Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wedding Weekend

Hello friends!  Happy Wednesday :)  I hope you are all having a great week.  It's picture day week around here so I have been stressing busy picking out everyone's outfit and making sure we have everything set for the big day.  I never realized how stressful picture day could be until I became a parent.  Anyone else get completely stressed over picture day?  Thankfully Jillian looked adorable this morning for the big day and her outfit was totally on point.  



Nicholas's big day is tomorrow, one down one to go!!!  Doesn't she look darling?



This weekend, we took a little road trip to Parkersburg, West Virginia for my cousin Amy's wedding.  It was a fun little weekend getaway with a lot of quality time spent with family.  Between my siblings and I, we have 7 children (with one on the way!) that are all very close in age.  




It's always so much fun getting all of the sweet cousins together, and this time was even more special as they all experienced their very first wedding.




The wedding was outside at their local Country Club and the weather couldn't have been more perfect for the occasion.




All of the girl cousins waiting front and center for the Bride.


My sweet boy hanging out with Daddy, waiting patiently for the ceremony to begin.


After the ceremony, Nicholas insisted on taking a ride in a golf cart.  This kid is obsessed with all things Golf and even got to steer which completely made his day.

After dinner, the cousins had a blast dancing the night away. No wedding is complete without a little Whip, Nae Nae, right?  So adorable that they all knew the moves.


Thank you so much for stopping by, have an amazing day!

XOXO

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Monday, September 26, 2016

One Pot Cheesy Sausage Pasta


Happy Monday Friends!  I hope you all had an amazing weekend.  We celebrated my cousin's wedding and enjoyed a little family adventure out of town.  It was fun to getaway for the weekend and spend time with family.

Last week, I posted a few pictures and stories on Instagram while cooking this delicious meal...one pot cheesy sausage pasta.  As promised, I wanted to share the full recipe with all of you.  I absolutely love that this meal can literally be made in one pot...so easy.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Turkey Sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (I used the dried minced garlic as a quick alternative)
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream (I used Skin Milk for a healthier alternative)
  • 8 oz bow tie pasta 
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (I used a reduce fat option)
  • A handful of chopped scallions
How to Make It:

Add olive oil to a 4-5 quart saute pan over medium high heat. Add chopped onions and sliced sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, milk, pasta, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.  Turn off the heat and stir in 1 cup of cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt. Top with sliced scallions and serve.  Easily serves a family of 4.


I hope you all had an amazing weekend!
XOXO


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Monday, September 12, 2016

New Blog Header Reveal and a Quick Blog Makeover Tip

Hello friends!  Happy Monday!  I hope you all had an amazing weekend.  It's Monday and typically around these parts I blog on Monday's all about our weekend via my Instagram Wrap up, however, we were so busy that I literally posted ONE picture on Instagram this weekend so there's that.... #instagramfail #iwilltryagainnextweekend

Instead, let's chat today about blog designs and the reveal of my new pretty and sparkly blog header!  Isn't she beautiful?  I am totally in LOVE and completely digging the new gold foil and glitter trend these days that I had to spruce up the ole' blog with a little gold sparkle too.

As a Blogger of 10 years, I have experienced my fair share of blog designs and headers.  I have designed my own blog headers via Picmonkey and have also paid professional blog designers for full blown, custom made blog designs.  I love looking back at each one and reflecting on how much Karen At Home has evolved.  

Here is a look back at a few Karen At Home Blog headers over the years:














Some blog designs I have truly loved, some...not so much.  If you are like me, you love giving your blog a makeover to keep things fresh and new.   There are several options available out there to keep your blog looking beautiful and that will reflect your own personal style without breaking the bank.  I have personally found that a pre-made blog design outside of designing it yourself is the most inexpensive way to go.  

My current blog design and header I have recently purchased through Etsy.  I have found so many simple and chic options through Etsy that are also extremely affordable.  My current blog template is no longer available, however, a similar option can be found HERE and my new gold glitter blogger header can be found HERE.  Another great thing about these pre-made blog designs is that they are easy to upload into your blog and you can even tweak the font and colors through Blogger's easy Design feature.  Easy peasy! 

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today and sharing in my new blog design reveal.  Have a great week friends!
XOXO


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Friday, September 09, 2016

Friday Favorites


Hello friends!  Happy Friday!  I am SO ready for the weekend.  This week just felt crazy with it being a 4 day week, I am so looking forward to a few days off from the back to school rat race.

It's Friday friends and in typical blogging fashion, I am linking today up with Erika, Andrea and Narci  to share a few of our favorites from our week.


This sweet boy headed back to preschool this week and to say we were both ready is an understatement.  I am going to miss my little buddy so much, however, I could really tell this year he was REALLY missing his sister who went back to school a few weeks back.  He has a few friends in his class this year from his Preschool 3's class and know he is going to have so much fun reuniting with them again.  We are both looking forward to a great year!


It's September which means it's also time for me to start taking pictures of the trees behind our home again.  I do this every Fall and love to see the transformation of the beautiful trees.  Stay tuned for some amazing Fall colors coming your way!!  

Here is the baseline of our home that I took this week. 


In the next few weeks,  things will be looking like this...


The Fall Fashion bug has certainly bit me this week!!!  Even though temps here have been in the 80's and 90's, I have already started to prepare for when things start to take a nose dive which truly can be any day now for us.   I bought this adorable black and white striped tunic from Jane.com.  I plan on pairing it with an Olive military style blazer similarly shown in the picture below.


along with this adorable long sleeve baseball tee in grey and white.

Have I ever had a Friday Favorites post where I DON'T show some amazing awesomeness from Jane.com?  I am thinking No...

Peeptoe booties are also high on my wish list this Fall and have been absolutely been loving these from Target


And these from Nordstrom's

I am even loving these Tom's with the holes....




Can't wait to be able wear any one of these options! 


Well, I did it.  I survived another season of Bachelor in Paradise and honestly enjoyed it.  Albeit rather exhausting (4 hours a week!), it was the one TV show I actually made time for this Summer and it was quite entertaining.  Gotta love anything from the producers of the Bachelor!!  What are your thoughts about the 3 couples that got engaged?  I wish them all the best and look forward to now following them along on Social Media.  Who knows, anyone of them may be the next "Janner" and marry at the end of next season.

I hope you girls have an amazing weekend!
XOXO


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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Weekend Instagram Round Up #2


Hello friends!!!  I hope you all had a fun filled Labor Day weekend with your family.  We had a great weekend and the weather couldn't have been more perfect!

I kicked off a new series last week "Weekend Instagram Round Up" and loved how it turned out.  It was the perfect way to recap out weekend via my crazy love of Instagram.  Feel free to follow along to check out our updates in real time.


We kicked off our Labor Day weekend with absolutely NO PLANS.  A weekend with no plans is completely unheard of these days, however, it was so nice being able to just get up and go wherever we felt like.  On Friday, a neighbor invited me over to a LuLaRoe Pop Up Boutique at her home.  It was a great time and the perfect chance to catch up with a few neighbors all while shopping for some cute clothes.  Win win!  I ended up purchasing an adorable striped Carly dress.  I have been hearing about LuLaRoe for awhile now since I am in the Direct Sales Industry, however, this was my very first home party that I had been invited too.  So much fun!

On Sunday, we decided to spend the day at the zoo.  The kids were thrilled, we had not been to the zoo in months and we were certainly overdue to visit our favorite animals!  


I snapped a cute picture of my Old Navy jean vest on our way out the door.  I am just loving this versatile piece this time of year.  (Similar)


The kids always love posing with our favorite monkey statue right outside Monkey Island.


As an added bonus, the Cleveland Air Show was being performed only a few miles away from the zoo.  Several times throughout the day, we were able to catch a glimpse of the Blue Angels performing their stunts.  It's truly an amazing sight to see!


We spent Monday at the pool which may have been for the last time of the Summer.  Luckily for us our pool is remaining open for 2 more weeks, hoping our weather continues to cooperate so we can enjoy it a few more times.


Have a great week friends!

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Friday, September 02, 2016

Friday Favorites

Hello friends! I hope you all had a great week! I put a very cranky girl on the bus this morning so I am thinking that someone is looking forward to a very long and relaxing weekend.  Can you believe that it is September already?  It's been a bit chilly the last few days as we enter the 'ber' months, or what I am now referring too as the "Brrr!" months as the temps here in Cleveland will be taking a nose dive in the next few weeks.

BloggerImage

It's Friday friends and per usual, I am linking today up with Erika  for my Friday Favorites and sharing with all of you a few fun moments from our week.


ONE



I am extremely excited for Fall football to start up and this weekend! Ohio State plays my college Alma Mater, Bowling Green State University and am not quite sure who to root for in this match up.  I suspect the team in red will pull though however :)  


TWO


Nicholas and I spent some quality time yesterday getting him ready for preschool which starts back next week.  This sweet boy got a much needed hair cut.


Followed up by a lunch date to Moe's.  Do you have a Moe's near you?  Two opened up in our area in the last year and I am in love!  


THREE


After our lunch at Moe's, we made a quick trip to Target and got seriously side tracked by all of the cute Fall clothes they put out recently.  I tried on this Mossimo Olive Tunic Tee which I loved and promptly purchased...


...along with this adorable denim long sleeve jacket.


I can't wait to wear it with my black skinnies.

FOUR


I blogged on Wednesday for my new love Limelight makeup!  I tried their eye shadows this week and these products continue to impress me.  The colors are so beautiful and pigmented.   And did I mention they are professional grade?  It truly shows in the quality.  


FIVE


I saw this idea on Instagram Instastories this week and can't wait to incorporate this system in our daily lives for both kids.  Anything to cut down on the craziness of getting ready for school in the morning!  

I hope you all have a fabulous Labor Day Weekend!  Thank you so much for stopping by.
 
XOXO
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What's Up Wednesday - August 2016 Edition

Happy Wednesday friends!  I hope you are all having a great week!  It's the last Wednesday of the month which means I am linking up with a few of my favorite girls today... Mel, Shay and Sheaffer for a little What's Up Wednesday.

What We're Eating This Week



It has been a beautiful Summer and the weather doesn't appear to be cooling down anytime soon.  Fortunately for us, our pool is going to stay open past labor day this year and what doesn't go better pool side than my Skinny Poolside Dip!  There is nothing in the world I would rather eat than dip and this is certainly one of my favs this time of year.  

What I Am Reminiscing About 

With the start of a new school year a few weeks ago, I have been reflecting a lot this month about how much my babies have grown.  Jillian is no longer a Kindergartner (sob!) and Nicholas is starting his last year of preschool next week.  I always go through a little bit of a "mourning period" this time of year, I miss our carefree days of Summer and think about just how far we have come in the last 6 years as a family.  Next year at this time I will have 2 kids in school full time and am completely conflicted with mixed feelings of shock, sadness and perhaps a little bit of pure excitement that maybe, just maybe, my house may remain clean for more than 30 minutes?  


Jillian's first day of school printable can be ordered here.

What I Am Loving
 

I have always loved make up, however, my love has taken on a whole new obsession lately and am especially loving my new items from Limelight by Alcone.  Limelight by Alcone is a newer direct sales cosmetics company that I have recently fallen in love with.  First of all, the cosmetics are PROFESSIONAL GRADE.  This company has been around for over 50 years and has only been available to celebrities up until now.  Limelight decided to expand to a Direct Sales model in the last year and I couldn't wait to try the products to see how they compared to my current favs.  The price point is very comparable to Department store/Sephora prices if not a little lower which was also a pleasant surprise.  So far they have all exceeded my expectations and hope to order the foundation next.    


What We've Been Up To

Swimming, swimming... a little soccer and football and then more swimming.  We have been making the most of our last few weeks of Summer and spending every moment we can at our neighborhood pool.  
 

Jillian has taken up soccer this Fall 


and Nicholas has started Flag Football again.  



Jeff is helping out with coaching this Fall for Nicholas's Flag Football team which should be a lot of fun.  My little guy loves football! 

What I Am Reading
 
OK, so don't laugh but I came across my collection of Sweet Valley High books in the our basement this Summer and decided that these were the perfect Summer reads.  Crazy?  A little but I can honestly say reading these again has been so rewarding and calming.  I have enjoyed them so much that I have ordered a few more to add to my collection and can't wait for them to come in.  They are just fun, easy and quick reads and with little ones, this all about what I can handle at this point.  It's been fun taking a little trip down memory lane this Summer.
What I Am Working On

Honestly, I began this Summer with the intent of "slowing down before speeding back up again."  I put a lot of hobbies/projects/blogging on the back burner this Summer and wanted to just focus on the kids and finding my true passion.  With Nicholas starting school next Fall, I don't have any intentions of going back to work full time and want to find something that I can do for years to come and work from home.  I have been so happy with my "Summer of Rest" that it has allowed me to truly slow down and think about what I REALLY want to do as we embark on a new chapter in our lives.

What I Am Excited About
 

 
Decorating for Fall and Football!  I plan on going through our Fall decor in the next few weeks and also will be hitting up Homegoods during those few hours when Nicholas is in preschool.  
 
Our family LOVES football at every level and can't wait to cheer on Ohio State and the Browns this Fall.  We kicked off our high football season by attending the home opener this past Friday and the kids had a blast.  



What I am Wearing
 

Basically this time of year my wardrobe consists of tanks and shorts.  Anything to stay comfortable in this heat and humidity.  I about died sitting outside watching Soccer practice last week it was so hot.  Any make up I had put on beforehand probably slid right off!


My favorite Summer tank has been this one from Jane.com.  I have them in 4 different colors and noticed this week that they have come out with some colors for Fall too.  Not the best pictures but I am wearing the Royal blue tank above and pink tank below.


It is my all time favorite tank, I love that is long and slightly loose in the belly area, yet extremely flattering.  It is also extremely versatile and can be worn with skinny jeans or shorts.  Here is a full pic :)


Clearly a favorite for me!  I am eyeing the Ivory and Cranberry colors next as the perfect layering piece for cardigans this Fall.
 

What I am Doing This Weekend

It's Labor Day weekend and we actually have NO plans!!!!  I can't wait to see where this weekend takes us.  I am thinking the neighborhood pool for one :)

What I am Looking Forward To Next Month

There are so many things to get excited about for September! Our calendar is jam packed with Soccer and Football games, birthday parties and even an out of town wedding.   We are trying to hold on to Summer as long as we can although we always do so many fun things as a family in the Fall, you can't help but get excited for what's to come, even if it means cooler temps for this Clevelander :) 

I think what I am most excited for is this little man going to school.  He has truly missed his sister ever since she went off to school a few weeks ago and must ask me 20 times a day if it's time to get her off the bus yet.  It seems like he just counts down the minutes until she is home!  I have also noticed more than ever that he is craving some structure and socialization.  He had a great year last year and know he will have an even better one this year!
 
Hope you all have an amazing Wednesday!
 
XOXO
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