Friday, October 28, 2016

Life Lately

Life lately has been a good kind of crazy- like it's Friday already and I thought the week just started kind of crazy- but that's just the stage of life we're in right now. I already know it's true when people say some days may feel long, but the years are so short.

If you missed my post on Robyn Field's blog entitled "Embracing the days with your Littles," you can check it out here.

And if you didn't get a chance to read Robyn's guest post from Wednesday, she shared her top-five favorite books with us.You can check it our here! There are least two from her list that I have added to my read-next list. Thanks, Robyn!

Okay, on to some Life Lately:

Last Friday, we took a trip to Kinsey Family Farm with Aunt KK (Matt's sister) and Riley. My nephew, Jackson, was in school, so it was just these three kiddos and their crazy mamas for our morning together. It was a blast. And it felt like FALL!

These two are 4 months apart and are so much fun to watch together.
I hope he always gives a thumbs-up with his pointer finger and smiles with a wide-open mouth. :)

Love this girl so much!

Ryan and Riley weren't embracing this photo op as much as Natalie. ;)

Wagon ride through the pumpkins- I love that she figured out she better hold on ;)

Love this sweet girl's crinkle-nose smile!

And love her mama too!

After nap one day, I looked over in the living room and found Ryan sitting in this storage bin eating some of Natalie's puffs. Oh my gosh, little people are so funny.

This little lady and I took a trip to Costco together, and she sat in the cart like a big girl for the first time! She was quite proud of herself and loved greeting all of the shoppers. :)

She also sat in the swing for the first time this week, AND started really crawling from one spot in the room to the next! She's growing up!
Matt sent me this picture when I was making a solo grocery run- sweet loves... those tippy toes kill me. He loves his sister so much!

Another first for miss Nonni Girl- neighborhood wagon ride!

When we got back, Ryan washed the wagon...
...and its wheels :)

...while this little lady chilled on her blanket enjoying the Fall breeze

Love this pic so much- Matt is seriously the best. Ryan loves watching him shave before work, and this morning, Ryan apparently asked if he could spread it over Matt's belly. And Matt said yes. :) I  love how he takes the time to do silly, random things like this even on a work morning! I mean the look on Ryan's face is pure joy.

Ryan was ready to go to Mops with me on Tuesday!
And a few minutes later he was passed out. Sweet guy still loves a morning snooze some days.

Zoo day with our friends Lauren and Cade!

And Fall cookie decorating with Aunt Steph, Finn, and Ryder!

Nonna and Papa came to town and brought the furniture that we were storing at their old house, so Papa and Ryan made a game of carrying the recycling bin down the driveway on the dolly.

And then they played in the truck and loaded Ryan's toys in.

Later that night, Matt and I went on a DATE!!! We explored our little downtown for the first time since moving and ate a delicious restaurant. We forgot to snap a picture... in fact, I forgot my phone all together... but man was it good to be out with just him for a few hours!

This weekend is a big one in our house! Clemson plays Florida State in football. I am obviously a Clemson fan, and Matt is an FSU fan and will be going to the game! ...which means the kids and I will be dressed in orange and cheering hard from home. ;)

Hope y'all have a great weekend!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Top 5 Favorite Books from Guest Blogger, Robyn Fields

Good morning!

This morning, guest blogger, Robyn Fields, is going to share her top 5 favorite books with us and let you know a little bit about herself and her blog. Check out her post below for some reading recommendations, and visit her blog to read a post I wrote about embracing these days of parenting young kids.

Happy Wednesday, friends!


Hey, there! I'm Robyn, and I'm so excited that Heather shared her super-cool space with me! I'm a twenty-something wife (which does not, apparently, disqualify me from being a crazy cat lady), former elementary school teacher, current aspiring author of children's books, and a lover of Jesus and pink glittery things. A day for me is not a win without coffee, chocolate, stuffed animals, doing something active, and reading books. ALL. THE. BOOKS. I have a super-important goal to win a free vacation from the show Live with Kelly, and I may or may not take notes about the show's guests on a daily basis to ensure this happens. I also love bright nail polish. A lot.dsc_0362 
me & the hubs!

img_6451 cats make faces like this...and so then we take selfies, naturally... 

On my blog Fields of Grace, you'll find everyday encouragement, marriage laughs & tears, twenty-something triumphs & struggles, and a few recipes featuring – surprise – chocolate!img_6601 

On my author website, you'll find tips and tricks on reading and writing with littles (including an explanation of the Daily're welcome, any confused parent), kids' activities, answers to FAQ's about book writing, and updates on my current agent-querying process. dsc_5357-2 

Since I'm a writer and also spend wayyyyy too much moolah on books, Heather asked me to list my Top 5 Favorite Books! Whoop, whoop! Done and done. (Disclaimer: this list of books is my top five out of, say, 5,000,000. And I'm leaving Harry Potter out because CLEARLY he's on everybody's top 5, so we'll just say that's a given.)

Top 5 Favorite Books!

  1. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (buy here)
    • We've found it: a non-fiction book that reads like fiction!! I couldn't put it down. It follows the 1936 U.S. Olympic rowing team from their very first tryout all the way through their neck-and-neck Olympic rowing race against Hitler's Nazi team in Berlin. I can't even. It's literally...we all need to read this book. I don't think any other true story has ever left me feeling so good when I'd finished it.
  1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (buy here)
    • I know you've heard of it – probably seen the movie, too – but I couldn't not list this one. It's one of those rare children's books that truly is a good read for any age. Lewis' Christian allegory throughout is nuts. (In a good way.)
  1. Love Does by Bob Goff (buy here) DSC_2694
    • Gosh, I love this book. I might read it again. No - I will read it again. Goff presents Jesus to readers in the most humble, absolutely hilarious, and tangible way. Plus, each chapter is a separate short story from Goff's life, so it can be read as fast or slow as needed. Each chapter is totally separate from the others.
  1. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (buy here)
    • I must be a sucker for historical fiction. This book is about the complicated friendship between Sarah Grimke (one of the first female abolitionists) and her slave, Hetty, which she was “given” as an 11th birthday present. Set in Charleston in the early 1800's, this story is based largely on the true story of the Grimke sisters and how they broke the social norms to do what was right. It's a beautiful story. I actually teared up (happy tears – the best kind) at the end of the book. ***Disclaimer: there is a – ahem – love scene in this book. It's short and can easily be skipped if needed.
  1. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (buy here)
    • YA'LL this book is awesome. I'm fan-girling over it. Big time. And's a book for teens. (But that didn't stop us from reading Harry Potter, did it? Absolutely not!) This book is set in an all-girl boarding school that's secretly a school for spies-in-training. The main character is super lovable and her commentary on life (and super-awesome spy things) is hilarious and endearing. Plus, there are a bunch of books in this series, so if you can't get enough teenage sass (like me), you can go and buy all the books in the series (also like me). #sorrynotsorry

I hope you enjoy one (or all!) of these books. :) Feel free to come on over to the blogs and hang out! Blessings, Robyn



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Recipe: Mexican Street Corn Salad

Can I just say how much I have missed sharing recipes on here?!

Really, I've missed coming up with them the most, but the best thing about food is sharing it with others, so I am super excited to be {hopefully} back in the routine of sharing new recipes with you guys once a week!

This little dish can be served as a side, a dip, or a topper over grilled chicken- we've eaten it all three ways in the last three days. ;) It was inspired by my favorite side dish at Bartaco in Buckhead. I ate there last week with my Mops table and convinced the whole table to order this side with their tacos. I mean who knew corn could be so fabulous?!

So just make it once, even if it doesn't sound like your thing. I'm pretty darn sure you'll love it. Oh, and leave out the red pepper flakes if you don't like spicy.

(recipe inspiration from here)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bag Trader Joe's frozen, roasted corn (looks like this)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup finely sliced scallion greens
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice from 1 lime, or 1T
1/2T crushed red pepper flakes (or less if you want less spice)

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add corn and cook on medium heat until heated through, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes). 

Add remaining ingredients. Stir until warmed through and well blended. Serve as a side, over grilled chicken, or use as a dip.

For the grilled chicken, I used a zesty Italian dressing for the marinade and grilled on medium heat for 6-7 minutes on each side.