Hey everyone! Hope your halloween was amazing! Ours was great, short and thanks to my cousin Grace, I didn’t even have to order my kids costumes! She came home with costumes from Chicago and told me what my kids were going to be for halloween, it was perfect. Wyatt was Spiderman and Rosie was Cinderella! We walked the Arroyo Grande Village and ran into all our favorite people! Sadly we didn’t leave with a single piece of candy, so I woke up wanting to make something sweet to make up for my lack of candy! My house now smells like delicious pumpkin and Wyatt and I have already downed half a loaf! Read more below about our pumpkin bread!

EASY PEASY PUMPKIN BREAD

Don’t we all want to be that person that has the “signature” dish?  Certain people come to mind when I think of those amazing desserts and I would love to be one of them, but unfortunately I’m not. In fact, most desserts I make turn sour a few times before the actually turn out good. If you’re with me on that I need you to try to make this pumpkin bread. Its a winner! It’s easy! And if your friends hate it then blame me!IMG_0857.jpg

Despite the fact I burned the first batch last week putting my kiddos down for nap, I redid it today and redeemed myself! I encourage you to try this, gift it to your loved ones and enjoy for yourself.

Ingredients

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

3 cups white sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F + Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let me know if you try it! Enjoy!

 

 

 

Easy Pumpkin Bread

Easy to make Pumpkin Bread

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We got back from Texas on Sunday and I feel like I’ve finally stopped sweating. I don’t know how y’all do it but that heat and humidity is one vicious combo. I’m going to keep todays post short and sweet because Wyatt is outside attempting to move all garden tools onto the lawn, the only tool left to be moved is the lawnmower so its about to go downhill since he will try to move it himself haha.

We went to Texas to visit my little sister Jenna who is a senior at Baylor University and ended up doing about a million things! We ate Chick Fil A four times in four days, had my cousins Madi, Jordan and Macy visit from Dallas, my longtime friend Kady and Uncle Lucas drive in from Austin,! (hi Lucas!)  We visited the worlds most adorable trinket store and possibly the worst place to bring a toddler, The Spice Market. We  walked to Magnolia from our hotel 4 times because the place is dremier than I imagined and the perfect place to go pick up some food, watched the Baylor Bears play football, saw my ultra talented sister dance in her Sing performance two times and visited the school where she is teaching! All of this, in three days. It was constant moving and going and safe to say it was a crazy, crazy weekend that wasn’t easy despite the ridiculous amount of help I had from my entire family!

Our kids? They were rockstars and considering how much we did, they hung in like champs! My mom, sister and I laugh now at the realization that sometimes you just can’t do it all with two kids and I really learned that weekend that I need to set my limits/boundaries as a mama for what I can and can’t do. Being from a big family has me constantly loving and living in movement and chaos so I’m used to it…but with Rosie just shy of three months and a crazy toddler in tow I have to learn to stop and re-prioritize my plans! Live and learn is my motto and I did just that!

Here are a few pictures that capture a weekend full of amazing humans I’m so grateful to have in my life!

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Below is the Spice Market! Literally the worst place ever to take a 2 year old because I think there were over a million trinket items at toddler eye height!

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My adorable sister is the brunette on the right! She was nominated as a Baylor Beauty!LRG_DSC05795

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Hope you all have an amazing Halloween! Grateful for all of you, really am!

 

Stephanie

“Body after Baby” and “Bounce Back” are sayings in society that I hear and instantly want to roll my eyes. As I sat in the hospital after having baby Rosie 9 weeks ago, I couldn’t help but notice three things. First, my belly still looked like I was 9 months pregnant, my body wasn’t mine anymore, and everything looked like it had gone through a garbage disposal. It was tough, not going to lie but it didn’t take more than a second to realize how blessed I was to have been able to bring a life into this world. All these physical changes didn’t hold a candle to the amazing miracle that was our little baby girl.

However, I’ve always said few things feel as good as healthy. I’ve never been the skinniest or fattest, and frankly have never wanted to. My curvy athletic body is something I’ve grown to appreciate overtime and in todays’ world it makes me feel good to see so many young girls being taught to see healthy and curvy as a wonderful thing!

When I got home from the hospital, I longed to feel normal and I knew there was very little I could do to achieve that. However, I found a Bamboo belly band off Amazon that worked wonders for me. It gave me back support, helped engage my stomach muscles that I figured were long gone, and kept a smooth feeling when I attempted to try on my old t shirts again! I’ll Link it below for anyone interested!

A week after having Rosie I stumbled across a fitness group led by a girl named Carli out of Utah. The eight week challenge was a group of people who all followed an interchangeable meal plan for two months, lifting one another up and sharing our stories. I had to take a “before photo” which Gavin took for me. I remember thinking, holy crap this is shocking and in that moment I made a promise to myself that my after photo would be more shocking than the before photo. Looking back, I can’t believe how good my husband made me feel looking how I did. It wasn’t about the extra 30 pounds or the deflated Santa belly, but the fact that I should feel empowered that I was able to bring life into this world. His support in these moments mean more to me than anything else.

Fast forward eight weeks and we are here today! FAR from where I want to be and to be honest, sharing this photos wasn’t an easy decision. In fact, my entire post deleted as I attempted to post this 30 minutes ago and I thought to myself.. that’s it maybe its a sign I shouldn’t be posting it? I almost cried but I gave myself a quick Pep talk and started over fresh.  When I started this blog I promised myself one thing, keep it real, so here I am.

It’s so incredibly easy to share the pretty, put together, happy photos of me and my family but if I did only that you wouldn’t get to know the real us. I share these progress photos with you today to hopefully inspire you to share and BE more than just your highlight reel. We are human, imperfect and that’s liberating. I stand here today typing this at just a point in my postpartum journey. It isn’t over and I have a LONG ways to go to be where I want to be but ill enjoy this moment for what it is and be thankful for it.

Motherhood isn’t perfect, it isn’t easy, and it isn’t always what they show you in the media or the movies. I hope you all see my progress and are inclined to do a little to be your best self today, and find peace in your own journey!

xox,

Stephanie

Carli’s Fitness Program 

Early flights are never easy for me. Add in my first time traveling with two kids and no morning coffee and we’ve got a recipe for failure. That failure came in the form of my lovely computer left in the hotel room! Thankfully, the kind folks at the Edgewater sent it our way and about five minutes ago Fed Ex delivered it.  Now I’m sitting down writing, life is good.

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So much has been happening in this world lately that has made me want to keep my little family tucked in my home and away from the rest of the evil in this world. While I sat sipping my warm coffee last week, I saw a little girl talk about her mother on national tv who had passed. She explained that although she wanted to fold and mourn she was going to get out and honor her mother by living with the intention of love and happiness. Well, after I watched that I thought the world needs us to spread kindness, happiness, and love more than ever. So instead of hiding in my house, I’ve been trying to honor those lives lost by living with intention to spread love, kindness and happiness. I challenge to do the same.

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Our trip to Seattle was amazing. We traveled there because I was the Matron of Honor in my best friend from College’s wedding! It was so wonderful seeing her marry the love of her life and I’m already ready for them to make some babies!  We spent part of the weekend exploring the city and the other participating in wedding activities.. all full of happiness and excitement. As you can see by pictures, Rosie never left my side and was a total rockstar. Reuniting with my old roomies Anna, Chelsea, Hannah, Lesley and Becca was such a highlight for me and it was so fun to show them what my life as a mom is like! None of them have kids so we shared many good laughs about the truth  of motherhood, birth and breastfeeding. They had so many questions and I was certain not to sugar-coat any of the answers because the looks on their faces was straight comedy. (see below)

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We stayed at an amazing hotel called the Edgewater where our room was directly over the ocean and although that was somewhat terrifying, it made the perfect live storybook for Wyatt. Boats, Cruise Ships, Birds and Paddle Boarders went by as Wyatt sat in excitement and awe over this new experience. I’ve said it a million times but being there to watch your children experience new places  in this world is one of the very best feelings.

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We took advantage of the little time we had to explore and with wet hair, a warm cup of coffee, and a bundled up baby in a front pack we rushed down to Pike’s Place. Wyatt was obsessed with the fish market while I couldn’t take my eyes of the beautiful flowers! Bouquets that would be 40-50 dollars here in California are $5 at Pike’s Market and  I’m still jealous of anyone who lives there for that sole reason. We sat down for breakfast at a tiny little spot overlooking the water and enjoyed hot pancakes and a view of the busy city!

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My Mom and Dad were with us and as always, were the BEST. My parents are unreal… so helpful, fun and spontaneous which Gavin and I love and appreciate. My mom always pushes me to live a little more, attempt what I think is the impossible, and she had 5 babies in 7 years so she is a total rockstar grandma with my babies who love her. My dad is a dreamer, always focusing on the bigger picture so our time together was spent talking about dreams, visions, and how to make this world a little better. Having my parents with us on this trip was such a treat!

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Spending time with my little family is priceless, getting to explore the world with them is even better. If there is anything I’ve learned lately it’s that life is a precious gift… in a single moment it can all be taken away. Every minute I get to live this life with those I love is a gift and this trip was one of the best. Talk to you guys soon

Love,

Stephanie

 

How do we have a two year old?! At 27, I can’t believe I have KIDS.. as in plural! Wyatt and Rosie have undoubtedly been the greatest joy in our lives, and I can’t believe this joy only began 2 years ago! We chose to celebrate small this year as a family, we woke up (by we, I mean Wyatt woke us all up) at 6:30AM to a little voice saying “donuts” because we had promised him the night before we would get donuts on his birthday.  Getting up at 6:30am with little to no sleep and keeping up with the energy of a two year old birthday boy is easily the most intense “rallying” I’ve ever done for a party.

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I stayed back with Rosie while Wyatt and Gavin left to the donut store and excitedly turned our little living room into a party with balloons, decorations, and one little gift. It was terribly hard only buying one gift. It was Gavin’s idea that he felt strongly about, and when I expressed that I thought we should buy more he explained that Wyatt didn’t need a million things, in fact less is more so we went and purchased one Thomas the train and a small train track. It was tough and my mom guilt of “only one gift” was real, however I knew I needed to trust Gavin. Well, it ended up being perfect and I learned a good lesson that showering our children with gifts will only lead to them expecting more and we don’t want that. Wyatt loved his train set and played and played with it until my adorable brother Patrick came to our morning party and brought a John deer Tractor…Wyatt hasn’t put that tractor down since. Every party has a pooper too, you can take a while guess who slept through the entire thing haha! Maybe Ro will make her appearance next year.

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IMG_4510For his birthday we also took a little trip to the Santa Barbara Zoo as our little family! On our way down to the Zoo we talked about how nice it is to do things with just our mini family, we both have extended huge supportive families that we love being around but there is something really special about making memories with just us.  We lasted only a few hours which was dandy for us because we are all pooped after a good activity these days. Rosie slept the entire time in the Solly Baby Wrap, so it was fun to have a little “one on one” time with Wyatt.

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All in all we had a great time celebrating our not so little Wyatt. He made me a mama two years ago and its been the most blessed life since. I am grateful everyday God entrusted us to raise such a fun and happy little dude.