Kitchen Update: Christmas Edition

12:22 PM
It's absolutely insane looking at before and after pictures of our kitchen.  The kitchen was the first renovation that we began after moving into our house last year and you can find progress posts herehere, and here.  We took our time and made sure each decision that we made was exactly what we wanted.  The time waiting was worth it and I'm so excited about all the baking and decorating that's going to happen in this space for Christmas!  

Here's another glance at what our kitchen looked like when we moved in.

And now...
and now...


The Lishias

It's not going in our yard, Russ. It's going in our living room."

10:00 PM

The weekend after Thanksgiving is ultimately our favorite weekend out of the year.  Full of leftovers, naps, and putting up the Christmas tree!  This is the first year that we've bought a real tree and we couldn't wait to get out the door and head to the tree farm lot to pick out the perfect one.  We spotted it within minutes and they loaded it up for us... on my wagon, nonetheless.
(Perfect car to transport a tree!)  We asked them to cut off a sliver of the tree before loading it up, for a keepsake.  So far we're loving having a real tree, mess and all.

We let Jules grab the step stool and put the ornaments wherever she wanted and I seriously have to say, she did an awesome job.  I loved watching her space them out ever-so-perfectly, making sure that she didn't put one too close to the other.   We didn't do tinsel this year, mainly because I'm still sucking up strands tinsel into the vacuum from last year.  We love seeing Juliet understand more and more each year about the season and all it brings.  Watching Christmas through the eyes of your child is all the gift we need.  Well, that and a new furnace.  


The Lishias


2:04 PM
We had another awesome Thanksgiving over here and hope you all did as well!  We're still recovering from a pumpkin pie and whipped cream food coma... I know, so very whole 30 of us, right?!  Every year we kick off the morning with the Thanksgiving day parade plus cinnamon rolls and bacon by the fire.  We also get the oven preheated for the turkey and all the fixins'.  Last year we deep fried our turkey, but this year I tried my hand at roasting it in the oven.  Our menu is pretty similar every year, the turkey, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, the best green beans ever, stuffing/dressing, and homemade rolls with cinnamon butter.  You can find a couple of these recipes at the end of this post.

I can remember being in school and getting off a whole week for Thanksgiving, but as of late- or maybe it's just Charlotte- we only get 3 days.  Which means you only have 1 day to prep for all things Thanksgiving and that's just not enough.  However, we took advantage of our one day for the more important things like cooking dinner for friends,  making a huge batch of my cinnamon butter, and drawing + decorating 538 hand-turkeys.

I cooked dinner Wednesday night for a Friendsgiving at our house and then helped with a few sides Thursday, for Thanksgiving at my sis-in-law's.  We went the whole day and never managed to get a picture of all three of us together.   Ehhh well.  Just means we were too busy getting "seconds", talking over each other, and bouncing off the walls with the cousins.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
 Enjoy all those yummy turkey sandwiches this week!  


The Lishias

Juliet's Sarah & Duck 3rd Birthday

9:05 PM
We celebrated our sweet girl last month with a little party at home with her cousins, donuts at school with her friends, and going to see Elsa and Anna in the Disney on Ice's Frozen production. 

We invited family over the Saturday before her birthday for a laid-back dinner, just to relax and enjoy being together. We bought lasagnas from an italian market in our neighborhood and some garlic bread and called it done.  If you're in the Charlotte area and do not know about this little gem, here is the website and address!  Juliet had mini cupcakes, her favorite popcorn chex mix, and I made her birthday cake again this year... Nutella Dream Cake.  When I asked her what kind of birthday she wanted she said, bah-wooons.  So we did our dead level best to make that happen.  Besides bah-wooons, she loves the epi-show on Netflix, Sarah & Duck.  She will find someway to incorporate every little jingle into her daily life and we'll hear her pretending to be Sarah when she's in her room playing.  Plus, if you're trying to make her laugh, she'll probably cut those baby blues at you and with the cutest little side grin say, "Silly Duck".  So making the decision of the theme was an easy one.  She LOVED it!

I found the shallots at Anthropologie.  They're actually salt and pepper shakers and I bought two sets, added some eyes and they were an instant hit.  The kids were seriously disappointed when they found out that they weren't chocolates wrapped in gold foil, though.  Wap. Wap.  If you're familiar with the show you will understand her cake having a face.  He's actually Sarah's birthday cake in the show and Jules started singing the birthday song when she saw it. A-dorable.

She's recently discovered a love for dress-up clothes and I'd rather catch my pinky toe on a bedframe than to tell her she has to change into regular clothes, especially on her birthday.  So... she was Elsa at her Sarah and Duck birthday party.  Ehhh... if she's happy, I'm happy. 

We're definitely realizing that she's growing up so fast.  She's developing her own little personality and loosing that baby look with each passing day.  She has the sweetest disposition and loves being silly. We love you Julie baby and hope you made some sweet birthday memories.    

Hello, November

8:53 AM
We are so glad slow November is finally here!  Our lives have been a blur the past couple of months and I've done a horrible job of keeping up with the blog in the meanwhile.  We've had birthdays, vacations, first days of school, house projects, and lots of fun weekends since I last posted.   In light of the new year just around the corner, I decided to give the blog a much-needed makeover and hope that maybe that would inspire me to start posting regularly again.

In the meantime, here are the highlights of August and September in an attempt to get caught up, starting with a few snapshots from our vacation to the mountains back in August.  We limited our time with our phones and cameras so there weren't too many pictures to chose from... just a couple to help us remember the fun little moments.  There's also pictures of little Juliet's first day of school as well as photos from our town's annual Labor Day festival. 



It's good to be back in the swing of things.  Thanks to all our readers that have checked in with us and asked questions about life lately.  Things were unsettled for a while with Joey working out of town two days a week and with the prospects of us selling our home and moving away from Charlotte, but in the end, things have worked out so perfectly and we couldn't be more shocked and blessed. Thanks again for your support and for reading along.  

Now for some Friendsgiving and lots of Christmas movies.   


The Lishias

Easy Weeknight Dinners

5:03 PM
School starts next week for Juliet and myself and it's the first time in 2 years that I've worked so this is all going to be a balancing act at first... God be with us.  Time management has never been my strong suit so this will all be very interesting.  Either way we are back to the routine of getting home late and going to bed early so dinners need to be quick and easy.

Here are a couple easy crockpot dinners that we have been loving lately and keep on hand in our recipe box.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup //  One that we love to make during cold months is this loaded baked potato recipe.  It's sooo good and extremely simple.  It's best with cornbread muffins and garnished with green onions and ALL THE BACON!  It's a bag of frozen hash-brown potatoes, 2 cans of chicken broth (14 oz cans), 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1/2 cup of chopped onion, 1/3 tsp of ground black pepper, 1 package of cream cheese, softened.  Combine potatoes, broth, soup, onion, and pepper; cover and cook on low for 5 hours.  Stir in cream cheese and cook for additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Garnish with green onions, shredded cheddar and bacon.

Crockpot BBQ Pork Sandwiches //  Season a 3-5 lb. boneless pork shoulder with salt, pepper, and a tsp. of paprika.  Combine 1 cup of Mississippi BBQ sauce, 1 cup chicken broth, and 2 tbsp. brown sugar, pour it over meat in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Shred and serve on hamburger buns or hawaiian rolls.

Southwestern Pot Roast //  This one might be the simpliest of all.  All you do is buy a rump roast and a jar of Pace Thick & Chunky Salsa.  Pour over roast and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Serve on tortillas with sour cream and cheese.  This is the perfect recipe to have up your sleeve if your husband is like mine and loves to spontaneously invite people over!

Turkey BLT Sandwiches //  This one has become a staple for us when we don't know what else to cook/eat.  Open faced crescent rolls, turkey & provolone cheese on a baking sheet, pop in the oven for 2 minutes on broil. Add bacon, mayo, lettuce, and tomato; turn on Elf and call it a night.

If you have any quick and easy recipes share them below!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful week.


The Lishias

Summer Movie Bucket List

1:22 PM
July and August usually brings a lot of evening thunderstorms to the East coast and it's one of my favorite things about Summer around here.  We've usually spent the day out and about or outside playing, so the rain starting in the evening gives us the best excuse to ignore the dinner dishes and turn on a movie!  We sat down the other night and added a few Summery movies to the queue that we want to re-watch before the season is over.

Popcorn on the stove, a drink in hand, window cracked to hear the rain... "Hey, Google... play movie".  
photo via pinterest

What movies are on your Summer bucket list?


The Lishias