Slow Cooker Pork Roast

To say I am loving my new Hamilton Beach programmable slow cooker is an understatement! I keep thinking of recipes I want to create and pinning slow cooker recipes on Pinterest. The Saturday after Christmas I went to bed thinking about a pork roast and woke up with a full on craving! I had barely brushed my teeth before I had run out the door to the grocery store.

Simple list of ingredients! {Ignore the mushrooms... there just was not room!}

Simple list of ingredients! {Ignore the mushrooms… there just was not room in the crock!}

Getting everything ready was a snap too! Wash the apples and slice them up.

Chopped Apples
Chop up the onion too. Once that is done, add a few apple slices and onion pieces to the bottom of the slow cooker to make a bed for the roast.

Chopped Onions

Wash and chop up the up the potatoes, then peel and chop the carrots.

Chopped Vegetables

Now everything is ready for the slow cooker! Put the roast on top of the apples and onions you added earlier. Sprinkle pepper, salt, crushed red pepper, and garlic on top of the roast. Then add an herb bouquet. {This is the first one I have ever tied… it was not quite Martha- or Julia-worthy, but it got the job done!}

Prepared Roast

Once that is done, add the remaining onions, apples, potatoes, and carrots around the roast. I got a little excited with the amount of my ingredients, so I also covered the top of my roast and had to tent it with foil because the lid would not go on snugly. Whoops! I am still adjusting to the smaller crock on this slow cooker.

Added Vegetables
When it was ready, the roast fell apart. It was so good! The perfect mix of moist and spicy and sweet. I had two helpings! Yum!

Ready to Cook

Want a recipe?

Here ya go!


Slow Cooker Pork Roast

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 pound pork roast
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 red potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • rosemary sprigs
  • thyme
  • saltand pepper
  • minced garlic
  • dried basil

Preparation

  • Chop the vegeables.
  • Place several apple and onion slices in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Tie the herb bouquet with baker’s twine.
  • Place the roast on top of the vegetables in the crock.
  • Sprinkle the top of the roast with salt, pepper, dried basil, crushed red pepper, and garlic. Top with herb bouquet.
  • Place remaining vegetables around the roast.

Cook

  • Turn the slow cooker on low. If programmable, set the time for 8 hours.
  • After the time has passed, remove the roast and vegetables.
  • Allow the roast to sit for 10 minutes before cutting.

Ready to Eat!

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Distraction Diet

“I don’t have time to do {insert anything here}. There just aren’t enough hours in the day!”

How many times have you found yourself saying that? I say or think it no fewer than a million times a day. I often wish I could double the hours available every single day in order to just do more.

Truth be told, I would just fill those extra hours with the exact same nonsense I fill my days with now. I have more than enough time to keep my house clean, spend time with family and friends, play with Cheese, work, sleep, cook, craft, blog, write emails, watch TV, write, and nap, but I just do not choose to do those things everyday. There, I said it. Life is a series of choices, and I choose to waste so much time it is ridiculous.

Well, the New Year is upon us and it is the time when we are supposed to make life choices that change us for the better, right? Fine, challenge accepted. I cannot add more hours to the day, but I can manage the time I spend doing activities every single day.

I get a daily email from Give More, and if you don’t get that email, stop reading this right now and go sign up over at givemore.com. I am not a big fan of touchy-feely, but this email packs a big punch. A couple years ago, they posted about a distraction diet, meaning taking distractions out of your life and focusing on what is truly important. Cool. I will get right on that… Right after I get off Pinterest and finish off all my lives on Candy Crush…

It is actually not that hard. When I did it a couple years ago, here is what I did and it was amazing how much time I found added to my day. Some of the recommendations were from Give More and the rest were mine.
1 – Have set times you check your email and leave it closed any other time. I still do this to this day. I check my email first thing in the morning, at lunch, mid-afternoon, and 30 minutes before I plan to leave in the afternoon. People have learned that if they truly need me outside of those times, pick up the phone and call or better yet, come find me and have a face-to-face. I have been doing this for a couple years now and the world has yet to burn down without me being chained to my email. Instead, I am able to give my complete focus to the tasks at hand instead of starting said tasks and then stopping to answer an email and then restarting. It is amazing how many more things I get accomplished during the day now.
2 – Put the phone away! {more on this in a bit} Give More recommended putting your phone on airplane mode and only turn it on during certain times, similar to email. That was a little scary to me, so I simply leave it in my bag or a desk drawer. Out of sight, out of mind! I used to gage my daily productivity by how charged my phone battery was at the end of the day.
3 – When you are in the car, act like your insurance agent can see. I know that sounds hokey, but right before I started my original DD, I was on the phone with my insurance agent telling them how safe of a driver I am and how they should lower my rate. It was all well and good until I ended the phone call when I pulled into their parking lot and walked in. He looked at my wide-eyed and said, “Were you telling me how safe of a driver you are while you were driving?! You do know that isn’t safe right?” Holy cow. It hit home just how unsafe of a driver I was! Ever since that, I usually drive like he can see and is basing my rates accordingly. It makes a big difference!

That’s it. Those 3 things helped me so much, but this time I am stepping up my game. I need to… Something has got to give before I do. So here is what else I am adding to that original plan:

4 – Limit time on social media. What a time drain! Over the summer, I deleted all of my social media except Instagram , Twitter, and Pinterest. I spend so much time on Insta and Twitter it is ridiculous. I quit. I changed my phone setting so that I can only use those apps while connected to wi-fi. Yep, no more constant updates. I can essentially now only use those apps at home. I am hoping that when I use them less, I will begin to depend on them less too. When I deleted Facebook , I truly thought I would miss it, but I have not been tempted to rejoin once since I deleted it. Quite the opposite actually; I hope to eliminate my dependence on Pinterest and Instagram for the hours of entertainment I use it for now.
5 – Make a schedule and stick to it. I bought a Franklin Covey planner for myself for Christmas. It is the only time management system that works for me. Find what works for you; the Internet has so many different plans out there. This planner and I will become best friends, I just know it! I used to schedule time for myself for distractions. There is no reason in this world I cannot do that again.
6 – Limit screen time. I tell myself I don’t watch a lot of TV, and there are weeks where I do not even turn it on. However, my DVR is constantly recording shows, documentaries, and movies for me, plus I have an Apple TV that streams Netflix and Hulu. It is nothing for me to get sucked into a weekend-long marathon of Sons of Anarchy or Downton Abbey. I usually watch all seasons of Friday Night Lights twice a year because that show is just so amazing. Cool, except for the fact that it takes up an entire weekend that I could have been doing anything else. Sometimes I just need that release, but sometimes I need to go see my grandmothers or hike but can’t seem to tear myself away from the TV. What does that say about my priorities? I love Arrow, but I love Memama and Nana more, so why do my actions not show that? TV is now something I use at the end of the night to unwind. If I am not watching something specific, that box will stay off.
7 – Leave the phone in the car. Have you seen those tables of teens in restaurants who are all on their phones and not talking to each other? How disgusting is that? What is wrong with people? I do the same thing. I don’t mean to and hide behind the excuse of my ability to multitask but the fact is it is just plain rude. From now on, unless I am expecting an important call, my phone will stay in my car when I am socializing with my friends, family, and coworkers. I do it at church now, why not all the time?
8 – Don’t touch the phone {or anything else for that matter} while driving. I am the worst driver in the world. I go the speed limit and obey all traffic laws, except I also have been known to use Buzzfeed and Pinterest and Candy Crush and text and put on makeup and eat while driving too. What the heck? I even sliced an apple one morning with an apple slicer while driving 70 mph on the interstate. What?! Doe that scare you? It scares me to death. No more. No mas!
8 – Delete games off my phone. Yes, Candy Crush Soda and Criminal Case, this means you. I have a Kindle app on there, so when I need a brain break I can get lost in a book for that minute or two.
9 – Quit smoking once and for all. I have been cutting back and can go days at a time without one. The tells me I can have mine forever and be ok. It’s so cold outside it will help because I do not want to go out there, even for that tobacco fix.

We shall see how well I stick to this Distraction Diet resolution. I am excited and nervous all at once. What will I do with all this extra time? Maybe I will actually keep my house in order and start sewing again. Maybe I will just sleep more. :)

What are your resolutions? Do you stick to them??

Salsa Verde Shredded Chicken Soup

I have been looking for what seems like forever for a new slow cooker, because honestly 4 is not quite enough. I wanted one that was a little smaller than my other slow cookers, but also programmable so that I could put it on Low for 6 hours and then have it turn automatically to warm. This should not be as hard to find as it was. I learned that programmable slow cookers give you 4-6 hours on high and 8-10 hours on low. I wanted the choice regardless of heating level. My wonderful mother found me one at Kmart that does just that. Thank you Hamilton Beach for listening to my first world problems!

The other day while buying some salsa to eat for dinner {the joys of living alone!}, I saw salsa verde. I did not know you could buy such a thing in the store and it was so green and colorful I had to add it to my cart. I was planning on spending the entire day working on my house so I needed something simple to cook for my new slow cooker’s maiden voyage. I thought immediately of the salsa verde.

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I threw some half thawed chicken breasts into the slow cooker, covered them with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, cumin, and garlic.

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Then I poured the entire jar of salsa on top and some chicken broth. I set that puppy on low 6 hours and got down to business in my house. Four hours later, I pulled the chicken breasts out and shredded them with two forks, adding it back to the soup when I was finished. I also added half a block of cream cheese just for funsies.

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Two hours later, I was tuckered out and the soup was ready.
Oh, and out of curiosity, I added this recipe to My Fitness Pal to get the nutrition info. Want to know the calories per 2-cup serving of this? 412! If you leave out the cream cheese, it drops down to 312. Can’t beat that!

Want the recipe? Here it is!
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 jar Pace salsa verde
2 cans low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp of minced garlic
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz cream cheese, optional

Put the chicken in the slow cooker and cover with spices. Add salsa and chicken broth. Cook on low for 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Add back to the slow cooker and add cream cheese. Cook on low for 2 more hours.
Enjoy!

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Nibling Day

For the first time in my life I took the entire Christmas and New Year’s holidays off work. Not gonna lie… Two and half weeks off work is enough to make me want to become a stay at home Cheese mom.
I planned to spend most of the time working on my house and getting back in charge of the chores that I neglect because I work all the time I am too lazy to do them most of the time. My first day off, however, I hopped in the car with Mom for what I called Nibling Day.
We started the day off having lunch with Payton at her school. Normally, when you have guests for lunch, you get to sit on the stage in the cafeteria, and Payton was thrilled about that. When we got to school we found out that each class would be eating lunch in their classrooms instead, but Payton’s awesome parapro set up a special table in the middle of the room for us to sit at while we watched Santa Claus is coming to town.
After lunch we were off to Bella’s school for her Christmas program where they would be singing some songs for the parents who attended. Bella-ever the show off-did not sing at all and instead stood in front of the class with her fingers in her nose. It was hilarious! She also refused to get her picture made but I got her on board by taking selfies and making funny faces.
Before leaving, we snuck into Darcy’s room and spent just enough time to wake her up from a nap and snap a couple pictures. I am sure her teacher loved that!
Then we were back off to Dalton to babysit Weston and Addison. We watched the Polar Express and played for a few hours before they were picked up. Big Sister texted me on the way home to tell me that when she asked Weston what we did, he replied, “Wendy tried to kiss me and catch me like a monster!” I will chalk that up as a successful night!
At the end of the day, Mom and I were exhausted and happy. It took about 20 minutes before we both passed out for the night.
Now I am totally enjoying my time off, but that day will go down as the best way to spend a vacation day!

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Sharpie Glasses

If you have been on Pinterest for more than 30 seconds, you have seen no fewer than 6,000 pins telling you to buy Dollar Tree plates/cups/wine glasses, decorating them with Sharpies, baking at 350, presto chango life long keepsake. Have you tried it? I have. A couple times actually because I did not quite learn my lesson the first time.

The whole concept of Sharpie-decorated glass is kind of like Communism… Really great in concept but not so much in reality.

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First of all, I was mislead to think that I could have some semblance of artistic ability while drawing all over those $1 cups and plates. Lies! My creations would have been beautiful if one of the kids did it, but no. I am a perfectly capable 33 year old woman who should be more than capable of drawing something, anything that does not look like a bird pooped on it.
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The good news is, if you hate what you have made, just wipe it with your fingers and whaaalaaaa it is gone, even after baking. And if you want to keep your hands clean, drop that suckah in the dishwasher and that is all she wrote Billy goat.
Honestly, I think that the Dollar Tree and Sharpie put those tutorials on Pinterest and laughed all the way to the bank. Obviously, I’m not bitter about this at all.

*Deep Breaths*

Last week I met my pal Megan for what was supposed to be sushi but ended up being meatloaf (ain’t mad at ya Seikisui… OK maybe I am but we will get past this). I was a little early so I hopped on Pinterest while waiting for her to get there. I saw this Sharpie glass tutorial and heard the needle scratch across the record. Could it be?! I read the tutorial and it seemed completely legit.

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Only one way to find out! I hopped on Amazon and ordered some Sharpie paint markers before Megan arrived for dinner.

Three days later I was sitting on my couch surrounded by Sharpie paint markers, a wine glass, and two coffee mugs from the Dollar Tree. “You’ll be fine!” I reassured myself when the flashbacks of my last Sharpie-drawing fiasco kept popping into my mind. I mean, hey, what’s the worst that could happen, right? I get a couple new coffee cups after all my awful artwork washes off in the dishwasher?

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OK, my drawing is still sketchy, but this time I kept it simple. I mean, even I can make polkadots with a marker. When I was finished, I put them in the oven at 350 and let them bake for 30 minutes, just like she said to do. I let them cool down in the oven too, but for more like 24 hours than the 3 hours she recommends because I basically forgot all about them. {Whoopsies!}

The result? Success! Artwork that stays even after dishwashing. The green wine glass, white mug with heart, and black mug shown here were my test pieces this time. The other mugs and plate? Welllllllllll, those are the awful pieces I made before. As you can see, they have stood up to the test of time. The coffee cup with words on it was never even used! It has just wiped off from handling. I put glasses with Sharpie paint through the dishwasher and it did not even touch the designs I had put on them! Now if I can just find some kind of marker that helps my chicken scratches become more art like ;)

Sriracha Salmon Fish Tacos

I have been trying so hard to work on my fish cooking skills. I eat fish regularly at home these days, but it is always the same old same old thing: salmon or tilapia filet {purchased individually wrapped and frozen from Costco… a single girl’s dream come true!} with lemons and Old Bay wrapped up in parchment paper and baked in the oven. It truly is delicious, but like I said, I have been wanting to branch out. I have a whole Pinboard dedicated to fish recipes, but to be quite honest, cooking fish scares the heck out of me. The thought of undercooking this mystery food is terrifying. In fact, until I read the Skinny Rules and used Bob Harper’s recipes I had never even thought about cooking fish because it just seemed so daunting. So here I am, salivating over all these delicious-looking fish recipes on Pinterest and continuing to prepare the same old same old lemon and Old Bay fish.

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Last week, it felt like it was around 3-degrees outside and I just could not get warm. I spent all day at work chugging chamomile tea trying to warm up a bit but it just was not enough. Around 3 in the afternoon I decided I needed something with a little kick in it for dinner to help me thaw out from the tundra I felt like I spent my day in. I hopped on Pinterest and saw this awesome recipe for Srircha salmon. Done. Done. And DONE!

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I swung by the grocery store on my way home and picked up the ingredients I would be needing: a salmon filet {no time to thaw one of my frozen filets}, a couple limes, and green onions. Don’t you just love an awesome recipe with not a lot of ingredients? Got home and collected everything else: brown sugar, wax paper, salt, and of course the Srircha. I had every intention of following her recipe exactly, but then I squeezed a fist-sized big glob or Srircha into my bowl I was mixing the sauce in and then realized she said to use 2 tsp. Whoops! Other than that, I stuck to her recipe completely, including the cooking method and time, which was very different to the way I normally cook fish.

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I tell you what, that salmon recipe is the business. The gal over at Baker by Nature sure knows what she is talking about; the fish was cooked to **perfection** and had flavor to boot. I never would have thought to zest a lime over the fish before covering it in sauce. Brilliant!! I chose to use her fish recipe in tacos, so I chopped up some Spring Mix lettuces, a tomato and cucumber, and some cilantro to put on top. My original intention was to make a salsa with the tomato, cucumber, and cilantro, but I made the mistake of making in the food processor instead of just chopping it pico-style and it was so gross and smelled so strongly I threw it out. No need to ruin perfect salmon with half ass salsa, right?

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Throw all that on some tortillas, add some quinoa and brown rice along with some black beans and corn and you have a deliciously warm dinner ready in about 25 minutes. Just for funsies, I threw some of the excess sauce in the black beans and corn while it was cooking for some extra flavor.

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Chili Cook Off

The week of Thanksgiving, the guys at work decided to have a Chili Cook Off. The winner was to be awarded a $50 Visa gift card, and awesome prize aside, I really just wanted to win. Chili is so easy to make, and to be honest I have never made it the same way twice. The only thing that is consistent in my chili is beans and corn. Everything else is open game.

Knowing my audience was a bunch of hungry dudes who eat jalapeños for fun, I knew I needed to spice up my normal recipe and make it extra meaty. That was a challenge I accepted!

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The result: a deliciously hot and huge pot of chili. Here is the recipe I used:

Ingredients
1 pound ground turkey
1 pound ground pork
1 pound turkey sausage
12 jalapeños
10 tomatoes on the vine
1 onion
4 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chili powder
1 tbsp white pepper
1/4 tbsp smoked paprika
3 tbsp cumin
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch cilantro
2 tbsp crushed red pepper
2 cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed
2 cans light red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can sweet corn, rinsed
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cans chicken broth
2 bell peppers
8 oz cream cheese
3 tbsp Olive oil

Directions:
Before you start cooking, dice up the tomatoes on the vine, bell peppers, jalapeños, onion, cilantro, and parsley.

Then put some of the peppers, onion, and I tbsp of garlic in 1 tbsp Olive oil and sauté them until they become fragrant. Add 1 pound of meat and brown. When it is finished, break up the chunks and put it in a separate bowl. Repeat for the remaining 2 pounds of meat.

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When the meat is fully cooked, add it to a large stock pot. Add the remaining ingredients except for cream cheese and cumin. Let the soup simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally and adding spices along the way according to your preference. Add in the cumin and simmer for another 30 minutes.

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Dice up the cream cheese and throw it in, stirring to help it melt into the entire pot. I added the cream cheese after trying a bowl because it was so spicy it made me break into a sweat.

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I did not win the competition (one guy promised to buy all others beer if he won) but all the guys seemed to like my chili. I had many comments about how they had never had never had chili with corn in it before and that it was the most colorful chili they had ever seen. One guy even told me to add more jalapeños next time, but that just made me think he is crazy or a masochist because I am telling you this chili was HOT. And delicious. Enjoy!

Honey Pork Loin with Apples

Big Sister invited me and the dude to come to Dawsonville, Georgia with her family and our parents to visit a pumpkin patch. The dude and I decided to make a day out of it, and it was just the perfect Fall afternoon adventure.
We left in the morning with coffee in hand and a great playlist complete with Dave Matthews, David Gray, and Blues Traveler because nothing says Fall quite like some chill music and pumpkin spice!

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We followed my parents to an apple orchard in Ellijay for lunch because we were a little early for the pumpkin patch. I love Ellijay during apple time! You can get fresh apples for next to nothing, and they also are selling all the apple fried pies you can eat. (For me, the limit is 2.) (Ok, maybe 3…don’t judge). We bought 5 million apples or so and then were back on the road heading toward Dawsonville and Burt’s Pumpkin Patch.

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Finally, we arrived at the pumpkin patch. I had never been to one before, but we will be going back every time Big Sister will have us! We had so much running around behind Weston snapping pictures and listening to him talk about all the tractors. We even went on a hay ride!

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On the way back, we stopped by Ellijay to shop and have dinner. I got home exhausted, full, and over the moon with happiness.

Flash forward to about a week later when I was looking at the 4 million or so apples I had left. I had to cook some of them, but I had never cooked with apples outside of pies, so I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. I made a pork loin based on this recipe. It! Was! So! Good! It was so good, I ate almost half of it the first night! I shared the recipe with my mom and she has made it twice since then! It is so easy to make, you can have it any night of the week without taking much time at all to prepare. The original Pin called for a Crock Pot, but I got a late start and did not have time to slow cook it. I will be doing that in the future though!

What you will need is easy enough: 3 pound pork loin, 3 apples, some honey and cinnamon. {I also added some turmeric because I have been trying to eat it everyday, but it did not really add or take away an flavor from the pork.}

I sliced the apples up, leaving the peel on and layered some in the bottom of a casserole dish. Then I cut slits in the pork loin about 1″ apart. Inside each slit, I poured some honey and then put an apple slice in each one. I covered the top with turmeric, a layer of honey, the remaining apples, and then cinnamon. It baked for almost an hour and then was ready for serving. The apples get mushy and it makes for a perfect side dish. I thought with the honey and all it would be really sweet, but it was not at all. It was the perfect savory dish to come and enjoy after work.

And enjoy it I did. I had it for lunch and dinner the next night. So good!

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Time Flies!

My word. I do not even know where to begin. Last year I sat down and wrote about a hike at Enterprise South, went to bed, and forgot all about this blog for over a year. Sheesh. At some point, you have to just accept the fact that, “I’ll blog about that tomorrow,” just does not always happen. Sometimes you just need to not wait.

So here I am waiting on my clothes to dry, taking a few minutes to get a post down on paper.

So what have you been up to in the last year? I cannot lie; it has been a pretty outstanding 12 months. Last September I started a new job in a completely new industry where I knew no one and nothing about the products we make. It is probably the bravest thing I have ever done, but I made the leap to this new adventure. Now, a year later, I have to admit that was the right leap to make! Moving from textiles to metals was like moving from NYC to Mars, but I do not feel like Dorothy or Alice anymore and work life is pretty great! My morning commute has gone from 90+ minutes barring any traffic delays to maybe 6 if I get stuck at both red lights I have to drive through. That alone is worth the leap to me! What would you do with an extra 3 hours in your day everyday?

Work changes aside, my real life has seen many great changes too. If you have read more than a couple posts on this blog or know me in real life, you know my sisters’ kids are basically my life. Every single day they are changing so much and becoming these little people with their own personalities and it is just the most fantastic thing I have ever known.

Payton is 5 and started kindergarten this year. Kindergarten! It seems like that kid was just born yesterday and now she is in real life school where she is learning math and spelling. It is insane. I took her and Bella to watch fireworks on July 4 this year and it was hands down the best night of my life.

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Bella is 3 now and has become just the most amazing little thing I know. She is smaller than most other kids, but that does not stop her for one second from doing anything she wants. She is sweet and smart and just so independent. For her birthday a couple weeks ago, she wanted to dress up like Batman, have her family over, and wear glitter eye shadow. That pretty much sums her up. She has also turned into such a practical joker too; it cracks me up when she does things like slip a plastic spider in my mom’s pocket and tells her there is a spider on her. What a little prankster!

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Weston is 2 now and I cannot imagine our lives without that sweet little boy in it. Do not get me wrong; I love those little girls with my whole heart, but there is just something about Weston that makes my heart so happy. He is the sweetest of all of them and the snuggliest little thing you can imagine. At the same time, he is all boy, running around screaming and jumping off things. I cannot wait to see how he changes going forward.

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Last Thanksgiving Little Sister showed up with the girls wearing shirts about being the biggest and the middle turkey. It took a second to register what that meant, but when it clicked in place, we all started screaming and hugging and it was just a pretty rad moment. Then Big Sister stood up and said, “Well, while we are talking about it, I’m having a baby too!” !! It was quite a shock! Flash forward to June 30 when Big Sister welcomed baby Addison in the world, followed by Little Sister welcoming Darcy July 1. Whew! It was a fun week!

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As for my family, it is still the same old same old… Cheese is still sweet and I am still just trying to enjoy every second of this life. The good news is that I have rediscovered my creativity that I lost for so long so expect new crafts and recipes coming up soon. Hopefully I will not forget about this blog for another year!

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Enterprise South Hike

When Volkswagon came to town a couple years ago, part of their environmental outreach plan was to have space set aside as a nature reserve. Because of that, we got Enterprise South Nature Park, a biking, hiking, running area outside the Volkswagon plant. Thank you so much Volkswagon! It is so nice!

20131110-162715.jpg Heather and I decided to tackle one of their pedestrian only trails this weekend called Hawk’s Ridge, the only 4-leaf trail in the park.

20131110-162919.jpg It was so pretty! A couple of the hills along the trail were brutal, but nothing we could not handle.

20131110-163254.jpg After 3 miles, we decided to also tackle the Dogwood Ridge Trail on our way back too. I am so glad we did!

20131110-163430.jpg The second trail was about a mile and a half long and equally as beautiful! The crisp Autumn air made for a perfect afternoon, and the conversation wasn’t too shabby either.

20131110-163800.jpg Five miles later, we were sweaty, tired, and overjoyed after a lovely afternoon. We will be back!!

20131110-163927.jpg One thing I really liked about the park is that it used to be a munitions storage area, and the silos where they were stored are still visible. It makes for interesting scenery and super easy navigation on the trail map. Super cool!