Christmas Wrap-Up

The Kost family Christmas Wrap-up (Ha!). We made a family day trip to Coeur d’ Alene, ID. It is a two hour drive from home and so worth it. They offer a holiday night light cruise to the North Pole. The cruise is only 20$ for adults and free for kids under 5. The trip lasts 30 minutes in total which is perfect for a restless toddler. As the boat leaves the dock the entire boardwalk is covered in holiday lights. The Grinch was on the dock shaking his booty and making faces at the kiddos, to this day Hudson still tells everyone that will listen about it.

The staff is dressed as Santa’s elves. You can grab a hot toddy or apple cider while you wait to see Santa. Once you arrive at the North Pole, (you stay on the boat), Santa greets the kiddos and reads the names on the “Nice List.” As the boat pulls away from the dock the entire shore lights up and fireworks are set off. It was perfect! Next time, we will stay at the resort, they offer many cruise and room packages. It was a LOOOOONG day for such a quick boat ride. Hudson had a great time until the fire works, some tears were shed. Ooops!

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We had a wonderful Holiday.Husby was lucky enough to have vacation time to be with us over Christmas. We spent most of our days in pajamas watching cartoons or Christmas movies, drinking gallons of coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for the little) snuggled up on our couch.

However, it wasn’t feeling much like Christmas around here, it was oddly warm with no snow in sight. But but to our surprise we woke up Christmas morining to a winter wonderland.Hudson (and I), could NOT contain our excitement.  We had to at least play in it for a few minutes before presents.

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We unwrapped presents and had breakfast with my family. My Dad came over later to spend the day with us too. Later we all changed into new pajamas to go to my mom’s for dinner. We ended the evening with pie and a movie, Four Christmases, one of my favorites.

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Hudson had so much fun opening presents, once he figured out how to rip into them it was non-stop. He kept asking to open more presents and had a tiny meltdown when there were no more under the tree. The day after was spent in a walk-in clinic, Hudson hadn’t been acting like him self. Low and behold he has a double ear infection. I am hoping he will be better for the New Year’s Eve.

Merry Christmas and onto the Happy New year!

Christmas Eve Eve!!

With Christmas Eve tomorrow we have been doing some fun crafting and Christmas related fun! This is my FAVE time of year, I love everything about it and all of December is solely Christmas around here! We of course did the annual drive around to check out Christmas lights and Harper just thinks all the pretty lights are SO COOL! Especially the blow up Mickey, Minnie and Olaf that are in the neighborhood! We had to wear our matching Christmas shirts too which made this outing that much better!

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We never get family pics because we rarely have anyone to take one of the three of us so this year I was gonna make it happen…with every intention of getting Chrismas cards made…go figure I didn’t get around to doing that (I’M SO BAD!!) But anyway I love the way they ALL turned out and am gonna get a bunch framed so at least I have that 😉 We just went down to the lake in town on day that wasn’t freezing and I had a friend take some, here are a few of my faves.

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I skipped taking the Harpster to see Santa last year because I knew she either could care less or would be scared, plus we were super busy with wedding prep so this was the year. 🙂 I wasn’t sure how she’d do, literally had no idea but didn’t think it would go well, she’s quite the mama and daddy’s girl right now. She loves Mickey’s Twice upon a Christmas right now and says Santa when he comes on so that was my tad bit of hope! The Santa here was awesome to say the least and his helper Elf was just as amazing! The lady grabbed her and was talking to her, let her play with her light up necklace & she was all smiles already! Handed off to Santa went just as smooth! She was a little iffy but we got some good smiles and all was good!

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Lucky girl even left with a candy cane, cookie and reindeer horns!! She was so proud walking out of the mall 😉

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One of my friends got us a Gingerbread house kit for an early Christmas gift and again, I had an idea of how this was gonna go with an almost two year old but it was entertaining and fun to watch her help me decorate! I put the house together and made sure it was good and dry before letting her help, she thought it was the best thing ever, having candy in dishes right in front of her and definitely ate more pieces than she put on the house or cookies 🙂 (as I had expected) hehe!

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Next on to a Christmas craft, I looked on Pinterest and found this cute idea of a Rudolph with her handprints. She thought it was the funniest thing in the world I was painting her hand and giggled the whole time we were doing this. How cute is this little chubby brown hand?!

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So you just put a handprint on the paper, then flip it and do one more, then I had her put white fingerprint snow in the sky, covered with glitter, (because everything is better with glitter), 4 black fingerprints for the hoofs and glue on a red nose, eye, and a jingle bell! I used a rhinestone for the eye and a button for the nose but you can really use anything you can find or even paint them on too! Of course with a toddler this couldn’t go perfectly smooth with no mess & after I put the glitter on she picked up the bottle and dumped the whole thing in one second but hey, I guess the kid just loves glitter as much as her mama? 😉

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Here’s how our finished product turned out! I’m in love and for sure gonna stick this in a frame to bring out on display every Christmas!

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I’ll leave you with a couple pics of us in the matching shirts I told you about in my Christmas gift post! Happy Christmas Eve Eve! I hope you all have the best holiday yet!

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Mommy’s Christmas Wishlist

This time a year my husband is constantly asking me what I want for Christmas. I usually have a certain item I have been waiting for all year. But I am going a different way, I don’t want a gift to unwrap or one that he has to wonder all over town trying to find. This year I would like Favors….better yet acts of kindness. So here it goes, follow along husbands, I am sure I am not the only one that would LOVE these favors...

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Sleep In. I do not recall the last time I slept in. In my adult life I have always been a morning person. But for this request I would say its more be left alone for an hour after Hudson wakes up. I try to wake up a couple hours before Hudson may or may not wake up, he is no consistent with his wake up, for this quiet time. So by sleep in I mean let me sleep to a decent hour and entertain Hudson for me…I will even take 30 minutes of quiet. 

Grocery Shop Alone. I have dreams of shopping alone. Seriously!? I would love to walk the isles without having to grab a sucker to entertain a toddler or pick up a car that was dropped for the hundredth time. I go to the store almost daily because I forgot something while trying to rush the day before. Just the idea makes my heart sing…

Eat an entire meal while seated. I don’t even get to do this at home. Most often I am trying to toss things on Hudson’s plate so I can eat my dinner. Get up to grab him more….or trade a spoon for a fork than back again. I would like to be able to sit for my entire meal…preferably while it is still hot.

Watch a movie.  An non-animated movie. A dumb romantic comedy would be perfect. I don’t mind Kid’s movies but cannot remember the last time we watched one that wasn’t. I am trying to think of one that has been recently released and cannot think of one. We are in desperate need of a real movie….Suggestions!?

At home Date NightI would love to combine my above request with this one. It seems much easier and way more enjoyable. Comfy jammies and my own couch, snuggled up with Husby. We can have dinner, a few drinks, and enjoy a non-animated movie. Plus, a quick walk upstairs to bed. Perfection! (Even better if Husby does bedtime, while I make a drink.)

Another baby. Why because babies are like a drug. I am addicted. I am tired, hungry and living in chaos most of the time. So why not take another hit….Please.

What would be on your non-gift wish list?

Cooking for Days…Round 2

Hey friends here is my round two recipes for nap-time bulk cooking! I am able to get most of the cooking and prep done during Hudson’s nap. He usually sleeps for 2+ hours which is more than enough time to brown meat or boil soup, let cool and place in freezer bags.

The first is classic comfort food for any Montana girl, Beef Stew with Potatoes and Carrots. This is one of my all time favorite meals, Husby too. I LOVE it as a make ahead frozen meal, its hearty and so perfect for cold winter night.

Beef Stew

1.5 lbs of beef stew

1 box of Pacific beef broth

1 yellow onion, quartered

4 russet potatoes, cubed

1 qt of  cremini mushrooms, quartered

4-5 carrots, peeled and cut to preferred size

1 packet beef stew seasoning

2 sprigs of fresh Thyme

  1. Brown stew meat, salt and pepper to taste
  2. Add uncooked onions, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms to the freezer bag.
  3. Pour half the beef broth into the bag with the seasoning packet
  4. Add cooled, cooked meat to the bag, seal and freeze flat

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If you are going to eat one batch the day of prep a quick gravy from the drippings would be heaven. A gravy is possible later but only if there is enough liquid in the crock pot. If so add a little flour and butter to a pan, make a quick roux and add the liquid from the crock pot to the roux. Stir continually until smooth and thickened. Cook all ingredients until potatoes and carrots are fork tender.

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Make sure to write thawing and cooking instructions on the bag. Also, I make enough for Jordan to take back to work with him. The instructions ensure he knows how to make it without calling or texting me a billion time. I also like to double bag any freezer meal,  just in case there is a rip or tear in the bag I can’t see right away.

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Second is, chicken tortilla soup, it is really inexpensive to double and freeze for a later date.  I really enjoy it for lunch, with all the mix-ins it’s very filling. Also, since it is not a cream based soup its a healthy lunch choice. Just be careful how many tortilla chips you use….half a bag is a bit too much…..speaking from experience. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 rotisserie or leftover chicken

½ White onion, chopped

1  32 oz box of Organic Low sodium Chicken stock

1 one can of diced tomatoes

1 can of black beans, rinsed

1 can of diced green chilies

½ bag of frozen organic sweet corn

1 packet of taco seasoning

3 cloves of garlic , minced or pressed

1 bunch of  fresh cilantro

2 ripe avocados, sliced

  1. Shred chicken, avoid using the skin. Place in a heavy bottomed pot, add chopped onions, seasoning pack and garlic. Cook on medium heat, until onions and garlic are caramelized.
  2. Add half  the box of chicken stock, all three cans of tomatoes, black beans and green chilies.
  3. Add additional chicken stock if more juice is desired.
  4. Add half the bag of frozen corn. Bring soup to a boil for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve hot with sour cream, cheese, chopped cilantro, slices of avocados and tortilla chips.

What are your favorite make ahead meals?

Happy Cooking Friends!

Cooking for Days…

I don’t know about you but I know I struggle on a regular basis to have lunch or dinners ready or on hand. Dinner time rolls around and I am scrambling to find something to make. I have found it easiest to do one day of bulk cooking. I make a giant pot of soup, refrigerate part of it and freeze the rest for a later date. It makes life much easier. I do meal plan, some days are fresh quick meals and on days we are busy I use my back up freezer meals.  They are really helpful when Hudson is STARVING...and latched to my leg in the kitchen, I  can pull out an on hand meal.

I have also found freezer meals handy when Hudson is sick or I don’t feel like cooking while Jordan is home. Most of the time I can get one or two done during a nap time which is great. It doesn’t always work out nicely but Hudson likes to help stir or just sit on the counter while I finish up. I have also done 12 meals it took most of a day but was so worth it later. On those days I enlist my sisters or mom to help with Hudson.

Yesterday I was able to make two soups for lunch or dinner. If you use them for dinner I would add a sandwich or salad to be more filling. During the winter months soups are my go-to for lunch but sometimes dinner. The first was from my FAVORITE morning show and second is my own recipe.

Tomato and Roasted Vegetable Soup, it was super easy and all the vegetables are so tasty after roasting. I would recommend vegetable stock instead of chicken stock to thin the soup out. I only had chicken stock so I used it but the soup tastes more like chicken then vegetables which was kind of a bummer.

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In addition to the tomato soup I made my Spicy sausage, kale and butternut squash soup. This one is so EASY!

Sausage, Kale Butternut Squash soup 

1 container of store bought plain Butternut Squash soup, I use the organic boxed brand Pacific
1 lb of breakfast sausage pork or turkey, I use spicy pork sausage.
1 bunch of Kale, shopped
4 leaves of fresh Sage, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon of dry sage
1 package Parmesan cheese
1 box chicken stock, Low Sodium Pacific brand too.
Salt and pepper each step. I use more pepper than salt.
1. Chop Kale let it marinate in a cup or two of chicken stock while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. I would recommend about 20-30 mins of marinating but not necessary.
2. Pour soup into saucepan and warm
3. Brown sausage on low to medium heat,Add chopped kale. cook until it begins to wilt, add a splash of chicken stock, the steam will help it wilt faster.
4. Stir in dry sage, minced garlic and fresh sage. Until you can start to smell them slightly. Garlic should be golden brown and sage should be slightly browned.
5. Drain sausage, add to the warmed soup. Bring the heat up until the soup begins to boil slightly.
6. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve with a side salad.
If you browned the sausage, you could toss everything in the slow cooker for the flavor to marinate all day. You could double everything and freeze one in a gallon freezer bag. Let it cool completely before putting in the bag, lay flat to freeze to save space.
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I have more recipes of bulk nap time cooking. I will share in a couple days once I get the measurements and recipes perfected. I hope these recipes can help you stay sane during your busy week!
Happy Cooking Friends!

 

Root Mineral Makeup

So recently I was in the running to become one of 10 models to represent the Root makeup company and was chosen!! I figured I’d share the love and let all of you in on this greatness! I found this makeup line (made in Waverly, IA) less than a year ago & since have bought basically every product made! This is an ALL NATURAL, Vegan line that uses NO fillers like so many others, only minerals! Being a busy Mama, makeup isn’t the first thing on my to-do list, however I like feeling put together without the hassle of sitting in front of a mirror for an hour. Also being all natural is huge for me, especially when it comes to balms and lipsticks, I don’t want to be putting toxins into my baby girl when giving her kisses! Recently I read you shouldn’t put anything on your face you wouldn’t eat…think about that the next time you put on your makeup…those toxins sink right into your body.

Let’s talk Pearl Powder for a moment. The coverage of this foundation is completely flawless and lasts all day until washed off. It’s also so light you can’t tell you even have anything on! I really have never used anything like this. I sometimes add a few drops of water to some powder in the lid of the jar to make an even more full coverage liquid makeup as well! You can even buy small sample jars for just $2 to find your color before buying a full size! Here’s a great guide to find your perfect color! Below are some different looks and links to what I’m wearing 🙂 Follow me on Instagram @rootprettychristine for more looks and upcoming deals! This team is making new products almost daily and just came out with some FAB lipsticks that I’m so in love with!

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Here I’m wearing Pretty Booster Medium as well as my Pearl Powder foundation shade 4+6 custom mix, light bronze and Posey as blush. Eyes I used In the Navy as a liner and shadow and lined under eye with Diamond shadow and applied the FABULOUS new Root 100% natural, vegan mascara, the only mascara I will EVER wear again. Also wearing Gossip Pretty Balm. (These tinted balms are amazing you guys)

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This look was achieved using Pretty Booster Medium again, Pearl Powder 4+6 mix, Light Bronzer and Posey blush on my face, then to give those eyes a pop I used Posey on my lids over a liner of Black Beauty, applied wet and Diamond under my eye as a highlighter, also applied wet! Before applying Root mascara I always dust my face with Setting Silk which gives everything a good set as well as eliminates that dewy look that can happen throughout the day! On my lips I’m wearing Gossip Pretty Balm.

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Here’s a good shot of how amazing this mascara is!! It really is the best EVER guys! It’s really light so it doesn’t weigh your lashes down and is water resistant too! GET SOME! And last but not least, here’s a special for all of you!

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Use code rootchristine at Root checkout to get a FREE eyeshadow! I hope you check this stuff out and love it as much as I do! Don’t forget to follow @rootprettychristine on IG for more deals and new products!  XoXxO

25 Days of Christmas

We have not made many family traditions really at all. We have spent most holidays traveling to this house to see this person and then on to the next.  We were only HOME for a few days and had to see everyone. Or Jordan was deployed. After Hudson arrived my desire for our own family holiday traditions was at an all time high. Our first Christmas he was only a month old. Jordan was in Washington while Hudson and I were in Montana. The second all the family wanted to see Hudson open gifts so we drove all over. But now, we live close to all our family and friends we can make traditions as a  tiny family of four, we cant forget Jackson. Hudson is at the perfect age to start our own thing. The only issue is  at 2 many of  activities have to be instant gratification. However, they are for the whole family. I hope you get some good ideas for your family!

25 days of Christmas

  1.  Decorate the house (tree, lights, stockings)
  2. Watch Twice Upon a Mickey Christmas, it has proven to be a good one for Hudson.
  3. Make Snowman Soup, hot cocoa
  4. Happy Birthday Daddy! Give him his birthday gift
  5. Take a picture with Santa
  6. Parade of Lights in Downtown Missoula
  7. Jammies all day, Bake sugar cookies and decorate
  8. Deliver goodies to family members
  9. Christmas music dance party
  10. Read the Polar Express
  11. Make dog treats for the neighbors
  12. Take toys and clothing to the Women’s Shelter
  13. Make popcorn and watch  ELF as a family
  14. Go see Reindeer at Murdoch’s
  15. How the Grinch Stole Christmas play date
  16. Make bubble Santa Beards at bath time
  17. Make Christmas bark
  18. Watch a Christmas movie with Peppermint Sundaes
  19. Make Snow Cream
  20. Build a Snowman
  21. Take a  night drive to see the Christmas Lights
  22. Picnic by the fireplace and read Christmas books
  23. Christmas Craft project; coloring, stickers
  24. Open our Special Christmas Eve gift, jammies, snack and new book
  25.  PJs all Day, Merry Christmas to all!

IMG_20141201_224301 I found my advent calendar at Target. They had a ton of options but you could always make an advent garland from gift tags and clothes pins or a cute felt one. The possibilities are endless!

I hope you incorporate some of our traditions into your families this holiday season. What are your family’s traditions?