Monthly Archives

December 2016

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December 22, 2016

Chocolate Coffee Cranberry Cake

Happy Christmas week my loves,

Today I want give you one of my favorite recipes. A chocolate coffee cranberry cake.

You read right!

The 3 “C” cake is one of the best and easiest cakes ever.

I made two of these as Bella also loves cake, but we choose to not give her caffeine if you get what I’m saying. Girlfriend doesn’t really need it, like ever, but it it was a big hit with everyone.

Like almost every other cake I do I love to use box cakes, I know most people have mixed feelings about them but I love them. I shared my secret before to making them taste like a homemade cake here, and this recipe is not much different.

Follow the instructions on the box and remember to switch the oil for cold butter and add a pinch of vanilla. To make the adult version of this cake use 2 tbs of your coffee and mix before baking. This time around I used Hills Bro Cappuccino Double Mocha and bake.

Guys, if you love the smell of coffee, this is the cake for you!

Once done I added some fresh, washed cranberries, we gave it a little sugar dust and viola!

Doesn’t it look beautiful? Well, it tastes amazing too.

Hope you have a great Christmas week!

on
December 16, 2016

Christmas Tree Farm

Last weekend we visited the Christmas tree farm near our house and took advantage of the opportunity to take a few pictures.We had planned for a lot fancier pictures but I got to say I’m in love with how they turned out.

The farm also has the cutest Santa and Mrs Claus so we took Bella’s Santa pictures as well.
We did them last year and we plan on doing them every year, if God allows it.

For fun comparison, I have added a few from last year these memories are the ones I want to remember for ever!

on
December 16, 2016

Save on Christmas shopping and more

Sponsored post! All opinions express on this post are 100% my own.

If you are anything like me you still have Christmas shopping to do and Christmas outfit to buy as well. I literally do this every year. The last thing I get is my outfit and every year I tell myself “I’m going to change that for next year” but never really do.
We got Bella’s Christmast outfit in September guys, September. Now if I could only do that with mine.

But this year I got an extra hand, I got Groupon.
Groupon Coupons tuhat is! Groupon Coupons work online and in stores. It has every store you could think from Gap (one of our favorites) to Rue21 (hello Chrismas dress shopping) and Charlotte Russe

Charlotte Russe Is the perfect store for those stocking stuffers we have not done!Without to mention the fact that their shoes are always amazing and well priced. So imagine 20% of that? Or Sweaters for $15. Well, that’s Charlotte Russe for you, and just like that, the deals are endless.
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In my books, there is no better way to shop. Amazing stores and out of this world coupons. Go check out the Coupon tab on your Groupon app and if you don’t have the app here is the link!
 Hurry there is only 9 sleeps until Christmas! 
on
December 14, 2016

Thinking of baby number 2

” The days are long, but the years are short” Gretchen Rubin
This quote summarizes motherhood. It summarizes, at least for me, the basic notion of motherhood, the reality of our days and the bittersweetness,(??) of passing time.
Lately, my mind has been on time, as you can tell by the quote above. The time that I’m spending with Bella, the time that daddy spends with her and the time that we spend together, as a family of 3. It’s meaningful to both of us that her day is filled with us, and last week as we made it to Hobby Lobby I bought some items for her second birthday, it hit me. My baby is going to be 2 in 4 months. Really?! When did this happen?!  
And….
When did my 6.5 lbs, full of hair baby get so big? Where did the baby that only cried for seconds and had no voice go? Where is my tiny 18″ babe?
I’m blessed to say that she is a walking, screaming (this is why we call her Bells), singing  full of life toddler, but I won’t lie, I miss my baby.
And then the thoughts of baby # dos comes? We have been talking more about this lately, becoming a family of 4. Giving  Miss Bells a sister or a brother. 
— Insert a terrified mama—
Take away all the scary things like pregnancy, delivery, financial worries and having an actually newborn, the thing that terrifies us the most is time. How is Bella going to feel and react to the idea that our time will have to be shared?
Bella is a social butterfly, in love with kids and babies of all ages. She has never reacted badly to me holding a baby or anything for that matter, but my mama heart does worry.
Will I damage her forever? Dramatic, a bit, but none the less it worries me.
How will she feel, how will it affect her and will she even care?
When we talked about babies, we always said we wanted them to be close in age. We were going to start trying for a second baby  when Bella turned 18 months. It made sense she was going to be well in her twos when the baby was born, allowing for a small age gap. 
 But, 18 months came and passed and we were not ready, I don’t think we are ready now either, and time is the key component.
As much as we really want another baby I wonder if we will ever be ready. But then, is anyone really?

And then we think about the joy she has brought. Bella is a shining light. She makes everything fun and is usually cracking up at the smallest thing. We cant help but  imagine another little person that brings us so much joy and happiness.  She has also taught us to love more and another baby will just add to that.

We thought we were ready for Bella and she changed every piece of the puzzle and maybe even the puzzle itself and we loved it and another baby will do the same! Change everything we thought was perfect and actually make it perfect.

If you’re a mom when did you start talking about baby #2?Is a small age gap good or the more apart the are the better?  Where you ready? Any tips?

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

on
December 13, 2016

A gift that keeps on giving: CARE

Year after year since the day we got married, my husband and I use our anniversary as a vacation away from it all. We have visited various countries and this year we visited Guatemala.

Guatemala is truly beautiful. It has  one of the best views all around, but one of the places we traveled really struck me. The mama in me, I should say.

We travel to Pana hatchel. A beautiful little town in the middle of the mountains and volcanoes. As you walk the main street of this town at any time of the day a child will come up to you selling something. It doesn’t matter what but that’s their job and they’ll figure out what and  how to do it.  I had seen this before in a few of the places we visited, but this time as a mother it hit me even more. How these kids don’t go to school, how these kids need to work, and the fact that because they are so use to it, it was normal for them.

Maybe is the fact that we have been in the civilized US for too long, comfortable in our house and with everything around us but this shook me. How can a child not attend school?

One  morning as we sat on a boat overlooking the lake and volcanoes around us, driven by a teen I should state, I saw it as a parent. I saw the heartache of a parent and the huge sacrifice it must be for them. To put their kids to work to be able to meet their needs. I can’t even fathom being in their shoes. How hard it must really be.
That day as we were going back to our hotel Lester and I decided to make this Christmas different. This year, we will finally do many of the things we have been talking about and never doing it.

Here is our list and I hope that you feel inspired enough to go out there and join us!

1. Pass our gloves and blankets to the people in the streets.
            Gloves and scarfs are currently .99 cent wherever you go. Buy a few and pass them out. Houston doesn’t really get super cold but being out in the streets every single bit can and will help.

2. Spend more time with family, as they are the true meaning of this season.
         Sit to eat together, talk about your days, make that special trip to grandma’s house and enjoy them. Every.single.bit. of. them.

3. Share and learn more about the love of God
         Is so easy to get caught up in giving the perfect toy or leggo set that we forget that this season is to learn about the One that gave it all for us. Visit your local church and embrace His love for us

4. Send a gift through CARE.
        This kind of works together with # 3. Learning more about the love of God will bring you here. Giving to others as is more important to give than receiving.
It’s easy as adults to comprehend this but for kids is a little more difficult. I’m happy to say that CARE thought about that.

 CARE is a program that allows you to help and improve someone else’s life from your home. They help girls and women get a chance to a better life. You could do this in someone’s name and gift them this amazing gift.
 The CARE team in Malawi will introduce you to girls like Alinafe, Evelisi and Maliyana who dreams of being a strong woman, like her mama.

CARE allows you to the impact of giving, they allow you to see and really understand this giving season.
What makes it more special is that you can do this with your children. Let the choose from a goat all the way to a water well and let them see their gift in action.

CARE is having a special live event on Facebook now through Dec 16 where you can actually meet some of the girls that benefit from this program.

I invite you to take a look, to join the movement and feel the need and take advantage of the opportunity of teaching our generations the act of kindness and giving.
Check CARE out for more ideas as to how you can help, and share with me what you want to teach your kids this holiday season