I'm Lauren!
Wife. Mother. Blogger. Food eater. Thunder thigh haver. Baby maker. Carb lover. Travel goer. Exclamation point user.





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Mom’s Broccoli Salad

Mom’s Broccoli Salad This is the best Broccoli Salad recipe because it’s straight from my Mom! It’s sweet, creamy and crunchy with fresh broccoli, sunflower seeds, homemade dressing and lots of bacon! Just the way broccoli salad was intended to be!  My babysitter totally called me out on not cleaning out my fridge for MONTHS yesterday. Since my husband has been gone, she has been a weekly visitor in my home. This girl has single handedly kept me sane. Anyways, back to the topic at hand: “You know that chicken and rice at the back of your fridge? Yeah, its been in there a while. Like months” I know, I know. I’m disgusting. What else is new? There are certain things I just don’t get around to doing because my better half is 3,000 miles away and cleaning out the fridge is one of them. Physically getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing my kitchen floor is the other…and you know what? Since we’re on the topic, I don’t typically get around to hanging up my clean clothes in my closet either. There are only so many hours in the day and HGTV won’t watch itself. {I’m kidding Mom.} I have two
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This sweet little 6 year old of mine started first grade this year and both her and I could not be more thrilled. Not only is Brooke an overall sweet girl, but she is really intelligent, fun, shy, funny, helpful, sensitive, goofy, artistic, sporty, detail-oriented and beautiful! Gordon and I both just love her to pieces for so many reasons! Yes, she definitely pushes her boundaries {comes with her age and being the oldest}, but for the most part as long as we set those boundaries and stick to them, she listens and obeys! Her memory is so sharp that I cannot forget a thing or else she will remind me exactly what I promised. It’s a blessing and sometimes a curse! She is a great big sister and loves her brother, but more importantly, Blake loves Brooke so much! He is sad to see her leave for school and is happy to have her home in the evening. We love love love our sweet Brookie cookie and are so glad to have her in our family to be the big sister that will oversee her soon to be two unruly brothers! Here are her answers to these questions I had
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Hey guys! I’m just headed off to another trip…this time to PARIS! {I hope the red eye flight doesn’t kill me.} But wanted to check in with another amazing recipe! This time a warm, potato sausage crockpot meal! It’s easy, simple and super delicious! My kids gobbled this one up, which is sort of a miracle these days plus, this took a whole 10 minutes to throw together. I snapped a few pictures of the process and to be honest, there really aren’t that many….because you throw everything into the crockpot and forget about it. But alas, because I love you, here lies all the photos and recipe! Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the printable version {And if you have any tips for me surviving a red eye flight and/or getting comfortable enough to sleep on a plane, that would be WONDERFUL! Thanks!!} Here lies this magical crockpot recipe. No secrets here; I stuffed my crockpot with a package of defrosted hash brown potatoes, smoked sausages, onions and cheese. Not a bad combination if I do say so myself. To that, stir in my homemade condensed cream of chicken soup recipe {as listed below or as
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I think I’ve found pumpkin dessert mecca. I love me a good chocolate lava cake, but no other dessert has really ever come close to that pinnacle of delicious. Until now? If you don’t like chocolate as much as you like pumpkin, then we are close to something that will blow your mind. If you are like my husband and thinks any dessert that doesn’t involve chocolate should be illegal, then you might not like is so much. But you guys, no matter where you stand on the choco-loving scale, you’ve at least got to give this a try at least once this season! It’s spicy, sweet, festive and gets thrown together in a snap. This is like a pumpkin lava cake and cobbler love child. It’s got all the yummy factors that I love in a dessert and uses ingredients I’m 99% sure you already have in your pantry. #winning Just be sure to remember to add in the baking powder because…..it WILL NOT work without it. I speak from experience. Sad sad experience. I may have shed a {pregnancy induced} tear or two when I pulled it from the oven. Ahem. ANYWAYS…… Here’s how to make it: Stir all dry
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My oh my what a whirlwind of an Autumn I’ve been having! When I was sick and feeling awful during my first trimester of this third pregnancy, a few trips popped up in my inbox and I thought “I’LL BE FEELING BETTER BY THEN! HALLELUJAH! YES, I CAN GO!” But now that the time has come where I AM feeling better and I need to pack my bags and leave, I almost don’t want to go because I miss that darn husband of mine a *leetle* too much for my own good, not to mention my sweet children as well. Don’t get me wrong, the first three days are gloriously, amazingly, superbly, wonderfully, triumphantly, famously, delightfully, splendidly rad. But beyond that, I turn into a useless, helpless, puddle of a guilty mother saying “Just take me HOME.” So even though I get to travel in October AND in November to some pretty cool locals, just know that deep down, I’m dying a little on the inside. Thank you for understanding. In the mean time, it is Autumn! Oregon is finally cooling down and I’m back in love with this state. Bring on the apples, pumpkins, squashes, scarves and knee high boots
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Follow my blog with Bloglovin A few weeks ago when my husband just got back from some military training, he surprised me and took me to Skamania Lodge {a resort in Washington state, just across the Columbia River} for some mommy daddy time! Whenever we spend lots of time away from each other, we like to recharge and reconnect sans kids. So that’s what we did This was the beautiful view from our room!! It’s seriously so pretty there! Inside the lodge. Before we left, Gordon thought it would be a good idea to go on an “easy hike”. Only problem with that is I’m clumsy and nearly killed my self because I kept tripping over tree roots in the trail, plus I wore sandals….not smart. I’d also like to mention I was huffing and puffing because I was 19 weeks pregnant and have eleven million quarts of blood in me, but kept trying to act like I wasn’t out of breath. Not smart. Thankfully my husband held my hand the whole time and guided me through. He’s such a sweet man, you guys. These are the pictures from me having to stop to catch my breath to ‘take pictures’
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Hey everyone! I’m still in the middle of the Caribbean cruising away {see my Instagram pics here} but I wanted to check in with ya’ll with my latest Plated meal I got a few weeks back. These crispy fish sandwiches were pretty darn tasty, especially with these Old Bay Home Fries! I snapped a few photos of the cooking process to share with you today.  This was an easy meal to put together and was super delicious too I don’t have the recipe for you because everything comes pre-portioned, but feel free to recreate at home with the same ingredients or order one of these boxes yourself Home fries get started first: Idaho potatoes, old bay seasoning, salt, pepper, olive oil all tossed together and baked! I sprayed my foil with cooking spray to make sure nothing would stick. Homemade tartar sauce is next! This is mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper and fresh tarragon! Red Fish pieces were coated in a flour mixture, than an egg mixture and then into panko breadcrumbs and cooked in a little bit of olive oil. Super crispy fish Toss the fries and cook a few more minutes until tender. To assemble the sandwiches, split some
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I am currently cruising away in the Carribean, but couldn’t leave you all high and dry without a delicious recipe for the week So here lies my pumpkin chocolate chip bread recipe! It is just the right amount of sweet, spice and chocolate. It’s taken me a while to find a pumpkin bread recipe that I can’t stop eating, mainly because I’m picky and I like my pumpkin bread made a certain way. {All other bread, however, I am not so picky about and I consume with a vengeance.} Well, folks, this is the best pumpkin chocolate chip bread recipe ever. AND, I love it because it takes an entire 29 oz can of pumpkin!! You know the big ones I’m talking about, right? I always open one of those up, pull out half a cup and end up tossing the rest because I never get around to making other pumpkin goodies. Soooo, I made a recipe that requires an ENTIRE HUGE CAN OF IT. Waste not want not, ya’ll. Or in my case, waste not want a lot. Anyways, this recipe makes 5 loaves of pumpkin bread! FIVE! One for me, four for the freezer. Or friends. {But really,
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The day before school started for Brooke, we decided to do a back to school feast. I made a fancier meal than I normally would for a Monday and then we talked about our theme for the evening which was ‘letting your light shine’. Brooke completely set the table and did a great job with arranging candles, assigning seats and writing out name cards. Seriously though! I love her writing and her thoughtfulness in every detail…did you notice the bendy straws?! It was even her idea to give Blake a paper towel instead of a nicer fabric napkin! For dinner, I made a big tray of roasted veggies {red onion, zucchini, carrot, yellow squash and asparagus}, my Famous Butter Rice recipe and some Salmon with a Parmesan Herb Crust {recipe from a Spicy Perspective}. I was amazed at how easy and delicious this salmon recipe was! Even my kids snarfed it down with Brooke calling is “yummy chicken”. Brooke is going into 1st grade and so ‘being a light’ {a kind, loving example} to those around her was something that we talked about after dinner. We talked about how people are naturally drawn to bright things, especially in a dark world,
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