Cheers, Mom & Dad!

I was having a rough day yesterday. Just tired, and feeling a little blah. Nothing too bad, but my husband sensed I needed a few minutes so he sent me to the store for some essentials.

I happened to drop a jar of pizza sauce (not an essential on the list, but ON SALE), and it was embarrassing. A boy and his dad saw, and tried to make me feel better by joking about it. They were nice.

As I pulled up behind them in line, the boy – probably 10-12 years old or so, ran over and grabbed a paper towel from the front of the store, where they keep them for people wanting to dry off or disinfect their cart handles. He approached me, knelt down on one knee, and asked if I minded if he cleaned off my shoe, as I head some pizza sauce on it.

I totally teared up. I didn’t even notice I had sauce on my shoe. I didn’t try to clean it off myself, and he just saw and wanted to help. He noticed, and then asked me if he could help me. This 10 year old boy was wiping the pizza sauce off my shoe, because he wanted to. His grandpa didn’t prompt him, he didn’t do it begrudgingly… he just wanted to help me out.

On his way out of the store, another mom walked in carrying a baby on her hip. The boy’s dad cheerfully greeted them, saying something about how rainy it was outside, and the little boy piped up: “Hey, I love your hair color!” The mom looked so surprised and pleased. I bet he made her night, too.

SOME KIDS, you guys. And some parents. Some people are just doing it RIGHT.

Cheers to all you, raising polite, loving, kind-hearted kids. It’s no easy job, but that little boy restored my faith just a bit last night.

Lazy Girl’s Guide To Thanksgiving: Slow-Cooker Turkey Soup with Lemon & Sage

I had a bag of leftover white/dark meat turkey sitting in my fridge, and we are turkey’d out. I knew I had to do something with it, so I sat down to search for a crockpot turkey soup recipe (or at least, outline) that I could use with just stuff I had in my house. That meant getting creative, crossing my fingers, and hoping my omission of a few ingredients, replacements of others, and cutting corners on steps would turn out.

I just took a little taste of what I have so far, and it’s… a win. Like, a major one.

Slow-Cooker Leftover Turkey Soup with Lemon & Sage
Now, i’m no food blogger. And if you’re a sucker for exact measurements – here is the original recipe I basically butchered into something unrecognizable.

  • Leftover turkey (I had white meat + 2 legs and a wing looking thing. I dunno)
  • Small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • A couple carrots
  • A couple leaves of fresh sage
  • Dried thyme
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Cracked Pepper
  • Poultry seasoning of some sort. You could probably even use a chicken bullion cube? Why not.
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup dry white wine. I didn’t have any, so I just used what I do have – sherry.
  • Half a lemon. Plus the juice of the other half before discarding
  • 6 cups of broth/stock. I used 4 cups of store-bought chicken bone broth, and 2 cups leftover chicken broth from my fridge.
The directions on the original say to cook the garlic, celery, onion, carrot, but ugh. Nobody got time for that. I just diced it and threw it in the slow cooker with all the turkey I had. Added some diced fresh sage (because I had no bay leaves or fresh thyme and I loooove sage), DRIED thyme, lots of cracked pepper and pink salt, some poultry seasoning my husband has on hand because I have no idea what it is, a couple shakes of Worcestershire, a cup of wine (is that a lot of sherry? Meh. Not sure. Tastes good today), half a lemon, all the stock. Cooked on low overnight, but it only says to do it for 6 hours or so.
This morning, I removed ALL bones, bone shards, skin… took a few minutes, mine broke down like crazy. Then I added in a 1/2 cup of fregula, because I had it on hand from a Blue Apron recipe I never did. I don’t even know what fregula is, but it LOOKS like Israeli couscous, and that’s all that matters, right? It’s some sort of small, pearled-looking pasta. You could probably sub 1/2 cup of quinoa or rice, too! Or whatever noodles you love. MAKE IT YOUR OWN.
Let me know if you try it, and what substitutions you make.
The only thing that sucked was fishing out the bones, skin, and shards of bone…. I’ll probably do that a few more times before serving.

Soup looks really dark in this pic, but I think because this was a small bowl?
And I am no professional photographer, let’s be real.

Working Wish List

I say working because I’m still brainstorming. I feel like there isn’t anything I truly need this year, but I’m really happy to put together a dream list of pretty things that would look excellent in my house and on my counters.

These things just make me happy. I wouldn’t say most of these things are actually on my list, but if I was to stumble upon any of these items under my tree, I wouldn’t be mad at Santa.

BLANKNYC ‘Easy Rider’ Faux Leather Moto Jacket • Blank NYC
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder • Laura Mercier
S’well Elements White Marble 25-oz. Reusable Bottle • Swell
Diptyque – Baies, Roses And Figuier Set Of Three Candles, 3 X 70g • Diptyque
KitchenAid KSM152PS Artisan 5 Qt. Custom Metallic Stand Mixer • KitchenAid
BP. Tuck Stitch Cardigan • BP
Copper Flatware
Bumble and Bumble – Surf Foam Spray Blow Dry, 150ml • Bumble and Bumble
Cuisinart CSB75 Smartstick 2 Speed Immersion Hand Blender • Cuisinart
My Family Cookbook
T3 Micro BodyWaver 1.75 Inch Styling Iron • T3 Tourmaline
KitchenAid® Artisan Stand Mixer KSM150 • KitchenAid
S’well Reflective Rose Gold 17-oz. Reusable Bottle • Swell
Jo Malone London Pomegranate Noir Travel Candle, 2.1 oz. • Jo Malone
Hunter ‘Original Refined’ High Gloss Rain Boot (Women) • Hunter
Sugar Paper® Blush Weekly Planner Agenda, 2017
Ridge Hill Pan Set (10 PC)
adidas Women’s Superstar Casual Sneakers from Finish Line • adidas
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge • Real Techniques
Utility Mixing Bowl Set • west elm
Oribe – Aprés Beach Wave And Shine Spray, 300ml • Oribe
Truth Serum® Vitamin C Anti-Aging Collagen Boostert
NikeCourt Tennis Classic Ultra LOTC (Paris) Women’s Shoe • Nike
Calphalon Classic 6-qt. Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Lid • Calphalon
Farberware Classic 8-qt. Straining Stock Pot • Farberware
Topshop Moto ‘Leigh’ Ripped Skinny Jeans • Topshop
Adidas Gazelle Original Snake-Embossed Sneaker, Black/Crystal White • adidas

What’s on your Christmas list this year?

Skincare, Lately

My skin has never looked and felt better… at 32 years old (eye roll), this is something I’m exceptionally proud of. I owe it to 2 (ok, maybe 3) products that I’ve been using the last couple of months. One I tried in a pinch when I was at the mall and out of face wash, and the other I got sent to me c/o Influenster.

First up:

Lush USA Ultrabland makeup remover: I love the fact that I don’t have to rinse my face after I apply this to take off my makeup. I massage it in, and wipe it off with a damp cloth. That’s it. I love how hydrated and clean my skin feels when I’m done, and my bathroom doesn’t look like I hosed it down. Does anyone else HATE how ridiculous it is to splash water on your face when you’re trying to rinse off your cleanser? It never looks like the commercials, that’s FOR SURE.
And I also love the fact that I can pronounce the main ingredients: it’s a beeswax cleanser with honey and essential oils like almond, iris, rose, and rose water. 
The second is a serum I got in my VoxBox from Influenster, from Ole Henriksen – the Truth Serum (vitamin c collagen booster), pictured right. This came as apart of a full Power BRIGHT system, but this was – hands down – my favorite product. I’ve been using it for over a month, and I’m running out… and this is something I’ll definitely repurchase. My skin is brighter, my under eye circles are less offensive, and I actually feel like my skin has better elasticity, if that makes sense. It doesn’t feel dull and lifeless, it feels vibrant and supple (I really hate that word… supple… it makes me shudder. But, that’s how it feels. Haha. Kind of like when you eat a delicious cake and gosh dang it, the ONLY WORD you can use to describe the dreamy texture is moist… kill me now). And the other day at Sephora, I noticed a looooot of other Ole products, which I’m going to have to try out. They’re not cheap, so maybe I can add one new one to my rotation every few months… but really, I had no idea these little gems existed. OH HEY, OLE.
Lastly, I’ve been using a new argan oil foundation by Josie Maran, called Vibrancy. I read that it’s actually supposed to impact the appearance of your makeupless face, so yeah, sign me up. I have to pipe up and say: IT’S TRUEEEEE, you guys. I have been using it for 2 weeks now, and my skin has improved even more than it had with my current favorite skincare routine. It’s radiant. Truly. If you like the dewy/glowy foundation look, and you’re not too oily by nature — try the Josie Maran Vibrancy foundation. I’ve never met anyone that didn’t love it, and now I know why. It sells out super fast, so you can order online — but I suggest going to your closest Sephora to get matched if you can.
Have a great Saturday, friends. Leave some of your recent skincare favorites in the comments below.

Coco & Kiwi: Diaper Bag Review

Truth be told, I’m almost out of the diaper bag phase at this point in life, which is so strange. I haven’t had a purse in forever, but I am almost back to that point. Almost. Simon is closing in on 2, and when we go out, he wants only the things his brother has: a sippy cup of apple juice and a Ninja Turtles sword. But, he’s still in diapers… so technically, I deserve a diaper bag.
I got a chance to review the Coco & Kiwi diaper bag in Provence, c/o Babby Cubby… and you guys… have you ever had a diaper bag that you were proud to wear as a purse or carry as your “briefcase” to work meetings? Me either. Until this bag came around, and I’ve found myself doing both. Unashamed.
It’s black and white, with the most gorgeous pop of color with the kelly green lining and gold buckles. It’s not too big, so I can’t store my literal life in there, but it’s plenty big enough to fit my laptop, wallet, a few diapers for Simon, some granola bars, wipes, an extra pair of underwear/shorts for potty-training big brother, and some extra pacis for the little guy… and I can still find everything right when I need it. I hate fishing through a bag for my wallet and literally pulling everything else out before I actually get to it.
I love that it has straps to carry it on my arm, and a removable long strap to wear it on my shoulder or as a cross-body bag, or on our stroller. 
It also has a zip-out wet bag, which came in HUGELY helpful on our recent trip to the beach, when I had to transport Porter’s sand-filled, water-logged shorts back to the hotel. AND – last but certainly not least, I love that it zips completely closed. Seems silly, right? Like, you guys have probably only used fully-zippable diaper bags, but I’ve only ever used diaper bags with partial zip closure. Seems so random and unimportant, but holy cow – it’s so nice to put everything I need in there and close it up securely. We toted this bag to the beach and everything inside stayed sand free and dry, all day long.
Baby Cubby has a great Diaper Bag Buying Guide on their site, which is so helpful if you need some assistance finding the right one – and especially for new moms, when you literally have no idea where to begin and just take what someone buys you with a smile and an overwhelmed “thank you”. Truth be told, there IS such thing as the right bag for you, though, so test some out and find the perfect one for you.
You can use my discount code – icorianne10 – at checkout on Baby Cubby’s site from now until July 30th.

Junk Drawer: Tessemae’s Giveaway Winner

This week on the Junk Drawer, I am giving away a FULL “best sellers” pack of dressings from Tessemae’s. I’m so excited about this because these are – hands down – my favorite dressings in the world. All natural, with no added sugar or preservatives – a majority of them are Whole30 friendly, which says a lot.

So anyway, the only thing people needed to do to participate in this giveaway was give me their favorite or most creative salad recipe, using a minimum of 5 ingredients (including the Tessemae’s best selling dressing of choice).

The dressings included in this best seller’s pack are: Honey Balsamic, Lemon Garlic, Buffalo, Southwest Ranch, Caesar, and Matty’s BBQ sauce.

I can’t wait to share these recipes – coming soon!

We had 50 submissions, and the winner is announced here in my video! 😉 I filmed it because I allowed our admin team to enter, too, and if one of them won… I didn’t want anyone to think it could have been rigged. 🙂

If you’d like to be apart of the Junk Drawer, please request to join! This is an encouraging and supportive community open to all women, in all phases of life. No drama, and no hardcore solicitations or sales are pretty much our only true rules. Be kind, and be authentic, and you’ll enjoy the group immensely. I’m pretty proud of a group of 7,500+ women and practically zero drama. That’s a serious feat.

Hope to see you there!

Life on Woodland Ave

It’s such a warm night. Sixty-something degrees. IN APRIL.

Simon is taking his late nap, and Paul and Porter are at church for rehearsal. I have brownies in the oven, my guilty pleasure on the TV, and I’m sitting down to check in and say hello. Ahhh. Feels so nice to just… bask in the silence. Haha.

We are FINALLY moved into the Wipe House. We moved in on Easter weekend, and it’s been amazing. So fun – the boys are finally getting comfortable with the layout, the stair creaks, and the lack of noise at night. Simon is confident barreling up the stairs, and my heart doesn’t plummet into the floorboards when I see him toddling to head downstairs.

The sounds of the neighborhood are soothing – kids. Sprinklers. Traffic only during peak travel times, like to and from work.

What I thought was going to be cramped, small quarters is actually just the right size for us. I’m slowly purging clothing and knick-knacks and excess everything and just getting comfortable with my necessities… it’s such a good feeling. And, luckily, the boys are still spending about 2x a week over at auntie’s house during the day so I can get some work done. tThey don’t feel like they’re completely displaced, which is the only thing I hoped.

We moved in before some of the final finishing touches were done, and I didn’t want to do that, initially – but we were just too excited and my judgement was impaired, haha. It’s probably going to take another month before we have everything done – like doorknobs – but little by little, it’s coming together.

The one thing that sucks about out older, smaller home is our lack of closet space. We’re figuring it out, we’re totally making due… but while I was Googling creative closet organization, I came across this article on how an organized closet will reduce stress, and it was fascinating. In a perfect world (aka: when my boys get older and move in together via bunkbeds and I can have the third bedroom as a walk-in closet), I will absolutely be one of those girls that has a freakin’ island in her closet to house all the shoes I don’t wear and the handbags I don’t use. It’s amazing how much I’m realizing that clutter genuinely makes me itchy. I cannot wait to pay someone to come build me something amazing, with too many places to store things and an array of ways to color code and separate by season. I seriously can feel my anxiety reducing just as I’m pretending this is my current reality, and not the boxes of shoes lining my hallway. *insert wide-eyed emoticon*.

Anyway. Sorry for that tangent. But, things are good. I’m so happy to be in our place… I can’t wait for all the precious memories to come with my little family.

Think Happy, Be Happy: A Weekly Link-Up!

Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” -Mandy Hale

Hello friends! This link party was created as a way to create some inspiration and happiness as we begin our week. It can be hard to find the happiness in our day to day, and I believe it truly does help to take a second to find the positive. Please take a second to visit all of my wonderful co-hosts who will be sharing this link party as well!

The happiness I am reflecting on this morning is power in persistence. My family and I started remodeling a home over 2 years ago. We thought it would be a quick process, but, to spare all the crazy details – it wasn’t. Obviously. It’s now two years later, and we’re finally moving this week. 
Here is a recent photo from our kitchen, below, and you can follow more progress and update photos as we move in, through our hashtag on Instagram.
I wish I could say I was happy and faith-filled through the process, but I wasn’t. I wanted to walk away, I wanted to quit. I wanted to just go buy something that was ready for us to move in – because the walls we kept coming up against were ridiculous. But, luckily, my husband kept us on track and we powered through. We survived the time apart as I stayed home with the boys and my hubby sanded floors, even though there was nothing more frustrating at the time. And now, my husband can say his hand was truly in every single aspect of this renovation: he helped get lighting up, he cleaned up after contractors and scheduled the next one, he sanded the floors and put up subway tile and painted and measured. He did everything he could to get us in – even if it was just one day sooner.
And here we are! It’s moving week. And THAT makes me so happy!
  Think Happy Be Happy Link Party  

Rules of the Party:

  • Leave a link to your actual post and not your homepage. A link back to your host, is greatly appreciated. Feel free to grab our link party button to add to your post.
  • Please link up only your happiness related posts.
  • Don’t link up and run, please visit other bloggers. Make new friends or say hello to old friends.
  • Please follow your hosts and guest hosts in some way.
  • Have fun with your posts! I truly hope it helps with starting your week off on a positive note!

Easter Basket Inspiration – Little Boy Edition

Easter is coming up, and Paul and I are going to do something we have never done before: we’re going to spend some time putting together thoughtful Easter baskets for the boys, rather than running out the night before to buy chocolate and cheap candy.

I know, I know. A Pinterest mom, I am not. It only took me 3 years to get motivated enough to want to do something a little strategic.

I was inspired by my friend Misty to look around and put together a little “Easter inspiration” board for little boys. Now, don’t worry – I’m not necessarily going to go spend $50 on a stackable toy that I can find cheaper at Target (but ugh, how beautiful is that). These are just ideas for me (and you!) if you need them.

Books, bubble bath, blocks, surprise eggs (Thanks, YouTube), sunglasses, stamps, plush toys… there are so many options for fun baskets that DON’T encourage early onset diabetes. Porter is OBSESSED with the new movie, The Good Dinosaur, so we’re thinking of centering his basket around that… maybe with his own copy of the movie, a book/coloring book, or an Arlo stuffed animal.

Sidenote: every time Porter gets his little paws on some candy, I cringe a little. I know, it’s so mean of me… but I want him to always remember that candy is a treat, not a way of life. Lately, it’s all I can do to get him to eat actual food for dinner, and not sneak Pez under the table.

When we build their baskets this week, I’ll include a few pieces of something sugar-y, of course… I’m not a total jerk. But, I love the idea of putting together a fun basket with toys that encourage a little physical activity.

Also, as an even bigger sidenote: baskets, toys and candy are fun for us, but we all know and talk about the real meaning of Easter Sunday. Don’t get it twisted. 😉