What to do with your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Who is ready for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving feast??? I know I am! But let’s jump ahead real quick to the leftovers that I know are about to overwhelm some of us after the feast. And boy do I have the solution for you…Leftover Thanksgiving Casserole. There isn’t a formal recipe for this one. Only instructions; suggestions really, to help guide you and inspire you to create your own masterpiece.

1. Skip the tupperware!!!

2. Grab the largest casserole dish you have.

3. Layer each and every bit of your leftovers in said casserole dish. I usually begin with the turkey, then the veggies, a layer of mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, applesauce, cranberry sauce, corn bread pudding, etc. You name it, you have it, you add it!

4. Top off with some extra French’s Fried Onions (optional).

5. Cover in tinfoil and either freeze or refrigerate depending on when you plan on eating it. If you have decided to freeze your casserole be sure to remove it from the freezer and let it thaw completely in the fridge before proceeding to the next step.

6. Bake/reheat at 375 degrees covered for an hour or until bubbling.

7. If/when bubbling remove tinfoil and continue to bake until golden brown on top (could take up to an additional half hour depending on your oven). If you are confident enough to use the broil feature on your oven go for it! I am not, and burn everything when I do, so I do not use broil ever!

8. Let the casserole cool for 15-20 minutes or so before serving (a burnt tongue will ruin the flavor explosion experience).

9. Pour yourself a glass of “leftover” wine and enjoy!!!

The flavors come together nicely but in a unique way each and every time depending on both how you layer and what your layers consist of. The final result is a savory but sweet flavor bomb that best captures each and every flavor from the holiday season all rolled into one single bite. It’s an experience for sure! What are you looking forward to most tomorrow? Drop it in the comments.

5th Annual Friendsgiving Celebration

There are friends, there is family and then there are friends who become family. Another successful Friendsgiving celebration is on the books and boy was it a day to remember! We spent the entire day celebrating friendship with those we hold most dear to us. It’s these friendships and these people that have made our cross country move five years ago worth it. It’s these friendships that have made me feel a lot less homesick for Wisconsin and have made Arizona start to feel like a true home. It’s these friendships that will last a lifetime.

This year was our biggest year yet! I have never seen our home full of so much laughter, food and fun. My heart and belly is so full and I wouldn’t have it any other way. A HUGE thank you to everyone who made it this year! We love and appreciate each and every single one of you. And to those of you who couldn’t make it we missed you terribly. Let’s get together real soon.

It warms my heart to see how this event has grown over the years and I’m so excited to watch it continue to grow for years to come. I cannot wait to do it all over again next year! In the meantime I have two refrigerators full of leftovers that need to disappear ASAP so hit me up if you’re hungry.

Health and Fitness Journey Update

You know I’m always gonna keep it real with you. But I feel a little bit like an imposter. I will admit I have been a little bit in hiding. I haven’t shared my workouts, transformation photos or really given any updates on my health and fitness journey for a while now.

Truth is I have been struggling behind the scenes and haven’t really known how or what to share. So before I spill my guts here people I ask that you keep it kind. And for those of you who just can’t help themselves I can promise you that there is nothing you can say to me that I haven’t already said to myself.

I want to start by saying that life is good! REALLY REALLY good! But for someone reason I find myself in a season where my disordered eating is getting out of control again. I am back into a cycle of starving, binging, and purging. I act like it’s some unknown reason that led to this but because of the healing journey I’ve been on this past year deep down I truly do know.

For the first time in my life I am coming face to face with all my demons, past mistakes and childhood traumas. The mask is off. The heavy drinking and substance abuse to hide from having to face these demons is off. I am facing all of this in its truest and rawest form. And to be on this journey at a time when I am also mourning the loss of a future I can no longer have as a woman and mother because my body is changing and my hormones are an absolute mess is beyond difficult. Not just for me but for my family. My poor husband especially. He gets the sobbing, blubbering, can’t even breathe or form a sentence version of me that only those closest to my heart have ever seen.

The work is being put in folks that I can promise you. Even if you don’t see it. Even if I don’t share it. It’s being done. I CANNOT and WILL NOT continue to live my life this way. And for the very first time in a long while I feel like I can see a little bit of sunshine through this heavy cloud that’s been hanging over me. The pieces of the puzzle are all starting to come together. I am able to see things clearer and have a better understanding of how I got here and in turn have a better understanding of what needs to be done to truly heal my whole body, heart, mind and soul.

Thank you to all of you who have been there for me without fail watching, supporting and uplifting me as I navigate this crazy journey. Thank you to my amazing support group and team. I wouldn’t be here without all of you. Thank you to my husband for never giving up on me. Thank you to my family for always showing me grace and forgiveness. I’m coming out of this a new woman for sure. I’m so close. I can feel it!

Craft Time – Homemade Mini Ghosts

Hunter being the crafty little kiddo he is decided to throw together this quick and easy craft just before trick or treat this year. It turned out so good he wanted to share it with all of you. All of the supplies we already had on hand and I bet most of you have these items already laying around your house too!

Supplies Needed:

Tinfoil

Tissue

Rubber Bands

Markers

Be sure to check out our YouTube video for the full tutorial on how to make these cute little guys. Make one or make a bunch and hang them on some string for a cute spooky season garland. This craft is perfect for kiddos of ALL ages!

Homeschool Tip: Learning to Read

Book in hand and iPad off…I NEVER thought this day would come but here we are and I could not be more proud of this kid.

For those of you who have been following our homeschool journey you already know that reading has been a struggle for both Hunter and I. Truth be told I was just overthinking it per usual. There were three key factors of focus that we practiced EVERY SINGLE DAY sometimes a few times a day that led to Hunter’s reading really taking off:

1. We simply started to read. And read a lot! I read to him. He read to me. We read together. Every day without fail. And we continue to read each and every day to this very day.

2. Whenever Hunter asks for help spelling something I spell out words phonetically and he has to come up with the correct letter. This benefits us twofold…his reading and ability to sound out words has improved as well as his spelling.

3. We make reading extra fun by giving the characters funny voices.

Here’s Hunter giving the characters silly voices.

The second Hunter’s reading started to improve was also the second he started to realize just how important the skill of reading actually is in order to navigate every day life. I am so proud of him for working through his frustrations and keeping at it. And I’m proud of myself for getting out of my own way. Do you have a little bookworm in your house??? If so, drop your favorite book(s) or book series in the comments! We are always looking to expand our library.

6 Going on 16

This kid I tell ya! We are at such a tough stage right now. He knows exactly how to push my buttons, test my patience and frustrate me to no end. And if you ask him he’d say the exact same thing about me. We are water and ice. Oil and vinegar. I have officially been demoted from Mom to #bruh. I’ve been “bro-zoned”. I am uncool and irritating.

I knew this day would come but I did NOT expect to be dealing with a 16 year old attitude in a 6 year old little body. But Hunter is absolutely STOKED! No lie! If you’ve been a witness to his “deeper voice” then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Hell, the other day he was over the moon to show me the hair coming in on his legs!

My Momma heart is hurting but is so damn full all at the same time. This parenting thing is tough AF man. But it’s the most fulfilling job I have ever had. I wouldn’t trade it for a thing!

Fresh Start Grocery Haul

It’s your “day one”. The pantry and fridge have been cleaned out and your grocery haul is up next. So where do you begin???

When you’re just starting out trying to eat better I am ALL FOR splurging on convenience items. Items you know are going to keep you on track regardless of what life throws your way on any given day. Pre-packaged, pre-cut, pre-cooked, individual serving sizes. You know, the kind of stuff you don’t even have to think about. Whether it’s a crazy busy day and you’ve gone far too long since last eating or you’re in a grab-and-go situation that may lead to bad food choices; focusing on convenience will make all the difference in the world when trying to avoid that end of day binge or quick run through the drive thru.

Pre-cooked, pre-cut protein options are a MUST. They can be used as a stand alone item or as an add-in to any meal any time of day. I’m a HUGE fan of pre-cooked, chopped and frozen chicken breast. Be sure to grab some eggs and cottage cheese too. It’s the fastest, easiest way to boost your protein intake. With pre-packaged salad kits the possibilities are ENDLESS…eat alone as a full meal, as a side to a meal or as a wrap! So good to have on hand. Finally, I always grab a healthy amount of fresh fruit and vegetable options for the week. Apples, individual servings of avocado or hummus and little veggie snack packs are PERFECT for grabbing on your way out the door. Don’t over complicate it babes. Make it so stupid easy you can’t fail.

Recipe Time – Fire Water

You guys have been BEGGING me for this and I can finally say that I have PERFECTED the recipe and the process. So here it is…my coveted Fire Water recipe!!! Benefits include, less bloat, less inflammation, a natural boost of energy without the caffeine, it helps to curb cravings, helps boost your immune system and jump starts your metabolism.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup Ginger Root

1/2 cup Tumeric Root

1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

x6 Lemons Juiced

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Himalayan Salt

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

Water

Simply place all the ingredients above into a blender and mix well. Strain the blend into a cup. Pour x1 oz into twelve 8oz bottles. Top each bottle off with 3/4 cup of water and store in the fridge. Drink first thing in the morning before ANYTHING else. You may substitute the Ginger Root and Turmeric Root for 1 tsp each of ground spices. Be sure to tag me if you give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! Cheers to better digestion and gut health!

Yes Day

Today was one of Hunter’s favorite days…it was a “YES DAY”!!! These days don’t happen often but when they do it’s a pretty big deal. What’s a “YES DAY”???

This is how we do it:

1️⃣ We agree on a store to shop at.

2️⃣ Hunter has 10 minutes to shop.

3️⃣ Anything in the store is fair game. All items are an automatic yes.

He may get ANYTHING he wants BUT…

4️⃣ He must be able to carry all the items himself.

5️⃣ He is responsible for checking out all by himself.

Today we went the Dollar Tree and let me tell you, some of the items he picked were a little bizarre, some were cute and some were super duper sweet. He got really creative this time too. When it came to carrying his things he headed to the gift bag section first to have bags to fill for easier carrying. His total came to $23.09 and included things like a toothbrush, toothpaste and his own deodorant, a lei and flip flops for Mommy, a card for Daddy and a bright blue glittery star to go by Grandpa’s photo and flag. I’m most impressed and extremely proud that given the option to get anything he wanted that he thought of others.

Have you ever done a “YES DAY” with your kiddo??? If you haven’t I would highly recommend giving it a try! It’s a pretty special experience and you might be surprised at some of the things your child picks out and why. If you do happen to do your own “YES DAY” be sure and tag us!

How To Make Every Day A Great Day

If you’ve been following along on stories then you know that today has been a rough day. Matter of fact the week so far has been difficult. We are going through an adjustment period with Justin’s new job and Hunter’s behavior has taken a nose dive as a result. It’s so hard to make every day a great one when things are seemingly spiraling out of control. It’s ok to cry about it. Lord knows I did! But don’t throw in the towel on the entire day. You have the power to turn things around even if you don’t quite know how to do that.

I don’t know how best to address Hunter’s behavior sometimes but I’m sure as shit not gonna give up on him or let the behavior slide. Sometimes we have it all figured out and sometimes we figure it out as we go along. But I will always do my very best and that starts with never ever giving up on my day because of a difficult moment in time. Aim to make every day a great one regardless of the curve balls. Even if it doesn’t work out the way you hoped or intended I promise you will never regret trying.