Mini Bacon Cheddar Corn Muffins

I know, I know…’tis the season for all things pumpkin, apple, and spice. But let’s face it y’all–it’s bacon season all year long. Plus, it’s football season now too, and even though I really don’t care much about football I know a lot of you do! These little bites of yummy goodness would make the perfect game time snack to munch on. If you go crazy eating them, they could even be dinner! Not that that’s what happened last night…I’m just saying.

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What You Need:
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 long scallions (green parts only), sliced thinly

The How To:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare the corn muffins according to package directions by adding the egg and milk and mixing well to make sure there are no lumps. Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes.
3. While the batter is resting, cook the bacon until crispy and then chop/crumble it up. Slice the scallions, and shred the cheese if it isn’t already pre-shredded.
4. Mix into the batter all the cheesy, bacon-y, scallion-y goodness.
5. Fill a mini-muffin* tin until each cup is just slightly under filled. Bake for 10-12 minutes for mini muffins, or 15-20 minutes for regular sized muffins.
*This recipe will make 12 mini muffins, or 6 regular sized muffins.

These are yummiest when they are hot so you can cut them open and slather them with butter. So good! Probably not at all good for you…but sometimes you just have to indulge a little. You can also add in any other mix-ins you might like–just remember to not go too crazy because otherwise there wont be enough corn muffin mix to hold everything together.

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Let me know if you make these and how they turn out for you! Enjoy!

Linking up with Delicious Dish TuesdayTuesday’s Table, Lou Lou Girls, and Hot Momma’s Kitchen!

Weekending, Pumpkin Style

This weekend we had so much fun! With the threat of Hurricane Ana, I wasn’t sure if rain was going to ruin our plans, but luckily Saturday morning was actually quite nice and we were able to head out early to go to the Aloun Farms pumpkin patch in Kapolei. Last year we weren’t able to go to the pumpkin patch for Evan’s first Halloween, so I was really excited that we were able to make it work this year! He is still a little young to understand what was going on, but we all still had fun.

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Two years ago when we went with our friends we decided it would be a fun adventure to pick our own corn…but we were so wrong! It was muddy, itchy, and the corn was kind of gross. We promised never again would we go corn picking! This year we decided to chance it and pick our own green beans instead. Green bean picking is super fun! I loved it, and even Evan could help a little. Plus the green beans have been delicious. I wish we had paid to pick two containers instead of just one!

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We ended up getting three medium sized pumpkins–one regular pumpkin and two white ones–and then a few minis. Evan was 100% convinced that they were balls, not pumpkins. We sat him down in a patch of them to try and get some cute pictures, but instead of being all Pinterest-esque…he just threw the pumpkins excitedly and yelled “ball!” Haha, oh well. It was adorable nonetheless.Pumpkin Patch 12Pumpkin Patch 13Pumpkin Patch 14Pumpkin Patch 15Pumpkin Patch 16

Yesterday was really rainy all day from the storm, but I’ve actually really enjoyed it. It’s humid as ever, but at least the temperature has cooled off a little. Hopefully this is the beginning of the somewhat pleasant “winters” we get here–I am so ready for the trade winds to pick up and the evenings to become cooler.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend too!

Linking up with B Loved BostonChampagne and Suburbs, and Life of Meg.

Weddington Way October Style Challenge

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Weddington Way to participate in a fun bridesmaid style challenge. This challenge came at the perfect time since my sister-in-law just got engaged and I have been constantly looking for bridesmaid dresses! I started scouring the Weddington Way website and fell in love with this dress. I tried to keep (somewhat!) to the color scheme my sister-in-law is planning, but I took some liberties to change things up just a bit. I love this subtle champagne color paired with the deep berry red color and a soft blush pink. It’s such a classy color combination, and it’s timeless without being cliche. Plus, isn’t the cut of this dress gorgeous?! I love that there are modest dresses to choose from on their website that are beautiful and sophisticated instead of awkward and frumpy.

Oh my goodness…I just love this dress!
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Dress//Alfred Sung D575
Nails//Essie Dress to Kilt
Shoes//Caparros Odell Evening Shoes
Earrings//Gemma by EFFY
Daliahs and Peonies//Photo Credit 1,2

I styled the dress with bold nails for a pop of color, peep-toe shoes (because they are just too cute), these gorgeous drop earrings that I could never afford in real life but can gush over online, and a lovely bouquet of dahlias and peonies to change things up a little from the traditional deep red rose.

Thanks for helping me shop, Weddington Way!

Disclosure: This post was inspired by Weddington Way, however I was not compensated in any way and all opinions are my own.

Pasta alla Zucchini

I love zucchini–it’s one of my favorite veggies. I know it’s technically a “summer squash,” but most places you can still get it all year round which I am grateful for, because it’s delicious! Zucchini is jam packed full of vitamin C and potassium and a bunch of other awesome vitamins and such, which makes it a nice addition to a simple pasta plate which usually lacks much substance. I’m sure you all have noticed the pattern my recipes seem to follow…this recipe is quick, easy, and pretty healthy as well. Bonus: it’s also really inexpensive to put together! Let’s get cookin’!

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What You Need: 
Olive oil
1 medium sized zucchini
1 medium sized (or 2 small) yellow zucchini
1/2 onion
2 generous tablespoons of garlic
1lb of your favorite pasta (I chose linguine)
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes (optional)
dried basil (optional)
2 tablespoons butter
Parmesan cheese, as a garnish

The How To:
1. Bring water to a boil to make your pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions, but make sure to leave your pasta al dente. This isn’t vital to the recipe, but mushy pasta is gross, y’all. Trust me, it’s better this way.
2. While your water is beginning to boil and your pasta is cooking, prepare the zucchini. Over medium to medium high heat, warm about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and dice the zucchini and onions.
3. Generously measure out about 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, and sautee until golden. Sorry I don’t have an amount in cloves of garlic–I keep about three pounds of minced garlic in a large jar of oil in my fridge at any given time. Because you never know when you’ll need garlic. (Hint: you always need garlic.)
4. When the garlic is golden, add the onions and zucchini to the pan. Mix well, and add salt and pepper to taste. You can also include the optional red pepper flakes (which I did not use) and the dried basil (which I did use) at this point.
Step by Step collage5. Sautee until the veggies are mostly translucent, but still somewhat crisp. You want them fully cooked, but not mushy and disintegrating.
6. By now your al dente pasta should be finished. Toss it with about two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter. You want to coat the pasta so it doesn’t stick to itself.
7. Plate the pasta and top it with the zucchini mixture. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

See? Mostly healthy and definitely delicious!

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What’s your favorite way to eat zucchini? Let me know! I’m always looking for yummy new squash recipes.

Linking up with Delicious Dish TuesdayTuesday’s Table, Lou Lou Girls, and Hot Momma’s Kitchen!

Yellow Flamingos and Eshakti.com

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Ladies, how adorable is this dress? This post has been a long time coming. Back in August Eshakti contacted me and allowed me to pick a dress from their website to review. I was so excited! Eshakti is a website that allows you to completely customize the clothes you order, including not only the measurements, but also the style! You can change the length of the skirt, sleeve length, neckline, keep or remove the pockets–this is my dream website. So often I fall in love with an item of clothing or a particular fabric pattern only to find that the hemline is too short, or the neckline too low, or it’s sleeveless. Modesty is important to me, but sometimes it’s hard to feel like I have to sacrifice fashion to maintain my standards. Not with Eshakti!

I ended up picking two dresses because the first dress didn’t work for me. It was more user error than Eshakti’s fault–I had ordered just by choosing a generic size instead of custom ordering, and when it came it wasn’t the color I was expecting because my screen resolution wasn’t very good when I was looking at my options. When I emailed them to see if there was any way I could choose something else, they were so understanding and helpful! They emailed me a return label so I wouldn’t have to pay for return shipping and told me that I could make a new selection. That’s when I saw this adorable yellow flamingo print. I knew I had to choose this dress! I decided to order using custom measurements this time, and I’m so glad I did. I was so excited when it finally came that I tried it on immediately and it fit perfectly!

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I love the bold pattern, I love how flowy the skirt is, and I absolutely love, love, love the fact that it has pockets. The dress is made really well, too. Eshakti definitely makes high quality clothing, and I am so happy that they contacted me to work with them. Be sure to check out their site–right now if you sign up with them you get a coupon for $25 off! You can also check out Eshakti on social media:  Facebook, PinterestTwitter.

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Disclosure: This post was inspired by Eshakti.com and I received this dress in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

High Five for Friday

And just like that, another week gone. Have you all had a good week? I hope so! Let’s celebrate some highlights!

1. I am 100% totally on board with fall. The problem with living in a tropical paradise, though, is that it is always…a tropical paradise. I miss my autumn time! Cool and crisp weather, brightly colored leaves, boots and scarves….I miss it all! I am looking forward to cooler weather here (which is like 82 instead of 88…) and regardless of the fact that it is eternally summer, I am embracing all things pumpkin and diving into the holiday spirit. No, not Christmas, you silly goose. Autumn is a holiday to me. Plus, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday which I feel like gets so overlooked. Anyway, I’m all in. Yay!

2. Yesterday I kind of went out on a limb and decided to post something a little more personal on the blog. In a matter of hours I received so many comments about how people feel the same way or are going through the same thing. Thank you all for your comments! I really just wanted to share a moment of real, true, candid life with you all. Thanks for making it a not so scary thing to do. If you want to read some of my recent thoughts on this roller coaster ride of motherhood, you can click here.

3. I finally found time to take some outfit pictures and my Eshakti post will be going up tomorrow! I am so excited that I can finally cross this off my list and tell you all about my experience with the company…and the adorable dress I got. Stay tuned for that!

4. So, I’m pretty excited because this week Brinton and I had a date night. Not only did we have a date night, but we had a double date with some of our best friends. Wait…it gets even better…we have another date night planned for tomorrow! Two dates in one week with no baby?! What?!?!?! It’s absolute madness, I’m telling you. PS did you all know that Buffalo Wild Wings has 75 cent wings on Tuesday nights? Um, yes please. Hooray for a super cheap date with really great friends. It has been a good week.

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Yay blurry cell phone selfie!

5. Today was an absolutely beautiful day. The trade winds have finally picked back up and have helped transform the weather from miserably and unbearably hot to quite lovely. I had a fun day with Evan playing at the pool with friends, hanging out with them for the afternoon, and then having a relaxing evening. I love fun days in the sun with friends!

Okay friends, I’ll see you all tomorrow. Have a fun weekend!

Linking up with Lauren ElizabethFriday Favorites, Five on Friday, and Oh Hey Friday!

I Am Mama: An Honest Look into My Life as a Mom

I’m going to go ahead and be very straightforward with you all. I’ve been having a really hard time lately. I have found that more often than not I feel sad, or overwhelmed, or plainly–just not good enough for any of my roles; not as a wife, not as a homemaker, not as a wanna-be blogger, and most especially, not as a mother. How can I possibly teach my son everything he needs to know, make sure he gets at least three perfectly balanced meals per day, play games that will help him develop his skills, put together adorable outfits for him, make sure we are getting out of the house enough, not lose my patience as he is learning boundaries, make him fun DIY activities, etc…all the while cooking, cleaning, maintaining our home, actually getting showered and dressed (in a put-together and cute outfit, might I add), putting on makeup, finding time to blog and take pictures for the blog, running errands, fulfilling church callings, going to appointments, and possibly even just having a moment to myself long enough to go to the bathroom alone?

The internet makes everything look so easy. It is so simple to look at other moms online and see their perfect birthday parties, or the creative well-balanced lunches they pack, or their perfectly coordinated and on-trend outfit while they are running around town. It is so easy to see the cute clothes that they handmade for their toddler, or the picture perfect dinner they have ready at 5pm every evening, or their fun trips to the library or the zoo.

A few weeks ago I read this post on Mallory’s blog, Soul Healthy, and I left her this comment. It reads, “I feel like I needed to read this today. I feel the same way a lot of the time. The comparison monster sneaks up so easily in today’s world. It’s so easy to see all of these “perfect blogs” with “perfect moms and families,” especially in the Pinterest age we live in. But I feel the same way you do. I’m doing the best with what I have, and if that means my toddler eats peas off the floor some nights (mind you, because he threw them there…) some days that just has to be good enough. I think as moms we always want to be perfect and make sure our babies and families are getting the best, be it organic food, or handmade things, etc. But all that really matters is that we love with our whole hearts. At the end of the day my baby boy doesn’t know if his lunch was Pinterest worthy or if his clothes could be highlighted on a baby fashion blog, but he does know if we played with trucks and read ten-thousand stories. He knows how many kisses I gave him and how many giggles we had. Sometimes its hard to remember that, but it really is the only thing that matters.”

The internet is not real life. As a blogger I, of course, strive to put my best foot forward. I take a bajillion photos of the meals I post so I can make sure I have some professional looking images I can upload, but you don’t see the first attempt that got burnt, or the ridiculous mess that consumed my kitchen while I was cooking. I only share outfits which make me feel attractive and which I think are on-trend enough to be current with “what’s in,” but you don’t see that most days I rock yoga leggings and a t-shirt, and every now and then–gasp!–I don’t even wear a bra. I share the cute DIY projects I do, but you never see the pile of projects that were a complete disaster and left me in frustrated tears. The internet has created this unique filter where we tend to see people’s successes, and not their failures. We see what makes people confident, but rarely get a glimpse into their world of insecurities. We don’t see the day to day. We just see the highlights.

Messy house collage

Y’all, this is a real life moment. Welcome to my messy house. It’s not always like this…but it is like this more often than I’d like to admit.

Some moms are those perfect Pinterest moms. You’re amazing women. I don’t know how you do it! If you are one of those moms, I think you’re awesome, and this post is nothing against you in any way. I just know that for me personally, and for many other women out there, sometimes seeing all this “perfect” leaves me feeling like I could never possibly compare. But you know what? Being home all day with my little boy has recently helped me realize that I am the exact mom my baby needs. He has no idea if I’m wearing sweats or couture. He doesn’t know if my face is made up perfectly or if I’m wearing three day old mascara. He wouldn’t know the difference between an activity book I spent hours making by hand or one I got second hand from a friend. He simply doesn’t care if he eats cheerios off of the floor, or if some days we don’t even leave the house, or if we don’t do fun footprint crafts coordinated with the nearest holiday. He doesn’t judge me and he doesn’t think less of me because I’m not perfect.

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Sloppy, messy, perfect kisses.

To my little boy, I am perfect. I am mama. I am his whole world, and the way that he unconditionally and completely loves me is so evident in the way he looks at me, and reaches for me, and snuggles with me. I can feel it in the way he gives me the sloppiest kisses in the whole world, and the way he looks at me when he accomplishes something for the first time. When we giggle together there is nothing but pure joy on his face, and it is in those moments that I just know that I am his everything. I know as he grows older I will continue to be imperfect and make mistakes, and I know eventually he will realize that I am human and that I err. Right now, though, I am the best mama because I love him completely, and I’m doing the best I can with what I have. Maybe I don’t always have a clean house and dinner ready by 5pm. Perhaps there are days that we don’t leave the house and I go to bed in the same clothes I woke up in. Maybe sometimes my child eats the same meal for dinner as he did for lunch…and neither time did it have enough veggies.

Should we as moms always strive to be better? Of course. I’m not suggesting we strive for barely getting by and doing the least amount necessary to raise children, keep up with the house, or any other role that we play. Not at all! But what I have realized, and I hope you can realize too, is that it’s okay to not be perfect. Allow yourself a little grace. Realize that many times, these expectations we are trying to live up to are self-imposed! Though I apologize a thousand times to my husband for dinner not even being started by the time he gets home, he never cares. It doesn’t bother him! He knows that I’ve worked all day too and just as hard as he did…my job is just playing with boxes and blowing bubbles. Some days just stink. Some days we will feel inadequate and defeated…we just will. But all that matters at the end of the day is that we love with our whole hearts. If we do, then no matter what else “goes wrong,” we are the perfect homemaker, wife, and mom.

You’re doing a great job, mama. Keep it up.

Thinking Out Loud, Thoughts for Thursday, Confessional Friday, Friday Favorites.