Monday, December 22, 2014

Refreshed + Peanut Butter Custard Pie

 Can ya'll believe Christmas is 3 days away??  This weekend the kids and I decided to head to Charlotte for a few days.  With Matt's back out of whack we werent sure if he would be able to travel so we wanted to visit my parents and then be back to spend Christmas with him if he is unable to travel.  Don't worry he is in good hands being cared for by his parents.  I know I was happy to get home to be taken care of by parents.  No matter how old I get I still love coming home.
 I have been sharing a bed with Sterling since Matt hurt his back so it has been wonderful to have my own bed for a few nights!

 If you travel often or just need a great duffel bag and tote I highly recommend these from Barrington Gifts.  They are such great quality and you can design you own with whatever pattern or colors you want!

The best part about Christmas this year is seeing it thru Sterling's eyes. He is just so excited.  As soon we got to my parents house he started filling his Santa bag with everyone's gifts to deliver:)  The Santa bags are on sale now and I have to say if you travel for the holidays they are great for packing all your gifts in.

 I love this picture of Sterling and cousin Finley copying each other.
Sterling never sucks his thumb but of course wanted to after Finley did!

This is Frances saying stay away from my puffs.  Girl means business with her food.

Of course I had to enjoy one of my Dad's martinis.  He makes the best drinks.
My leopard shoes are Sole Society and they are doing next day delivery if you still need Christmas gifts:)

I picked up the cutest Plaid Dress to wear to a holiday party this week.  I love it because it is cute with tights and lightweight enough to wear this spring too. 

If you need last minute stocking stuffer ideas check out these men's socks by JL the Brand.  They were sweet enough to send Matt a few pairs and he loves them.  I have to say even though they are men's socks I love them too.  The patterns are so cute and different   Check out the whole site HERE

 I was partial to the skull ones:)  

While I was home my mom made the most delicious Peanut Butter Custard Pie, the recipe came from her good friend Anita and trust me y'all it is amaze balls.  I could not stop eating it plus Mom assured me it was easy to make.  If you like peanut butter desserts you will love this pie!!

|| P E A N U T  B U T T E R   C U S T A R D   P I E ||

- 1 package premade refrigerated pie shells (the kind that comes 2 rolls to a pack)
- 2 cups powered Sugar
- 1 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup corn starch
-1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
-4 cups milk
- 6 eggs yolks beaten (save egg whites for the meringue)
-4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

-6 egg whites
pinch of salt
a few drops of ice cold water
1/4 cup sugar

Prebake pie shell according to instructions on package- about 10 minutes, set aside and let cool.
Mix 2 cups powdered Sugar and 1 cup peanut butter, until it looks like a Bisquick mix, it will be crumbly.  Set aside.

In double boiler over low heat cook : 1/2 cup con starch, 1 1/3 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 4 cups scalded milk (microwave the milk about 4 minutes to get hot but not boiling), 6 egg yolks beaten, 4 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Stir while it cooks so it won't stick until mixture is thick like custard.

Mix meringue.  Beat the egg whites, pinch of salt and ice cold water until light and fluffy.  Slowly beat in sugar and set aside.
In the pre baked and cooled pie shells spread 1/2 the peanut butter crumbles over the bottom.  Pour custard mixture over this top and spread another layer of peanut butter crumbles (save a few to scatter over the top of the meringue).   Top with meringue and a few crumbles.  Bake at 350 until meringue starts to lightly brown.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thank You

Wow is all I can say.  Thank you for all your comments, emails , and texts.  I read every single one and they made me feel so much better.  The funny thing is all day yesterday I felt calm even though Frances Moon ran a fever and is sick and I had a million things to do, I felt a sense of peace and I know that was your prayers working so THANK YOU.

Frances had her appointment with the neurologist and we are going to mointer her for the next 3 months.  There is still fluid around her brain but they seem sure it will go away on its on.  She is meeting all her developmental milestones so that is a good thing.  I will report back after our appointent in March but pray the fluid starts to go down.  
I took this picture in the waiting room of the doctors office and it says so much abut Frances Moon.  She is always smiling even when she is sick.  She is such a joy to have in my life and I am so thankful for her.

This blog brings me so much joy because of the connections and the community.  I feel like we are all best friends even though we have never met.  I so appreciate you reading my blog everyday and commenting.  I am grateful for each of you and your support. I am so thankful for my best friends who all called and texted me yesterday offering their help to watch my kids, wrap my gifts, and bring me food.   Then when we got home from the doctor these flowers were on my doorstep and I just burst into tears.  They were from Caycee saying she knew I was going through a hard time. I felt so much love yesterday.  It reminded me of the quote " Best Friends make the good times better and the hard times easier."

Yesterday afternoon Sterling and I worked on some gifts for his school party.  I saw these snowman on pinterest and thought they looked cute and easy but mine were a hot mess. The doughnuts kept cracking and the jelly beans would not stay on.  There was powdered sugar every where in my dining room.  But you know what Sterling and I laughed and laughed and had the best time making them- all while we jammed to Taylor Swift (yes I bought the cd). 

Then last night I took the kids to see the James Island Festival of Lights and it was just what we needed.  Sterling was over the moon excited and Frances just kept laughing.  It helped me to lighten up and smile and be happy for exactly where we are right now.  The kids love Christmas and I love seeing it thru their eyes.

I have decided to take a few days off to relax and take care of family.  I will be back at some point next week maybe Monday maybe after Christmas,  but in the meantime I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope you get to enjoy and savor these last few days before Christmas.  Before we know it it will be 2015 and we be starting a new year.  Those of you struggling and fighting your own battles this holiday season I am praying for you too.  
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Truth.

Lately I have felt like Bah Humbug.  I have had a hard time embracing the holidays and life in general.  

I am stressed to max.  I cry at least once every day.  That's the dirty truth and what you don't see.  I wipe my tears and put a smile on my face for my kids but inside I am a mess.   I am a worrier by nature and it is hard not to worry about some of the things going on in my life.

On Thanksgiving Day Matt hurt his back somehow and since then things have gone down hill.  We spent one night last week in the ER he was in so much pain. The ER is not a fun place to be.  His right leg is numb and shooting pain and he is unable to walk.  He has been laid up in bed for almost two weeks now.  He is only able to get up to use the bathroom and that is so painful he then has to lay down again.  My heart goes out to him because I know he is in excruciating pain.  You never want to see a loved one hurt like that ever. He has had one spinal injection that has not provided much relief and we are awaiting another one Monday.  In the meantime he has to lay flat on his back to have any kind of relief from his pain.  He is like a third child at the moment I need to take care of.  I am terrified he is going to need back surgery and I know the recovery from that will be difficult.

Last week we took Sterling to fill 2 of his cavities and they informed us after getting proper xrays while he was sedated he had 6 more cavities that needed to be filled. WTF.   Meaning he needs to be sedated 3 more times and it is going to cost us a pretty penny.  Plus I feel like a horrible mom because he has so many cavities.  They want us to floss every night and flossing with a 4 year old is not easy, I am worried he is going to get more cavities.

I went to see my gyno last week.  They suspected I had an ovarian cyst that had burst. 

Then last week at Frances Moon's one year check up her doctor told us we needed to get another MRI/Ultrasound of her head because it was growing too fast compared to her body.  We already had one ultrasound in July and it showed fluid outside the brain but they thought by now her head would start to even out with her body.   It is still growing off the curve.  Yesterday I met with a neurologist at MUSC.

I came home from the hospital and Frances started running a fever. 

I tell you all this not to get sympathy at all because I realize my problems are small compared to others.  As I sat in the waiting room on the Neurology floor of MUSC waiting for Frances Moon to be seen I looked around the room at all the Moms there fighting their own battles.  Some kids were in wheel chairs and others were visibly sick.  It really put things in perspective for me.  Yes, this is a hard time in my life.  I am taking care of a husband who can't move or do anything for himself on top of my worries about our children. I am damn exhausted but I am healthy.  This is nothing compared to the battles others are braving.  Nothing at all. 

I decided to take a deep breath,  pray, and meditate (thank you headspace app) and you know what it worked.  It reminded me to embrace the real meaning of Christmas and be thankful for where I am in my life at exactly this point.  So what if I have no gifts wrapped and still have shopping to do.  So what if I have piles of laundry that I don't have time to tackle after taking care of everyone.  It doesn't matter at all.  It will get done even if it is last minute. What matters is the time I spend with my loved ones and the attention and care I give them.  Sterling is so excited about Santa and Christmas this year I can't help but smile thinking about his innocent joy.  I want to enjoy the little things and embrace this week leading up to Christmas and I encourage all of you to do the same.  Lets focus on the real meaning of Christmas and be thankful.  

We all have our own struggles and worries and they are real but it is up to us the attitude we take towards what life throws our way.  As my Dad told me yesterday God doesn't give you more than you can handle.  What doesn't kill you will make you stronger. 

I am pretty sure I have been bringing my family (thanks mom and dad and Taylor for listening) down with my complaints so I am turning it around.
 I don't want to be Debbie Downer, I want to happy and joyful.
This too shall pass. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Oreo Brownies + Waffles and Honey Jewelry + Other Randoms

I posted this picture of my Oreo Brownies on Instagram and several of you wanted the recipe.  I actually just kind of made it up, but its damn good.  I gave these to Frances Moon's teachers paired with a Visa gift card for Christmas gifts.

You will need one box of brownie mix and I highly recommend the Duncan Hines Fudgy Brownie Mix.  You will also need the ingredients the brownie mix calls for which is water, eggs, and oil and one package of the Double Stuff Oreos.  Mix the brownies per the directions on the back.  Grease a glass baking dish ( I swear these cook better in glass dishes) and spread half the brownie mix.  Take the tops off the oreos and lay cookie side down across the pan.  Cover with the other half of brownie mix.  Bake at 350 about 20-25 minutes.  Do not over bake these are better gooey.
Let cool before you cut them.

If you are still looking for gifts for loved ones you must check out Waffles and Honey

 Karina the designer hand makes all the jewelry and it is just stunning.  Today is the last day to place orders guaranteed in time for Christmas.  You can use code DB&DD20 to take 20% off your orders!  Shop the whole site HERE.
I just love this bracelet and wear it often.

and a close up view!
and these earrings are another favorite. I have them in the Emerald but they come in so many other colors.

A few of my other favorites.

waffles and honey

These make the perfect gift for you or a loved one!

I finally stopped in Mac and Murphy, quite possibly the cutest paper store ever.  I can't believe it took me this long to get in.  I will be a regular from now on.  I got the most beautiful wrapping paper and Sally King Benedict calendar.  Locals please stop in, it is so charming and filled with amazing paper products.
I met my neice Avery for the first time this week.  I have 3 nephews but she is my first neice and I am so excited.  We were all so happy to welcome her to our family.  Almost made me want another.
You forgot how tiny and innocent they are when they are first born.  She is just the sweetest.
The top I am wearing abOve from JCrew is now on sale plus you get additional 40% off!  Use code JINGLE.

I mentioned it yesterday but don't forget to check out the Serena and Lily Private Sale.  I snagged these pjs for Sterling for only $11 and these crab sheets for his room.
I am reading the Light Between the Oceans right now and loving it.  Erin recommended it and honestly I look forward to getting into bed every night to read it.  I highly recommend it!

I finally donwloaded the app Headspace and have been using it at night to meditate and love it.  Please download it if you are looking into meditating.  and is weird I find the narrators voice soothing and attractive?  The ten minutes at night really help me destress.

If you love Chardonnay I highly recommend this Unwooded Chardonnay. Matt and I both have been loving it.  and gotta love my napkins my mom gave me last year:)

I can get enough of these Fox tights from Old Navy.  I finally found them in Frances Moon's size and just adore them.
If you need size 0-6 they are still on line in the Fox and Cat designs.  Otherwise check your local stores.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Serena and Lily Private Sale 65% off Starts Now!!

Serena and Lily just started their Private Sale and the Deals are amazing.  Hurry and shop because things go fast and the sale ends Monday.  Today is the last day for standard shipping as well to get it in time for Christmas.

This mirror was $300 and now only $100.  So great in an entryway, nursery or kids room.

I am obsessed with these kids chairs.  If I didn't already have a pair on my porch I would buy them!

These onesies make great baby gifts at only $12.  My sister gave Frances Moon two of them and we love them.

This is one of my favorite crib sheets.  It is so soft and 50% off!

Love these booties and they are 65% off!
and these pjs are only $11!!
Stock up friends!

These table runners are only $15!  Also in red and green but I like the black because you could use it year round.

This set of napkins is only $10- time to stock up and save for next year or for gifts!

This Mohair throw was $350 and now only $74!
Shop my other favorites below!  Scroll thru to view them all!