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Kid-friendly Carrot Zucchini Mini Muffins

13 Jul

muffins

Good Morning, GOOD MORNING,

Long time no chat— In fact, it has only been, oh what, 330 days-ish since my last post!! Can you tell I had a baby and collected another degree in that time, ha! Anywho, my blogging skills are so subpar these days, I don’t even know how to re-post this delicious recipe I just Pinvestigated from the original site…. so let me go ahead  and give some street cred to Cupcakes & Kale Chips!!

AND HERE IS THE SCOOP

Ingredients

    • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
    • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup finely grated zucchini
    • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
    • 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place rack in the center of the oven, and coat a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the butter, maple syrup (or honey), egg, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir together until just barely combined.
  5. Add the zucchini, carrot and raisins and stir gently until just distributed.
  6. Fill each cup in the mini muffin pan approximately ¾ full (I use a small cookie scoop slightly overfilled).
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Aren’t you LOVING how there is no granulated SUGAR added to this recipe, just some good ole Maple Syrup; my 50% Canadian babe was even licking his fingers to savor the flavor =)

muffin 3

 

Beck Baby tested, mother approved =)

Thank you again Cupcakes & Kale Chips for this SUHWEEET find.

 

Until Next Year (tee-hee),

Kelley B.

 

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A Babymoon+Staycation Combo, Does It Have to Bite Like Zika?

17 Jul


Hi Family, Friends & Blog World!

It has been a while, I knoooow!!

Since finding out we were expecting a little nugget, man how we have been on the move. Literally, we have since moved cross country twice in the past year, made an offer on a house sight unseen in a different state & taken on a renovation project  that is still not complete with T-Minus 2 weeks till Baby Boosh. To say I am a slight disazz may be a bit of an understatement, but YOLO  right!!

Speaking of ‘you only live once’, you may be wondering about my somewhat oxymoron of a blog title. A Staycation + Babymoon combo, SAY WHAT?!?!?

Well moral of the story, this whole Zika virus epidemic has really put a damper on travels not only for expecting moms, but pretty much anybody who may want to conceive in the near-ish future to a tropical paradise (let’s just say I stopped looking at CDC Zika virus updates when I put a kabosh on our Hawaiian Babymoon…& when I say I, what I really mean is my ob/gyn back in CO who laid on a heavy guilt trip & basically told me I was risking the life of my unborn child by going to Hawaii… #EVENaVAYCAYintheUSofA!?!

(Did I also forget to mention that just prior to finding out I was pregnant & before this whole Zika business was even on the radar the hubster & I went on a flashlight-guided bioluminescence tour in a swamp of Puerto Rico… Oh yah, I’m already flippin mom of the year over here and haven’t even given birth yet, ha!)

Soooo circling back around to this staycation /babymoon theoryWhen Zika threatened my last D.I.N.K  oasis getaway (that’s right, Dual Income, No Kids) this girl had to start evaluating her options…that and the whole just moved to Colorado, posted up in a two bedroom apartment, living the ski-bunny lifestyle, no family around…. (but that’s a story for another day =)

 SOLUTION:

Bring the Hawaiian Oasis/ Babymoon dream home = renovate that 23 year-old bathroom we just purchased & make it into our very own everyday getaway. I’m a realist over here people & believe every mom/soon-to-be mom should have her own little escape at home BECAUSE we all  know with a newborn you ain’t leaving the casa for long alone anytime soon !! And no I’m not saying everybody’s solution should  mean a complete bathroom overhaul, I am just saying every mom should have something nice  to enjoy on the regular that does NOT go on a baby registry!

Oh and if Zika truly bit the big one on your babymoon plans, I would still highly recommend you and your baby daddy  fance it up one last time at a nice hotel even if that means in your hometown, D.I.N.K style =) And if you are one of those moms judging me right now and rolling your eyeballs thinking I’m living in La La land over here… well La Ti Da =)

A SPECIAL THANK YOU

TO MY VERY OWN WISE MOMMA OF SIX KIDS

FOR ENCOURAGING ME  TO TAKE ON  WHAT SEEMED LIKE

A KIND OF A CRAZY, NOT  NECESSARILY

 NECESSARY BATHROOM RENO AT 32 WEEKS….

BECAUSE SHE SAID I DESERVED IT, THANKS MOMMA ❤

I AGREE THAT EVERY MOM DOES!!!

Without further ado, a sneak peak into our Staycation Renovation

b1

b2

br 9

b6

b5

br 10

At 38 weeks preggo, stay tuned until next week when I am hoping I can share a big reveal of a Master Bath Retreat while baby boy continues to happily bake until his due date! The pinvestigation continues on whether or not a 32 week reno start date is a good idea or not…

June 31st or BUST!

Kelley B.

Valentine’s Day Special Family Addition <3 !

12 Feb

Hi Family, Friends & Followers =)

 

baby 2

If you haven’t figured out the special addition aspect quite yet,  

click on the pic & take a closer look at those heart candy messages!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Love is in the air and we have a sweet treat to share!! Baby Bouchard is on the way, ETA August 2016!!!   recently moved up to July 2016 !! SUPRISED?!? (no worries, we love fun surprises too 😉

More deets ya say? Can you believe that out of the first 3 pregnancy test I took  I got ONE  yes and TWO questions marks (?). Literally  a QUESTION MARK  SYMBOL popped up twice (why is that even a reasonable option)??  And did I mention this was a fancy, digital  “First Response” preggo test….Has this ever happened to to you?  

Moral of the story, I suppose I should have just followed directions and waited to take the test first pee of the morning… buuuut even though I knew this fun fact, I was on the way to the airport to pick up friends to go skiing & celebrate my friend’s promotion that night with some hottubing and champs!! I felt like I kinda needed to know if a baby was brewing since my plans that night were not conducive for baby baking.

Anywho the next 2 were  positive and therefore I had to come up with a way to keep our secret since we had people planning to visit and ski the next 3 holiday weekends. Now why is the whole ski thing such an issue you may ask??

Skiing  leads to >apres ski (happy  hour) > hot-tubing = not so great for preggos & the nugget

My cover story over the Christmas holiday… explosive diarrhea. Yes you read that right, I told everybody who offered me up an adult beverage that I got salmonella food poisoning a few days prior (therefore I could not drink or eat questionable foods like sushi), had to send in a poop culture, and was taking an antibiotic 4 times a day that can cause liver damage (flagyl my friends). The best part, worked like a charm because NOBODY ever questions an explosive diarrhea poop disease 😉 And you know who your true friends are because everybody still chose to hang out with me even after my  lovely cover up story!

Now that this nugget is a confirmed healthy fetus, I would like to apologize to everybody who had to hear about my fake poop issues (Katie, cousins, fam )

I would also like to note that after the holidays, I gave the poop story up and settled for a more pleasant excuse of “I’m detoxing from alcohol the first month of the year”. That excuse probably only works in January when everybody tolerates everybody else’s ridiculous new years resolutions that most likely fall through by the end of January. Regardless, that one also worked well too =) You may be asking yourself why I did not just say I wasn’t feeling an adult beverage, but lets be realistic people…If you know me, I’m not about to turn down a yummy glass of red wine after a long day of work or champs at brunch unless something is up (liiiike growing a human-being for instance). I work in healthcare  and wine is my RX that keeps me sane =) Since I have had to cut myself off, I have slightly increase my dark chocolate intake to compensate =) =)

The Baby Announcement

How did I tell my Momma?

My mom does not like traveling, detest driving long distances and hates flying. She told me there were only a couple of reasons why she would ever jump on a plane from Texas to Colorado. So as a Christmas present I knew she would hate me buying her a ticket to Colorado, but looooove the news of a new grand-baby on the way (ahem, also a reason to get on a plane to Colorado 😉 ) . So, I whipped up this fake e-ticket, printed it out and sent it her way!! Although it was hard not telling her on the phone before the ticket arrived, the call I received once she figured out her terrible Christmas Present turned out to be the BEST PRESSIE of 2015 was priceless!!

Special Delivery Plane Ticket

Want the FREE PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT PLANE TICKET PRINTABLE?? (just click below and customize)

Baby Announcement FREE PRINTABLE

How did I tell the rest of the Fam?

Well, my creative photography side + MAJOR SWEET TOOTH came into play here. I opted out of the common heart-onesie idea or pair of baby shoes announcement and followed my gut… personalized Necco Valentine’s Day Heart Candy of course ;). What better way to spread the love and share some sweet news than with candy and a  heart-day card?!?  Okay so maybe a bit still cheesy, but festive fo sho!

baby 3

26

25

Fun Fact: As of Valentine’s Day, the doc is telling me that I am 16 weeks and baby B is about the size of an avocado (4 1/2 inches long  and 3 1/2 ounces). So far feeling great, clothes still fit &  don’t even really feel pregnant yet (knock on wood).

I hope everybody has an oh so very Happy  Happy Heart Day!!

Oh & stay tuned to the blog for more Baby B updates in the future!!

>>>Just 4 more weeks until we find out if Baby B is a BOY or GIRL !!

Kelley&Eric<3

 

 

 

 

 

15+ Awesomely Practical Gift Ideas !

18 Nov

pres

tree

Check out some of these awesomely useful gifts that are great for any occasion!

Christmas – Birthday – Wedding – New Home- Baby Shower – Engagement – Anniversary – Just for the heck of it !

GOOOOD MORNING WORLD!

When I moved across country just a few months ago, I got a big reality check on what items I owned that are awesomely necessary and others that needed to say hello to my friend Goodwill, or even worse, la basura!! (that’s trash for all my Colorado friends who are not familiar with my TexMex background =)

Below are a few items that survived the journey and are 100% necessary to my activities of daily living!!

1. So this first must-have item assumes that most of my readers drink wine =) If you don’t, that’s okay because I’m sure you know somebody who does and being that I am  a wanna-be-wine-connoisseur (and more importantly work with sick people who can sometimes drive me cray cray), this item is not only useful but keeps me sane…

Without further ado,  The Stemless Wine Glass. I love these because you can put them in the dishwasher, they take up way less room,  you or your guest are less likely to spill the wine and it serves the purpose of containing my grapey goodness!! I could probably even go for some fancy seasonal silver ombre ones like shown below, I mean… they will always be put to good use!

2.  Personalized cutting/cheese board

This was one of my faaavorite personalized wedding gifts (thanks again Courtney!!) I loved it so much in fact that I gifted my mom one too (pictured below) …who apparently thinks it is too nice to actually cut on, but that is besides the point! Can you tell I was watching the Game of Thrones series when I ordered this =)  Anyways, who doesn’t like a little bit of cheese with their wine am I right?? These days  I’m currently into sharp white cheddar!! ps. You can often find dealios on these with Groupon!!

cutting board 1

3Flatware

Flatware is always a great, practical gift that most people never think about buying for themselves (eh hem, muah). And of course, how are you going to cut the cheese, on your new cutting board that you are enjoying with your wine?!? Can you picture my at home happy hour scene right now? This scenario could be yours too 😉

I was recently sent a sample flatware set from  Liberty Table Top and I am glad I decided to pinvestigate this situation. I use to think all utensils were made the same, but that is just not the case after using and comparing them side-by-side. When it comes down to flatware, there are only really three things I have discovered that matter to me…

1) Durability, 2) Style &  3) Shine

Just at first glance, do you have a favorite or the three??

5

 

Well, two of those spoons are from my mismatched college collection back in the day and the more stylish, shiny spoon on the far right is from Liberty Table Top’s Pearl Collection .

Liberty Table Top Flatware makes their utensils from the finest quality 18-10 nickel/chrome stainless steel and I’m assuming this is what makes the utensils soo shiny and lustrous =) =).

3

The nurse in me also enjoys the fact that all of the stainless steel is tested for lead and other toxic trace elements to ensure you know exactly what you are putting in your mouth 😉

>>>perfect gift for my future niece>> BABY LIBERTY SPOON TWO BACK… Did I mention Liberty Table Top is the ONLY  manufacturer of flatware in the USA (YAY!!)  I am really digging the complete Pinehurst  & Annapolis Collections

4. Keychain phone charger

I don’t think this needs any explanation.. We have all been in a situation where we are out and desperately need some more juice for our phone!. This little nugget is compatible with most smart phones and micro USB devices with a battery Capacity of 1,000mAh (which to be honest, I’m not sure how mAh equates to time…anybody??) Either way, I can think of more than a few times when this would have come in handy.

Keychain Phone Charger

5. The Crockpot

As simple as this item may seem, you gotta love it and definitely have to have it!! I mean, what else can you throw a bunch of rando items into before work, let sit for hours, than come home and your house smells aaaahmazing?!? Betcha didn’t know that Kohl’s even sales some with fancy designs eh?

Another handy idea, be the Betty Crocker influence you never thought you could be and give this away with a crockpot cook book! My hubster would love for my crock pot  repertoire to be expanded =)

6. Just click here for my FAVORITE things in 2014.. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on any of these gift giving goodies!!

fave

 

7.  The hedgehog Serving dish 

For all of my entertainers out there, this is just too practical and cute to pass up! Also a great way to prevent spreading germs with multiple grubby hands reaching in one bowl 😉  Less dishes = successful Wine Down Wednesday meetup!

The Hedgehog Serving Dish, $25 | 28 Practical Yet Clever Gifts That Are Anything But Lame

8. The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Give the gift that keeps on giving ,  like a year member ship to a monthly wine club, kid’s museum, amazon prime subscription, dance lessons or subscription Box idea such as: Birchbox (makeup madness) Umba Box (fun crafts), Love with Food (snacks), For the Makers (fashion-forward jewelry projects), Kiwi Crate (moms +kids crafts), Craft Coffee, BarkBox (my pup’s dream box)

9. D.I.Y Medicine Cabinet

This is something nobody ever thinks about until they are not  feeling so hot, but boy will they be thankful for you when they need it. Last year I put together a little D.I.Y medicine cabinet for my family’s white elephant exchange that contained all of my favorite go to OTC meds and first aid gear like: Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Benadryl Dayquil/Nyquil combo back, BC Powder (the best for migraines and cramps!!>> side note. contains Aspirin so keep away from the kiddos), Pepto, Flonase, Zyrtec, Robitussin,  bandaids,  rubbing alcohol, gauze,  steri strips, neosporin, ect. (I forgot to take a picture at the time, but I just bought a plastic container from Walmart and stuffed it with the goodies mentioned above)

10. Face Mug

I know this may be a stretch, but if you loooooove warm home-made chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk like me… THIS IS AWESOOOME !! It helps control the amount of cookies you eat too because it can only fit about three meaning you have to get off your big bum to eat more =) I also think this would be great for some soup and crackers, popcorn and candies during a movie night or hot coco and peppermint chocolate bark!

 

11. Edible Ink Pens

The crafty side of me could not resist this clever pressie. Back to my love of cookies, it is even more fun to consume them when they are all fanced up & decorated! I suspect this could be a fun Elf on The shelf  or party game opportunity  as well…. 😉

Edible Ink Pens

12. Ghirardelli Chocolate Basket

Lets face it, unless you are a diabetic or allergic to chocolate, this present is IRRESISTIBLY awesome and great for all ages. And if you are one of those people who allegedly does not like any type of chocolate (dark, milky, white, peppermint, caramel, ganache, flavored, ect), than we just can’t be friends because you are clearly prejudice… although who am I to judge because I’m pretty much an addict !!

4-tier Trademark Metallic Tower

13. D.I.Y Coasters

I think we have already been through this with numero uno, but everybody drinks some sort beverage on a daily basis & ya gotta use a coaster to keep your furniture looking good. The other great thing about D.I.Y coasters… they are customizable, inexpensive, easy to make & cute!

coasters

14. Any of these 10 Awesome Beauty/Body Products that I use on reg! (some potentially good for stocking stuffers too)

beauty

15. Roomba, Scooba or cleaning service!! 

Did I ever tell you about the time I won a Roomba in college being in the audience on the Dr. Phil Show? What was even more epic, my roommate was in the audience as well so we came home with two dueling Roombas in our apartment!

Since then  my Roomba has died for unknown reasons (potentially the hard life with the suspect 20yr old shaggy apartment carpet), but I so desperately want another one. I’m also very interested in the Scooba (a robot that sweeps, pre-soaks, scrubs and squeegees hard floors, eliminating the need to sweep before scrubbing ). I will also admit I miss the ladies from my previous cleaning service and I would be delighted to have any of these options available again in the near future (wink, wink)!

16. The Book,   Creating Really Awesome Free Things: 100 Seriously Fun, Super Easy Projects for Kids

So I may be slightly biased on this one, but my seester is a master crafter & author of this fun craft activity book for kids. This would be a great pressie for kiddos, moms, teachers, your babysitter, soon-to-be-momm or does doting auntie of super fun nieces and nephews ring a bell =) =) Click the link above to place your pre-order now =) =)

Happy Gift Giving!!

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15 Halloween Kid Crafts

4 Oct

halloween 1

Happy Sunday,

This blog post was inspired by my inner-child =). I use to get a quick fix of crafting on a regular basis with my 2nd cousin Danielle, but since moving I thought I would send some ideas out her way & your way!! Here are some fairly quick and easy Halloween kid crafts. #2 is one of my favorites, I use to wear this on a regular basis when I was in grade school =) =)

#1 Spirit Jugs by Eighteen25

#2 Candy Wrapper Hair Bow by DoodleCraft

#3 Candy Wrapper Jewelry

#4 Hanging Toilet Paper Roll Bats by All Free Kids Craft

Hanging Toilet Paper Roll Bat

#5 Q-Tip Skeleton by sheknows

#6 Paper Cup Spiders by Craftown.com

21 Creative and Fun DIY Halloween Crafts Ideas for Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7 Halloween Spook Banner by Organize & Decorate Everything

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8 Haunting Halloween Luminaries by All Free Kids Crafts

Haunting Halloween Luminaries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9 Coffee Filter Bat by Fun-A-Day

Simple Bat Craft for Kids

# 10 Friendly Pumpkin Designs (construction paper, glue, rhinestones, washi tape, fabric, felt, sharpie, glitter, stickers, googly eyes, ribbon ) I feel a pumpkin decorating contest brewing =)

Funny pumpkin designs kids craft ideas DIY Halloween funny decoration

(pic from Berkshire)

Halloween no-carve washi tape pumpkin by Make Something Happy

(pic from Jen Betterly)

#11 Eyeball Bouquet by Crafts  n Coffee

easy Halloween decorating ideas using eyeballs and STYROFOAM balls

#12 Sweet Treat = Fall Pretzel Bites by Dishin & Dhishes

Fall pretzel bites

#13 Dia De Los Muertos Halloween Shirt by Martha Stewart

HolidayCraftsForTeens-FunHolidayCrafts-SkeletonHalloweenCostumes

#14 Paper Plate Door Wreath by I heart arts n crafts

halloween 2

# 15  3-D Spider Web by Kiwi Crate

3-D Yarn Spider Web

Happy Crafting!!

Kelley B.

ps. feel free to post a pic of your creepy creations =)

Specs & Sunnies on Sale!! Get the COUPON CODE HERE!!

19 Jun

coastal

Gooood Morning Blog World!!

I know, I know, it has been quite a while since I have posted, BUT I got some good news!! I just found a BUY ONE GET ONE FREE dealio at coastal.com=) =) Whether you need some new specs like myself or some sunnies for the sunshiny summer days, this is quite the dealio!  And just in case you were wondering, Coastal and I have nothing going on together,… I really wish we did actually cause I

So if you want that twofer, or perhaps buy a pair for you and one for… oh let’s say FATHER’S DAY,  just got to coastal.com and type in the COUPON CODE TWO4YOU  at checkout !!(some designer frames & exclusions apply)

>>>Did I mention that includes FREE SHIPPING =)

–Keep me posted on what styles you pick out and/or post a picture in the comment section =)

A couple of pairs I picked out in the past….

Derek Cardigan 7012 Blackout

coastal.2

Kam Dhillon 3068 Cathi Havana 

(pictured in my “About” page)

Shine on,

K.B =)

D.I.Y. Personalized Memory Game & My Favorite Nephew turns 1!!!

22 Mar

Good Morning!

My favorite nephew, Maxwell, is turning one! (tomorrow =) =)!!

DSC05451

m7

So exciting and yet even though he is rather advanced for his age (literally the kid started walking at 9 months–crazyness) he obviously is not able to say too many words quite yet…  However, I would not put it past him to start learning more words and names sooner than most, so I thought I would make him a personalized Memory Game with pictures of the family to help him learn the most important peeps =)

Not only is a personalized memory game a great way for youngsters to familiarize themselves with family, it’s made with love  and affordable. Another bonus in my situation, the Memory Game was one of my sister’s favorite games growing up so it will be fun for the both of them =)

jamie & kel 3

Ready to make your own Personalized Memory Game? Check out the attachment below with instructions and pictures!

What you will need:

8.5 x 11 scrapbook paper (one fancy side, one white side). The pieces of paper depends on the amount of memory cards to be made. Four 3.5 x 3.5 individual cards fit on one sheet (or two matching pairs)

-family photos saved onto you computer

-scissors

printer with ink (colored or black and white ink depending on preference)

-laminating paper (amount depends on # of memory cards in the game)

INSTRUCTIONS

D.I.Y Memory Game Instructions

FREE MEMORY GAME LABELS PRINTABLES

Memory Game Labels

Final Product

 game 3

game 4

game 5

game 6

Want More Maxwell pics, duh =) Check out his partay!

maxwell collage

m5

Want more crafting action?!  Check out my sister’s blog at C.R.A.F.T!

Happy Gifting & Happy Happy Birthday Boy Max!!!

Kelley =)

Image

Lemon Artichoke Salmon

7 Feb

salmon1

 

Another Pinvestigation success recipe that was discovered at The Healthy Maven. Although we can’t always trust everything we see pinned on pininterest, you are good to go with this meal (even with all my substitutions I had to make). The only thing I would of done is add some more artichoke hearts, but only because i looove them =) I also had to cook the salmon for about 23-25 minutes, but obviously cook time will depend on the thickness of your fillets.

Ingredients

  • 2 salmon fillets or about 1/2 lbs of  wild caught salmon<< so yummy when wild!
  • 1 Tbs olive oil (to be honest, i’m not into dirtying up utensils when it comes to stuff like olive oil.. I just swirled some into the bowl
  • lemon juice  (i just squeezed a lemon over my fresh fillet then cut up the remainder into some circular slices to place on top of fillet while baking
  • 1 Tbs white wine vinegar (I only had regular white vinegar, whoops>> still yummy)
  • 2 green onions chopped up (save some greens to sprinkle on top when serving!)
  • 1 garlic clove or minced (saldly, I didn’t realized I was out of garlic, so I had to sub in some garlic powder
  • 3 artichoke hearts, chopped (I used canned)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1.  Combine olive oil, lemon, vinegar, onions, garlic and artichoke into a bowl, then stir.
  2. Place fish fillets on an individual piece of foil  large enough to create a bowl shape around them ( preferably on a baking dish to catch any leakage), dash with salt & pepper to taste and distribute your olive oil marinade equally over each
  3. Close foil packet, place in fridge, let marinate for 1 hr (I was pretty hungry, so I only waited 30 minutes, but it was still yummy)
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Open foil packets so top of fillets are exposed in oven & bake salmon packets that are in the baking dish   for 15 mins or until inside is no longer pink (mine took around 23 – 25 minutes)
  6. Remove from oven and garnish with remaining green onions. Serve warm & Enjoy!!

psst. (don’t forget to take off the fish skin if you bought wild caught salmon =)

I hope you enjoy this dish and let me know yours thoughts!

Happy Cooking,

Kelley B.

 

12 Tips That Save Time & Money When Changing Your Last Name!

11 Jan

name

I believe Congratulations are in order if you are checking this post out =)

 Or if you are new & just visiting, Hi!!!

       The husband and I tied the knot on 5-10-14, but I am only just now getting around to changing my name! The process was a bit better than I eexpected because I got some helpful pointers from the seester & with her experienced insight, I discovered some additional time and money saving tips along the way. Once you have noted these helpful tips, go visit my sister’s blog (link below) for the nitty gritty instructions !

TIME AND MONEY SAVING TIPS!

1) You can make an appointment at the social security office (in most places), but you need to call ahead  of time (no online scheduling) to do so. It feels great when you walk into the social security office with a minimum of 20 people waiting in line and you head straight to the front!!

2) You can fill out your social security form online for your legal name change (form SS-5) , than print and bring to your appointment

3) At some post offices (like mine), you can make an appointment to RENEW/ UPDATE your passport! Remember, once you change your legal name on your driver’s license you can’t travel with your passport that has your maiden name on it out of the country.

4) You can fill out the application form for your passport online or print the form (The form is called DS-82 & fill in with black ink only). NOTE: when filling out the form online, you CANNOT actually submit the form online)

5) If you are RENEWING/UPDATING a previous passport, you DO NOT HAVE TO PAY THE PASSPORT FEE FOR A NAME NAME CHANGE  IF you do so in the same year you were married (at least in Texas, different states may have different laws). However, some places charge your a processing fee which is not waived. (passport fee= $110 in savings!)

6) If you don’t want to bother with the passport office or pay the processing fees (I saved $25 here) & remember this only applies if you are renewing/updating passport, fill out the form (online &/or print see Tip #4) & MAIL IT IN YOURSELF (make sure to follow the instructions on the form very carefully or they government will cash your check and say SORRY-  you messed up your form)!!.
 
       For instance, you must write your full NEW name on your check and date of birth (I had never been asked to do that before), along with stapling an updated passport pic and check to the form.  You will also have to mail in your Marriage License or a CERTIFIED COPY (this is the case whether you mail it in yourself or go to the post office, ect).  I mailed a certified copy because it’s not super easy to go get another copy from Canada).
 
7) I was  told by my friendly County Tax motor vehicle division window attendant, that it is not imperative for you to change your name on your car title (in Texas)… Allegedly you can wait up until  the point when you sell the car and just sign a simple form at that point with a copy of your marriage certificate in hand  (however, this did come from somebody punching the time clock at a government office). So if you don’t have a lot of time, I guess you can put this on the bottom of the list or just not do it.
 
8) Don’t forget in addition to going down to the social security office and DMV to change your name, there are MANY other places you need to consider:  vehicle registration, school/university, IRS, voter registration, passport, bank notification, investment account (Roth IRA, ect), frequent flyer miles, credit cards, insurance (health, house, auto) and any national certification you hold that requires you to keep a current license (e.g. registered nurse, dietician, ect). With this being said, you can’t change any of the things listed above without changing you social security card and driver’s license first!
 
9) If you do have a profession such as nursing where you have to continually renew your license, you besta contact them Pronto! For example in my case, “The Texas Board of Nursing {Texas Administrative Code 217.7)states that all nurses/applicants for licensure shall notify the board in writing within ten days of a change of name and or address by submitting a legal document reflecting this name change and/or providing the new address with his or her license number. They technically could suspend your license if you don’t do so =  can’t work = no paycheck =  not cool
 
10)  You can take a quiz  to suggest what exactly you should change your last name to based on your personality (hyphen it, take his, keep both, ect) I didn’t go with exactly what my quiz results suggested, but they made some good points.
 
11) A creative way to take your husband’s last name and keep your own…  have two middle names, your original and then put your maiden name after that (I didn’t hyphenate them either, just two separate  middle names). I mean some people have two first names, seems reasonable that anybody can have two middle names, at least I do now =) So I’m officially Kelley B O U C H A R D, but my full name (which how often do you really even sign that) technically consist of four names. Oh and if you plan on doing this, the social security officer told me there are only 16 spaces on the form for your middle name, so if you have a long maiden and middle name you will have to think of something even more creative!
 
12) Once you got these quick tip, head over to my sister’s blog for some detailed instructions on the last name change at C.R.A.F.T
Other things I considered when deciding on my new legal married name …
-I wanted the exact same last name as any future kiddos!
-I have been a Smith for 20+ years and wasn’t ready to completely part with it
-In Montreal where I got married, the women keep their maiden name and don’t take their husband’s name at all (interesting eh, I think I’ll keep mine too!
 I was also somewhat nervous about completely dropping Smith because I have lots of stuff in just my maiden name (house, car, IRAs,  EVERYTHING) so I just felt if I completely peaced it out it could potentially cause me some issues (whether or not that really be the case, i’m don’t know)
 
Oh and I do have a quick question for anybody with an answer… If you bought a house by yourself prior to getting married and the mortgage is in your maiden name, does this really need to be changed to? If so, what is the easiest way?!?
 
I hope this helps and if you have any other tips or places I should be changing my name,please let me know! I would also be very interested to hear how and what you decided to change your married name to !
Cheers!
Kel =).
 
psst: If ya want to check out some photos from my Montreal Wedding, click this way! Oh & if you just got engaged, check out the BEST PLACES TO REGISTER  =)
 
 

Favorite Things in 2014

2 Jan

fave

Happy Happy New Year!

Today I wanted to share some of my favorite things from 2014. The list isn’t in any special order, but rather all the things that I love and/or use everyday of my life

So, here are just a few of my favorite things  in 2014=)

1) Spotify: I ❤ this music app and my ipod has officially gone extinct!

2)Wireless bluetooth speaker>> I own the Fluance because it was cheaper than the Bose but still had awesome reviews (I’m sure the Bose one is niice too). I hook the speaker up to my spotify app on my phone and jam out on a regular basis around the house !

3) Roku: this year we cancelled are ridiculous cable bill along with the bazillion channels we never watched and scored the Roku. This little device is a simple way to stream all your other favorite apps: Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO, Showtime, ESPN ect.

4) Keurig: one of my favorite wedding presents (thanks, Jordan). Although I love me some french pressed coffee, you can’t beat the ease and convience of the Keurig. Especially when you intend on only making one cup of coffee

5) Mizuno Wave  Inspire 10: I picked up these little gems on cyber monday for $58.33 and they are the lightest pair of running shoes I have worn yet. I wear them almost everyday and do not regret my purchase for a second!

6) Amazon Prime: between the speedy free shipping (on most purchases), shows and movies we watch from amazon via the Roku, I don’t know how we ever lived without this fabulous service. You can literally find, watch or buy just about anything you ever wanted and all from the comfort of your home –yay!

7) Walgreen Photo Center (& app): So I know everybody else might not share their love for Walgreens photo center like I do, but I am scrapbooker at heart and I love their speedy prints, discounts and simple personalized projects and photobooks . Check out how to make a quick and easy photo book here. Their current photo discount today is an extra 15% off everything. Also don’t forget to download their photo app so you can send those pics you snapped from your phone to be printed up in an hour =)

EXTRA 15% OFF w/code CHEERS15.* Excludes store pickup orders. Free shipping at $25. Shop now.

8) Weather Tech (car floor liners): we bought a new car this year  and these things have really come in handy. Whether that gallon of milk accidentally spills or just overtime dirt and grass accumulate, you just pick these bad boys up out of the car, hose them down and your done. I can only imagine how wonderful these things would be if you were toting around kids all day.

9) The Vitamix: I know I know, it seems crazy to spend a minimum of $ 370+ on a blender and it took me a while to f jump that hurdle, but I don’t regret it. Between all the protein shakes and smoothies I drink, this thing gets daily use with professional grade smoothie action. Besides making a delishes Jamba Juice quality drinks, The vitamix can also make: peanut butter (other nut batters), frozen deserts, aid in food prep, flours (e.g almond flour), dough ect. The Vitamix also comes with 5-7 year full warranty (depending on model). You could always purchase yours at bed bath and beyond with those frequent 20% off coupons that are always being sent in the mail (that’s what I did =)



10) The Kendra Scott Birthday Discount: I just wanted to share with the world that during your birthday month, the Kendra Scott store gives you 50% off one item (must show your i.d & sign up for their mailing list). I sprung for the Rayne Necklace in Tiger’s eye=)

tiger's eye

11) Hotwire: The hubster and I never pay full price for any hotel (or trip) these days. Not only that, you can set up specific alerts and hotwire will email you about the dealios. Our latest spontaneous weekend trip,  included 90$ flights to New Orleans and just under $100 room fair at at four star hotel>>> SCORE

eric & kelley 1

12) The Cortex 4-in-1 Curling Wand: The cortex 4 -in-1 is a great clipless curling wand because it comes with 4 different size barrels that attach and detach- GENIOUS! The best part for me is that the curls actually stay all day long unlike most other product I have tried and of course it takes up less storage space =)

Fahrenheit Professional 4-piece Ceramic Clipless Curling Iron Set

13): Dahlia Divin Perfume: This stuff just smells fabulous, end of story=)

14) BiBi & Compagnie Chapelier (a hat store): While I was honeymooning in Quebec City, I found the ultimate hat store and my favorite honeymoon souvenir=) I especially loved the little old couple who owned the shop and if you ever need a fancy or fun hat, you should check out their website! I still have that Kentucky Derby I need to check off the old bucket list & I know where I’ll be purchasing my hat!

hat store

So, those are a few of my favorite things in 2014, tell me what yours are!!!

favorite things in 2014!!

Whoop for 2015!

K.B

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