Monday, October 31, 2016

White Chocolate Apple Crisp

Happy November 1st! Wow, I know I say this a lot but I really can't believe the year is almost over. It feels like not long ago we were celebrating the New Year and making all those resolutions. Now, we are getting our holiday meal menus organized and starting to figure out how many people to cook for. If you're as lucky as me, you might be getting some help for the holiday cooking {thanks mom}. OR maybe you enjoy cooking it all by yourself. Whatever your holiday meal prep and plan is, this White Chocolate Apple Crisp Pie is sure to make everyone's tummy really happy.

I love a good apple pie but get bored with it pretty fast. And I must say that the pie crust is my favorite part anyways. So when I make an Apple Crisp, the crust needs to be a major player in the pie game. For this crisp, you can't eat it without getting mouth fulls of the graham cracker crust in each bite. And forget about plates, this treat is best eaten straight out of the pan, straight from the oven, when the white chocolate chips are melted and in each bite- HELLO perfect blend of sweet and sour! I'm telling you, I'm a bit obsessed with this recipe and have the hardest time sharing any of this Apple Pie with anyone else. 

Here's What You Need:
  • 1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust
  • 2 Large Granny Smith Apples, chopped into small cubes 
  • 1 cup dry/uncooked oats
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon 
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons Agave 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
What You'll Do:
  • Heat oven at 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl. combine apples, oats, cinnamon, and white chocolate chips.
  • Stir in melted butter, Agave and brown sugar until all ingredients are dispersed and apple pieces are coated.
  • Add apple mixture to the graham cracker crust. 
  • Cook for 35 minutes and 350.
  • Remove from oven and eat right away while warm. 
  • Enjoy!! 

I'm telling you, this is a real crowd-pleaser, if not, just for you pleaser. I have one cooking in the oven as we speak and I can't wait to no share it with everyone lol.
Enjoy the month of November!! 

Friday, October 28, 2016

For Busy Moms +A Healthy Premier Protein Shake Recipe

Good Morning! This week has been so busy and hectic and just all around all over the place thanks to kids activities, playdates and some of my own exciting endeavors. It's kind of crazy to think that this is the busiest time of the year, with the holidays here and all. I wanted to share something I found that I think all you other busy moms will find pretty cool and helpful like me...

On November 4th, Costco is hosting a Mom Hour from 9-10am, a holiday shopping event where Costco opens earlier for moms and their babes to join City Moms Blog Network and Costco to shop BEFORE Costco opens its doors to all of its members! How cool is that! I love shopping at Costco but sometimes get overwhelmed with the crowds. If you love shopping and with other moms, then this is the event for you! And if you aren't a Costco member yet, you can still come and get exclusive membership offers. Enjoy swag, snacks, samples and giveaways with other families in your city. Many Costcos around the country will be participating, so check here to see where your nearest Mom Hour will be!

Speaking of being busy, yesterday, I took the train into the city {Chicago} to have a meeting. I had to leave the house super early to catch the train and had to skip out on my normal breakfast. Thankfully, I was able to grab one of my go-to treats -that I usually save for gym days- but came in super handy in my morning rush.

Have you tried these Premier Protein’s Hormone Free Chocolate and Vanilla Shakes yet?? I'm totally obsessed with them for both gym days and busy mom mornings. Not only are they packed full of protein, which is so important for staying strong and healthy on those busy days, but these protein shakes are hormone FREE and a convenient way for me to get full without sacrificing flavor OR nutrition. I bought mine at Costco because let's be honest, I'm also obsessed with Costco {it's kind of a problem}. Here are some of the reasons I love these tasty shakes...

30 grams of healthy protein, including all of the essential amino acids
Low in fat and only 1 gram of sugar
Only 160 calories
24 vitamins and minerals
An excellent source of calcium
A protein blend that comes from cows that are treated responsibly, without the artificial growth hormone rBST

Here is a super delicious Smoothie/Shake recipe using my fav Premier Protein’s Hormone Free Chocolate Shake that I think you will really love!

Berry Chocolate Shake

What You Need:
What You'll Do:
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. 

I'm telling you, this smoothie is perfect for breakfast or for an after workout treat! I'm making these nearly daily. 

So, I hope that you're able to make it out to the Costco Moms Hour on November 4th {that's next Friday!!} and have a wonderful time shopping, eating, and mingling with other mom's in your area.

 Have a wonderful and relaxed weekend! Oh and if you want to bring the dads, any friends who are soon to be moms, or any close family, you are more than welcome!! 

This post was sponsored by Find Your Influence. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
#premierprotein #costco

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lazy Mornings

Heidi's Choker: Zaful  //  Heidi's Top: Target  //  Heidi's Earrings: Zaful  //  My Earrings: Rosegal
//  My Top: Rosegal  //  Halloween Pillow: Rosegal  //

So a couple weeks back I wrote about wanting to live more in the moment and less in my planner. I've been really trying to make a cognizant effort to spend more time just "being" and less time hurrying on to the next item on my list, watching my life wiz by me, while I miss out on all the random happenings that make up each of my days. Easier said than done, I know, but the effort has been made {a good start in my eyes}. 

This last weekend was, of course, busy with kids soccer games, Boy Scouts meetings and fundraising, church events, and family get-togethers. It can be hard with three kids to find the time to not focus on the next event and to just be. So on Sunday morning, after we returned home from church, the kids and I put on our comfy clothes, found a sunny spot -much like a cat- and just hung out. We did nothing but talk, throw pumpkins- I have no idea why except for pure two-year-old enjoyment- held hands, made a Lego mess, and just were

It was perfect, uninterrupted, motherhood bliss. A perfect lazy Sunday morning if you ask me. Of course, it didn't last for as long as I would have liked, as we had to move on to the rest of the day's schedule, but it happened and it was enjoyed by all. That part of me that loves making lists and schedules wants to make a time for this at least once a weekend, but then that would be defeating the whole purpose of just finding the time to just be, wouldn't it? 

Anyway, how did you spend your weekend? Or how do you spend your time just being?? 
Have a wonderful last week of October and if you're in the Midwest like me, stay warm!! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

10 Perfectly Awesome Autumn Recipes

Sweet Potato and Sausage Stuffing

Candied Yams & Bacon

Crockpot Turkey Chili

Creamy Healthy Pumpkin Soup

Italian Wedding Soup Pasta Bake

Creamy Bacon Cauliflower Mash

Pumpkin Caramel Biscuits

Roasted Seasoned Greenbeans

Cinnamon Salted Caramel Apple Chips

Austrian Apple Strudel 

I just love cooking this time of the year. I don't know if it's the cooler weather, staying indoors more, or all the harvest ingredients that inspires me to get in the kitchen more, but I absolutely love cooking in Autumn. I can't get enough of all the different squashes and apples, along with the warm hearty dishes that go with any Fall time meal. The sweet smell of cinnamon in the air and pumpkin in pretty much everything, makes for a happy tummy and a holiday season that everyone will enjoy. I just wanted to share some of my fav go-to recipes that I use year after year around this time of the year. I hope you give some of them a try with your friends and family. They are all easy and efficient recipes the whole family will love!

Happy cooking!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh, Sunday Funday! I just love Fall and all the activities that are available for the family. Packing the family up and heading to a farm or pumpkin patch has got to be my most favorite activity to do before Halloween. And let me just say, the farms here in Illinois do not disappoint. 

By the looks in these photos, you'd think it was quite cold. You'd be wrong, as it was near 70 and humid, which was so strange because it was in the 50's Friday and Saturday. It's suppose to get up into the 80's on Monday and then by the end of the week be back down into the low 50's. It's like Summer isn't quite ready to say goodnight for the year ha. 

The pumpkin patch we decided on was perfect for the kids and had everything we needed for a fun afternoon. It wasn't crowded which is always a good thing when pictures are being taken. Lukas was in a bit of a mood and didn't want to participate with the rest of us, sigh, but overall I think the kids had a fab time together. We might visit a few more local pumpkin patches later this week and buy some more pumpkins... now that I have an actual front porch with stairs, I'm dying to cover it in pumpkins and scarecrows! 

Classic pic of the four of us lol
IF you are interested, you can find my super cute Halloween Shirt HERE, and my pretty little necklace HERE!! I love them both so much. The shirt is perfect for those moms like me who aren't so into dressing up for Halloween but want to be festive for the kids!

Have a wonderful week ahead!!