This time next week I will be giddy and delirious from late night packing and excitement for the Influence Conference put on by The Influence Network in Indy!! I’ll be counting down the hours till I get to be surrounded by my people!! And by my people I mean EVERYONE going to the Influence Conference. Everyone that is there, I consider my people. I went last year and shared my experiences HERE…but there is just something amazing about that environment and community. It’s such an inspiring and encouraging conference. The tone of authenticity and faith filled sisterhood is set by the great team that puts it on. They are fantastic. This conference is the one you go to and leave wishing you could all move into the same neighborhood and have girls’ bible study and dessert nights one night, family movie nights in the backyard with a big sheet the next night, pot luck dinner the next night in the cul-de-sac while the kids play….see what I mean..I have our whole life and friendships laid out ladies. haha. These are my people…they are women wanting to use their influence for good.. wanting to use their platforms and voices to enrich those around them. They are going wanting to learn and grow and connect. Most of us are nervous to put ourselves out there but ready to take that risk of feeling awkward and go for it. They sound like your kind of people too right? Yes. Follow my social media feeds and shares next weekend and then go buy your ticket immediately for next year. We’ll go get coffee in indy!
The Conference ladies are doing a fun Meet + Greet where you link up on their site HERE.. and then can go around to all the blogs and say hi and see who is going! Thought it would be fun to introduce myself here and share some fun random facts about me that my readers might think are fun too!
I’m Natalie. I’m 28 and married to my college sweetheart.
He was a youth minister for the first 7 years of our marriage and is now rocking it in the business world. He still acts like a youth minister though and is goofy and knows all the cool lingo and trendy you tube videos.
We have three kids. Sophia (6) Sienna (4) and Micah (2 in november.)
They are pretty much scrumptious. They have taken over my INSTAGRAM.
I’m homeschooling my sophia this year. My wonderful mom is helping part of the day. She tutors my nephew a year older than sophia and the two have “grandma school” for part of the day. Sienna is in PreK at a local church and loving it. Micah is a little wild man that eats runs arrrgs and sleeps for very short periods of time.
I have been blogging here since wayyy back when I had my first baby and was nursing my sophia and wanted to share my heart and creative ideas!
I blog about how I’m trying to live a family centered, creative, faith filled + JOYFUL life…
even without a lot of time or money to spare.
I try to celebrate motherhood on my blog! I love being
able to document it here..it’s my love letter to my children!
You can read and watch more about my blog HERE.
I started a company called HAPPY MOMMY BOX with my
best friend Mandy of House of Rose.
We are trouble together. Good clean eat all of the ice cream in the house when we are together kind of trouble. We met at a blog conference and have been friends ever since. We both wanted to take our love for motherhood and encouraging other moms to the next level by creating a care package service. It’s been one of the most amazing challenging awesome things things I’ve ever done. To quote my daughter from last month’s boxing.. “there’s gonna be a wat of happy mommiesss!!” o yaaa.
My favorite dessert is apple crisp. You need to make this recipe.
And then tag me on instagram so I can drool over your photo.
I am a complete goof ball.
I like to lipsync and dance and laugh.
My spice cabinet is a danger zone where I seriously think I’m
going to get a black eye every time I reach up and open the door.
I have this desire to be super organized…
but motherhood and netflix keep that from always happening.
I love to be creative and I love to throw parties!
We had a fairy birthday party for the girls this year.
You can check out more of our parties HERE.
I love to do DIY projects and make our house a home.
I recently made a cardboard fairy house for the girls’ party…it was so fun for them!
Most of what we own is from IKEA or Target.
It’s been a while but I love playing with our food.
We started a happy food series.
I had a serious health scare earlier this year that was a big cross for my family but really taught us and especially my children how to suffer and love others. We grew a lot through the whole thing and were able to see right in front of our faces the power of prayer.
I’ve shared my heart over the years, of the loss of my best friend, through an act of Domestic Violence. I haven’t shared a lot lately… The grief and desire to put it all down into words goes in phases. Lately I’ve felt like when I think about it..what happened.. I have anger towards him, and I just don’t want to go there. God gives peace and comfort and I think right now that has been my strategy even though it’s not the best. My girls talk about her every week. Either through their drawings or random questions about heaven. Even though they were barely old enough to remember her, they think she was the most beautiful person ever and they are right.
I usually have a mountain of clean laundry on my bed that turns into a castle for my girls who are hiding from the monster micah. I tell them every day he can’t always be the monster when they play..but he roars and gets into character and I can’t stop it.
I take photos. A lot. My husband jokes if he doesn’t remember what
we ate the other day he can just look at my instagram feed.
Here’s a video tutorial on how I edit my phone photos!
I’m SO excited to meet you guys at Influence this year.
I’ve been praying for those organizing it and attending… see you soon!
My all time favorite dessert is Apple Crisp!!
We’ve been making apple crisp since I was a kid. It’s a childhood favorite.
I’ve shared this recipe back in 2011 when we only had sophia…
but now that I’m 7 years into marriage and 3 babies in, I’ve made this recipe
in my own kitchen A LOT and have figured out EXACTLY how we like it!
I’ve tweaked it to perfection! ;)
It’s… amazing. You are going to want to pin, bookmark,
print and laminate this baby. You’re welcome.
This weekend we went apple picking.
What else do you do on a rainy morning??? haha.
Luckily no rain drops while we picked, just some good ol’ puddles to jump in!
We went with some friends and it was so fun.
Lots of giggles and reallyyyy messy kids..and parents.
Micah thought it was the most awesome place he had ever seen.
So many red and green balls to throw!! He doesn’t know how to put on the brakes.
I want to go back. just with someone to carry the huge bag of apples for me again. haha.
APPLE CRISP INGREDIENTS
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Oats
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Sticks Margarine
3 Tablespoons Water
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Water
The best part about this recipe..it’s EASY.
You have a bowl of apples.. a bowl of topping.. and a pan to cook it in.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Wash, Peel + Cut up the apples. Eat a few.
Have kids come over and beg for a taste test.
give in. because it’s APPLES.
Save the topping taste testing for you. It’s too good to share.
In a bowl, Mix the dry topping ingredients together.
2 cups Flour. 2 cups Brown Sugar. 2 cups oats.
You could do this in your sleep girl!
Melt 1 1/5 sticks margarine (or butter.) Pour onto dry mixture.
o ya. It’s going down.
Use a fork to mix the topping mixture.
Add 3 TB water to make sure all the white flour is mixed in.
Sneak a taste or two. job well done.
Grease(I use the spray kind) a Casserole pan. (use any size really..2 small ones work too!)
Pour apples in.
(we accidentally ate more of our cut up apples than we should have. continuing on.)
On top of apples sprinkle 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon and 1/4 cup water.
I wash and then use my hands to mix up the apples. It’s just the easiest.
Pour Topping Crumb Mixture over the apples and pop in the preheated oven!
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden.
Serve the apple crisp warm or cold with vanilla ice cream and ENJOY!
I feel like I’m sharing my childhood with all of you with this recipe… it’s a good one!
Some days feel like they are going in super speed.
My days fill up with things I need to do and things I want to do.
NEED: fold the mountain of clean laundry in my room that has turned into a kid gymboree, organize the shoe bin that was organized at one point but which has now exploded
and is blocking the door, do school work, dishes, blog and happy mommy box work,
run errands like buying toilet paper you can’t believe you need to
buy, because your 4 yr old doesn’t know how much toilet paper to use.
WANT: craft time with the kids, play time with the kids, 3 mile run at the gym, organize my room and bathroom so I don’t have another “where is mommy’s hairbrush!!” moment and
have to use a doll brush until I end up finding it under a kid’s bed.
Life gets filled up!
So sometimes it’s nice to have a little help in the meal department. Coca-Cola and Walmart have come together to make meal time a little more convenient for moms with “Effortless Meals!” It’s a variety of meal options – take ‘n bake pizza, yummy sandwiches and ready to serve rotisserie chicken. Effortless Meals lets me spend less time working in the kitchen and more time connecting with my kids, while still providing a good meal for them!
Going shopping with all three is always entertaining. haha.
Micah might have thrown a cantaloupe like a football and I caught it just in time. #momreflexes
After a morning of school and then a quick errand trip to Walmart, we grabbed up some sandwiches (or roll ups as the girls call them) and headed home for lunch! I love the food options they have. Look for the blue ‘effortless meals’ sign at your Walmart Supercenter.
I needed an easy meal that I knew everyone would eat. (Our plates are also from walmart! love these. Just got another pack of colors today too!) So big kid to toddler approved lunch: Turkey and Ham Wraps with mandarin oranges and pretzels.
I love the sound of kids happily eating. It’s as close to silence as I’ll get till bed time.
We also grabbed up a take ‘n bake pizza for dinner because we are in need of a fun quick yummy dinner for daddy to pop in the oven while I stay far far away from the kitchen. :)
Check out My Coke Rewards for Effortless Meals and to unlock bonus points
when purchasing Effortless meals!
Thanks to Coca-Cola company for sponsoring today’s post!
As always, opinions shared are always my own.
Sophia and Sienna both have birthdays in august.
Some of their presents were some cute Dolls from the new line of
Lalaloopsy Girls and the Lalaloopsy Baking Oven! They were a hit!
We joined the Lalaloopsy Insiders. You should too! If you have girls they will love it. It’s a fun social community where fans get special access to the
world of Lalaloopsy and can share their love of these magical dolls!
On Sophia’s birthday morning she opened up the Lalaloopsy Baking Oven.
Parents of the year here. ;) She squealed with joy haha it was so cute.
We let them bake up something right away. A yummy strawberry cake for dad!
They loved using the cute pink measuring spoons and mixing up their cake mix.
It also came with frosting but we saved those for the cookie mix and used the
sprinkles on the cake instead. It was pretty tasty.
Everyone who has since entered our house and seen the oven…
has been very enthusiastically told “it really workssss! you can EAT it!” haha.
You can check out how the Baking Oven works in this video
The Dolls from the new line of Lalaloopsy Girls were super cute.
Sienna got Peanut Big Top with the cute little elephant. The pigtails fit her to a tee!
Sophia got Jewel Sparkles and her little kitty! She loved that she had curly hair like her!
I love how the girls each had one and played together with them…
their little conversations and pretend play were too cute!
Join the Lalaloopsy Insiders and visit
the Lalaloopsy Website for more fun!
Thank you to Lalaloopsy for sponsoring today’s post!
**We received these toys in exchange for my review.
As always, my opinions are my own!**
#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between my blog and MGAE.
This could include MGAE providing me w/ content,
product, access or other forms of payment.