away. I think my sister said this was only her 4th time seeing him. That is so sad.. and so weird. But Aunt Britt Britt gave him a bath and then had some funny face time with him! 

Love these two! 

Oh my! My boy got to experience LA FINCA! Not once.. not twice.. but perhaps 4x in our whole 6 days in Gilmer. This Mexican restaurant is one of the places I HAVE to go when I go home. Sister is the same way. I don't think I ordered anything to eat until the very last night I went there. Every other night, I just ate chips, queso, salsa, and GREEN SAUCE! This green sauce is the best. I have NEVER liked Mexican food anywhere else except for La Finca. Those that live in Gilmer and complain.. they just haven't lived outside of that area for very long- that is the conclusion I have come to! I miss it, love it, and will always eat it! :) 

My boy loved it JUST as much. 

The picture below is when we arrived at Little Sis' house. We got there after 11pm at some point. We had left California at 7am (woken at 5am) and had taken two planes and arriving in Dallas at 6pm (4pm Cali time).. we had spent most of our day traveling. The last hour in the car to Abilene was so hard for my boy. He was done.. he wanted out. He was so tired. I hurt for him. He just wanted to 'hold me'.... but once we got to Aunt Britt Britt's... he was a LIVE WIRE! As matter of fact.. because he went to Aunt Britt Britt's room that night.. he did not fall asleep until closer to 3am.. and we had him up around 730am for church. What a champ he was. 


I would like to add that I did not get a single hug from my sister upon arriving. I even said something about it twice. All she cared about was getting that sweet boy in his hands. I love that he is loved so much. It makes my heart so happy. 

Below you see my sweet one. He became highly attached to the nephew's black angry bird. Precious. About the 2nd night in Gilmer he walked through the living room and told my sister and I "I be right back" and proceeded to walk out the door. It was pitch black outside. My little turkey just went to sit on the porch and enjoy the breeze. Isn't he precious. It amazed me how this 'city' boy immediately knew he was in the country and just walked out any door he could. He wanted to get in that dirt SO bad. I have never seen a child want to play in dirt so bad... made me feel guilty for living in the city. 


One of the highlights of our trip was the race. Our mom did the 5K, awesomely I might add.. and Little Sister and I did the 1/2 Marathon. You can read about Little Sis' experience HERE... and I will be writing mine... soon. I would just like to say that I loved doing this with them.. and now we are ALL THREE signed up for the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon in Florida- in Feb. So excited. 

These are my best friends! 

Below you see my boy. This was the night we arrived at Dallas Airport. Before we got off the plane he told me "I gonna run to my Gammy!" And run he did. I was so happy he did that. We are proof that SKYPE allows kids to know their family ... and I am so thankful to have it. Though we have not used it as much lately. Living away from family is SO hard.. but thankful for that. I am so glad they have this picture of him.. because it is precious- his little face! 

My heart and soul

My little one LOVED playing with his older cousins.. He really loves this one. He has asked about him every day since he has been home. This little man was so nice to his small cousin.. I loved seeing them play. I love they both have blonde hair.. and I know my nephew's daddy would be SO proud to see them playing together. 

Wow! Uncle Brian really put a mark on my boy. He won't quit talking about the "4 wheeWer" with Uncle Brian. He went through the 'nasty water' in the 4 wheeler and he talks about it all the time. As matter of fact, my boy just told his daddy yesterday that he needed to get him a big boy 4 wheeWer like uncle brian! :) Daddy told him to ask Uncle Brian for one! :) 

HOLY DIRT! All this boy wanted to do was play with his dirt. Little Sis and I had a vendor show, which went awesome, and mom took my boy home. He got to play for hours in the dirt with Gammy and Tawtaw. Now that we are home.. he loves to dig and play in our empty garden. I love having a boy and am so thankful for the things he does! Love him. 

Mimi didn't get too much time with him... but she did come and play in the dirt with him. My boy thinks that MiMi is SO funny! :) We all do. 

This is his future wife, Sanana, as he calls her. They got to ride some rides together and enjoy life. Mr. Clay told my boy that he was a 'nut' for my boy to say, "I not a nut, I Noah."

Yesterday we were looking at these pictures and we saw this picture.. Noah ran to his daddy and said "Sanana's daddy said I a nut.. HE A NUT" 

The picture above and below are at DFW Airport when we got there. I was pleasantly surprised to see my grandma and Aunt Trisha along for our short trip to Little Sis'... we had so much fun! 

Bath Time, Aunt Britt's

Doing school at Aunt Britt's work

The first day in Gilmer we went to the school to eat lunch with my two small niece and nephew. It was a blast. I had not seen these kids in almost a year and a half. My how they had grew.. and my how they look even more like their daddy, my brother, then when I last saw them! I got to see my older niece that night at dinner! :) 

Below you see Noah seeing his TawTaw for the first time in almost a year and a half... TawTaw big time spoiled him by bringing the bike, helmet, and bell.. :) He loved it. 

I can't believe the trip I have been waiting for, for six months, has ended. It was so wonderful and yet went so very fast. It always goes so fast. This time wasn't AS hard leaving though because I know we will be home sooner rather than later! I hope you enjoyed my trip through pictures! :) 

-Big Sis
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Post: Radish Chips

Pin It In my quest for eating more veggies, I have found some ‘new to me’ ways to eat them.  For example, remember the radish chips?  So when I found out I can make fries out of carrots, I had to try it!  These are SUPER easy (a must for me) AND even my hubby (who despises carrots) liked them.

Start out by cutting your carrots into small strips…OR be lazy like me and buy the matchstick bag.  lol


Put them in a bowl and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.


Spread on a baking sheet or jelly roll.



Bake at 350 for 30 minutes flipping if necessary. 

These taste yummy with a bit of sea salt!

They are amazing good and so easy to make.

carrot fries 5

Do you like carrots?  Do you know of any other great veggie must try recipes?

Happy Eating!


psst!  Wanna know about my TRANSFORM movement?? 


Take the Challenge Transform


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

GIVEAWAY Gymboss Timer

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First I would like to announce our winner of the Oh so cute shirt from Nutrition Snob!


Today I am very excited to share with you about the Gymboss Interval Training Timer!

Not only because it is a great fitness accessory, but because my husband is going to be sharing with you the things he has loved and found handy about our Gymboss.  I was so excited to get my pink Gymboss Timer in the mail, then when I began using it, I realized I didn't have a ton of use for it, since most of my workouts were runs at the time because I was training for my half marathon.

So I let my husband use it for his strength training workouts, and he has really found it handy.  Here are a few of his comments about the Gymboss.  Um and yes my husband did carry this pink timer around the weight room :-)

"It is incredible how much time you
can waste in the gym. When I started working out many years ago, I spent up to
2 hours in the gym. With moving weights around, rehydrating, and stretching
between lifts, and occasionally getting sidetracked watching the
Top 10 play on ESPN…haha, it seemed like half my time was spent NOT working
out. The GYMBOSS cut my workout in half and gave me better results. With the
multi-function timer, I am able to move through my workout without distraction
and wasting time. I enjoyed the continuing rounds that it gave me and
the ability to choose the vibrate or bell notification for the next set. The
hardest part in workout accessories is the instruction- there is not
much to the instructions of the GYMBOSS- it took me 2 or 3 workout to really
figure out how to use it. After that, I believe it essential to
anyone's workout especially if you spend half your time catching up
on your ESPN at the gym… the GYMBOSS is your own personal trainer -  yelling
at you to keep on pushing through. 

The Auto function works great - the
GYMBOSS tells you when to stop and start at every point of the workout. With a
30 sec. activity and 1 minute rest programmed you can do 20 sets in
30 minutes thats 4-6 different exercises in 30 minutes. High Intensity and
High Impact = High Results"

I am so thankful that my husband wanted to share with us, and I am so excited that Gymboss is sharing with one of our readers!! Enter in the rafflecopter below for a chance to win your own Gymboss Interval Timer!! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest Post: Challenges of Living with your Partner

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We are so excited to have Colleen Guest Posting for us today. She is talking to us about a topic that has not been discussed much on our blog-- but a great reminder that we SHOULD discuss it. Thanks for sharing, Colleen! 
Hello friends of Natural Nesters! My name is Colleen and I write over at The Chocolate Mile, where I ramble about losing weight, running and life. Things I don't write about; crafting, party planning, or cooking- so you may be wondering what I am doing here. Well, like the two lovely ladies of this site, and probably many of you, I live with my soul mate.

But we aren't married.

And it's not a top priority for us.

I know. This is usually where people either, stare blankly, or start asking questions.

3 years ago

Patrick and I have been officially in a relationship for 1,083 days (2 years, 11 months and 18 days). We've lived together for 782 days. So, essentially, we moved in with each other 4 days before our 8 month anniversary.

About.... 1.5 years in we realized that may have been a little fast, but it was too late to change it!
Living with someone is a hard task. Whether you're married or not, you're doing the same thing, except with one you have a piece of paper that says you aren't living in sin.


Living together for this amount of time has given us exactly 782 days to learn each others habits, learn how to mesh both of our ideas and morals of life together, and also learn how to not kill each other when the urge strikes.
I always laugh to myself when someone tells me they're moving in with their significant other and that they imagine it is 100% going to be wonderful. I hate to be the bubble buster, but it's not, on the bright side; those times that it's not all sundae-with-a-cherry-on-top special, are the times that are used to learn about each other and learn to love each other more in the end.

Some of the biggest struggles we've overcome in our house are things that sounds super easy, that's because, at least for us, we both have super easy solutions, that don't match what the other person is thinking.

For Instance:

  • dishes-
  • laundry
  • not leaving socks in the couch
  • alarm clocks
  • healthy eating
We both have full time jobs, we both try to live active lives, I go to school, and we both want social lives (with each other and friends).

So, things we've learned:
you can take notes if you want, but, ya know, we aren't pro's.
  • Listen; even if you don't want to hear it.
  • Clean, even if it's not your mess, just take 10 minutes to clean it up
  • Divide chores. He does laundry, I do dishes, the rest is fair game
  • Talk about food, make a grocery list together, plan meals that you both like
  • Plan date nights
  • If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.
Now, every couple is different, and so every couple is going to have their own problems, their own dilemmas. But I don't have to go into that, right? We're all adults. Weshouldknow that every one has different DNA. Man, I hope so.

Basically, we're lucky, because even with our problems- big and small (I want a new comforter, he is still attached to his bachelor pad bedroom furnishings), we love each other so it all works out. If the small problems didn't end with kisses and love notes we would have a much larger issue.
The other thing that I always like to remember is this:

We are still in the beginning of our relationship. That makes sense, right? I know for a lot of people who are dating, 3 years should be middle or close to the end, but since we don't discuss marriage or anything, we're still in the beginning. Our relationship is being built to ideally last until we're 97 years old. It's like we're building a house, we built a foundation, we built a structure, we're weatherizing and doing all that fun stuff- I know nothing about building a house- and then someday we'll get a pool, add an addition and so on.

Colleen is the warm hearted, fun having, sassy writer of The Chocolate Mile. She goes by Colleen, Coll, or Hey Kid. She has a bad addiction to coffee and requires a piece of chocolate every morning. She doesn't believe in dieting, but instead, in lifestyle changes.
Let’s be friends! You can follow me…
On the right hand side of my blog!
Twitter: @RunforDessert
Pinterest: Colleen’s Board
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