DiSnEyLaNd!!! picturespicturespictures

Hoooooooooly macaroni, it could not have been a more perfect trip!!!  I’m still high as a kite from it, three whole weeks later.  Taking babies to Disneyland might be what my heaven is like.  I say MY heaven, because I fully understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, haha.  But it is now mine!  And it’s probably all because of the time of year we went.  The first week of October means: NO LINES, AWESOME WEATHER, HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS, NO LINES, NO LINES, NO LINES.  And we were so lucky to have John’s parents and sister come with us!  At the end of the trip James told Grammy, “This was the trip of a lifetime! And it couldn’t have been funner, even if you hadn’t been there!”  We all knew what he meant, hehehe.

This guy made all our dreams come true.

These boys with their Aunt Libby–Oh, how they adore her!!  She was Charlie’s age when I met her…….

Radiator Springs at Halloween makes me do this^^

And makes James do this ^^

They literally got along every single second of the trip.

Auggie was scared of virtually every ride except Small World but he still had a blast!  There’s so much animation everywhere so he was super engaged and entertained the whole time.

This kid.  Oh man.  He was bursting with gratitude every moment.  On the drive home we asked each kid what their favorite part of the trip was and he replied, “Oh, lovin’ people.”  He is simply a sacred little cherub.

After the first ride (the fast Cars ride) James admitted to me, “Mom, when you first told us we were going to Disneyland I wasn’t that excited because I HAD NO IDEA IT WOULD BE SO AMAZING!!!”

We had front row seats to the afternoon parade and Auggie was mesmerized!

When you’re twinning with Pumpkin Mickey^^  Have I mentioned how amazing Disneyland at Halloween time is for little boys??

My little perfects.

Here Auggie is trying to hold back his hair to show off his radical face painting that Grammy got him while the rest of us went on Space Mountain.  James was so brave to go on it but felt a little betrayed since the level of scariness may have been misrepresented to him.

I will never forget the first time I saw Auggie’s profile on the sonogram.  My very favorite profile ever and it just keeps on giving.

We love Grandpa!!

The lines for the photo ops were always so long but we happened to pass Goofy right as he was starting to take photos so we actually got one!!  And now Goofy is our very favorite!

He’s fun.

We went to the Character Breakfast at our hotel on the last morning at the resort and the boys were giddy!  So were the adults, actually, haha.

His face was just funny in this pic.

Chip!

Pluto!

The breakfast was amazing and so much fun!

Dale!

We are so grateful for Grandpa and Grammy!!!!!!

Heading back home—It was a vacation for the books!!

Recipe: Kale Pasta with Pistachios and Parmesean

I really didn’t have that high of hopes for this dish but it proved to be wonderful!!  I have had a Real Food magazine on my counter with my recipe binder for MONTHS and I finally flipped through it and pulled out a few recipes that seemed intriguing.  I had most of the ingredients for this one already so I decided I’d try it.  So glad I did!  It has a much more unique flavor than I expected. It is definitely going in the rotation.

Kale Pasta with Pistachios and Parmesean
Serves 6
A delicious pasta dish with a deep flavor that will surprise you.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 3-5 Tb olive oil
  2. 4 cloves garlic
  3. 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  4. 5 cups ripped kale from the bag
  5. 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  6. 1 can chickpeas, drained
  7. 16 ounces favorite pasta
  8. 1.5 cups good Parmesan, shredded
  9. 1/2 cup roasted salted pistachios
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta and cook according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the oil with the garlic and mushrooms until fragrant.
  3. Add the kale and wilt down until dark green, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas and stir, tossing to coat.
  5. Cook until the chickpeas are heated through and then add the pasta and cheese (save some to top, or add more than is called for) and toss all together.
  6. Transfer to serving dish and top with more cheese and the pistachios.
  7. Serve hot!
Adapted from Real Food Magazine Spring 2017
Adapted from Real Food Magazine Spring 2017
Hopes and Dreams http://cherishinghopesanddreams.com/

Busy Bubbers: Task illustrations for task and chore charts

Ever since I made a morning chart to help my kids know what I expect of them to be able to get to school on time, they have been able to focus so much more!!  It’s helped our mornings go so much more smoothly that I have also now made charts for afternoon and evening tasks, too.  It really helps cut down the “nagging” or yelling or the kids not knowing what I expect from them.  And if they whinewhinewhine in the afternoons to watch a show, all I have to say is, “Is your chart done?” and that’s all that needs to come from this mama’s mouth!  This has been a game changer!! So I got some additional suggestions from some Instagram friends on other tasks they’d like to include on their own charts, and I’ve whipped up 4 pages of tasks for you to be able to make your charts specific to your and your family’s needs!  I’ve also included clothing drawer labels so your babes can put their own laundry away and a page of blank squares so that if there isn’t a task illustration you need, you can make your own but keep them all uniform.  I printed mine on card stock and will make a page for each for the morning, afternoon and evening task charts.  There are cute sun images to represent each period of the day, and a few illustrations that you can customize for your own schedule (like a blank alarm clock and blank reading and art times, etc.).  Also, there are a few tasks that I should explain: in our house, a “mom job” is required each afternoon.  It’s when the boys initiate and come to me to ask me if there is anything they can help me with.  Also, a “mad dash” is something I grew up doing and we have implemented it in our family culture as well.  It’s when you clean as fast and hard as you can for a really short period of time (like after dinner, for example.)  We will do a mad dash for about 3 minutes once or twice a day to help upkeep our home.  Other than that, everything should be pretty self explanitory!  And I’m happy to add illustrations if you want to DM me on Instagram with more suggestions!  Find the free download links below!

TASK CHART 1

TASK CHART 2

TASK CHART 3

TASK CHART 4

TASK CHART 5

TASK CHART squares

Recipe: easy gourmet chicken

I really couldn’t think of a better name than that because that is simply what it is.  The easiest but one of the most delicious chicken recipe you’ll ever make, hands down.  I originally found this recipe on Pinterest but cannot find the author, so if you know who it is then please email me so I can give credit!  I have made a few changes to suit our tastes but all the credit goes to the Pinterest Phantom who first posted this one.  I have used this recipe for years now.  It is always a hit and so, so easy.

Easy Gourmet Chicken
Serves 4
Easy, savory, flavorful chicken breasts that are assembled in less than five minutes
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  3. 1/2 cup mayo
  4. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 3/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Place a rack on a cooking sheet or spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray and place chicken breasts in dish.
  2. Combine all topping ingredients and spread over the chicken breasts.
  3. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes.
  4. Spoon any topping that has fallen off the chicken breasts over them before serving.
Hopes and Dreams http://cherishinghopesanddreams.com/