Melissa Kaylene: 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Best Memories of 2015


This year has flown by SO quickly! It always amazes me now that I'm well into adulthood just how fast each year flies by. It makes me want ensure that my kids have as many wonderful childhood memories as possible. 

Last year I reflected back on the year and did a round up of my favorite moments, and I wanted to go back and do the same thing this year and some of my personal best memories. It was hard for me to narrow it down because I have many fond memories with my children, but mostly I wanted to highlight things that I wrote and shared with on here. 

In no particular order:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Our Christmas

Our Christmas // Melissa Kaylene

Last weekend turned out wonderful around here. We’ve literally had three days of no schedules or agendas, where we were able to lounge around in sweatpants, eat too many holiday treats, and play board games while watching TV

Pulling Off a Christmas Feast at the Last Minute

pulling off a Christmas Feast at the last minute

Pulling Off a Christmas Feast at the Last Minute
Maybe plans fell through and now you’re sitting with your head in your hands, praying for a Christmas miracle. If you just found out you’re in charge of this year’s Christmas feast—for whatever reason—don’t panic. Okay, panic a little! Is it out of your system? Good. Now it’s time to get down to business. Contrary to what you’re probably thinking, it is actually possible to pull off a delicious feast with limited time—it just takes a bit of foresight and a lot of patience. Follow these tips and throw a dinner party your loved ones will enjoy to the fullest this Yuletide season.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

4 Ways to Share Joy

4 ways to share joy

I have to admit, even though Christmas is a couple of days away, I haven’t felt very joyous lately. It’s not like I’m that I’m not happy or excited to make cookies and watch my children open their gifts, but I think my mood is just coming from a combination of things: extra holiday stress; a brain that doesn’t slow down; and a self-derived pity party for myself because we won’t be celebrating the holidays with any extended family this year. Add in all of the Pacific Northwest rain and gloomy weather and it just puts a little extra damper on things.

Even though I’ve been personally feeling the holiday blues a little bit lately, there have been a few things that have really lifted my spirits - and they might surprise you.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Last Minute Holiday Necessities to Have in Your House for Guests

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Last minute Holiday necessities to have in your house for guests #holidaynecessities #ad

Can you believe that Christmas is just a few short days away? This year we aren’t having any guests over and it will just be the five of us here, however in year’s past we’ve had friends and family stay with us over the holidays, and even though I’m going to have a house full of hustle and bustle this year, I’m going to appreciate the time spent together with just us and the kids.

If you are going to have a house full of guests this next week, you are probably in full preparation mode, making sure the pantry is stocked and towels are washed. I think that it doesn’t take a lot to make guests happy, you just a few holiday necessities that can be easily created and purchased. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to stock up this next week:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

It's More Than a Holiday Program

More than a holiday program

Metal chairs fill the gymnasium floor. Handmade paintings, decorations, and ornaments line the walls and stage. Lights and additional risers have been brought out. Programs are all printed on festive colored paper.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Living Locally: Shrek the Musical


Shrek the Musical Review

A couple of weekends ago I took the family up to the Northwest Children’s Theater in Portland to see Shrek the Musical. I occasionally contribute online as a reviewer for a local parent magazine and website, The PDX Kids Calendar, and they sent me to the show to check it out for their viewers.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How to Make a Charcuterie Platter


I’ll admit, up until a few years ago I wasn’t familiar with the word charcuterie. After I began blogging I began receiving invitations to food events and slowly I began learning more terms as I had the opportunity to try new foods that I probably never would have attempted to prepare myself or order off of a menu.

I have always loved the art of food, and enjoy learning new things. Charcuterie was a term that I learned quickly and have loved since. Charcuterie refers to smoked, cured, or cooked meats, all of which are traditional methods of preservation. Place them all on a platter and you are in heaven.

Monday, December 7, 2015

White Peppermint Ice Cream Cake

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Bakeinthefun #CollectiveBias

This last weekend was...kind of crazy. The kids have been rather short tempered and tried my patience at times. I’m not sure if it’s just a change in the weather (gloomy days outside), anticipation of all of the holiday activities, or what, but I knew somehow, someway, I needed to get them to change. We went and picked out our tree - that didn’t help. We got two children to agree on a tree, the other didn’t like it. We went and watched a tree lighting ceremony in our small town, and barely made it in time because they played around at dinner time. I was exhausted.

Finally, I turned up the Christmas music, and gave up. I brought out the dessert I made for this weekend anyways: a Joyous white peppermint ice cream cake made with Pillsbury™ Funfetti® cake with vanilla ice cream with crushed M&M's® White Peppermint candies . I figured, if you can’t beat them, join them, right? Sometimes it’s just better to get through the rough times by celebrating life anyways. I tried to sit back and focus on my blessings, rather than my frustrations.

Friday, December 4, 2015

White Chocolate Coconut Nutter Butter Snowmen

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NuttyForTheHolidays  #CollectiveBias
White Chocolate Nutter Butter Snowmen #NuttyForTheHolidays AD

Yesterday I had multiple events (again) that I was invited to attend. This time of the year is just so much fun - and incredibly busy.

We got done watching a wild middle school basketball game at 5pm and I was supposed to head off in one direction while Wayne took the kids to Noah’s wrestling practice.

But I changed my mind.

Instead, I took the girls, drove home, finished cooking tacos for dinner and sat down and decorated cookies with them, and not just any cookie: Nutter Butter cookies.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Living Locally: Beauty and the Beast

beauty and the beast on tour at the Keller Auditorium #broadwayinportland

This year I fell in love with Broadway performances. From Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, I LOVE LUCY live on stage, The Phantom ofthe Opera, Wicked (and more!) there has always been something so magical about them, and each time I go and see a performance I am blown away at the quality of the orchestra, singing, dancing, and the sets. It’s simply the best.

Monday, November 30, 2015

5 Ways to Get Your Face Ready For Holiday Photos

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayGlow #CollectiveBias
5 Ways to get your face ready for Holiday photos #holidayglow AD @costco

You guys - it’s here. The Holiday season is upon us which means parties, dinners, events, and outings are surrounding us - as well as many opportunities to be featured in everyone’s photos.

It’s hard not to be self-conscious or shy of photos this year - after all, we are all eating a little more and probably partaking a little more than usual. But that doesn’t mean that next time your co-worker grabs your hand and drags you into the photo booth at the company’s holiday party that you should duck and run for cover.

In fact, I think you should do quite the opposite. This year, throw all of your insecurities aside and say ‘cheese’. Have fun, celebrate, and make memories.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Living Locally: Zoolights at The Oregon Zoo

zoolights at the oregon zoo

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving this last week and had the opportunity to feast with friends, family and make memories. I had a whirlwind of a long weekend which included dinner at my house, a friendsgiving at my friend's home, black Friday shopping, an overnight solo trip to southern Oregon to visit my Mom, and lastly, our annual visit to the Oregon Zoo's Zoolights. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why You Shouldn’t Make Everything From Scratch This Thanksgiving


We hosted our Thanksgiving early this year. It wasn’t big, wasn’t elaborate, but it was memorable.

In years’ past I always got caught up with the hustle and bustle, trying to be Miss perfect and create everything myself - and all from scratch. Sure the food tasted good (most of it anyways!) but I was left tired, worn out, and stressed out.

I wasn’t sure if it was worth it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mandarin Orange Cranberry Chutney

Mandarin Orange Cranberry Chutney

I grew up on canned cranberry jelly.

You know, the kind that looks like the shape of the can when you pour it out? Many people love canned cranberries and they’re really not that bad, however, once I made homemade cranberry chutney for the first time I fell in love.

A few years ago I was scrolling through a magazine that I had received in the mail and it had a recipe for homemade cranberry chutney. I was in charge of creating Thanksgiving dinner for our families and I wanted everything to be homemade, so I decided to use the recipe from the magazine. The chutney was a hit and I haven't used canned cranberries since.

Friday, November 20, 2015

New Mom Advice

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I received product and compensation from Mead Johnson Nutrition to create this post written by me. All experiences and opinions expressed in this post are my own and not those of Mead Johnson Nutrition. Consult your pediatrician before making changes to your baby's diet or if you have concerns related to your baby's digestive health. Please see the product label/website for acceptable use and benefits. You can contact Mead Johnson Nutrition with product related questions or comments toll free at 1-800-BABY 123 or through the Contact Us link on Enfamil A.R. or Enfamil.com

I think something is in the air around here - I know so many pregnant women right now! It brings back lots of memories, some good, some that I definitely don't miss, but it certainly makes me miss tiny little toes and baby snuggles. Gosh they grow up so fast.

It really makes me think about these past twelve years that I've been a mom.

Sometimes I get so busy living life that I don't take time to reflect. With Anika in the 7th grade, it seems like forever ago when I would stay up countless nights with her, rocking her, burping her, and feeding her. She was definitely my most time consuming baby and actually had frequent spit up issues, which was not only messy, but frustrating for my naive 18 year old self. There was many sleepless nights together just the two of us, and we both did a whole lot of learning.

A Weekend in Hollywood


A couple of months ago I went on a quick adventure down to southern California for a blogging conference. It was my first time in the Los Angeles/Hollywood area and I must say, the flight down there was so much easier than my flight to the Wine Blogger’s Conference this past summer.

The conference was a pretty small one and I was lucky enough too had been given a ticket. I made some new connections which were fabulous, got to have a private screening of a couple shows, and got to (very quickly!) explore the area a bit.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How to Create a Memorable Date Night

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeHealthyForEveryPartOfLife #CollectiveBias
How to Create a Memorable Date Night #BeHealthyForEveryPartOfLife #ad

Date nights are a rare occasion around here. Between schedules, kids, kid’s schedules, and finances, it can be challenging.

But it’s so important.

It had been a few months since my husband and I had been on a date night and it was by far past time for one. Normally I decide where and what we will be going to do, but sometimes it just gets too exhausting and I slack off on it...and then normally date night’s come to a pause.

But a couple of weeks ago something different happened....

Monday, November 16, 2015

An Easy Holiday Wine & Meal Idea

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayPairings #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.
Msg 4 21+ An Easy Holiday Wine & Meal Idea #HolidayPariings AD

The holidays are coming! I repeat: the holidays are coming! While we will be eating more than our fair share of ham and turkey over the next month, we will also have to think of other food and drinks to serve to our family and guests when we run out of leftovers...or just want something different to eat.

If you will be finding yourself like me; hosting guests for several days at a time, you have to serve pasta and wine one night for dinner.

Barilla has this pasta called Pronto Pasta that is super easy to prepare and is ready in minutes. It’s actually prepared in one pan - no need for water to boil, and there’s no draining required! The options are limitless as to what you can add in and create for dinner, but I like to make a Sweet Sausage Sundried Tomato Dish with Basil in creamy Mozzarella cheese.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Hickory Smoked BBQ Chicken Legs with Rosemary

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.#LegendaryTailgate #CollectiveBias
Bacon Wrapped Hickory Smoked BBQ Chicken Legs with Thyme #LegedaryTailgate #ad

Football season -you either love it, or your fall somewhere in between. I’m the kind of person who whiles not a die-hard fan, loves getting into the spirit and cheering teams on, especially our local high school and college teams.

My favorite part about football season is that it brings friends and family together, and gives us all an excuse to cheer and celebrate. It also means we can enjoy some delicious tailgating food!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

On The Beach in November

On The Beach in November // @MelissaKaylene

Our family loves going to the beach. We are lucky to live only about an hour’s drive away. While we all love visiting in the summertime on a gorgeous afternoon, some of my favorite trips to the coast were not during the summer months, rather from trips that we have taken in the fall and winter.

5 Holiday Traditions You Need to Create

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayWithGlade #CollectiveBias
5 Holiday Tradtions you need to create + a recipe for Apple Oat Bars #HolidaywithGlade AD

The holiday season is so magical. This time of the year has always been one of my favorites because all of the activities promote togetherness, and making memories. These are the times for traditions and family, and I’m definitely excited to jump in and have a few magical weeks with mine.

Some of my favorite holiday memories are probably the same as yours: trimming the tree, having a big meal together, and of course decorating holiday cookies, but those aren’t the only fun traditions to keep with your family.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How To Go Glamping

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FallGlamping #Glamping #CollectiveBias
How to go glamping + a Simple Smore Mousse Recipe #fallglamping #glamping ad

 Last weekend we had a blast. Emma had her first basketball games, we went and saw The Peanuts Movie, and we went on an overnight glamping trip to the beach.

Yes, I said glamping. If you aren’t familiar with the term, glamping refers to glamour camping, and it’s my favorite kind of camping.

Friday, November 6, 2015

How We Helped Merle Meet Lillard

#helpmerlemeetlillard

If you would have told me 48 hours ago that I would be standing 5 feet from NBA star Damian Lillard on the court before the Portland Trail Blazers game I would have thought you were crazy, but that’s just what happened last night at the Moda Center as I photographed him meeting one of the sweetest women I know, Merle.

Merle lives at the company that I work for a few times a month and I’ve known her for several years now. Ever since we met I felt a connection, though I’m sure most people do to Merle. She is the kind of person who is full of knowledge and genuinely cares for you. Every time I come in to work she asks me how my family is, and what sports my kids are doing now - and she always gives me updates on her family and what all of her children and grandchildren are doing.

Merle has told me that some of her favorite years were the years she spent traveling with her family, and she was one of the people who really inspired me to make memories daily with my own family.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Garlic Chicken, Rice & Vegetables

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Thank you to Foster Farms® Sauté Ready for sponsoring this post!
Garlic Chicken, Rice and Vegetables recipe #sauteready AD


I’m always on the hunt for ways to make mealtimes easier and I talk about it quite frequently on here. As much as I love to cook, it would be ridiculous to always make everything from scratch without a little help.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken + Salad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HeatAndEat #CollectiveBias

Lunch; it’s a necessity, but it used to very rarely be a luxury. Lunchtime used to consist of getting three little ones to decide on what we were going to eat, get them all sitting in one spot for more than 5 minutes (all at once) and try to coax them into eating the veggies on their plates. Half of the time back then I would be standing so long going back and forth between the three of them that at some point I just gave up making myself a plate and either just picked and nibbled, or caved in and ate whatever was left from their plates.

Lunch was hard work.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bacon Balsamic Asparagus + A Pot Pie Dinner

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PotPiePlease#CollectiveBias
Bacon Balsamic Asparagus + A Pot Pie Dinner #PotPiePlease AD @conagrafoods

Most of the time when I make a quick meal it’s because, well, I’m in a hurry. Sometimes though, I’ve learned that it’s good to have a fast go-to meal when you’d rather spend a free evening sitting down together as a family, whether you are playing board games, talking about your days at school or work, or watching a movie together.

I like to keep Marie Callender’s ® Pot Pies on hand for when I stumble upon such a rare occasion. They have many different flavors and sizes to choose from, so I can make everyone their own individual pie, or I can bake a family sized pie in the oven for all of us to enjoy. To me, Marie Callender pies bring back a feeling of nostalgia and comfort in a golden, flaky crust.

Quite a Day + Frozen on Ice

Frozen on Ice Photos

Hello! Remember me? That blogger who has left you hanging since last week? Well that was unintentional, believe me! I’ve wanted to sit down and get a full day’s worth of writing and photos to upload on here and just haven’t had the chance to do so – until today.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Another Day, Another Field Trip


Yesterday I chaperoned Emma’s field trip to the pumpkin patch, and it felt like Deja vu  - probably because I was just there last week with Noah and his class. The owner of the pumpkin patch was delighted to see us. They are a pretty popular pumpkin patch for schools in the area to visit, yet she told us that we were the only 2nd graders that booked a field trip this year, and that all of the rest were Kindergarteners and First graders.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Tasty Halloween Treat: Boo Berry® Bars

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpooktacularSnacks #CollectiveBias
How to make Boo Berry® Bars #spooktacularsnacks AD

It’s coming...11 more days now until Halloween! Yesterday I purchased all of the goodie bags that I’ll be filling and handing out to all of the trick or treaters on the 31st; now I just have to purchase the tons of candy that I will need for the 300 + ghost and goblins that normally knock on my more.

When we moved here 8 years ago, I had no idea just how big Halloween was in our little neighborhood; in our small town. I’ve since then learned and become prepared.

A Recap of Feast Portland 2015

Feast Portland Recap #feastpdx #omgsmoked #ogbt

Last month (I can’t believe it’s been 4 weeks already!) I attended one of the best foodie festivals around: Feast Portland.

This was the second year I was given a blogger pass, and after the amazing time I had last year at Feast, I couldn’t pass up another opportunity to attend. Feast is made up of many events across 4 days; marquee events, hands on classes, dinners, and plenty of additional parties throughout, with proceeds going to a good cause.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Why Field Trips Are Important


After Noah’s field trip to the pumpkin patch yesterday I rushed back to the school to help organize papers and count money for the grade school’s annual Read-A-Thon; the P.T.S.O.’s first big fundraiser of the year.

After a couple of bumpy roads with my time with our school’s Parent Teacher Student Organization, this year I’m finally beginning to feel a little more confident in it, and have a handful of other parents who are just as supportive as I. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Sweet Ghost Snack Pack® Treats

Compensation provided by Snack Pack® via Mode Media
Sweet Ghost Snack Pack® Treats #Spoonfuloffun AD

Well friends, we are officially two weeks away from Halloween weekend, and I know my kids are as excited as ever! Not only do they get to dress up in their favorite costumes, eat candy, and show all of their wild and craziness, but they also get to stay up later because it’s on a Saturday this year, which means they can sleep in the next morning! (I’m a little excited about that myself!)

Today, I’m chaperoning Noah’s first “big kid” field trip with his Kindergarten class to the pumpkin patch, where we will go on a hayride, do some fun activities, and pick out pumpkins. We love going to pumpkin patches and normally go a handful of times every year, but I’m running behind with so many soccer games going on, so this is the first pumpkin patch trip of the year! I’ll have to get the rest of the family together and head out to one this weekend or next so we can spend the day together and stock up on more pumpkins for decorating purposes.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My Dream Digital Life + a $25 Home Depot Giveaway

Thanks to AT&T for sponsoring this event and giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.

I consider myself a pretty lucky lady. Not only do I get to attend all of my children's events and do most of my work from home, but I also get the opportunity to go to special media events where I can learn about the latest and greatest things. 

I don't write about all of the events I attend, but wanted to share with you one that I attended a couple of weeks ago and became instantly intrigued by. It was an open house for a product called Digital Life from AT&T. AT&T Digital Life allows you the freedom and convenience to monitor your home while on the go, and if you know me and the kids' schedules, you know how often we are always running around. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cranberry Orange Sparkling Soda

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.#SimplySparkling #CollectiveBias
Here's a simple and delicious cranberry orange sparkling soda that can be enjoyed by all ages! #Simplysparkling AD

Oh the holidays. What can I say? I absolutely adore them - especially this time of the year. From Halloween, to Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Emma’s birthday on January 14th, we have lots of moments to make fun memories together.

During special dinners or events I like to make not only treats to eat, but original drinks as well that the entire family can enjoy. Whether it be parties or ringing in the New Year, my kids know that we will have something special to “Cheers” with.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Caramelized Chicken Kaiser Roll Sandwiches

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Thank you to Foster Farms® Simply Raised, locally grown in the Pacific Northwest, for sponsoring this post!

These days lately dinner is on the go at least half of the time – so I’ve been cooking up things that we can eat on the go together as a family or bring with us to whatever event we are attending (usually soccer right now!). Even though we aren’t actually sitting down at the dinner table every night like it should be in an ideal world, at least we are still eating together, and it’s homemade.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Wine Bloggers Conference: Day 4


Oh my goodness, how has it been nearly two months since this fabulous adventure? Today I'm sharing my final day at the Wine Bloggers Conference that was held in Corning, NY. To read about my first three days, check out my initial post here.

Sunday morning’s sessions began with a lively blogging panel which included Madeline from WineFolly.com, and Jana from MerlotMommy.com Their wittiness and sense of blunt humor made for a very entertaining hour, where they discussed questions from the audience. After one last panel, we all headed outside for the final lunch, and I learned a new food: spiedies. Here in Oregon I had never heard of them before, but they are chicken prepared on a skewer, then you take the chicken off of the skewer and place it on a bun, then from what I heard you scoop up more sauce on the bun.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

BOO'tiful Stuffed Brownies + A BOO It Forward Surprise

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  #BOOItForward #CollectiveBias
BOO'tiful Stuffed Brownies + A #BOOItForward Surprise AD

This past weekend Wayne was gone camping with a friend, so it was just the kids and I. We had a bunch of fun and went to the movies, traveled to soccer games, and went shopping for a special project that I had never done before.

This year, I’m making a #BOOItForward kit and sharing it with someone. I’ve seen people do it before in years past, but wasn’t sure exactly what it was all about, so, I looked it up. There’s a fun little card that you can print (found here) and the whole concept is to anonymously surprise a friend or neighbor with a cute Halloween gift basket and then it’s their turn to “BOO  it forward” to someone else. It's super easy all you need to do is:


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Personal Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Pies

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EffortlessPies #CollectiveBias
How to make personal Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Pies that taste delicious and only take 30 seconds to make! #EffortlessPies AD

Hello my friends! I’m finally beginning to get used to having a few hours every day to actually get things done, and I really like it. The evenings though, well they’ve been pretty hectic. Yesterday Emma had her first horse riding lesson right after school, then Noah had his soccer practice after that. We still got home at a reasonable time (6:15) but there was no way I had the energy to bust out a meal...luckily I had already prepared it though. :) We had homemade chicken noodle soup, and a dessert that literally took  thirty seconds for me to make - and it was SO delicious!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Heroes Around Us


I generally keep the daily news topics far away from this little space I’ve created on the Internet. So often they are filled with tragedy; sad things that I choose not to dwell on because focusing on them only brings me down and quite frankly scares the living daylights out of me because I begin thinking of all of the “what ifs” and “what could happen” scenarios and when you have children, it’s the worst feeling in the world that instantaneously makes you nauseous and want to cry.

But with that being said, this time I can’t get Roseburg out of my mind. I grew up in Grants Pass which is a little over an hour’s drive from Roseburg. I’ve been in Roseburg many times, have friends that live close and grew up there, and my Dad currently lives 30 minutes from there now.  I refuse to write or dwell on the perpetrator or gun topic issues, because right now is not the time for people to argue and debate such things. I will however, grasp on to any tiny amount of positivity that I can in this grave event that has left many people brokenhearted.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tasty Tomato Tart

This shop has been compensated by #Albertsons. All opinions are mine alone. #StockUpOnDelMonte #CollectiveBias
This is a quick and easy recipe for a Tasty Tomato Tart! #Stockupondelmonte #Albertsons ad


Fall is finally here my friends! I know it’s been a few days now since it became “official”, however it’s just now beginning to sink in and I’m very excited. I’ve talked on here about some freezer meals that I like to create for busy nights, but sometimes when it’s crazy around here (in between the games, homework, etc.) I can still pull together a quick meal in less than 25 minutes that tastes delicious. I like to keep certain things on hand that I can use in a variety of ways, like Del Monte Tomatoes. I have their Stewed Tomatoes as well as their Diced Tomatoes in my cupboard and I use them for many different things, like stews, pot roasts, soups, and recently I used them for this tasty tomato tart.



Monday, September 28, 2015

Eye Makeup Tutorial + DIY Glitter Jar Makeup Holder

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LorealBeauty #CollectiveBias
Eye  Makeup tutorial + a DIY Glitter Jar Makeup Holder #LorealBeauty AD

Today marks the third week of back to school for us, and like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve yet to get any sort of routine down at all between the events and traveling I’ve had, but I think that’s all going to change this next month as I settle into a new schedule of having a solid 6+ hours a day to myself. 

One thing I’ve already been trying to do is get my house (especially my bathrooms!) a little bit more order because honestly during the summertime it gets a little out of hand with everyone here. The other thing that I’m finding nice about having the kids in school all day is that I have the ability to get ready when I want and don’t always have to feel rushed. Since we live so close to the Grade School I walk Emma and Noah there every day, and will normally just throw on some workout pants and L’Oreal mascara until I get back home, then I’ll get myself ready for the day and put my makeup. I’ve got a pretty good routine down for my every day makeup look that doesn’t take me very long, so I can get back to better things, like blogging or attempting to organize this house. ;)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Two Things I Learned This Week


Why hello! My name is Melissa, and occasionally when I find time I actually stop by on here and write! I know, sounds crazy right? I’ve wanted to write and share so many things lately, but I’ve just been so tired I find myself falling asleep while browsing on the computer, and haven’t been able to stay up and actually write a post for a few days now.

This past week has been a never ending circle of ups and downs and between trying to juggle work, the house, and the kids’ schedules – I was beat! I finally sat down last night before promptly falling asleep on the couch (oops!) and briefly reflected on the week's events - happy it was over. While I was thinking about all of the events that occurred over the past few days I realized two important things:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Wine Bloggers Conference: Day 3

The Wine Bloggers Conference: Day 3 #WBC15

Hey everyone! It's been a while since I've hopped on here and said 'hello'! I'm finally getting back into a routine after nearly a month of traveling back and forth - I have so many adventures to talk about! Today I wanted to share day #3 of my trip to the Wine Bloggers Conference in Corning, NY last month. If you need to catch up you can find day #1's post here, and day #2 here. Be on the lookout - the final day #4 will be on here soon! :)

Saturday morning I drug my sleepy self out of bed to more sessions at 9:30 am, and after the sessions we were greeted with yet another tasty lunch. More sessions were held after lunch, including the second speed tasting. Saturday evening we all headed over to the Corning Museum of Glass, where we attended a live hot glass demo. It always amazes me how glass artists can create such beautiful masterpieces!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cranberry Cream Cheese Turkey Roll Ups

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Thank you to Foster Farms® for sponsoring this post!

Cranberry Cream Cheese Turkey Roll Ups


Fall is fast approaching and even though I’m incredibly excited about the cool evenings, soccer, football, new routines, sweatshirts, and all things pumpkin; there’s still a little part of me that misses the ease of summer time food – the quick salads, BBQs, and tasty appetizers.

Even though summer is gone, it doesn’t mean all foods have to be tedious to make or hearty.