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CHRISTMAS | Pretty Woods + Whites hand-painted ornaments

Tuesday, November 5


The reason I chose to have my house decorated for Christmas by November 1st??

Time. 
Time to enjoy the little things the Christmas season brings with it.

I didn't have time last year.
Or rather, I didn't plan and prioritize to ensure I had the time.

Perfect example: these little wood ornaments. 

I purchased these hand-crafted beauties at TJMaxx last year with the intention of repainting them and restringing them. The silver details and red ribbon (see below) weren't the woods + whites I was craving. 


I knew all I needed was a little time to sit down and paint over the silver details and restring them with a creamy white ribbon to make them exactly what our woods + whites tree needed.

I just didn't have the time.
So they sat in the bag, tags still on them, unpainted. 
I resented never having hung them...never having time.

With intentional planning and a little goal setting...they are officially painted...and hanging.
And I love them so much.
It's amazing how much a little paint, a little ribbon, and a little time makes!










I really LOVE how they turned out!
However, I especially love that I made the time this year.
It feels so good.
It feels so right.

I encourage you to find ways to find more time to enjoy the little things that bring you joy this holiday season my friends.

xoxo,
Jess

PS - Let's stay cozy + connected in-between posts...find me on Instagram for daily inspiration.
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KEEPING IT REAL
So I still have one left to paint - the one I left unpainted to be able to take these pics to show the before and after. But hey...guess what? I actually have time to do it! *wink*

RECIPE | Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos

Friday, November 1


Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos my friends - so delicious you won't realize it's clean eating.

This dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free weeknight meal is not only simple, it's also delicious and versatile. 

One of the toughest things I face as a mom who cooks most nights is finding meals everyone will enjoy equally and not tire of quickly. 

I'm always looking for healthy.
Jay wants hearty. 
Ella prefers something fun.
And of course...we all want tasty.

This meal makes us all happy! This flavor-packed, tender, shredded chicken allows Ella to have her tortillas, Jay can have his over rice or white potatoes with all of his favorite toppings and I like mine either as a salad or over a sweet potato. Win. Win. Win.  -> Recipe at the bottom!







All this requires is throwing chicken in a crockpot, adding my Homemade Taco Seasoning, my Homemade Ranch Seasoning, and little bit of water. Cook on low 6 hours. Done!!


Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos

Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos

Yield: 6-8
Author:
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 6 hourtotal time: 6 H & 10 M
This flavor-packed chicken ranch taco meat may be the easiest crockpot meal you've ever made. Pair it with rice, make classic tortillas or top a sweet potato or salad with it. Using homemade taco seasoning and ranch seasoning ensures clean eating without the extras that come with packaged seasonings. (links to those additional recipes is included below).

ingredients:

instructions:

How to cook Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos

  1. Place chicken in crockpot.
  2. Sprinkle spices over the top.
  3. Add water.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. Serve with tortillas, rice, potatoes or create a Chicken Ranch Taco Salad.
  6. See notes on how to make it your own.

NOTES:

Make it your own! Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your preference. Use less taco seasoning and more ranch. Use less ranch and more taco. Or use only the taco or only the ranch.
Calories
233.37
Fat (grams)
10.12
Sat. Fat (grams)
3.15
Carbs (grams)
3.54
Fiber (grams)
0.54
Net carbs
3.00
Sugar (grams)
0.93
Protein (grams)
32.47
Sodium (milligrams)
715.39
Cholesterol (grams)
159.61
Tacos, Chicken, Whole30, Crockpot, Ranch
Crockpot, Chicken, Easy Weeknight Meals

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @pnpflowers on instagram and hashtag it #pnpflowersrecipe
Created using The Recipes Generator
Sure hope I've enticed your tastebuds!!
This recipe is hands down one of my family's favorites - especially mine because it's easy!
And I still look like a rock star. *wink*

Love you friends!




PS - Let's stay cozy + connected in-between posts...find me on Instagram for daily inspiration.
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KEEPING IT REAL
It's almost 8pm on a Friday night as I'm finishing up this post.
But I made a promise to my Instagram friends to share it on the blog TODAY...and...well...
I'm keeping my promise.

PS - Halloween decorations came down in 30 seconds this morning and my Christmas decor is all up in my house as of yesterday - Halloween. I have really good reasons - and none of them are related to blogging or social media. I'm spilling it all in my Instagram stories...go find out why. I promise I'm not crazy. *wink*

HALLOWEEN | Hermione Costume - the smart and simple version


We are officially Harry Potter fans over here.
Quite literally as of a few weeks ago when Ella's class read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

I know...we were probably the only people on the planet who hadn't read the book or seen the movie(s).

So, of course, as Ella was reading the book with her class and Halloween was approaching, she decided she wanted to dress up as Hermione for her costume this year.

As you can imagine, I had to do some research and get help from my friends on Instagram to get the costume together. 

I think we pulled it off.
In fact, with Ella's input, she managed to jazz it up a bit and elevated the regular ole Hermione costume into a "hip" Hermione by choosing converse for shoes, a short sleeve white shirt, a black cardigan instead of the wizard robe and an "older Hermione" hairstyle with a simple, black barrette. 

My favorite part about this costume is that it's SMART and SIMPLE!

All of the clothing elements can be used in REAL life...long after Halloween has disappeared. (black pleated skirt, white short sleeve shirt, black cardigan, black knee high socks and the "hip" converse shoes). That makes me and my wallet happy.

I'll let the pictures do the talking and I've got sources listed at the bottom in case you are curious about any of the items and need to pull one together too!






She's a cutie pie. And she made a great Hermione.
She usually wears glasses but chose not to wear them on Halloween night...just to make sure she was really in costume. *wink*





PS - Let's stay cozy + connected in-between posts...find me on Instagram for daily inspiration.
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HERMIONE COSTUME SOURCES
Black Pleated Skirt - perfect...just wish it didn't show lint
White Short Sleeve Shirt - Wasn't super thin but Ella was still hot and it wrinkles easily.
Gryffindor Tie - it was fine for Halloween but not high quality - you get what you pay for.
Gryffindor Iron-On Crest - I pinned this on so I could remove it from the cardigan for Ella to wear after Halloween
Black Knee Socks - Walmart
Black Converse - linking to Amazon but we lucked out and found some at Kohl's
Simple Black Barrette - found ours at Target

KEEPING IT REAL
It's funny...Ella's older sisters, who have both read the book(s) years ago and are HP fans, have always told me Ella reminds them of Hermione. I used to just laugh...not knowing who Hermione was...but now I completely understand what they mean. Ha!!

The cardigan didn't last 5 minutes in our 90º Florida heat on Halloween night...but she was  pretty comfortable for a night of trick or treating. *wink*

RECIPE | Fall Snack Mix

Tuesday, October 29


Loving this lightly salted and slightly sweet snack mix.
We made some for gifting on our Phantom Pumpkin night and I'm packaging some up to send in to Ella's teachers for Halloween on Thursday.

You'll want to include the Maple Infused Walnuts I shared yesterday. Here's the link -> CLICK
The candy corn is what really makes this a "fall themed" snack so feel free to change up the candy to match whatever season you might be celebrating. Or how about adding those candy corn flavored M+M's. That sounds yummy too.

This can be for Halloween or part of your pre-Thanksgiving feast.
Create a large bowl, (or in this case, a pie plate), or fill small jars or clear cellophane bags to share with friends and family. Recipe is at the bottom.









walnuts, candy corn, Chex mix, cinnamon, pretzels, snacks
Yield: 6
Author:

Fall Snack Mix

Fall Snack Mix

prep time: 10 Mcook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 H & 10 M
Delicious snack mix to satisfy even the pickiest snacker. A little bit of sweet and a little bit of salty.

ingredients:

instructions:

How to cook Fall Snack Mix

  1. Preheat oven to 250º
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk egg white in large bowl until frothy.
  4. Fold in cereal and pretzels, coating evenly.
  5. Pour onto prepared baking sheet, spread to create single layer.
  6. Bake 1 hour, being sure to stir every 20 minutes. (twice)
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  8. Add candy corn and maple infused walnuts. Toss.
  9. Store in air-tight container.

NOTES:

Ideas: -> midday snack at work. -> after-school snack. -> package in jars or cellophane bags to share with friends and family.
Calories
380.07
Fat (grams)
7.45
Sat. Fat (grams)
1.05
Carbs (grams)
89.78
Fiber (grams)
33.95
Net carbs
55.83
Sugar (grams)
31.70
Protein (grams)
5.57
Sodium (milligrams)
109.98
Cholesterol (grams)
31.00

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @pnpflowers on instagram and hashtag it #pnpflowersrecipe
Created using The Recipes Generator


I love when snack ideas are festive AND delicious. This one meets both criteria.
Sure hope you'll try it my sweet friends!

PS - Let's stay cozy + connected in-between posts...find me on Instagram for daily inspiration.
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KEEPING IT REAL
I've made this 3 different times in the last 2 weeks. 
Haven't been able to snack on any of it.
Only 10 more days until my 44 day challenge is over. Pressure is on. 



RECIPE | Maple-Infused Walnuts

Monday, October 28


You know those delicious candied walnuts (or pecans) we all love for snacking and adding to salads?
Well I've got a recipe for you today that'll help remove some of the guilt associated with these delicious...dare I say...addicting little morsels.

Have you ever tried maple-infused walnuts?
This slightly sweet and a lil' bit salty walnut recipe is delicious.

And did you know maple syrup has a low-glycemic index?
Put simply, it means this all natural sweetener doesn't wreak havoc on your blood glucose levels like refined sugar does. And we all know avoiding quick spikes in our blood sugar levels and insulin promotes all sort of wonderful health benefits! (weightloss, a healthy heart, longer lasting energy, increased mental clarity, reduces some cancers, prevents age-related macular degeneration and frankly just keeps you feeling your best)!

That said, I'm not encouraging you to "go nuts" (pun intended) on the maple syrup...everything in moderation my friends.

BUT...what I am saying is this pairing of maple syrup and walnuts (which by the way have their own reputation for being loaded with good things - Omega-3's for instance), sure makes me feel like I'm treating myself but in the best way. A very intentional way. "Intentional Snacking!" Is that a thing?

Add these to salads, trail mixes and package them up in a pretty jar and give them as a gift! (hello...Christmas is right around the corner). Ooo! That just made me think that maybe adding a lil' bit of cinnamon to them for a more festive fall/winter vibe would be good too?)

Recipe is at the bottom!






Walnuts, Maple Syrup, candied nuts, low glycemic
Snacks, Walnuts, Trail Mix,
Yield: 6 servings
Author:

Maple-Infused Walnuts

Maple-Infused Walnuts

prep time: cook time: total time:
Delicious, lightly sweetened + salty walnuts for salads, snacking and gifting.

ingredients:

  • 1 + 1/2 cups raw walnut pieces (or whole if you prefer)
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. extra light tasting olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt

instructions:

How to cook Maple-Infused Walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 250º.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add walnuts, maple syrup, oil and salt to a small bowl.
  4. Stir until all walnuts have been coated.
  5. Pour walnuts onto prepared cookie sheet and spread evenly.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes and stir with wooden spoon.
  7. Bake another 8-10 minutes and stir.
  8. Repeat process until walnut are done. (see note below)
  9. Note: Walnuts are done  when the sticky residue from the maple syrup has almost disappeared from the parchment paper.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, or until walnuts are hardened and dry.
  11. Break apart if necessary and store in airtight container.

NOTES:

IDEAS FOR USE: -> Sprinkle on salads. -> Add to a trail mix. -> Package up for gifting.
Calories
80.78
Fat (grams)
6.42
Sat. Fat (grams)
0.64
Carbs (grams)
5.66
Fiber (grams)
0.58
Net carbs
5.08
Sugar (grams)
4.26
Protein (grams)
1.33
Sodium (milligrams)
291.67
Cholesterol (grams)
0.00
Please note: These nutritional values are based on information contained in a large database. They may or may not be accurate reflections of the ingredients listed here.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @pnpflowers on instagram and hashtag it #pnpflowersrecipe
Created using The Recipes Generator


Stay tuned for a quick "Halloween" themed trail mix incorporating these goodies.
As usual, if you try the recipe, please come back and let me know what you think!

PS - Let's stay cozy + connected in-between posts...find me on Instagram for daily inspiration.
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KEEPING IT REAL
I've been on a 44 day challenge (which includes no sugar of any kind) and have been sharing my progress over on Instagram - today is Day 33.
That said, maple syrup has been off limits for me as well which means I'm REALLY looking forward to incorporating these yummy walnuts into my salads soon! Yay!!

PS - I'll be revealing my results on Day 44 - Nov. 8th - over on my Instagram feed!

SHARE | The Prettiest + Easiest Caramel Apples

Friday, October 25


Pssst...these apples look pretty fancy, don't they?
Some might even call them "gourmet" caramel apples.

Well let me tell you...the recipe is anything BUT fancy.
I got the recipe from my best friend on Instagram. (she has no idea we are BFF's...not yet anyway). *wink*

Her name is Emily at the Handmade Farmhouse and she is fabulous.
And so is this Caramel Apple recipe she shared recently.

I knew I had to try it and it did not disappoint.
It's not nearly as hard as you would think - and NO CANDY THERMOMETER REQUIRED! Yay!
You should totally try these for the fall season! They are a lot of fun to make.

In fact...I got a little creative and made a few "Halloween" versions - see'em at the bottom of the post.









Prettiest, easiest, and most delicious caramel apples on the planet! I promise.

She's inspired me to get to baking some pretty bread this fall season too! 


PS - Let's stay cozy + connected in-between posts...find me on Instagram for daily inspiration.
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KEEPING IT REAL
I'm not usually a fan of caramel apples - but THESE - they are so easy and so pretty.
And my family gives them a HUGE thumbs up!
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