Love List

Friday, November 8, 2019

 
It's been quite a while since I did a love list, so I figured there was no better time then at the beginning of the best season of all! For me, the holidays should always have a cozy vibe, so most of the things on this list are all about cozy! :)
 
1. Matching Jammies from Lazy One Inc. We do matching jammies every year, but these definitely are the most comfortable sets we have ever owned. I love how they're all a little different, but still the same print, and that you can get a matching set for your pup! You can save 10% off your purchase using the code: ASHLEE10
 
2. Christmas Sheets. I love having warm flannel sheets in the cold months, and a Christmas print just makes it so festive and fun! These sheets from Target are my favorite and they come in sizes Twin to King!
 
3. Christmas Crib Sheets. It never occurred to me until this year, that Target does not sell holiday crib sheets. A quick search on amazon, and I found a ton, and the prices aren't too bad! Click here to see some of my favorite ones.
 
4. Saranoni Blankets. I got my first two Saranonis right before the beginning of Fall, and you guys, they are the softest ish you have ever felt in your life. Buy all the blankets, I'm not kidding.  
 
5. Lillian & Co. Jewelry. If you are looking for a perfect gift for a lovely lady in your life, look no further! These bracelets are the cutest, so comfortable, and the price is absolutely affordable.  
 
6. Chase Those Rainbows. My girl, Cynthia, is launching her holiday line of girl's bows and accessories at 10:00am PST today, and you don't want to miss it! Use the code COFFEEANDGRACE to save 15% off your purchase!
 
7. King of Christmas. The prettiest artificial trees, wreaths, garland, and other Christmas decor around! A lot of places sell trees and wreaths, but I guarantee the quality does not even begin to compare. Click here to purchase your decor and use the code COFFEEANDGRACEBLOG to save 10% off your entire order! 
 
I could seriously go on forever with all my favorite things right now but I think this post is officially long enough! If you use any of the codes, tag me in anything you share! I want to see what you all got! :) 
 
Only 47 days until Christmas! 

Halloween 2019

Sunday, November 3, 2019


October flew by so fast; I can hardly believe that Halloween is already over! We had such a fun month, though, and our amazing Halloween wrapped it up perfectly. Baylee had school, of course, and since her school does not allow them to have a Halloween party, I decided to send her with a festive lunch (which she loved!)


Once I got back from dropping off Baylee, I came home and made funfetti pancakes for Natalie and my niece Kennedy. They were so excited! We watched some Halloween cartoons, danced to some Halloween music, and played until it was time for lunch. I attempted mummy hot dogs and they turned out horrible (haha) but the girls ate them up!



We got a big surprise that Brian would be coming home after being on shift for 10 days due to the fires out here in California. Since we were saving his pumpkin just in case he made it home, he picked up Baylee from school a couple hours early so that the two of them could have time to carve it! Baylee was absolutely stoked that Daddy made it home in time for Halloween! 


After carving, we all got ready in our costumes so that we could take some pictures before we headed over to my cousins' house for their annual Halloween get together and trick-or-treating! This year, we were a family of vampires and a baby bat, which was so fun and easy! But I have to say that Kennedy dressed as Britney Spears stole the show! ;) 



At my cousins' house we had chili, cornbread, and salad for dinner, followed by so many sweets for dessert. I wanted to bring something completely new this year, so I made a graveyard trifle. It was an absolute hit, and so stinkin' cute! 


The kids all had the best time trick-or-treating! There was 6 of them total, and now that they are all old enough to run around and go door to door it's the most fun ever! It broke my heart a little that Baylee no longer needs me to hold her hand and walk up with her anymore, but I loved watching her have the time of her life. Natalie got the hang of it by the third house and was holding up her pumpkin bucket as high as she could to get her treats. Both Natalie and Kennedy were mind blown that we were letting them have candy...I think they have a new favorite holiday! ;)


And now the Halloween decor is all packed up and the Christmas decor is making its way in to my house! I am more excited than ever for this holiday season...I can't wait to experience it through the eyes of both my girls and my niece! Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!
 
 
 
 
 


 

Fun At the Pumpkin Patch!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Over the weekend, we had our annual visit to the pumpkin patch. We didn't realize that the one we normally go to was closed on Sundays, so we tried a different one down the road from it. In the end, we were so glad things happened that we because we liked the new patch even more! (We went to Los Rios Rancho in Oak Glen) The girls had so much fun tromping through the patch looking for their perfect pumpkins!










After the patch, we walked around the village, had some lunch, and then finished the afternoon with an "apple burrito" warmed up and served a la mode! SO GOOD! I'm so glad we've been able to make a dent in our Fall bucket list already, it truly is the best season! :) 

Hope you al had a wonderful weekend; only 16 more days until Halloween!
 

Friday Favorites: Spooky Jams

Friday, October 4, 2019




One of our favorite things about Fall each year is getting cute Halloween jams to wear all through October! The selection this year did not disappoint, so I rounded up some of my favorite pairs to share with you! All of them are still available online, and most are on sale right now!


Clockwise from top left:
1//2//3//4//5//6

My sister and I decided to match our three little ghouls, and they think it's the most fun thing ever!


And you know what? I have to agree with them! ;)
Only 27 more sleeps 'til Halloween!

 




The Best Pumpkin Muffins

Sunday, September 29, 2019


Over the weekend, Baylee and I made the best pumpkin muffins ever, so I thought it was only fair to share the recipe with my favorite blog readers!



Ingredients: 

2 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 can of pumpkin (15oz)
3/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

topping ingredients:
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Instructions:  

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Line two muffin pans with liners (24 total)
3. Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda) and whisk together in a large bowl
4. In a stand mixer bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin, coconut oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat on low until combined.
5. Once combined, keep mixer on low and slowly add in dry ingredients.
6. Fill each liner about 3/4 full with batter.
7. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl, stir, then sprinkle a teaspoon or so on the top of each muffin.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Let cool for 5 minutes and then move to cooling rack.


 They're bakery quality, and taste amazing right out of the oven, cooled off, or warmed up for breakfast the next day! 
If you make them, let me know what you think!

 
 

Fall Bucket List 2019!

Monday, September 23, 2019


Happy first day of Fall, friends!

Every year, I post a bucket list for each season, and I think this is easily my favorite list yet! 

Fall Bucket List 

1. Have weekly apple cider floats.
2. Bake a new pumpkin muffin recipe.
3. Visit the pumpkin patch.
4. Watch "Hocus Pocus" and our other favorite Halloween movies multiple times. 
5. Make a new soup for dinner every Sunday.
6. Carve pumpkins.
7. Go to a trunk-or-treat or other Halloween event.
8. Make s'mores in our fire pit for dessert one night.
9. Bake an apple pie. (I've never made one, and I'm determined this year!)
10. Drink a hot caramel apple cider from Starbucks.
11. Do a random act of kindness.
12. Have a chili and cornbread night.
13. Take the girls on a nature walk in the mountains.
14. Host a beautiful Thanksgiving. 
15. Soak in all the moments of this magical season!

What's on your Fall bucket list this year??

Confessions of A Fire Wife

Wednesday, September 18, 2019




I've been trying to write this post for two months now, but every time I have sat down to write it end up clicking the laptop closed. I have so much to say, and don't even know where to start! I'm determined to give it my best shot this time around, though, so here goes nothin'!

When I first met Brian, he was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps. We actually spent our first 5 months together living on base in Hawaii...definitely a blissful beginning to our relationship! I had to come back home to California, though, and 5 months after that he finally got out of the USMC and joined me. It was amazing to finally be together where all of our close friends and family lived, but it was also terrifying. The military tries their best to prepare veterans for coming back in to the "real world", but starting from scratch is never easy. Especially when you've just spent years of your life having a steady paycheck, benefits, and never wondering where you need to go or be because someone was always telling you. 

We got lucky, and Brian was hooked up with a couple jobs right away, but we definitely struggled. It was only due to the help of our families that we were able to get on our feet, and we managed to scrimp and save enough to have a wedding, buy a house (we closed escrow on our wedding day!), and a couple of weeks later, a new car. Just two weeks after that, we found out we were pregnant with Baylee. Six weeks later, I was out of work on disability due to terrible sciatica and severe morning sickness. Then, I was laid off and decided for sure to be a stay-at-home-mom. We were definitely scared about getting by with a family of three on one income. Brian knew that he needed something more. He needed a career and not just a job. It was around this time that he decided to pursue a new dream, and he applied to be a firefighter. We had no idea how long the process was going to take, but after 3 crazy years (which included him getting injured on the job, and then laid off, and also us going through infertility and then doing IVF...I'm not kidding when I say "crazy years") we finally got a letter with Brian's start date for the academy. It was bittersweet, because I was over 6 months pregnant with Natalie at the time he started (which meant he was only home 1 or 2 days a week for the remainder of my pregnancy and her first 7 weeks of life) but our lives were about to change completely and we knew it would all be worth it in the end.

Once the academy was over, Brian went straight in to being a probationary firefighter literally the day after graduation. Nothing could have prepared me for the world of recalls, 72-96 hour shifts, and minimal contact with my husband. All the while, I was caring for a newborn and a 3-year-old primarily on my own, and it was hard. I look back, and I still don't completely know how I managed to make it through those first 6 months of our new journey, but somehow God gave me the strength. I remember sitting there on the hardest days thinking "This is what we hoped and prayed for. This is God answering." and it would help.


As time has gone on, though, it's gotten a little easier every day. I have learned to adapt to our new lifestyle, and watching Brian smile talking about what he does on shift reminds me just how great the decision to become a firefighter was for him. My husband was made to be a firefighter. I truly believe it was always his destiny. 


It's funny to see people's reactions when I tell them my husband is a firefighter. They're always so intrigued and say "Oh how nice for you!", but I snicker to myself knowing good and well that it's not always a glamorous life being a fire wife. It's spending nights alone with one side of the bed cold. It's hearing "When's Daddy coming home?" followed by a sad sigh when you have to answer "Not for a few more days." It's learning to go to events alone and getting used to the "Do you even still have a husband?" jokes. It's having to be Mom & Dad on a regular basis and then having to switch right back to normal when he comes back home. It's learning to kill the bugs and fix things around the house that can't wait. It's starting to unpack at your brand new house by yourself because he got called out to a strike team for a week the day after your moved in (true story!). It's holidays celebrated late or on different days, rarely finding time for date nights, missed communication, and a lot of marriage strain. 

But I would be lying if I said it wasn't 110% worth it. And in the end, it's made me a stronger more independent woman than I ever thought I could be. As for our girls? They, of course, miss him when he's on shift, but you should see their faces light up and the shrieks of "Daddy!!!" when he walks through the door. Priceless. And Baylee is so proud of him. Just today, I dropped her off at school, and noticed that the teacher had posted on the wall drawings of heroes that her and her classmates had done. Amongst the Spidermans and Captain Americas was a drawing of a firefighter with Baylee Tibbetts written across the top. My girl's hero is her Daddy, and he always will be.  


If you've read this far, you are definitely my best friend! I wasn't kidding when I said I have a lot to say, but I wanted to share my side of what it's really like to be a fire family. It's not an easy life, but it's a great life, and I wouldn't trade it for the world!