Thursday, February 22

RECiPE | Protein Packed Chocolate Muffins


I have been meaning to post these delicious muffins ever since discovering the recipe some time ago.
I was in the middle of reading this book and it led me to this blog which ultimately led me to this recipe.

I was over-the-moon to receive a big thumbs-up from Ella when she sampled them and knew without a doubt these "healthy muffins" were a win after she continued to request them.


These muffins are a home run on so many levels!!
They are packed with protein and lots of good stuff making them perfect for breakfast, for snacks or to throw in a lunchbox or backpack.

Plus...they are super easy to make since all you need is a blender and a muffin pan - which then makes clean-up a snap!



Now...I do have to point out the original recipe doesn't call for the addition of mini chocolate chips...but that's how we do them around my house. And if you don't want the chocolate chips but like some "chunk" to your muffins...I've also topped mine with pecans or walnuts prior to baking. Easy.


I hope you try them out and come back to let me know how much you love them!
DOWNLOAD your cute printable recipe card right here!!

PS - Catch a glimpse of me making these over on my Instastories!!

Love you friends!!
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Truth be told...Ella doesn't even like almond butter and these puppies are packed with it!! Ha!!
Now....off to clean the bathrooms before we have guests arrive this weekend!!

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Friday, February 9

FREE | All The Feels Emoji Themed Valentine's Day Ideas



I've got two adorable Valentine's Day ideas for you today everyone!!
And these, my friends, are for all of the emoji-loving people out there!
And for all of the people on Instagram and social media that use the term "all the feels" on a regular basis. I know you get me!

If you are unfamiliar with the phrase "all the feels" it simply refers to something that moves you emotionally...or something that gives you good vibes.

So...I thought it was a brilliant concept to combine the "all the feels" expression with the iconic "emojis" we are all familiar with - that essentially represent every emotion. *wink* Brilliant, right?

So here we go...
IDEA #1: Valentine's Day Treat Tags

I created these super cute Valentine's Day treat tags for Ella to hand out to her 3rd grade classmates. She's loves all things emojis and loved the idea.

And they are SO easy. Just print them onto white card stock, trim to size and tie onto a small cellophane bag filled with emoji themed chocolates or these cute emoji themed gumballs.
I picked up my chocolates from Hobby Lobby but I found them on Amazon as well!

 IDEA #2: Valentine's Day Ghirardelli Chocolate Bar Wrappers

This idea came about after Ella said she wanted to do a giant candy bar to mail to her best friend, Elise for Valentine's Day.  I just love her and her awesome ideas!!

So I whipped up this emoji themed Ghirardelli Chocolate Bar Wrapper - just like the Llama themed wrappers I shared the other day and these other black and white wrappers too!

And then I created a "Having YOU for a BESTIE gives me ALL THE FEELS!" tag to tie on.
I love how they turned out so much I was then inspired to create even more custom tags for Dad, Mom, Teacher, Coach, Friend and Sister. (shhhh - don't tell Clara and Ema they'll be getting one of these in the mail too from their little sister) Ha!!



Feel free to use the treat tags on the candy bars too!
Both of these ideas are so fun and so easy!
If you are inspired to whip some of these up too, here are the links to download the files:

Emoji Themed Valentine's Day Printables 

PLEASE NOTE: There are 7 different printable Ghirardelli wrappers - each one with a custom tag included. (i.e. Teacher, Dad, Mom, etc.) - Be careful to download and print the one(s) you want! *wink*

Love you guys!
Share your pictures with me if you make these!
Email: pnpflowersinc AT gmail DOT com
Tag me on Instagram: @pnpflowers

xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Just barely getting these loaded onto the blog before I jump in the car to grab Ella from school!
But hey! At least she finished an entire day of school today! She missed three days this week and came home early yesterday after attempting to go. Poor girl. She's on the mend though! Yay!!

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Wednesday, February 7

FREE | Llama Themed Valentine's Day Ghirardelli Chocolate Bar Wrappers


Hello friends! We are already knee deep into February with Valentine's Day on our heels.
Today I'm sharing these super cute and super easy "Llama-themed" Ghirardelli bar wrappers to be given to anyone on your Valentine's Day list.



SUPPLIES NEEDED
1 - Ghirardelli bar - removed from outer cardboard packaging. ---> 3.5oz like these
1 - Llama Candy Bar Wrapper printed on white card stock. (links at end of blog post)
scissors
double-stick tape

INSTRUCTIONS
Print Llama Candy Bar Wrapper.
Trim to size using scissors.
Wrap around candy bar aligning image on front of candy bar.
Secure with double-stick tape on back of candy bar.

Tip: For a polished look, rub fingers along edges of candy bar for clear wrapper "creases". 



A "llama love" went into designing these for you guys!
Hoping you love them and most importantly....USE THEM!

Here's a fun time lapse video I shared on Instagram sharing the whole process of putting one of these together  - hopefully you can view it okay here on the blog.



DOWNLOAD your FREE Llama Love Valentine's Day Candy Bar Wrappers below:

Stay tuned for some classroom treat tags coming tomorrow!
Hint: You'll probably want some of THESE or THESE to go with them! *wink*

PS - If you love the idea of the Ghirardelli wrappers CHECK OUT THESE!

xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Ella has been down with a virus for a few days now so I apologize for not getting these photographed and up on the blog sooner!! 

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Wednesday, January 24

iNSPiRE | My One Little Word for 2018




Hello January 2018!
I welcome your opportunities, your joy, your blessings, your happy memories + good health for myself, my family, my friends in real life, my friends that join me here on my blog and on social media. I embrace and welcome all of the good you have to offer each and every one of us and I celebrate the chance to do some good, to create some good and to feel some good. *wink*

Time for a new focus word and mine this year is....FREE.
And boy did I struggle for whatever reason to pick just the right word this year.
My word typically finds me without me searching.
Not this year.
Maybe because I knew it really needed to be a good one...
one with power...
but one that I would love to see written and spelled out...
because you know I love hand-lettered anything and I'm such a visual person.

(Heck! I even picked my children's names based on how it felt hand writing it out on a sheet of clean white paper). *wink*


But why the word "Free"?
I needed a word that represented an "unearthing" of sorts.
I needed a word that stood for "letting go", a "rebirth" AND an "elimination + purging" mindset.
A word that symbolized a "peeling away of layers".
A word that represented "healing".

I was searching for the perfect word to harness some beautiful energy for the journey ahead to rediscovering...and unburying...and reconnecting with the girl I once was.

Specifically to the girl who has buried her good health under layers of disappointment + shame, to be completely honest.
As I recently wrote in my journal, "I've been storing food reserves for a very long winter apparently." - lol  And this needs to stop. Self care is my number one this year. Period.
Everything else is secondary.
Essentially, if I can get a handle on my overall health everything else will see improvement.
I've played the victim to my own insecurities and unfortunately allowed myself to become a prisoner in my own body; a prisoner to my fears. A prisoner to my doubt. A prisoner to lies I had convinced myself to be truth.

I need to break out of the prison and be FREE!
I can visually see it in my mind.
I can see the girl I once was...the one I left behind. I'm looking at her. She's looking at me. Our eyes have locked and I am running fiercely to meet her; To grab her hand and continue the journey together;  To remind her I haven't forgotten her. I have NOT left her behind. I am back.

I'm running back to rescue the girl who's optimistic, cheerful, trusting heart has been crushed by life experiences.

I'm sprinting through the wide open prairie to wear she is standing and has been waiting for me to return. I can see this vividly in my mind. I cannot let her down. I cannot leave her standing there anymore. And I know when I reach her...I will not have rescued her....she will have rescued me.


Can you feel the passion in my words?  I hope so...because I can feel it in my fingertips as I type.

A spent hours upon hours looking up words that might be the word I was looking for!
Tend, restore, pure, clean, cleanse, reclaim, shift, return, reset, refresh, rebuild, dig, peel, chip, core, shed, center, root, foundation, excavate, create, carve, mold, chisel, unveil, beauty, unmask, claw, fight, war, take back, unbury, raw, stripped...and well.

I had convinced myself that my word was "well"! 
Then I changed it to "grit"!
And then I ended up at "free"!

"Well" was so awesome in so many ways but ultimately I decided it was too "soft".
So I then I did a 360 and chose "grit" which was a super tough and energizing word...but not "pretty" and appealing to me visually.

And then "FREE"....defined as:
No longer confined.
Not a slave.
Unimpeded.
Of power + energy.
Not bound.
Not subject to or constrained by.
Unrestrained.
Uninhibited.
Release from physical obstruction, restraint or entanglement.
Remove something undesirable.

BINGO!! That's it. 
It's an action word.
It's definition touches on everything I'm focusing on.
And it's aesthetically pleasing to my eye. *wink*

From my journal, "Free. That's nice on the ears and eyes and it touches on my 3 H's:
HEALTH + HEART + HOME"

HEALTH - free from my physical prison - aka fat layers + less than desirable level of health
HEART - free from guilt, pain, hardness, numbness
HOME - free up space in my life by continuing to simplify, declutter + getting rid of things.

I know that was a lot to read and take in.
I'll finish with this last sentence...

From my journal: "This year ahead is going to be really hard physically AND emotionally because of the awesomeness I'm looking to uncover within myself." 

Yes!! Amen to that! And if you are looking to uncover your awesomeness too perhaps choosing a word might be something to help motivate you!

If you do the whole choosing a word thing each year and are looking to uncover your awesomeness too, I hope you have found one to keep you energized.

And if you've never tried it...I highly recommend it. Tip: Choose a verb. It's got more power behind it. More action. And that's what choosing a word is about!


xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I'm definitely going to have to come back to this post and read it when I need a boost of energy and will power. Writing this has pumped me up all over again!!

I've added exercise into my life 2-3 days a week and have been eating so much better for the month of January. I'm a little behind in some goals I set for myself but writing this post has given me some renewed energy to make it happen. 

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Sunday, December 31

HOLIDAYS | Simple Woods + Whites Christmas Decor


  
Merry Christmas + Happy New Year friends!!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season and are excited about the approaching new year!


Christmas this year was very different for us.
We are in our new home, two hours away from family and my two older girls...
so I had to let go of some old Christmas traditions and try to start some new ones.

With that said, the biggest change I made this year as far as Christmas goes is I kept things REALLY simple when it came to decor: woods, whites and a little bit of greenery.

I didn't even open my boxes of ornaments. 
Nope. I purchased new ones: raw woods hearts, snowflakes and stars I randomly came across the month before Christmas.

I hung them on the new faux, pre-lit tree we bought this year - forgoing our annual tradition of picking one out together at Santa's Christmas Tree Forest back home. 


Everything just felt so new and different. I believe I subconsciously could not bring myself to open the flood of memories contained in all of the boxes of Christmas decor and ornaments.

I bought a new tree skirt (never even had one - previously used blankets or fabric scraps) and new stockings. I knew out of all of my kids Ema would disapprove of me not sticking with the stockings she grew up with...and it was literally one of the first questions she asked when she walked in the house. 


I wanted the house to feel like Christmas but I didn't want it cluttered. And I also wanted it to be easy to put up and easy to take down. And again...I think I subconsciously avoided unsolicited emotions by dodging anything that could conjure up a memory...big or small.







We also started a new tradition...the 25 days of Christ.
I wanted the season to be as chaos-free and as Christ-centered as possible. 
The new daily ritual of reading a passage of scripture and having Ella hang the corresponding ornament from December 1st all the way up to Christmas Day really added a spiritual + sacred element to our Christmas season...one I had regretfully been looking past for far too long.



Even the cookies I made for our annual Christmas Cookie Baking Day matched my whole Christmas color scheme and vibe this year. I love them so much I may only use white royal icing from here on out. I LOVE the tone-on-tone.

The cookie baking was held at my mom's house this year instead of mine...even though when we bought the new house I immediately envisioned the new huge island covered in Christmas cookies. It's just too much to ask the rest of the family to travel so far...it was easier for Ella and I to go. 

Yep. We traveled the two hours and turned it into a 2 day visit. It was nice.
Although truth be told, Ella didn't even participate because she was spending time with her bestie Elise...whom she misses terribly. And I was sad Clara only got to pop in for an hour after she got off of work. Ema was there though...and she even inspired me with a few of her designs.


I just had to include this giant sugar cookie tree cut-out my aunt Susan created by hand. She thought it looked wonky but I fell in love with it's rustic, authentic vibe and asked her if I could decorate it. I love how it turned out. And see...I even added a few splashes of green in the mix of cookies - but I still love the tone-on-tone. *wink*


This year was the first year I realized after all of these years of having my own home and decorating for Christmas I have NEVER had mistletoe as part of our Christmas decor!!
I'd honestly never even thought about it.

I came home with some unexpectedly this year while Ella and I were out shopping together one afternoon. She spotted a package of it and asked if we could buy it. I may have done an eye roll and almost said no and then all of a sudden a rush of memories about how my grandparents always had it hanging at their front door during the holidays came flooding my mind...and heart. And of course we had to bring some home. I find it peculiar after all of these years I hadn't even given it a thought and now I can't imagine not having it in our home.







The Willow Tree créche I've had for years blended perfectly with my simple Christmas decor. 
I intentionally found a place where it could be the centerpiece/focal point of our home - a daily reminder to me of what to keep my focus on. 

Psst...
Do you like that fancy word "créche" I used? I recently learned it while reading a new Tasha Tudor book I purchased and it sounds so much more...well...fancy. *wink* "Créche" is just a word that also means nativity but apparently speaks more directly to the baby Jesus. You're welcome for that random information. *wink*









You know I love our Hot Cocoa Bars every year. This year's Snickerdoodle theme is one of my favorites. I love having it up during the holidays and beyond...warming our tummies and our hearts. 



I think that's a wrap friends!!
I hope you enjoyed a peek at what our Christmas looked like this year.
As different as it was due to our move six months ago and as hard as it was to let go of traditions I'd come to know and love through the years...I can truly say it was one of my favorite Christmases yet because it was one of the most simple.

I will be back soon with my recap of 2017 and the action word I've chosen to focus on for 2018!!
Also...I just had to share that tonight...New Year's Eve night...we are starting a new tradition!!

I've decided to have a candlelight dinner...using the battery operated flickering candlesticks we've had displayed in our windows this Christmas season. I think it's a brilliant way to transition from Christmas to New Year's. 

Love you guys so much. Thanks for being here.
Thanks for sharing. Thanks for supporting. 
Here's to a beautiful year ahead for us all!

xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Stuart, our elf, was back again this year. I think Ella has a crush on him. *wink*
She said she'd like to marry him. lol
And she cried the day he left...she always cries when he leaves.
It rips my heart out - for a plethora of reasons.

Clara and Ema drove up the day before Christmas Eve and stayed the night with us.
We had a nice dinner together and then exchanged gifts that night - including having all three of my girls open their annual Christmas pajamas together - typically done on Christmas Eve night.

The two older girls got to open their stockings as well...which left Ella a little bewildered as to how their stockings were already filled and hers wasn't...*hand slap to the forehead*

We all attended church on Christmas Eve morning and then enjoyed a nice lunch together at Carrabba's before Clara and Ema made the drive back home.

Although the visit was short, I'm so thankful to have been able to see them before Christmas.
Of course all of this change of Christmas traditions tugged at my heartstrings and I found myself in tears a couple of times. 


We even missed having our annual Christmas brunch with my mom and stepdad too. They decided to head to Ohio to make a surprise visit to his dad. That means I still have their gifts to give them.

Again...I will just need to get creative and come up with new traditions for our new life and more Christmases to come. I look forward to that.

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