Friday, October 31, 2014

Five on Friday {Our Years in Pumpkins}

Happy Halloween!

In honor of this spooky holiday I'm going to put a festive twist on my usual five and take a stroll down memory lane. This year marks the sixth Halloween that Matt and I have shared together, so today I am going to recap our past five Halloween's - in pumpkins!
2009: Our very first Halloween together Matt and I had been dating for less than a month. This was the first time I visited his smelly house, met his precious dog (Charlie!!!!), he cooked me a spaghetti dinner and we carved pumpkins.

2010: See, this is exactly why I blog. If I had a blog back in 2010 I would have remembered carving a sloppy scary face into a pumpkin on our living room floor. Instead, I had to ask Matt to jog my memory. Apparently our carving skills that year didn't warrant a photo. Since then we've explored alternative ways to decorate pumpkins that don't involve knives.
2011: Hooray! I had just started writing my blog earlier in 2011 and documented our engaged Halloween together in our old house. We were just weeks away from being married when we painted this pumpkin. Full post here.
 2012: Exactly one year later we had just closed on our new home together and celebrated our first married Halloween. Broke from purchasing a house, furniture, etc., we decorated our porch with a reusable plastic pumpkin that I painted. Full post here.
2013: Of course, one of my favorite years of pumpkins was when we announced our pregnancy with a pumpkin! Full post here.
2014: Busy being a mom, I went the laziest route yet and dropped these pumpkins straight into a pair of fishnet stockings. Full post here.

And there you have it, our pumpkin history!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

When I first met Matt he was strongly opposed to the crockpot. He is paranoid that our house will burn down if one appliance is left plugged in {even if it's not turned on} when we're at work. To this day he will triple check to make sure I've turned off and unplugged my curling iron before we leave in the mornings. I can understand the curling iron, but the coffee pot? Do you know how annoying it is to reprogram the clock and timer every day? He finally got past the coffeemaker being plugged in but it took the longest time to convince him that the slow cooker was created to be left on all day! Anyway, we've come a long way and now he's cool with it which means we can enjoy really delicious meals when we walk in the door after work like this one...
Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin. It's super tender, juicy and requires pretty much no effort on my part which makes this recipe a winner!
 You should make soon as possible.
Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin


2 pounds Pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon Rosemary
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Pepper
1 clove Garlic; crushed
½ cup Water
½ cup Brown sugar
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
½ cup Water
2 tablespoons Soy sauce

  1. In a small bowl combine rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic.
  2. Rub over tenderloin. Place in slow cooker with ½ cup water.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. About an hour before the roast is done, mix together the ingredients for the glaze in a small sauce pan (brown sugar, cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, water, soy sauce).
  5. Heat over medium and stir until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
  6. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. (For a more caramelized crust remove from crockpot and place on aluminum lined sheet pan, glaze, and set under broiler for 1-2 minutes until bubbly and caramelized. Repeat 2 to 3 more times until desired crust is achieved.)
  7. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Counting Our Blessings {Again}

Well we can't seem to catch a break these days. The trauma and expense of Caroline's scary incident last month is still lingering and just yesterday we had another big scare - Matt and Caroline were involved in a car accident.
We all leave the house at the same time in the mornings. Matt takes a left out of our driveway for daycare and I take a right. I was halfway to work when I got the call..."I've been in a terrible accident. Hurry. The car flipped." That's all the information I had. I immediately did a very unsafe u-turn and floored it all the way back towards our neighborhood. The flood of thoughts rushed through my head. Was Caroline in the car or had she already been dropped off? Who's car flipped? Is my baby okay? Is Matt okay? Is my baby okay? Why aren't these cars moving fast enough in front of me? IS MY BABY OKAY?
I arrived to the scene, blowing past yelling policemen who had attempted to block the street and the first thing I saw was Caroline's carrier sitting on the sidewalk. There were parents huddled around her.  I threw my car in park before coming to a complete stop and more policemen were yelling at me to "stay back". Yeah right. I blew past them and rushed to my daughter. The medics stopped me and said I wouldn't be able to take her out of the car seat until she had been evaluated. Matt and I hugged while I of course cried. He somehow managed to remain calm. That's when I noticed there was another person involved in the accident. 
Flipped over on the sidewalk was a white 1996 Isuzu Rodeo. Wedged between the driver side of the car and cement were long locks of beautiful blonde hair. Everyone at the scene expected the worst as the firemen were desperately trying to get to the trapped driver. I lost it and begged Matt to start praying with me right then and there for this girl. That's exactly what we did. After what felt like hours they were able to get the visibly shaken 19 year old girl out of the car without a scratch. Not one scratch. The police said it was a miracle and I knew there was no doubt about that. Her dad arrived moments later.
The accident happened right in the middle of morning rush hour traffic. Matt had just turned off our street and was traveling down a very busy road when the girl attempted to quickly cut across 4 lanes of traffic (one of those lanes being Matt's). Matt t-boned her, her car flipped, his airbag deployed, he hit her again and then smashed into a telephone pole. Caroline didn't make a peep. Panicking that she may have been knocked unconscious, Matt kicked open his jammed door and ran around the truck to Caroline. When he opened her door she just looked at him puzzled. He said the drivers stuck in traffic surrounding the accident looked absolutely horrified as he pulled the car seat out of his smoking truck and many people stopped to help. Several parents jumped out when they saw the car seat and offered blankets. One of my bible study leaders also happened to pass by and stopped. Even two teachers at Caroline's school stopped at the scene. There was an outpouring of love and concern. We needed that in those moments.

After the vehicles were loaded onto the tow trucks we immediately took Caroline to the doctor to get checked out. She was totally fine but the doctor instructed us to give her some Tylenol in case she was a little sore from the impact. We also took Matt to the doctor for his minor pains and then spent the rest of the day together at home.
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers on Instagram. Although we seem to have a lot on our plate these days we are unbelievably grateful for those guardian angels who continue to watch out for our family. Without a shadow of a doubt the Lord wrapped his arms of protection around Matt's truck yesterday morning. And for that we are eternally grateful.

Now I'm going to be a mom for a second and remind you all:
1. Please don't text and drive,
2. Always wear your seat belt and
3. Give your family a hug and exchange "I love you's" before you leave the house each day!

*Note: Matt was wearing his seat belt and was not distracted when the accident happened.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Little Ghosts & Goblins Halloween Pajama Party

Happy Halloween week! Today I'm linking up with The Good Life, Fancy Ashley, Hello Happiness and I Love You More Than Carrots for the "Little Ghosts & Goblins Halloween Pajama Party". So without further ado, my chunkalicious baby pumpkin...
And a few more {from the iPhone} because I just can't help myself...
This girl and her expressions. She cracks me up.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Five on Friday!

Well hello Friday! Let's get right down to it!

- ONE - Earlier this week I made some Pumpkin Spice Muddy Buddies for Caroline's school bake sale. Matt and I had a great debate over how I should price these bags of deliciousness. In the end he said I overpriced them by a dollar but I justified the $2 price tag considering I handpicked every brown and orange M&M out of the bag. Good news - they sold out.
- TWO - I really need to add some fall nail colors to my collection. Any recommendations? I'm loving this color a lot - Shearling Darling by Essie. Also, I had to wash my hands approximately 20+ times before I could take this picture so it didn't look like a 5 year old painted my nails. Tell me I'm not the only person who gives sloppy manicures in bed...
- THREE - Charlie's allergies are terrible right now so I took off work early one day this week to get him a cortisone shot at the vet. He gave me the silent treatment all the way home...
- FOUR - Two new activities we added to our evenings to keep Caroline distracted until bedtime - family selfies in the bathroom mirror and unrolling the paper towels throughout the house...

- FIVE -  An awesome sale on J.Crew Factory Marley Ballet Flats was brought to my attention last week by Katie. I already own one pair of these comfy flats so I quickly scooped up another pair in "burnished sand" at $48. And you're in luck because I just checked and they are now even cheaper...$34 plus an extra 25% off with the code EXTRA25. 

Remember last week when I asked if anyone wanted to watch Caroline so Matt and I could have a date night at my new favorite restaurant? Well, we got an offer for this Saturday night and I quickly took it. I hope this generous stranger coming over isn't a complete weirdo. Just kidding, my in-laws are coming. :) 

Happy Weekend, friends! 

Wanna join Darci, April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...
1.) Write your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!).
2.) Share the logo on your blog and link back. 
3.) Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!

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