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! 

 

Apple Picking!

Sunday, September 15, 2019


Yesterday, we went on our annual trip to Oak Glen to go apple picking at Riley's Farm. I have to say, having three adorable little girls to chase around the orchards this year made it the most fun trip ever! They had a blast, and now we are even more ready for all the Fall things!













As always, we ended the trip with walking around the village, having some lunch, and of course, APPLE CIDER DONUTS! 


It was the best kind of day, and on our way out we bought a gallon of fresh pressed apple cider. I will now be partaking in weekly apple cider floats until it is gone. ;) 


Fall is officially a week away, and we are here for it!


What fun Fall things do you have planned for this year?

 


 

Eighteen Months With Natalie!

Friday, August 9, 2019





It's Natalie's half birthday today! Seriously though, how have 18 months flown by since she was my tiny little newborn?! She's absolutely huge now, and so much fun. Her little personality comes out more each day, and I have been loving learning more about my tiny and who she is. :)



Age: 18 months
    
Weight: 23 lbs


Height: 31.5 inches


Clothing size: 18 months


Teeth: 10 total! She has 4 up top, 3 on the bottom, and 3 molars so far. She's finally catching up! Also, I'm 99% sure she is missing a front bottom tooth, which is apparently perfectly normal for baby teeth.


Favorite foods: Still completely obsessed with bananas and all fruit really. She also loves chicken, cheese, turkey dogs, green beans, cooked carrots, and pasta of any sort.


Words: She's a little talking machine now and I love it! She's a little shy and soft spoken, but times when its just her and me she's an absolute jibber jabber. Her favorite things to say are: "Mommy, up please!" "Go bye bye" and pointing out animals that she recognizes "ho-see" (horsie) "'cow", and "dog".


Favorite activities: going to gymnastics (so cute), going "side" (outside) to play, baths, all meals/snack times, and going ni-night (this kid adores her crib and sleeping...she's mama's girl for sure!)

Least favorite activities: She's actually been fairly easy going lately, but she still gets grumpy for some diaper changes. Other than that, she pretty much goes with the flow and it's lovely.


Favorite toys: ALL the books, baby dolls, little people, and the play kitchen


Signature moves: brings me a book and asks me to "ribbit" (read it), pretends to change Kennedy's diaper, hits the couch or other objects when she's mad or frustrated, asks for a banana the moment we walk in to Target, and wants to "walk!!!" wherever we go instead of being in a stroller


Since they are so active, my sister and I decided to put Natalie and my niece Kennedy in gymnastics once a week, and it has been amazing for them. They giggle the whole time, and it's been so much fun to see what they're capable of learning already at such young ages! 



Natalie is the sweetest girl with a heart of gold, but her inner diva is definitely breaking through the closer she gets to 2. Her opinions are solid, and she is starting to make it known when she thinks something is unfair! I love it though, and I'm proud to be raising yet another strong little lady! 


Happy half birthday, my Natalie Louise Faith! In 6 short months you will be 2 and I can't even handle it!
 Mommy loves you to the moon and back! 








The More That You Read...

Friday, August 2, 2019

"The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go."
-Dr. Seuss
From the time Baylee was a tiny baby, Brian and I have made a huge effort to read to her daily. I truly believe that by starting so young, we instilled a deep love of books and reading in her. When she was tiny, we started with short board books like "Goodnight Moon" and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear". As a toddler she started to like books that were a little more involved like "Room On the Broom" and "Pinkalicious". Now that she is 5, we still read all her old favorites, but I recently introduced "chapter books" in to her world and she is absolutely loving it!

I got the idea to start reading chapter books to her, when author Kirsty Lee Hutton reached out to me about her children's book series called "The Kingsley Kids". I couldn't wait to get my hands on the first book: "The Kingsley Kids and the Invisible Spray." It is the cutest book about three 10-year-old friends tackling regular school-aged life events with some extraordinary events thrown in as they discover a magic spray that can turn things (and people) invisible. It is a wonderfully written book that teaches a few life lessons easy enough for a young child to understand. 

Baylee has loved being able to close her eyes and imagine all the lovable characters in her head. After each chapter, we take some time so she can ask questions or add in her opinion, and it has been a fun bonding experience for us! If you would like to read this wonderful book, you can purchase a copy here, or visit my Instagram where I am giving away 5 copies!

What were your favorite chapter books to read as a child?

Baylee's Pirate Parrrr-ty!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

About 5 months ago, Baylee and I were pretending to sword fight with some swirly straws (you know everyday happenings in the Tibbetts' house) and she gasped and said, "Mama! I want a pirate party for my 5-year-old birthday!" Of course I was stoked and immediately started buying all the pirate flags! ;) So, yesterday we finally got to have her long-awaited pirate party, and it was the best day! 


As per the usual, I went all out with a themed dessert table. I kept the rest of the decor simple, though, which I thought worked out so well! Not pictured were the "tattoo parlor" where we did temporary tattoos for all the little scallywags, and the "pick yer poison" station for our adult buccaneers. ;) 












With Baylee's birthday being in the middle of July, it's always crazy hot at her parties. So, this year, we let the kids cool off with a bounce house water slide, and they had a BLAST! Seriously, I barely saw my own child the entire party because she was so busy having the time of her life with all her best friends and cousins! 


The little ones also had a blast getting dressed up and playing with their own little pirate kiddie pool!


  
We went simple with food, and decided to BBQ hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner with classic sides. We got our cake from our usual Target bakery, but there must have been something lost in the communication of what I wanted because it turned out an epic fail! SMH...it was hideous. We just laughed it off, though, and I cut and served it as quick as I could!


After cake, we let the kiddos hit a pinata and play in the water slide some more. As they left, each one was sent home with a bag of Pirate's Booty and a cannon ball cup!  



It was so fun to spend time with our family and friends; I only wish we had stopped to get a family picture! I'll never forget what a special day it was for Baylee, though! 
One last happy birthday to you, my love. 
I hope 5 is your best year yet! :)