fresh peach cream pie

Sooo fall FINALLY decided to hit, like yesterday. Okay with me though- because we've still been getting the MOST amazing peaches at the farmer's market each week. There really is no comparison to fresh and local produce- the taste far surpasses the grocery store! 

With our peach haul from this week I wanted to get off of the pumpkin dessert kick I've been on recently and do one last summery-dessert. 
And it was INCREDIBLE. 6 out of 6 people gave it two thumbs up (and two toes, according to my sister).

This pie has a buttery graham cracker crust, cool cream cheese filling followed by a homemade peach syrup, and is topped with fresh peaches. 
(But don't. Because I want more.)

For the Crust:

2 packs (about 3 cups) graham crackers, crushed
1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
1/3 cup white sugar

Combine crushed graham crackers, melted butter, and sugar, and mix well.  Press into the bottom of a 9 inch pie dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

For the Cream Filling:

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whip until soft peaks  
1 cup powdered sugar  
4 oz cream cheese (1/2 brick), softened at room temperature  
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs fresh lemon juice  
2 tbs milk

Whisk heavy whipping cream until it forms soft peaks, and set aside.  Mix together in a medium bowl cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and milk.  Mix until combined well.  Next, carefully fold the whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture, and set aside.

For the Peach Sauce:

2 medium peaches, peeled and sliced  
1/4 cup water
1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar  
1 tbs corn starch

In a blender.  Add peaches, water, lemon juice, and sugar.  Blend together well, until smooth.  Pour mixture into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Whisk in corn starch quickly, and continue whisking until the sauce thickens.  Remove from heat. Let cool.

For the Fresh Peaches:

3-4 medium peaches, sliced

Take the graham cracker pie shell, and fill it half way full with the whipped cream cheese mixture. Spoon half of the peace sauce over whipped cream cheese.  Place some of the sliced fresh peaches over the cream cheese mixture, then spoon the other half of the peach sauce mixture on top. 

Place in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour to set up. Then, add remaining sliced peaches to the top. 
 Serves 6-8.  

Recipe adapted from Armelle Blog


leopard llama on etsy

I mean...the shop name alone has you curious, no? My cousin is the owner of Leopard Llama on Etsy and makes super cute prints!
Digital art is all the rage right now. Ya download it, ya print it, ya hang it. DONE. So simple, quick, and CHEAP. Three things I'm all for.

 Check out her shop! All of her prints are like $3. Whhaaa???



my little sister's reception in FL

I guess I can't call her little anymore...
I actually got married younger than she did (by a year), but looking at her now- from my wise, old age of 26- I think, "Holy COW you're just a BABY!...holy cow I was just a baby!" 

Anyway, I've come to accept it. Though I won't lie, I'm having a hard time giving her up and sharing her with someone else. 

But helping my mom plan Michaela's Florida reception was so fun. There is no doubt where I get my passion for planning parties and decorating from. We started scheming the night she told us they were engaged!

The reception didn't go quite as planned, but it was still a blast. And by 'quite as planned' I mean it was supposed to be primarily in my parent's beautiful backyard and then it monsooned. Poured rain. POURED. Just like their wedding day in Utah! Haha...you know what they say about rain on your wedding day...(and rain during the reception in another state? Maybe?) 

{All photography by the lovely Amy Buchanan}

 photo 28d2c014-68a1-4d22-97bd-a48925367e43_zpsc7b01f14.jpg

Hand-painted letters by Connie Driggers.

 photo DSC_1222_zps86d61aa6.jpg
 photo DSC_1274_zpsc1f21075.jpg photo DSC_1159copy_zps5f544d43.jpg
 photo c1aa9a63-c67c-4964-b1b7-26e3117a1508_zps96b32980.png photo DSC_0992_zps00d54fcd.jpg

 photo cf15e427-95c1-4dbf-8822-594b093dec58_zps350f98da.png
 photo DSC_1394_zpsce5da56d.jpg

 photo 22d6da6a-d8a6-44ca-8189-7420a9b86736_zps0ac1bc4f.png

 photo DSC_1018_zps398e29d9.jpg
Mmmm....caaaaaake. One of my favorite details of the whole reception was the cake display. I most definitely tried each delicious flavor.
Thanks to Michelle Bell for making these scrumptious little things!
 photo DSC_1016_zpsc4f94c37.jpg photo 9861c61b-26ae-47ea-91b1-37c4d9796c54_zpsee3e3e7a.png
 photo cd45bdbf-2f01-4ab4-b02a-a657c1f41bf3_zps8f86cb3e.png
Kristy Peacock you truly outdid yourself with this wedding cake! Totally gorgeous and the BEST red velvet cake I have EVER had. Naked cakes are my new favorite thing. Fondant is gross anyway. 
If you're in the North Florida area and want a beautiful (and ridiculously tasty) wedding cake, check out Kristy's facebook page for Posh Pastry.
The cake topper is from Better Off Wed on Etsy.
 photo DSC_1502_zps5b513bef.jpg
 photo 03d57bf3-0c63-4c64-b29f-1f7775461ecb_zps1dce3a6d.png
 photo 19d60c69-a0b3-4953-9878-89a6d906e562_zps49fc9cd7.png

The favors display was fun to put together! Do you get the sign? (Cause it's really humid in Florida in August...get it? Get it?) ;-p
Honey favors are from My Wedding Favors.

 photo 239fd87a-cdf3-419e-b566-ae286151e122_zpsa11722c6.png

S'MORES BAR! Need I say more?
 photo DSC_1422_zps8033398d.jpg photo DSC_1344_zpsce699cb9.jpg

 photo DSC_1611_zpsbccc8f3a.jpg
Michaela has mad dance moves.

 photo DSC_1595_zps5215c354.jpg
One of us tans well and the other just burns crispy...can you tell who is who? ;-)

 photo DSC_1440_zps75ede51c.jpg

It was pouring at this point and these crazies still danced in the rain.

 photo da2005ea-1934-4344-9d22-dbc9709b3aa5_zps2f94576f.jpg
And at some point, since everyone was wet from dancing in the rain, Timmy (with the help of Josh) pushed Michaela into the pool. Did we not see this happening at some point in the evening? (hint: we did).

 photo 85bd6463-8df9-401c-b9ac-6959741b8e3b_zps924d6d72.jpg

And then my Mom pushed Timmy into the pool.

 photo c632c290-e0e4-470d-be1e-554b4014e90b_zps237e3d6f.jpg
And then my Dad tackled my Mom into the pool.
And I stood very far away (as to not be next).

 photo DSC_1661_zps8c387422.jpg 
Although it was a very wet night, it was still a lot of fun! 
Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Bates!


family pictures!

While we were in Florida for Michaela and TImmy's reception a few weeks ago we had some family pictures taken! I swear the only time that happens (by a professional photographer and not an instagram filter) is when we're in Florida and my mom arranges it all (thanks Mommers!).

I regret not getting a few more shots, but with all of the craziness in getting ready for the reception and the impending monsoon (which you can't even tell is coming from these pictures), I love the ones we managed to get! 

Thanks to the lovely Amy Buchanan for capturing my whole world and heart in a picture! 

 photo DSC_1028_zps7a605bd0.jpg

 photo DSC_1055_zpsdd30fa9c.jpg

 photo DSC_1124_zpsdae53c2a.jpg

 photo DSC_1112_zps47d3813b.jpg

 photo DSC_1031_zps07026b9a.jpg

 photo DSC_1059_zps42c07ff9.jpg

 photo DSC_1149_zps950c6a26.jpg

 photo DSC_1078_zps88ade0ef.jpg

 photo DSC_1114_zpsef3cc243.jpg

 photo DSC_1036_zps628888c7.jpg


ikea spice rack bookshelves

The girls' room is coming along! A few finishing touches and we'll be ready to share.

I wanted to add some bookshelves to make a non-functional corner of the room more useful and to house some of the many children's books we have (the teacher in me hoards books like a fat kid hoards Halloween candy). 

Enter the Ikea spice rack. I'd been seeing lots of these racks made over into bookshelves on Pinterest and was all for the idea. Best part? They're only $4 a piece! Way cheaper than actual bookshelves. I stained and painted these for a little extra work fun.

(note to self: cut the tag off the basket)

Painted or not, they are super cute, functional, CHEAP, and customizable. Here are some other spice-rack-turned-bookshelves that I'm loving:

As seen on Hula Hoop Photography 

If you missed the girls' room full closet makeover- check it out HERE.
The rest of the room should be done next month! 


pumpkin oat chocolate chip cookies

Today was one of those days I wanted to eat my feelings. After a broken pinky toe (thanks to tripping over the baby bouncy seat) and a moody toddler, I was about to start looking in shady places for chocolate in straight IV form.
BUT since I'm trying to shed the rest of the baby weight, that would not do.
(14 lbs down in the last 6 weeks!)

These cookies are more muffin-like and totally satisfy my sweet tooth. And at only 75 calories each (and 2 Weight Watchers points), I can have a couple without undoing my whole day (because my kids already do that!).


 3/4 c. flour
1/3 c. honey 
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c. mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (or use baking stone).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, applesauce, and honey.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pour the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop the batter into about 1 1/2-inch balls. Slightly flatten cookies on baking sheet.
  6. Bake for about 13 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely.
    Best served the same day. 
Makes 16 cookies.

Happy Tuesday. Here's to hoping I break no other bones the rest of this week.


from baby #1 to baby #2

It's funny how much I knew about being a parent, before I actually became one.
Now I know nothing.
Nothing at all.
These squirmy little replicas are anything but consistent- something works one day, while the next day it is completely wrong ("But you liked broccoli 5 minutes ago!!!").

But I have learned there are some MAJOR differences between baby #1 to baby #2. Those of you reading this with only one child (or no children) will scoff and think "I will never!". But...I never thought I would fish the things I do out of the toilet either (things that aren't supposed to be there, mind you). It's okay- we can laugh about our naivete together while I'm snuggling your next baby (without having washed my hands- because you know, germs? Meh.).

So what changes? I'll tell you.

Baby #1- I cried when she didn't poop right. 
Read that again. 
I CRIED over BABY DOO-DOO. Granted, I was only a week post-partum and my hormones were so crazy I could've been my own episode of The Real Housewives. But she wasn't DOING it enough! The little hospital book said like 8 times a day, (or something) because I triple checked- and Googled it, and tried to find a Yahoo answer and Baby Center forum.

Baby #2- Turns out you don't actually have to cry over poop. Most likely they'll do it and it'll be fine. If not, there's a sweet little trick I learned with baby #1- a Q-Tip up the bum works every time. Guaranteed. (Though from experience let me tell you, you'll want extra wipes in close proximity.)

Baby #1- I think I bought her 10 pairs of shoes (not even exaggerating) for her first 3 months of life. She never went anywhere un-accessorized. 

Baby #2- All those shoes are now hand-me-downs and guess how many times she's worn them? I'll give you a hint: none. A hair bow or headband only happens if it's within arms reach as we're heading out the door or we're getting professional pictures.

Baby #1- I read every single book there was to read about sleep habits and fostering good schedules. And we tried them all.

Baby #2- It's whatev. Sleep when you're tired, eat when you're hungry. It'll work itself out.

Baby #1- Mandatory bath every night as part of a good bedtime routine followed by lavender lotion massage.

Baby #2- You didn't do much today, did ya? Only spit up twice? We're good- bath tomorrow, k? K.

Baby #1- YOU TOUCHED DIRT! You! (pointing at husband)- Get the hand sanitizer! You! (Pointing at mother)- call the pediatrician! SHE'S GOING TO DIE!

Baby #2- We'll just wash it off when you get a bath. Tomorrow.

Baby #1- No media until age 2! Never in sight of the TV (your brain might explode!). 

Baby #2- Here, watch Mickey Mouse with your sister for a minute so I can pee alone for 10 seconds. Oh look! Your brain didn't explode. 
Baby #1- Binky falls on the floor at home- wash it off with soap and water. Binky falls on the floor in public place- put binky back into diaper bag to boil when you get home and pull out one of your five spares- you prepared mother, you.

Baby #2- Binky falls on the floor at home- blow it off (if something is visibly on it) and pop it back in. Bink falls on the floor in public place (if you actually remembered to pack one)- same as above (okay maybe you wipe it off with a diaper wipe- if someone's watching).

Baby #1- Prenatal yoga class every week up until 37 weeks pregnant. Post-partum exercise starting at exactly 6 weeks.

Baby #2- Prenatal yoga a grand total of twice. Post-partum exercise starting...tomorrow! I shall start tomorrow!

Baby #1- You will start no solid foods until 6 months. We will start with rice cereal, then move to oatmeal, then through fruits and vegetables, starting with vegetables first so you don't develop a preference to only sweet things.

Baby #2- At 3 months: You're really eying this apple I'm eating...want to suck on it for a minute? Oh look at the funny disgusted face you made!! How cute!! Let's do it again. James come watch this, it's funny!

Baby #1- Professional photo shoots at ages newborn, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months! So I can have those cute pictures and also so I can display them at your first birthday party!

Baby #2-  Lemme instagram somethin' real quick.

And now that none of my friends will ever want me to watch their kids again...
But you know it's true. Though it doesn't mean we don't love the little boogers any less- it's incredible how much your heart grows with each baby...this time around, we just know they're a little more durable!


mommy blinders: airport edition

The last of our summer gallivanting has come to an end, with a short and sweet trip to Florida for Michaela and Timmy's wedding reception (pics of that to come later!). 
Earning her wings, this flight was Olivia's first! Jillian is a seasoned champ by now- I've lost count of how many plane rides she has taken- it's probably somewhere between 15-25; a bi-product of my parents living 3,000 miles away. 

She did wonderful though! No meltdowns, kept to her basic schedule (eat, look around, go to sleep), no massive blowouts- dream baby, really. 
And then there's Jillian, who does "okay" for most flights she takes. But there have been a few barely tolerable 37,000 feet excursions that force me to break out the MOMMY BLINDERS.

You know what they are- you wear them too. 
When your toddler screams at the top of their lungs in what suddenly feels like the smallest plane to ever exist as she chucks a toy into a neighboring aisle. When she has a panic attack at the top of the escalator causing a major traffic jam. When she sits down in the middle of the floor at the Atlanta Airport- one of the busiest in the world- and just refuses to move. 

Mommy blinders. When you deliberately avoid eye contact with anyone around you doing whatever it takes to diffuse or abort the present situation, because you already know people are staring- other mothers sigh in validation while childless adults stare at the horror unfolding before them (after all, kids like yours are probably the reason they chose not to procreate). 
It's when you brave the strongest poker face in the world to get through whatever situation your beloved offspring is hurdling your direction without apology, while you silently repeat, "I think I can I think I can I think I can." Or maybe your mantra is a little more like, "as#$)@(#$!!!!!". (Six one-half dozen or the other, as my momma would say.)
The mommy blinders come out in many situations actually, including but not limited to: the grocery store check out line, the mall, and leaving the park (or anything fun really). And I was definitely rockin' mine today- but we made it. We may be sweaty, stained, and exhausted but we always make it. And I have to say, I'm 100% more empathetic now more than ever to the moms with the babies who cry entire flights, or with the kids who yell and spill juice everywhere. I'm definitely looking at you sporting that poker face feeling 100% validated that I'm not the only one! 

And now to abruptly switch subjects- I bought the Ergo 360 (more like hunted down- the things were selling like hot cakes, being they're the newest model) to tote Olivia around the airport and was somewhat disappointed. Going from a soft and comfy Solly wrap to a strappy and structured backpack didn't do much for my shoulders and back. If anyone has any recommendations of other wrap-style baby carriers you can use for outward facing, front carrying positions I'm ALL ears!