Tuesday, November 29, 2011

a few recent things from the kitchen

I have been doing some cooking and baking recently. Its amazing how much more enjoyable it is to be in the kitchen when Baby Girl isn't making me feel nauseous! {I've been feeling so, so much better for about 5 weeks now! whew!}

First of all I made these Orange Cranberry Muffins last week and they were easy & delicious. I don't know about you, but I love orange & cranberry together and recently I've been crazing anything cranberry... don't know if I should blame the baby or just normal holiday cravings? I forgot to take a picture, but definitely check out the above recipe!
One of our all time favorite winter recipes is Taco Soup. My taco soup recipe was given to me at a wedding shower by my sweet childhood babysitter Trisha. She was like part of our family growing up, and is an amazing cook!
Taco Soup
3 Chicken Breasts, Cooked & Shredded (You can also use 1 lb lean ground beef)
1 Can Black Beans, undrained
1 Can Kidney Beans, undrained
1 Can Chili Beans, undrained
1 Can Yellow Corn
1 Small Yellow Onion, finely chopped 
1 Package Dry Taco Seasoning
1 Package Dry Ranch Dressing Mix 

Dump all ingredients into a crock pot (or dutch oven on the stove). Make sure you don't drain beans and use sauce as a base. Add 1 cup of water and stir to combine all ingredients. Leave to simmer in the crock pot all day, or cook 1 hour on the stove. Serve with cheddar cheese & tortilla chips. 
And lastly, I made reindeer cookies! They were the perfect snack for our employees when we decorated Chick-fil-A for Christmas a couple Sundays ago. Oh man, they were so cute {while they lasted!}

I made peanut butter cookies {sugar cookies would have been yummy too!}. Roll cookie dough into balls, pinch 1 side, and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand {it to sort of makes a triangle}. Bake & cool only a couple minutes. Press brown M&M's for eyes, and red ones for a nose. Use mini chocolate covered pretzels for antlers. They turned out adorable & were easy-peasy!

Happy {quick & simple} Holiday Baking!

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

so much to be thankful for

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His love endures forever."
Psalm 118:1

Jay and I have so, so very much to be thankful for this year... like every year! Here is my short, and by no means inclusive, thankful list:

Jay - The most perfect husband for me. We have had another year of life together with lots of work and some challenges and lots to celebrate.
Our Sweet Baby Girl - what an unexpected blessing! Can't wait to meet her in April and to think about this time next year she will be here for her first Thanksgiving!
Family - we seriously have the best family. the best. period. so much love and support... thank you!
Our Chick-fil-A of Waynesboro Family - they are so fun and I am thankful that they care about our Restaurant and the influence that it has in our community. 
Bella - I know it sounds silly, but my sweet dog is such a great friend. She makes us laugh and is is pretty darn cute. 
A day of rest - Our Thanksgiving weekend (much like our sunday's - also something I am thankful for!) is such a great time to rest, and it is always so necessary for our crazy lives.
Jesus - our reason for hope and joy in this season and everyday of the year. Thankful for the freedom that I have to have a relationship with my Lord. 

Happy Thanksgiving friends & family! 

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

a little glimpse of fall in our yard

A few weeks ago in OCTOBER it snowed. To all my fellow southern (wayyy more southern than VA) friends it was wacky! While it was beautiful, I most certainly did not appreciate the freezing interruption to fall.

I did grab a few quick photos of our house during it's first snow {well, first snow of the Hawkins residence}...

Do you see those green trees that were attempting to turn red back there? Well after the rude winter weekend, fall did come back and those trees were breathtaking!

These pictures really don't do these beauties much justice. It looked like there were on fire! Jay and I would daily comment on how beautiful they were.
How amazing is it that God blesses His children with the colors of fall? I truly believe that it is simply a gift because He loves us. Those leaves could just turn from green to brown, but instead we get red and orange and yellow :) 
We have been enjoying our hammock on several fall Sunday afternoons...
And our sweet Bella girl has loved the fall days in her backyard too!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The 20 Week Baby Bump!

I am officially (and as officially as you can guess the exact due date of any baby) 20 weeks pregnant! The halfway mark seems like a huge milestone in my life... probably because I am finally feeling SO much better, and have the energy to actually enjoy being pregnant.

I decided to celebrate the day with taking my first baby bump shots to share with those of you I don't get to see too often.

Baby Girl Hawkins is starting to show herself :)

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meet Gavin!

Introducing my sweet nephew Gavin Christopher Bates is LONG overdue! He is 2 months old! Man times flies. His little cousin will be here before we know it ;)

I took these pictures when Gavin was a little over a month old and took his first road trip to Virginia to visit us! He is such a laid back baby. I keep telling his Mama, Lyndsey, to make sure he tells his cousin to be just like him! haha, but for real we are so excited for our little Baby Hawkins to have her cousin Gavin so close in age. 

We will get to see Gavin again at Thanksgiving, and I know I am going to be shocked at how much he has changed in just a short time!

Also, check out those baby jeans and his little orange football tee... love it! Little Clemson Tiger fan in the making!

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