Tag Archives: family

What’s in the Box? #78

What's in the Box?

My apologies for the tardiness of this post but Harper and I have been busy this week soaking up all that Santa Barbara has to offer before we head home.  We are blessed to be able to visit such a beautiful place, but the best part of Santa Barbara is our wonderful friends.  Here is a peek at what we have been up to this week:

Play dates at the park…

Play dates at the park

Pool time fun…

Swimming in the pool

Picking produce with friends…

Picking

Stopping to smell the flowers…

Sunflower

Boat rides in the harbor…

Lil Toot

and taking in beautiful sunsets…

Sunset

We are definitely going to miss this place, but are looking forward to being back home with Daddy :)

Now, without further ado, lets get “produce wasted!” (my own little spin on a popular movie line…name it!)

Our party last week was rockin! 19 link ups?!  The most we have had in a while.  Makes a veggie-obsessed, mommy blogger like me very happy :)  And you know what else makes me very happy?  Zucchini.  Especially when it’s hidden inside a chocolate waffle (Thanks Kirsten for taking my love of zucchini to the next level) or shredded into a savory loaf of bread.  It truly is the essence of summer.

And like the groundhog in February, a zucchini in my box this week means that summer will be around for at least a few more weeks (Full Disclosure:  I’m no meteorologist, it’s only a theory.  Just go with it.)

Not only did I get a pair of zucchinis, check out what else came in my box…

What's in the Box? #78

A rainbow of delicious colors.  And I’m loving nature’s candy again.  A bunch of red, crunchy grapes.  They make my world go round.  And no, I didn’t share.

But I was willing to share some of my other goodies.  I sliced up the apples for a picnic at the park.  Steamed the broccoli for my little veggie lover as a side to her lunch (she practically ate the whole head herself).  And the basil along with a few leaves of kale got thrown into the food processor for a batch of pesto.  Delish!

The oranges have inspired me to make a batch of muffins which will help to balance out the bowls of salad I will be eating thanks to the size of that head of lettuce.

I like my spaghetti squash simply roasted and tossed with some butter and parmesan cheese.  Although the fresh tomatoes would be a great addition to the squash in the form of homemade sauce.  In fact, I’m hungry just thinking about it.

Cheers to a fabulous weekend!  I hope it’s filled with as much fun and food as you can handle :)

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :) 

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #13

What's in the Box?

Our last week in Branson was a blast!  We made sure to hit up all the local attractions before we headed out west.  Branson is known for their live shows and we were lucky enough to check out a few of them including The Price is Right LIVE.

The Price is Right LIVE

Harper could care less about winning a new car, she was all about the pretty model’s sparkly dresses :)

Branson also has a fun theme park called Silver Dollar City.  They have everything from rides, to live entertainment to crafty souvenirs.  It’s a great place to run around and enjoy yourself for the day (even when it’s 102 degrees!).

SDC

Finally, no trip to Branson would be complete without a ride on the ducks.  And I’m not talking about the ones that go “quack”.  I’m talking about the amphibious vehicles that were made famous during WWII.  This is Harper’s second time this summer riding a duck.  First as a viking during our trip to Ireland…Viking Duck

and now as a duckling herself…Ride the Ducks

Being a tourist is fun!

And of course we spent lots and lots of time with family.  Including, Harper’s new BFF, her Great Uncle John…

Holding hands with Uncle John

Harper and I are sure going to miss Branson, but are looking forward to another visit real soon :)

But enough about me, let’s talk veggies.

Last week we had a total of 13 link ups.  And to be frank, it’s summer produce at it’s best.  One of my favorite summer veggies is sweet corn.  And when you throw fresh kernels into a fresh batch of batter and deep fry it, the result is pure bliss.  (Speaking of deep frying, did you check out these crispy fried shallots?  The Angels are definitely singing for this one…).  Or you could toss it with some zucchini, leeks and a handful cheese and you got yourself an awesome summer pizza.  Oh, the possibilities :)  A big thanks to everyone who participated.  I just can’t get enough or your CSA goodness.

And because I am feeling extra sweet today (and in need of a sugar fix), here are some of my favorite CSA inspired desserts (in alphabetical order…).  Enjoy!

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp - In Her Chucks

Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Beet Cake - In Her Chucks

Carrot Cookies

Carrot Cookies - In Her Chucks

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars - In Her Chucks

Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes

Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits and veggies into simple and sinful desserts?  Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #8

What's in the Box?

Greetings from Ireland!  Harper and I just touched down this morning and are so grateful to be on the Emerald Isle.  After nearly 24 hours of traveling, we are officially exhausted!  Luckily, I have a rockstar of a toddler who was perfect every step of the way…

ireland trip

It’s going to be a pretty rockin party while we are here.  Harper and I have never been to visit since my mom moved to Ireland 7 years ago so she is pretty excited to be hosting us in her beautiful home.

Speaking of parties…we all know there ain’t no party like a produce party and this produce party don’t stop.  So let’s take a look at last week’s party.  For one there were 15 links…Woo Hoo!  And seriously, I need every single one in my belly immediately.  But I thought it would be fun to highlight some delicious summer dishes that are sure to take your family BBQs to a whole new level.  My favorite link this week comes from Meghan of Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  Are you a strawberry lover?  Than you are going to die over this berry filled post complete with Strawberry Pasta!  Next, what BBQ is complete without some kebobs?  Luckily Lauren from Gourmet Veggie Mama has got you covered.  And finally, I am sure we have all enjoyed a nice juicy grilled piece of steak before but have you ever tried bison?  Melissa from Lettuce Never Squash Our Love has me curious to add this lean meat to my next cookout menu.  Thanks to everyone who linked up!  You continue to make my week extra special with your delicious and nutritious meals :)

Now on to some of my favorite green dishes in honor of my Irish Leprechauns :)

For starters, with all the avocados I have been getting in my CSA this summer, guacamole is the perfect solution.  And my recipe just happens to be the best… The Ultimate Guacamole

The Ultimate Guacamole - In Her Chucks

Next, what’s more green than, well…Green Rice!

Green Rice - In Her Chucks

And of course, what in the world is a green foods recipe roundup without a beautiful green salad…one of my favs by far…Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Salad - In Her Chucks

Even though soup in the middle of summer sounds far from appetizing, this soup is magical, and totally worth a brow full of sweat.  Plus, it’s got amazing health benefits…Watercress Soup

Watercress Soup - In Her Chucks

And finally, a bunch of tasty meatballs, served on a bed of Boy Choy.  Sautéed greens at their finest…Turkey-Basmati Rice Meatballs with Bok Choy

Turkey-Basmati Meatballs with Bok Choy - In Her Chucks

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite green recipes?  Feel free to link up some of the CSA inspired meals that you are the most proud of.  Looking forward to drooling over your dishes :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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March Photo A Day Challenge

March Photo A Day Challenge

March Photo A Day Challenge- In Her Chucks

March was another jam-packed month full of road trips, days spent at the park and more Disney.  With the change in weather our goal is to stay outside as much as we can.  And the sites are just so beautiful.  Beach views, fresh flowers and rolling hills.  Yes, we are indeed blessed.

So here’s a peak at what we were up to this last month using some awesome prompts from Big Green Parenting Experiment’s Photo Challenge.

1. Day 2: Brrr-  Although for most, March is still considered winter, here in California, March is when the weather warms up enough to take a trip (or two) to the beach.  On this lovely evening we had the pleasure of joining our friends for dinner at their beach front home.  The sunset was gorgeous and although there was nothing “brrr” about it, this is just what March looks like in our neck of the woods.

2. Day 3: Coat-  Even though it is rare that one would need a coat around here during this time of year, it’s always nice to have a favorite one on hand.  Splendid is one of my favorite companies and when I found this coat hiding on a clearance rack a few weeks back I couldn’t help but swoop it up.  Now I sit and wait for the cold weather so I have a chance to bundle up in it.

3. Day 5: Entrance-  One of my favorite things to do with Harper is to take her out for a “girls lunch”.  With my busy teaching schedule it is not often that we get time for a leisurely afternoon out anymore, but when we do get a moment, we like to enjoy a meal at Harper’s restaurant of choice, California Pizza Kitchen.

4. Day 6: Frozen-  I’ve admitted before that I have a serious weakness for 31 Flavors.  I do my best to stay away from there because I know how dangerous it can be.  But on this particular day I happened to be getting my nails done (which is next door) and was reading the photo challenge prompts for the day.  “Frozen”.  Well, that seems like the perfect excuse to pick up an ice cream :)  And so I did.

5. Day 7: Gray-  It doesn’t rain much where we live, so when it does, you got to snap a picture of it.  Plus, even though the sky is gray, I happen to think it still looks pretty.  The clouds are so fluffy and full they make me want to frolic in them.

6. Day 8: Hang-  My little girl is a serious monkey.  Our Monday music class meets at an awesome complex that has a play structure.  So every week after music we head over to the structure and the kids have a ball.  Harper loves to hang from the bar and kick her legs about.  Gymnast in the making?

7. Day 10: Jumping-  Whenever my sister, niece and nephews come to town, we always take a trip to Disneyland.  This time we changed it up and headed to California Adventure.  This was Harper’s first time and she had a blast!  We went on a ton of rides and she loved each and every one of them.  Unfortunately, this was one of the rides that she wasn’t tall enough for.  But she still enjoyed watching the jellyfish jump up and down.

8. Day 11: 12: Lion/Lamb-  Harper has a ton of stuffed animals, but no matter how many fun toys she gets, she still always asks for her “baby”.  This little lamb is special to her and she will always be grateful to her Auntie Koko for giving it to her.

9. Day 18- Remembering-  It’s hard to believe my big girl was once this tiny.  I am so appreciative to my good friend Rachel for capturing these precious moments for us.  Kind of makes me want to finally start planning for #2…

10. Day 20: Toes/Tows-  This past Friday, Harper decided that she didn’t want to nap.  I was in need of some major relaxation so since I couldn’t get some shut-eye, Harper and I went to get pedicures.  Loving the painted piggy toes.  And I have to say, she is right on the money with the pastel trend :)

11. Day 21: Upward-  Harper’s sleep has been all over the place lately.  Some days she doesn’t want to nap, and some days she falls asleep in the car unexpectedly.  When she naps in the car I try not to move her.  She usually wakes up and then won’t go back to sleep.  So this particular time I went to a nearby park and hung out under the shade of a lovely tree.  It was nice to catch a quiet moment and enjoy the pleasant weather.

12. Day 22: View-  Even though we live so close to the beach, I don’t go as much as I should.  A few weeks ago some of our close friends invited us out to a dinner on the water and it was a lovely break from our usual routine.  With the days becoming longer and the weather warming up, it was a great way to unwind after a long week.

13. Day 24: Excitement-  Like father, like daughter.  Harper definitely takes after her dad in her love for the water.  She started swimming at 5 weeks old and has been loving it ever since.  This particular class she got to wear a cool hippo swim cap which was too adorable for me to pass up a photo-op.

14. Day 25: Yard-  One of the things we love most about our new house is the yard.  It is so nice to walk outside and be greeted with fragrant and colorful blooms.  This yellow one just popped up the other day and I can’t get enough of its beauty.  It is the perfect reminder that spring has sprung.

15. Day 27: Out of Place-  Last weekend, Freddie woke up and decided he wanted to take an impromptu road trip.  Not wanting to be a party pooper and excited for the unexpected adventure I quickly got dressed and we headed up the coast.  We ended up in San Luis Obispo, a small down midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.  We had a great time checking out their sites and enjoyed some good eats.  But we couldn’t leave without visiting a local tourist landmark downtown called Bubblegum Alley.  It was neat (and slightly yucky) to see the collection of chewed gum in a variety of colors, but it was definitely “out of place” as my mother always taught me to throw my bubblegum in the trash :)

16. Day 28: Reflection-  Palm trees.  They get me every time.  I guess it’s hard to deny that I am a California girl through and through.  But if you browse through my pics, most of them include a palm tree or two.  I love this picture and the reflection of the palm trees on the pond.  And if you look close enough, you might even catch a glimpse of the family of turtles working on their tan on top of the rock.    

17. Day 30: Peace-  It may have cost us a trip through some windy roads, but the view at the top was nothing short of beautiful.  And with no one around for miles, the silence was peaceful.  We found this gem during our road trip last weekend and it will be a sight I never forget.

18.  Day 31: Sweet-  Trader Joe’s gets me every time.  Being that berries are in season, so are shortcakes.  And Hostess has nothing on these babies.  Filled with homemade whipped cream and sliced strawberries and mango, I was in pure heaven.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit of March life with you.  Wanna get in on the action? Check out this post for more details…and feel free to follow me on Instagram (@inherchucks) to keep up with the daily challenge.

Happy April!

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Two Totally Terrific Years

2 years

It’s hard to believe that two years ago, I was snuggling up to my 7 lb, 9 ounce newborn baby. She has grown so much since then and I love her more every day. As I was looking through all her pictures from this last year, I began to tear up. This tiny creature has changed my world forever. She brings me a joy I can’t explain. Her laughter is magical, especially when she is playing around with her Dada. I knew I always wanted kids but I had no idea how awesome a journey motherhood would really be. And as difficult as parenting is at times (and trust me, the “terrible twos” are no joke…), the good times make all the hard work worth it. Thank you Harper for being who you are…our lives are brighter because of you :)

Harper’s Firsts:

First Time to Disney World- Freddie had a conference at Disney World last month so Harper and I tagged along. I wasn’t sure what she would think of the whole experience as she has no clue what Disney is all about (except for a short trip to Disneyland a few months back), but we had a blast! While we were there we visited Animal Kingdom and Epcot. It was the perfect way to enjoy the magic of Disney for a child who is unfamiliar with all the characters. However, it didn’t take long for Harper to learn who Mickey was. After seeing everyone else taking pictures with Disney Cast, she wanted us to snap a few pics of her with them too.

Disney World

First Petting Zoo- Harper sings about farm animals all the time, but it is not often that a city girl gets the chance to meet them up close and personal. Luckily, while we were at Animal Kingdom, Harper was able to pet a sheep, a pig and a goat and she thought it was very cool.

petting zoo

First Live Show- Since Harper is still too young for most of the rides, while at the parks we took advantage of all the shows that they offer. We were unsure of whether or not Harper would sit through them but she ended up LOVING them. So after a few successful shows at the parks, we decided to take her to Cirque Du Soleil. And she was completely enthralled for 2 hours! Can’t wait to take her to some more shows soon :)

IMG_2954

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy- Harper loves to paint. So for Christmas, Santa brought her an easel. Now she is creating masterpieces daily. She also likes to practice her alphabet using the white board and magnetic letters. And mommy likes it to because it keeps her busy long enough for me to do the dishes (that’s when you know a toy is a success!).

Favorite Song- This month in my music classes we are singing and dancing to songs all about the jungle. One of Harper’s favorite songs is “5 Little Speckled Frogs”. We have been singing this song together since she was an infant, but now she does it all on her own. And she will make sure to have a pair of rhythm sticks to accompany her, even if they happen to be in the form of crayons, silverware or straws.

Favorite Book- Harper is getting to the age where she can “read” books to us. “That’s Not My Fairy” is one of her favorite ones to read because it is simple and follows a pattern. She also likes “the touch and feel” part of this book as well. Check her out as she shows off her mad skills…

Harper’s Last Year in a Nutshell…

At the end of all of Harper’s monthly post, I used one word prompts to share information about what she was up to. For her 2 year post, I thought it would be fun to revisit those prompts as they apply to Harper today. And if you care to stroll down memory lane with me, each prompt is linked to its original post.

Harper Sits: When we moved into the new house, it was time for Harper to get a new seat at the table. So we said goodbye to our trusty dusty highchair, and hello to a new booster seat. Now Harper can sit at the dinner table like a big girl :)

Harper Do: Harper does quite a bit by herself now. The shorter list might be what she still needs my help with, but I will do my best to keep it to a few. Some of Harper’s newest skills are her chores. She loves to help. This includes sorting the cutlery in the drawer, putting her dirty clothes in the hamper, helping me start the laundry, and throwing things in the trash. She is always willing to help out around the house and I appreciate the extra set of tiny hands.

Harper Says: Like the prompt above, Harper can pretty much say anything now. However, since turning two, her favorites are “no” and mine”. I promise you, she woke up 2 days before her 2nd birthday and magically started using these words. None of my mommy friends seem surprised. Looking forward to this phase passing quickly.

Harper Has: Harper is fortunate to have so many wonderful friends. Most of whom she has know her entire life. Two years after our first get together, Harper and I continue to love and appreciate our mommy group. Looking forward to many more years of happy memory making.

Harper Wears: Harper loves to wear her big girl underwear. Thanks to our journey with Elimination Communication, Harper has been out of diapers for a while. Now instead of bring a diaper bag around with me, I have graduated to carrying a pink toilet seat. The lugging never ends :)

Harper Still: Similar to the original post where I first wrote this prompt, Harper is still breastfeeding and still co-sleeping (she is too big for me to still carry her on a regular basis, but if I need to, the Ergo still works great!).

Harper Knows: Harper is a smart little cookie. She has learned so much in this last year and is always looking to learn more. She knows all her numbers (and is able to count to 20), all of her shapes (including an octagon which is her favorite), her colors and her letters. We have officially moved on to phonics. Harper loves watching this awesome video and playing with this fun toy to help her practice.

Harper Helps: Like I mentioned above, Harper is a great helper. Not only does she love to do her chores, but she loves to help mommy cook. Our favorite meal to make together is breakfast. She likes to help me measure out the ingredients and stir the pancake batter with a whisk.

Harper Makes: Harper loves to build with her blocks. Her favorite thing to make nowadays is an igloo. Igloos with very tall towers.

Harper Snacks: Harper still loves to eat the snacks I wrote about in the original post. But she has added a few more to the list. Harper loves to snack on nuts, popcorn, rice cakes.

Harper Goes: After her first trip to church daycare, Harper now asks us if we can “go to church tomorrow?” on a regular basis. She loves it so much, we have decided to enroll her in their preschool a few days a week. I can’t believe my baby is going to school!!

Harper Sees: Harper loves to point out all the cool things she sees. She says, “Look Mommy, a (fill in the blank)”. And if she doesn’t know what it is she says, “What’s that Mommy?”. Always looking to learn :)

Even though Harper is growing up way too fast, she will always be my baby. The memories we are creating together are ones I will cherish forever. I recently came across this poem that a friend posted on Facebook, and I thought it was a perfect way to end this post.

“I won’t always cry, Mommy,

When you leave the room,

And my supermarket tantrums,

Will end too soon.

I won’t always wake, Daddy,

For cuddles through the night,

And one day you’ll miss,

Having a chocolate face to wipe.

You won’t always wake o find my foot,

Is kicking you out of bed,

Or find me sideways on your pillow,

Where you want to lay your head.

You won’t always have to carry me,

In asleep from the car,

Or piggy back me down the road,

When my little legs can’t walk that far.

So cherish every cuddle, remember them all,

Because one day, Mommy, I won’t be this small”

Happy 2nd Birthday Harper!!! Mommy and Daddy love you to pieces….

PS: Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! You only have a few more hours left to get your entries in. Remember to leave a comment on the original post letting me know that you have completed the tasks. Your comments act as your entry into the giveaway. Good luck!

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December Photo A Day Challenge: Day 17-31

december challenge

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope your 2012 went out with a bang :)  I fell asleep at 10:30 so I was celebrating in my dreams.  I guess that’s what happens when you are chasing after a toddler and in the midst of moving.  Lots of exciting things happening in 2013.  Grateful to see another year!

But before I start my journey in the new year, I wanted to do a quick recap of the last few weeks.  December has been a busy month full of fun, family and festivities.  Take a look at what we have been up to…

1. Day 17: on the floor- As I have mentioned before, Harper loves to build castles with her Mega Blocks.  But I think her favorite thing about these blocks is dumping them on the floor.  Something about taking the bag and flipping it upside down and watching the blocks fall from the sky gives her a thrill.  Thank goodness she is getting to be a pro at picking up after herself too.  Because stepping on one of these in the middle of the night is no joke!

2. Day 18: makes you feel merry- I love this time of year for many reasons.  But as far as my taste buds are concerned, peppermint definitely makes me feel merry.  And these chocolate peppermint almonds are to die for!  I picked up a container of them at Whole Foods and they only lasted a few days.  Dangerous…but worth every bite :)

3. Day 19: something beginning with “s”- When the weather gets chilly, I like to make food that warms my soul.  And this beef and butternut squash stew is a new favorite.  I have plans to post the recipe soon…promise!

4. Day 20: weather- Being a California girl, I am used to one season…the 75 degree season, all year long!  But this winter has been a bit chillier than usual.  It’s hard to make out the temperature in this picture, but it reads 48.  48 is far below my level of comfort.  Which means I am doing a lot of cozying up on the couch with my love bugs to keep warm.

5. Day 21: tree- There is no better gift than a homemade one.  For the holidays, my mom handmade a few of these adorable trees using a collection of old sweaters that she cut into different size circles and strung together with some wire.  I love all colors she used and of course the star on the top.

6. Day 22: decoration- During the holidays, there are decorations everywhere.  But this is the most creative Christmas decoration I have seen.  I stopped by to visit my girlfriend and fell in love with her house plant decorated with a strand of green garland, colored lights and one ornament.  Tis the season…

7. Day 23: joy is___-  “shopping at Target with my toddler”.  Harper loves to shop.  Especially when it involves a shopping cart just her size.  She was running up and down the aisles popping wheelies, giggling up a storm.  Oh, the simple joys of youth are quite refreshing.  Especially in the midst of the holiday rush.

8. Day 24: tradition/something you always do- Ever since I can remember, my parents would take me to church on Christmas Eve.  To be honest, during my teenage years, it felt more like they were dragging me there, but now that I am old enough, I appreciate them teaching me the true meaning of Christmas.  I am so excited to be able to pass on this tradition to Harper.  It is a lovely way to celebrate the holiday together.

9. Day 25: lunchtime- Christmas morning is all about taking it easy.  So by the time we got around to breakfast, it was pretty much lunchtime.  Freddie requested my famous French Toast which we served with homemade orange juice and a side of crispy bacon.

10. Day 26: mess-  I love to cook up a storm in the kitchen.  The only downside is the dishes.  Which is why I am grateful that we have a dishwasher.  And an amazing husband.  Because whatever doesn’t go in the dishwasher, he washes by hand.  A little something he started when we first got married…I cook, he cleans.  I happen to be a big fan of this agreement :)

11. Day 27: how you relax- Between being a wife, a mom and a music teacher, I don’t get much downtime.  But even 5 minutes of solitude to play a game of Words with Friends can be quite relaxing.  It helps to take my mind of things for a moment while still challenging my brain to think.  In 2013, I will be working on getting some real relaxation time in, but for now, this will do.

12. Day 28: cold- My sister and her kids came to visit us from Texas.  Whenever they come to town we like to hit up a few theme parks and other local attractions.  This time we decided to take a trip to the aquarium to check out some penguins.  Even though most penguins do not live in the snow, they always remind me of a colder climate.

13. Day 29: hot-  For a belated Christmas present, I bought my brother a 6 month subscription to an Artisan Coffee Company (are you surprised?)  To make it fun and festive, I wrote out a gift certificate and placed it inside of a hot beverage mug that was decorated with camo.  A great gift for a coffee lover!

14. Day 30: something that made you smile this year- Nothing makes me smile more than watching my little girl grow up.  Each day comes with new milestones and new adventures.  I am so grateful to be on this wonderful journey of motherhood.  It is an absolute joy!

15. Day 31: self-portrait-  It wouldn’t be a self portrait if it didn’t include my Chucks.  I have done and accomplished a lot this year.  And all while wearing my Chucks.  In celebration of the New Year, I picked up a fresh pair of Chucks in which to start my journey into 2013.  There are lots of exciting things on the horizon and I look forward to sharing them with you.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I LOVE photo challenges.  And in 2013, I am excited to participate in a new photo challenge with Alli of the Big Green Parenting Experiment.  I hope you will join me in capturing this new year with a photo a day.  Check out this post for more details.  And feel free to follow me on Instagram (@inherchucks) to keep up with the daily challenge.

Happy 2013!!!

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Merry Christmas!

card

I LOVE this time of year.  Nothing makes me more happy than humming cheerful carols in my head, feasting on delicious food or spending lots of time with my family.  Christmas is indeed the most joyful holiday of them all.  We celebrated tonight by attending a lovely Christmas Eve service at church, followed by a warm bowl of homemade bisque and an ornament swap.

Now its time to get cozy under the covers so that Santa can make his big appearance.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday.

Merry Christmas!

XOXO

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22 Months

22 Months

Only 2 more months until my little princess is 2 and life is SOOO good!  I love waking up to her smile every morning and seeing the world through her fresh pair of eyes.  Her smile lights up the room and she brings joy to the lives of everyone she meets.  Harper always has a song in her heart and isn’t shy to belt it out.  You can find her serenading her “babies” to sleep, practicing her abc’s while we are out and about or simply singing a tune to herself as she stacks her blocks.  She is living life to the fullest, without inhibitions.  And as much as I want to hold her close, this mama bird is proud to watch her little birdie soar.

Harper’s Firsts:

First Thanksgiving in Texas:  Once a year my family gets together for a holiday.  In the past we have always done Thanksgiving, but last year we choose Christmas.  This year we were back to our regular routine and were happy to spend Turkey Day in Texas.  My sister recently moved to a beautiful 37 acre farm and Harper loved nothing more than to explore every inch.  She enjoyed spending time with her cousins and going on daily walks around the property.  Can’t wait to make another trip back there soon.

Texas

First Camel Ride

As I mentioned before, this year we visited a Christmas tree farm where we got to cut down our own tree.  Not only did we ride a train to get there but once we arrived, there were many more options for transportation.  Camel ride anyone?

camel

I was worried that Harper was going to be scared, but she thought it was so cool!  Now every time we see a camel in a book or television show, she says, “Camel, ride it”.  Guess I need to look into finding our own camel to ride…Santa?

First Pony Ride

Why stop at a camel ride?  The Christmas tree farm also offered pony rides.  But this time Harper had to ride it on her own.  Again, she did awesome and made sure to request “the black one”.  My sister (the horse trainer) would be so proud :)

Horse

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy:  So I guess this is not technically a toy, but Harper has recently decided that she loves blankets.  I always had a blanket companion growing up.  His name was “budda” and he was around until I was 17 (when I left him on a plane :(…).  But Harper never seemed to take to the many blankets she had before until one day she picked out a pink and purple blanket from her closet and now has made them part of the family.  And in case you were wondering, she named them “pink” and “purple”.

Favorite Song:  E-I-E-I-O (otherwise known as Old MacDonald) is one of my most requested songs in music class.  And now it is the song Harper requests most throughout her day.   She loves to choose which animals are going to be on the farm and even has a special dance that goes along with it (wish I had a video of it…it’s SOOO cute!).     

Favorite Book:  My mom loves to travel.  She also loves to send Harper “souvies” from each of her trips.  On her most recent trip to Argentina, she sent Harper a book about colors that was written in Spanish.  So now, not only does Harper like to practice her colors in English, but she is learning them in Spanish too.  Gracias Abuela!

Harper Goes:

For a 22 month old, Harper Marie is one busy girl (I guess I am the one to blame for that…).  Don’t get me wrong, there are days when we do our best to stay in our PJs all day and lounge.  But on other days we love to go out and get involved in fun activities.  Here are some of the places Harper has been going lately…

On Play Dates…

Playdates

Harper loves all of her friends and enjoys getting together with them as much as she can.  After spending time apart, Harper is excited to have her friend Robin back from the UK.  On our most recent play date together, the little ones got busy on some beautiful Christmas decorations to help spread the holiday cheer.

To the Park…

Park

We are extremely lucky to have so many wonderful parks in our area.  There is nothing like setting a toddler loose in the park to run and jump and play.  Let’s see…does Harper look like she is having a good time?

To See Santa…

Santa

What would the holidays be without a visit to see Santa?  I can’t say it was Harper’s favorite outing, but at least she didn’t cry (then again, I didn’t push the issue of having her sit on the man’s lap alone…then we might have had a problem).

With only a few more days left until Christmas, it’s hard to believe Harper will be celebrating her second holiday season already.  Time really does fly when you are having fun.  My little girl is growing up fast and she isn’t looking back.

Happy 22 Month Birthday Precious Pie!  Mommy and Daddy love you :)

PS:  Thanks Hillary for the awesome pic!

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