Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less

Monday, October 5, 2015

I'm a Soccer Mom...

My freshmen year of college I had a study group in a US History class. I remember one study session, we all went around and said what we thought each of us looked what professions we looked like we'd end up in. There were teachers, police men, singers, etc. I was so ready to see what my friends would think of for me and my upcoming future. 

Their answers were not at all what I thought they would be, but I loved them nonetheless.

They said soccer mom.

This past week, as Libby and I sat on a blanket at one of Keagan's soccer practices, that memory came to mind and I had to give a little chuckle.

I'm now a soccer mom, loading my kids into the car and heading out for an evening under the bright lights of the soccer field. 

I love this season of life I am in right now. My kids are finding new interests and pursuing them. It is so cool to see them grow and to expand their horizons. They are fearless...willing to try out any new thing.

So to my US History friends, you were right. I did end up being a soccer mom and I am loving every single minute :)

XO Danielle 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Vegas Valley Book Festival...

Hi lovelies! I am excited to announce I will be at the Vegas Valley Book Festival on October 17 @10 am. I will be in the author booth for The Henderson Libraries. I will be signing books and hopefully meeting all of you lovelies :) I will also have books there for sale. They will be $10 each. Stop by and say hi and chat for a while. I'm excited to hang out and meet all of you friends. See you there!

XO Danielle 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Homeschool Binder Scrapbooks...

I've been sitting here at my computer, racking my brain, because I can not remember where I originally saw this idea. I think it was from Jodi, but I honestly could have seen it elsewhere. This is not a new idea....just something new to me. In Nevada, we don't have to keep records of what we teach our kids each year. Although it is not required, it is something I have done, so that my kids can look back at the things they've done. Most of their work is in boxes in our shed, categorized by age (I know very uncreative). It wasn't until this year, when I saw some homeschoolers creating scrapbook binders for their kids, that the creativity bug bit. I loved the idea of a homeschool year scrapbook binder! What a fantastic way to truly capture the school year! I ordered a pack of 200 laminating sheets off of Ebay, grabbed two binders from Big Lots, and started putting stuff together.

As we finish projects and assignments, we pick their best work and laminate them. I have a holder where they can place work they would like added to their binders as well. I am planning to keep a binder for each school year. It will be amazing to look back and see how they've grown. I am also planning to print off pictures from our field trips and various experiments, so the kids can journal the things that they've done. I have my first batch of pictures waiting for me to pick up at Costco. I can't wait to see how this binder looks, as it gets filled with projects throughout the year. The kids are really excited too!

I am thinking about covering the binders with fabric as well...maybe let them each pick a favorite fabric, so their little personalities can shine through. I'll keep you updated on how our binders evolve this school year. Does anyone else keep a homeschool binder or school binder of your kids work? How do you guys keep it update and organized?

Let me know:) 

XO Danielle 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Going on an Adventure...

"Sometimes homeschooling is an uphill climb with the sun beating down on you. Other times you're coasting downhill with the wind in your hair and all is right with the world. For every difficult day there will be a whole lot of awesome days. For every defeat you face, there will be far more victories. And we all know this: anything worthwhile and valuable doesn't come easy, but it's always 100% worth the fight"

This has got to my favorite quote of this past week. I am a words person. I love finding inspiring quotes and either writing them in a notebook, on a scrap of paper, share them on instagram, or share them here on the blog. I believe words can have an amazing power to either build up or knock down. I have been striving more and more to use this little space of web and social media that I have for goodness. I am thankful for all those men and women who do the same. I am constantly inspired and it seems that when I most need it, God is leading me to a little tid bit that is the answer to a prayer I have been praying.

This year has had a lot of change in it. We've made more time for adventures, got rid of a lot of unnecessary stress, and really learned to let these little red heads lead our learning. We had different plans last Tuesday. We were suppose to go to a homeschool potluck, but those little munchkins weren't feeling it. They really wanted to go on an adventure. It was a very easy request to accept. We have been wanting to go to The Springs Preserve for quite a while now. They do a Nature Exchange program there, which my kiddos had been itching to get back to. I renewed our pass and we spent the day exploring.

It was a tad overcast, which meant the sun was giving us a break for the day. We walked through the Butterfly Gardens, Dinosaur Exhibit, Water Works, and many others. The park had very few people out and exploring in the morning and early afternoon, so we felt like we had the place to ourselves. At one point it started to lightly drizzle. It was fun to be able to walk though the gardens there, while we felt light raindrops on our cheeks.

The kids ran the show on this adventure. We walked till we were plum tuckered out. I remember once reading on Mandy's blog that if you end the day feeling exhausted, knowing you had poured everything into your children, then you had done well. After our adventure, her words came to mind and I knew what she meant. It feels good to spend the day learning with your kids. It feels good to know that at the end of the day, you have given them your all. In the grand scheme of things we only have them for such a short amount of time, before they are grown and ready to take on the world. I want to cherish every single moment.

I see many more adventures in our future and I can't wait to get outside and explore with them again. 

XO Danielle

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Taco Pizza...

So this is how it happened.....we were having dinner over at a friends house and us ladies started chatting about Pinterest and all the amazing recipes you can find on there. My friend Gail is an avid Pinterester (I think that's a word)...she pins all kinds of yummy things...I love checking out her boards. You can check them out here. Yummy right?

Although I love to pin just like Gail does, there is a BIG difference between her and I. Wanna know what it is? Well while I am pinning yumminess by the dozen, she is actually making the things she pins. What?!? You have to actually make what you pin. Well it's a good idea right?

Well she has been inspiring me to get on Pinterest and actually make some of the five thousands pins I have on there....yes I said five thousand...I have a pinning problem :)

Well a few weeks ago I actually took Gails advice and just did it. She had told me about a taco pizza she had found via Pinterest. I followed the link and was taken to the blog Life in the Lofthouse. Holly's pizza looked amazing! I couldn't believe how picture perfect it was. I was instantly inspired to go to my pantry and see if I had everything to make this delectable thing.

I did...

I had everything to make taco pizza for dinner. I was excited :)

Although my pizza does not even have a tenth of the beauty Holly's does, it did taste pretty darn delicious. I made my filling a bit thick, so I will adjust that next time around...I also went a bit overboard when it came to adding a smidgen of corn. I was too heavy handed. Although I have a few changes to make, it will definitely be on my rotation of meals to make.

What things have you been pinning and making?

XO Danielle

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Last Days of Summer...

We are entering the last days of summer lovelies.....our summers are REALLY long here in the desert. We swim till the end of September usually. I'm not sure how long we will have to spend our days out at the pool with friends, so we've been trying to soak up as much sun and splashing as we can.

This summer has been full of pool days and laughs with friends. It really has been one of our best summers. I am thankful for each day I get to spend with my littles. I am thankful for good friends for my kids. Oh how we have loved hanging out with our buddies this summer season!

As we hang up our pool gear and get ready for cooler weather, I find my self anticipating the holidays, decorated cookies, pumpkin muffins, hot chocolate and so much more. Fall is my favorite time of year and although I am sad to see summer go and all the fun memories we have made...I'm even more excited for the fun to be had as the leaves fall, caramel apples are made, and slippers are worn. I am ready for cozy..

So summer thank you for all you've given us....we will see you again next year :)

XO Danielle 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Turkey Chili...

It is still in the 90's here, but I am pretending it is fall around these parts. I am using my pumpkin spice candle melts, making fall inspired treats, and drooling over any fall decor I see. This past week, I decided to fully commit to my pretending and make a warm cozy dinner for the family. We pretended it was chilly outside, watched a movie together, and enjoyed some chili and cornbread. It was delicious people! I always forget how yummy chili is. I don't make it all summer and then when the craving hits, I make it and am re-convinced that chili is my best friend. Oh boy is it yummy! Everyone loves it in our house too, which makes this mama very happy. 

My turkey chili is super simple to make. You can use a chili seasoning packet or a homemade version. I also used dried beans that I had previously cooked in the pressure cooker and froze in 1 cup portions. It's a one pot dish, which means less dishes to clean (I always love that). I hope no matter your weather you can make a yummy pot of chili this week and enjoy some time with that family of yours:)

Turkey Chili

1 lb ground turkey
1 - 15 oz can of black beans, drained
1 - 15 oz can of kidney beans, drained
1 packet of chili seasoning
2 - 15 ounces cans Italian diced tomatoes
1/2 chopped onion

toppings: green onions, sour cream, and shredded cheese

Brown ground turkey in a pot, with seasoning salt and onion. Next add tomatoes and chili seasoning. Stir to combine. Add beans. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

I paired this with wholewheat cornbread :)

XO Danielle 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Enjoying His Masterpieces....

This past week I was able to pack up our car, load up the kids, and head out of town for a day trip. We tackled the hour long drive to Arizona, so we could enjoy a day on the Colorado River with friends. We had never been before and let me tell was amazing.

I am not a natural outdoorsy person. It is something I am working on. Remember I said my word for this new school year is adventure? Well I am totally keeping true to my word and planning more time for my kids out in nature having adventures.

I am naturally a worrier. My brain goes 100 miles an hour. I'm always thinking of what might happen and sometimes that keeps me...and my kids... from having fun. I also have a lot of them being swimming in water I can't see the bottom of....I pretty much only swim in pools... but with us going on more adventures...I wanted to push that fear aside and enjoy the wonderful creations God has blessed us with. I made a commitment to myself to get out in the water and have fun. Thankfully God knew of my plan and the river was quite clear. It was a tender mercy this mama was very appreciative of. I was able to push pass my fear of swimming in something other than a pool and enjoyed a full day of swimming in the nice cool water of the river.

As I floated in the water, I was caught breathless by the splendor around me. I've heard it said that God is truly the greatest artist, but never had I truly come to understanding exactly how much of an artist he is. 

It is amazing to think that with just a few words spoken, the land and water were separated. It is mind blowing to think that the fowls of the air and fish in the water, were created by His hand. 

To say our scenery for our day trip was amazing is an understatement. It was a beautiful thing to be unplugged with my kids, out in nature. 

We are already planning more days outside... we are looking for more opportunities to see the wonderment that is this world God created for us. Us...simple, imperfect beings...and yet He made this perfect place for us to dwell. What a kind and loving Father in Heaven he is!

I pray you are having a wonderful week and an even greater weekend! God Bless! :)

XO Danielle 
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