Giving Thanks (Bonus yam recipe)

Thanksgiving. My (almost) favorite holiday! Food, fun, and family all rolled into one beautiful fall day (or as fall as Southern California can get). This holiday was bittersweet since were unable to spend the holidays with my family. Fortunately I have built an amazing family here with some incredible friends. Sitting around with people you love makes it easy to see what you are so very thankful for. It was Avery’s first time joining in and eating the food and she loved every bite. Her favorite was of course the turkey.

I have so much in life to be thankful for. My beautiful daughter and amazing husband. God has blessed us abundently and we will continue as a family to serve him.

My contribution was was the yams and homemade pumpkin and apple pie, mmmmmmm. The yam recipe is one that my mom has made for years and is by far my FAVORITE. I will include the recipe at the bottom.

Here are some pictures from our fun day.

My FAAAAAVORITE pie of all time…



Our wonderful friends Dave and Melissa


And My little peanut who would not stay still long enough to get a picture of! Her entire outfit is from Old Navy.


Yummy Yams:

2 Pounds of peeled yams cut into 1 inch cubes

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup of toasted nuts (I used walnuts)

Mix all ingredients expect potatoes together. Place potatoes in crockpot and cover with mixture. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours. Mix in nuts just prior to serving! Enjoyūüôā



Awesome tutorial for baby leggings

One of my favorite things to do is sew. My goal eventually would be to start a Etsy store and make childrens items. Recently I came across this awesome tutorial¬†from The Winthrop Chronicles¬†for making childrens leggings and decided to try making a pair for Avery. Loved this tutorial it had easy follow instructions with plenty of pictures to help guide meūüôā

So I headed to JoAnns and picked out some cute knit fabric and here is the result.Image

Disneyland with a 1 year old.

So for my daughters first birthday we decided a fun gift would be to take her to Disneyland.  Up until I got pregnant we have always been season pass holders to disneyland and are frequent flyers to the magical park and although she will not remember the trip we def made plenty of memories to make up for that!

My only complaint for the entire trip was the HEAT it was miserable… It was over 100 degrees both days we were there and our poor princess was miserable from the heat but we made the most of it.

Here is a list of things to bring for your one year old to Disneyland:

1. Sunscreen… even if its cloudy or winter or WHATEVER… sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!

2. For convenience we brought the little organic squeeze pouches for her meals. This was brilliant as I did not have to worry about finding a HEALTHY kid friendly mom-approved meal.

3. Stroller is not necessary as you can rent one from Disneyland but we decided to bring our own since we know that Avery would be more comfortable in hers.

4. Extra change of clothes.

5. Sweater, usually it is chilly during SoCal summer nights (although it was still probably in the high 80’s and HOT at night when we were there).

Here are a few highlights from our mini trip to the Happiest Place on Earth!

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I am so excited to go during the Holidays this next year! Few things are better than Christmas at Disneyland.

XO, Stefanie


First Birthday Bash

So the time finally came. One year ago my life changed and my daughter was BORN! Wow, one year.

Now I refuse to say it was all kisses, cuddles, and rainbows because any first time mother would call be out and know I was lying. It was rough but for every moment I thought I could no longer be a mother there were 10 more moments that were kisses, cuddles, and rainbows. My life did change, but for the better. I strive to not only be a better mother but wife, friend, and christian. Everyday was filled with prayers for her, for myself, for my husband because trust me there is NO way that I could have done this solo.

As her first birthday came I was so stressed on living up to this certain “standard” that I blame pintrest for. You moms know exactly what I am talking about that beautiful party with everything that appears to have come out of a magazine for pottery barn… THAT party! I decided that I was NOT going to put that pressure on myself I was going to do what I wanted and do it stress free (but believe me I still stressed). My theme was “colors” or crayons or rainbow… whatever you want to call it! But it was a fun and easy theme!¬†

Here are some fun pictures from our day!

My wonderful sisters helping me set up everything:


Avery was not a fan of the cake but was very much interested in her sippy cup!



Family picture!


My sisters and baby girl


Nana and papa


The back of her outfit! Found this adorable outfit on etsy from Nixi Blue Designs


And my amazing mommy group. Love each of these girls dearly! They were all born within 2 weeks of one another (busy month of celebrating).


Can’t believe how quickly one year can go and know it will just keep getting faster and better. Her is to the second year of mommyhood!

XO, Stefanie

Citrus Lane Review

Wow, life sure got in the way of my blogging. Heres to a restart!

So, a few months back I decided to take a leap of faith and sign up for a monthly delivery for Avery from the company Citrus Lane. It is basically a subscription for a box of fun goodies for your little one that is delivered to your front door. You have no clue what is in it nor do you want to know before it hits your doorstep, as that is part of the fun! The subscription varies in price you can pay for a year in advance and it breaks down to $21/month or you can go monthly and pay $25/month.

My first 2 boxes were mediocre but because your first box is $10 off (with this code) it was worth the price I paid. I believe that CL heard the feedback from their moms in regards to their last few boxes and they quickly stepped up their game as this last month has been by far the best box we have received.

Here is what came in it:

1. This little snake guy that Avery LOVES! By Melissa and Doug


2.Zoli on-the-go snacker


This one has been amazing. I put the formula in the top and then snacks in the rest! LOVE!

3. A pack from NurturMe Organic Baby Food


This is such a cool idea. You can either make fine pureed baby food with formula/water/breastmilk or you can mix the packet into pretty much anything for your older ones and sneak some extra nutrients into their food.

4. Little Buddy Wipes by Me4kidz


These have been so handy. Its nice to have something that is antibacterial that I can use on my daughter and feel good about it!

5. $10 Credit towards Postagram (an app for your phone)

I have yet to use it but this is such a fun idea. You can send a postcard to anyone for $1. You include a picture in the postcard which they can pop out and frame/put on the fridge. It is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas.

6. Travel size Shampoo and Conditioner from California Baby

I already use a lot of California Baby products on my little one so I was excited to get this travel size to take with me places instead of my huge one. **Couldn’t find a pic

Well, there you have it! That is was came in my July box from Citrus Lane. Overall I have been impressed with this company and the quality of products they find to introduce to moms. Of course, you may get something you already have or hate but that is part of the risk. I would highly recommend signing up if you can and joining in on the fun of the surprise!

Memorial Weekend

I was so blessed to get a visit from my sister and her little family over the weekend. We had such and incredible time! No matter how much time has passed since I have seen my sister its like we never skipped a beat. She is one of the rocks in my life and I could not have been more blessed by such and incredible example of a mother, woman, and wife!

So when her family decided to pay us a visit for the Memorial Day weekend how could I not be excited!?

We started our visit off on Saturday with a visit to the Santa Barbara Zoo in Santa Barbara, Ca. Its about a 45 minute drive from my house to this lovely zoo located right on the Pacific Ocean. The park is extremely well manicured with beautiful mature trees and amazing views of the pacific ocean from parts of the park. Although the park is not huge I found it to be the perfect size and we were able to complete our tour in about 3 hours including a few little breaks for snacks! When we got to the park we¬†felt lucky as we expected it to be extremely busy and stressful to maneuver around the park, since it was a holiday weekend. Fortunately it was just the right amount of busy! We were able to get a glimpse and spend time visiting each animal. Although there was one that we could not see soon enough “where is the lion?” became the mantra for the day, and who would have thought that it would be the last exhibit that we stumbled upon!

Here are a few of my favorite views/animals that we saw!

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Love how you can see the ocean right behind the giraffe exhibit! A little jealous of the giraffe!

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The next day we headed to Zuma Beach over in Malibu, Ca! We regular this beach as it is very clean and well monitored by the local sheriff and there are plenty of life guards ensuring the kiddos are all okay! The day could not be more perfect it was 70 degrees and a very very little breeze! The girls had a blast splashing around in the ocean and building small castles. My poor Avery could not have been more covered in sunscreen or clothing… Need to make sure this fair baby doesn’t get burned in the California sun! So blessed that I was able to spend the time with my nieces. Adynn is the sweetest thing in the world and not a moment goes by without Andrea cracking me up!

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I love my family! And California!

DIY Coffee Creamer

So I had one of those moments this morning… You know what I am talking about. You know when you brew that perfect fresh cup of coffee only to open the fridge to find out someone has polished off the last of the creamer. THE HORROR!!! This morning I decided not to panic, I was going to logically solve this problem (how do you do this pre coffee?!) I quickly jumped on pintrest and scoured through solutions for my coffee dilema… Make my own. WHAT!?! Brilliant. And for the first time in pretty much history I had ALL ingredients I needed to make it. ¬†Oh the luck! My favorite thing is that there are 3 ingredients and nothing weird added to this extremely fresh creamer… Just perfectly organic, homemade goodness!

So here is what you need:

14 OZ. Milk (I used 1% but you can use whatever you have on hand), 14 oz. of Sweetened condensed milk 14 OZ., 2 TBLS vanilla extract.

I purchased my homemade vanilla from a dear friend and you can find her at Bushel & Bobbin.ImageWhisk all the ingredients together.ImageOh, the creamy goodness… Now just add to your perfectly brewed cup of coffee!ImageDon’t you just love the creamy swirls…Imagemmmm…. Time for me to enjoy my perfect cup ¬†of coffee!

XO, Stefanie