Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Freshly Picked Strawberry Muffins



From the mid to the end of June in Western New York is perfect strawberry picking time.  The berries are bright red and just deliciously sweet -- so naturally I had to head out into the fields to pick some strawberries! I've been wanting to do special things individually with the girls, so I decided to have my parents watch Katherine and I took Elizabeth.  We had an absolute blast! At first she didn't want to step in the dirt (such a girly-girl like her mama), but we quickly overcame that!

Monday, June 26, 2017

4th of July Food Idea Round Up






It's hard to believe that a week from tomorrow is the 4th of July.  I've always loved the 4th of July because even though summer has already started, I feel like it's a great way to kick off summer.  Growing up, we always had awesome parties to celebrate America's Independence and now that we're back in Buffalo, those traditions can continue. My cousin Sara and I have already been feverishly planning a menu and throwing ideas back and forth at each other.  We're opting for a traditional BBQ, but some of the menu items will be different than your usual baked beans or potato salad! 

I've rounded up ten of my favorite recipes that I found on Pinterest and linked the recipes for you below!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Weekend Recap

Whew, what a weekend! The past week or so has seriously been a whirlwind, so I'm sure this post is going to be all over the place.  Brace yourselves, I've got lots of news to share! 

First up -- we're moving.  Not down the street.  Not across town. We're moving 1200 miles away, to Buffalo, New York.  I was born and raised in Buffalo and left ten years ago to move down here to Tampa for a teaching job.  Florida has been great to me -- I met my future husband, got engaged, bought a house, and had two sweet baby girls.  We've been wanting to move for a while now but decided we weren't even going to entertain the thought until one of us secured a job.  A few weeks ago, my husband flew to Buffalo for an interview, was offered the job a few hours later, and the rest is history! He actually leaves for Buffalo this Friday, with our kitty cat as his co-pilot (if I'm responsible for driving the girls myself, then he's on kitty duty).

Oh, and we put our house up for sale last Thursday around 2pm and by Friday at 4pm we had 27 showings and seven offers.  SEVEN! I knew it was a sellers' market but whew! We're just starting the crazy paperwork but we're so excited to be able to be moving knowing that our house is officially OFF the market! And the cutest older couple bought the house so we're excited it's going to someone who will take care of the place.  Our realtor was simply amazing and did a fantastic job moving things along quickly.  At one point we had to turn down showings because um, life. 

Back to the weekend recap now that I've filled you in! 

Saturday morning was spent with the girls -- we hopped in the car in our pajamas and did a Starbucks coffee run and we jammed out to Disney princess music the whole time. Disney + music + my girls = LOVE! I also remembered right before ordering that my summer go-to is iced coffee with raspberry syrup. So. Freaking. Good. 



On Saturday afternoon E and I had a date to see the sing-along version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. It was magical.  The showing was at the Tampa Theatre, which I had never been. What a neat little place! The audience was great -- truly singing along to the songs and even clapping at the end of each song. We had a blast and E was just about perfect. We also binged on popcorn and apple juice. I'm not a regular mom. I'm a cool mom. 








A while back I decided to give Rocksbox a test run and became a #RBitgirl.  It's seriously the best. I mean you get to try all sorts of different jewelry from a wish list YOU create and then you have the option of buying at a discounted rate or sending back and getting more. YES PLEASE! I paired this beautiful House of Harlow necklace with a cute, lightweight dress from H&M and I was in heaven!  Use the code ALIFEOFLOVEANDJOYXOXO so that you can get your first month free!



Sunday morning was a bust. E had been asking all weekend for "donuts at the park" but it was pouring. We ended up at IHOP for pancakes and well, we all loved them except E.  She was perfecly content eating her yogurt and bananas while looking at her Disney princess cards.  Simple things my friends, simple things.  



But I had a mama fail -- I totally forgot about her swim lessons at 12:30. I'm so disappointed that Shaun didn't get to see her swim before he leaves but she'll be enrolled in swim class later this summer once we're settled so it'll all be fine! We had just gotten so wrapped up in packing during naptime that we completely forgot.  It wasn't until my father called me and asked how swim went and I was like noooooooooooooo, I forgot! haha. Packing went so well though, so I guess you win some, you lose some! 

Shaun's last day of work is Tuesday so I decided to bake up some cookies for his coworkers. Plus face it, I'm not about to pack sugar and flour in boxes to move 1200 miles. Give me allllll the baked goods for the next week and a half.  I came across a bag of butterscotch morsels and opted for the Oatmeal Scotchies recipe that was on the back of the bag.  Only I didn't have enough oatmeal (recipe calls for 3 cups and I only had one and a half. So I decided to throw in the rest of our mini-chocolate chips. Oh. My. Goodness. Amazing! I've linked the recipe to the Toll House website since it's not my original recipe but note these changes:

*Instead of 3 cups oatmeal, I did 1.5 cups and then added 1 cup of mini chocolate chips.  




Now that I've caught you all up on life, I'm off to the airport to pick up Grammy! I'm so happy she's here with us this week. She's seriously a master packer and will be sure my goal of being DONE packing by Friday will get DONE! 

XOXO! 
© A Life of Love and Joy. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.