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Space Coast Lightfest 2016

Space Coast Lightfest 2016

Space Coast Lightfest 2016… worth the drive!

Tonight we went on a Sunday Afternoon Drive… in the evening. We drove around Wickham Park during the Space Coast light Festival. It was really neat! Usually.… I don’t like to drive around and look at Christmas Lights but this really was a great event! The girls loved it. This one was my favorite!

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I even let them stop and see Santa. I can’t remember the last time I did this. Honestly.. I rarely take them to the mall to see Santa. They sat on his lap and did not know what to ask for! They made their lists like a week ago with the Black Friday shopping… and they get on his lap and they can’t think of anything… except Bo who has a very long list.

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My girls. 
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Bree was asked what she wanted and she said… ummm… and Santa said he had didn’t have any ummm left. They were all gone!

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Jane had a real problem sitting on Santa’s lap. I think she was a little embarrassed! 
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My favorite Santa picture of the night! 
 
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Oh then… baby Jayd. She was just precious and so excited to see Santa.

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santa-71  santa-70  santa-69  santa-68 Santa are you real? She just pulled on his white beard. It was super cute!

The lights were wondrous and truly incredible!

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Happy Christmas!

Go and see the Space Coast Lightfest 2016…you will not be disappointed!

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and the reason we celebrate Christmas… because of the Christ child. He is the reason for the Season!

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May the spirit of Christmas fill you heart!

Basket Brigade

Basket Brigade

Basket Brigade? What is Basket Brigade?

“A Thanksgiving Basket Brigade is where a group of local individuals, families, and volunteers come together in the spirit of contribution and help hundreds of families in and around the Space Coast to have the blessing of a Thanksgiving meal.”

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We are new to the area but when we came across this Space Coast Basket Brigade on Facebook… we knew we wanted to get involved. We wanted to help those in our community.

How did we get involved?

We simply donated some jars of gravy.

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And then this afternoon we were able to go and help unloaded boxes and sort the food into tables. We had a wonderful time volunteering. The girls did a great job “helping”.

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We sorted donate items onto the tables that had the item listed. This was a very organized and well run event. They had many volunteers… but my favorite was watching my girls get involved. Team work girls… great job!

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I know many many people were part of making this happen. I am super impressed with their goal of 1500 baskets to help those in need. They started out back in 2009 with only 4 baskets. Last year they did over 1000… and this year their goal is 1500 baskets… SIMPLY AMAZING!

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We were blessed to donate some time and help sort through the donations. I loved being there and dancing, telling the girls to stop messing around, and saying go put this in the green bean pile. YEA… we had a lot of fun!

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A few times.. I found them outside taking a water break. It was hot in the gym and it was nice and refreshing outside.

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After our water break… we got back to work!

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And Jayd even ran a few stairs! After about an hour they pretty much were done.. helping. But I was super proud of them for donating gravy and time!

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It was such a sweet experience!

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I even found one young man amongst the donations who did this all on his own in his own neighborhood and collected needed items.

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Amazing people out there!

Thank you Basket Brigade for allowing my girls to donate time and help such a great community cause!

Good Luck Basket Brigade we hope you reach your goal! 

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I was super impressed with the volunteers tonight… they seemed super happy to be there and help sort for tomorrow’s big day of putting together the baskets!!

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I think this year’s space coast basket brigade is going to be a winner!

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To those amazing people out there… who do so much, who donate so much, who organize wonderful events like this… bless you!

I have had a family member in the past who did not get thanksgiving one year and this would have been a blessing in his life. To those of you who are receiving a basket… may you have a blessed thanksgiving!

 

A Swimsuit and A Underwater Camera

A Swimsuit and A Underwater Camera

What I am packing for my Princess Cruise… a swimsuit and a underwater camera. I hope to capture the beauty of sea and what it is under it, with a comfortable swimsuit and a Fuji FinePix XP80. 

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This up and coming Sunday most people will be sitting down some to delicious food like wings and chips to watch the Superbowl.

Me.. I will be flying to Los Angeles to board the cruise ship… Ruby Princess.

I have been on several… several cruise ships before… but I have never been on Princess Cruise Lines and I am excited to try her out.

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I am excited because this is my first girls cruise.

Have you ever gone on a all-girls cruise before??

If so what was your favorite part??

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake

Got the Monday Blues?? My Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake will definitely cheer you up! 

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This past weekend was spent cleaning out my daughter’s room! Yes… my 13-year-old and 10-year-old daughters are hoarders, and its embarrassing. They seem to hold onto everything and do not clean or organize their rooms at all. They have so000 much trash and garbage everywhere. Therefore I decided that I needed to tackle their room and clean it for them. Yes… I am that kind of mom.

Friday and Saturday were spent deep cleaning, every drawer, nook, and cranny. Needless to say… it is now clean.  I am trying to teach them that everything in my home has a spot and a purpose. For example… pencils and glue sticks belong in the office. If they need one for homework, I have a homework station on the kitchen counter. They don’t need 5 glue sticks in their room. Not sure… why we hold onto things so much. chickenbake-misc-2

Over the weekend, we were able to get a lot of things done and organized. It really helped with starting off this week right!

MONDAY:

It was nice to meet you, but I am glad that you are over. No… it all reality it was a good day, but you know you have your day planned and little things just pop up out of nowhere that need getting done. Since the girls were inside all weekend (  I know they should have been outside) I needed to start my Monday off with vacuuming my two front rooms. As I began I smelled something… not good.

I love my Dyson vacuum. It still amazes me how much dirt it can get out of your carpets. I am one of those clean freaks… I vacuum my floors at least 3x a week.

Take into account 5 girls with long hair + 3x a week cleaning + months of vacuuming = hair that needs a cut!

I emptied the jar and spent the next 20-30  minutes cutting the hair off the bottom of the vacuum.

It was fun!

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Job well done! The vacuum doesn’t smell and it is hairless!

After thoroughly washing my hands… I went to juicing!

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My friends stopped by on Sunday… and you know friends are such a blessing. They bring such comfort and pure joy!

We had a nice visit and they brought me some oranges from their tree!

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I sat on the counter with my little buddy Jayd and we squeezed the oranges. We cut them, put them on the machine, and let it do its job.  We like little pulp, so we ended up with about 1 quart. I simply added some stevia in the raw.. and bam just like that the best tasting orange juice!

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We even cut some up and enjoyed them as were juicing! The perfect little bonding time. I even saved one so that I can do a quick preschool craft with Jayd later.

After juicing… I went to cleaning out my fridge and menu planning. In the DR we bought a lot of ground up chicken, because it that is the way they have their meat. I usually don’t buy ground up chicken meat, but this past week my husband did a little bit of grocery shopping and so I had some in the freezer. I pulled it out and knew what I wanted to make for dinner.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake.

Fast Forward to 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Time to prep dinner.

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Pulled out the ground chicken, browned it up, and then I threw into a big bowl. I boiled some pasta and then I added it to the bowl with some ham, cheese, and some pasta sauce.

Since I started this lifestyle change… I don’t usually have milk. Most casserole recipes call for heaving whipping cream, or milk. I choose a sugar-free tomato pasta sauce that took its place. It will have not the same consistency but it still was great!

This meal was served with a salad. It has always been one of my favorites… Chicken Cordon Bleu.

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pasta bake

Here is the recipe…

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • cooked chopped ham
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 8 slices swiss cheese
  • 1-2 cups spaghetti sauce ( sugar free)
  • 8 oz rotini- cooked and drained (gluten free)

Instructions

  1. Brown your chicken. Drain.
  2. Add it to a big bowl.
  3. Cook your pasta. Drain.
  4. Add it to the big bowl.
  5. Add the ham, parmesan cheese, and pasta sauce. Mix to combine.
  6. In a 9x9 dish, layer 1/ 2 the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  7. Then layer 4 slices of the swiss cheese over the top.
  8. Then dump the rest of the pasta mixture on top of the cheese.
  9. Layer the last 4 slices of cheese on top.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
http://thirtyfiveninetyfive.com/2016/01/chicken-cordon-blue-pasta-bake/

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Such cheesy goodness! I simply love swiss cheese!

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This is a simple recipe… I am sure you can add more sauce to your bake if it is too dry.

My girls are always asking for pasta and this Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake hit the spot!

My love for Chicken Cordon Bleu is such a true one!

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pasta bake

Ohhh and this past weekend I hit up Ross Dress for Less. I love that store! After cleaning up the back patio… due to me being gone the previous week… the girls played a lot outside and made it a mess (sidewalk chalk everywhere) I decided I wanted a new rug… and I found the perfect one!

This was something that brought color to my back patio!

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Ohhhh and of course them!

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So yea… my weekend was literally cleaning and organizing. It felt so needed and good!

My Monday was a decent one despite the little interruptions and the Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake was a success!

I am not sure what the rest of the week will bring… but I am hoping for some good meals, sunshine, and my eyes behind the lens of my camera!

Happy Day!

Vertuccio Farm

Vertuccio Farm

Pure Joy! 

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Oh… to be a kid again. I have been thinking deeply about life and finding joy in every day. I know for us parents it is all work…. calendaring, appointments, meal preparations, house work, laundry, etc. The list could go on and on. But… I have been thinking on how I can still do those things but with more joy! I think the answer is to… let go. Let go of the fear and find faith.

Kids have so much faith. They have so much joy. I love being able to see this in their faces and hearts.

We got to spend the weekend at the Vertuccio farm as a family. Sometimes…. we ask ourselves why do we do these things?? The answer… so the kids can have fun and experience joy!

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