Try It Tuesday

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You would assume that, seeing as how this is the first Try It Tuesday of the year that you are about to read an uber-healthy post about something delicious and nutritious, sure to help you stay on track with your resolutions, right?

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HA! NOT TODAY!

Today I’m going to share one of my favorite sweet treats (that I actually learned from my sister) and I took to my family’s New Year’s Eve get together! Its called Tiger Butter and its amazing!

Here’s what you need:

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  • 1 bag vanilla chips (11 oz)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

First, line a 9×13 glass pan with parchment paper or foil. I had to use tape to get the parchment paper to stay in place (which was super annoying) but I thought it would work better than foil.
Pour the semi-sweet chocolate chips into a small, glass bowl. Microwave for about a minute and stir gently until smooth. You may need to add a few extra seconds if it didn’t melt all the way. Then, set it aside.

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Next, pour the vanilla chips into a medium-sized glass bowl. Microwave for about a minute and a half. Stir gently until smooth. Add the peanut butter and stir until the mixtures is well combined and there are no lumps.

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Pour the vanilla-peanut butter mixture into the lined pan. It probably won’t reach the edges of the pan–don’t panic! Its totally fine. Once the mixture has settled, pour in the melted semi-sweet chocolate in lines.

After that, take a knife and run it the opposite direction of the chocolate lines you created to achieve a swirl pattern. Swipe your knife through the mixture however many times you want until you achieve the look you prefer!

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Let it cool either on the countertop or in the fridge. When its cooled and firm, cut it into small squares and store in an airtight containerIMG_7415

 

You guys, I could LEGIT eat this whole recipe if I did not exercise EXTREME self-control. Like, for reals. Its just sooooo good! Definitely “Cheat Day”-worthy!

Have you ever tried this before? What did you think? Share in the comments below!

 

 

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! I feel like we haven’t talked in so long! How’ve you been? How was your Christmas? Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, its time to start thinking about how you are going to make 2018 YOUR YEAR! Any plans? Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, I’ve got chu.

I’ve posted about this before, but I’ll do a little recap on how I like to do my resolutions list.

Write out “2018” vertically on a sheet of paper. Then, for the number two, write the two best things that happened in 2017. For the zero, jot down a habit you’d like to break in the new year. The one is for your one wish for 2018 (i.e., health, stability, find love, etc.) and the eight is where you list eight goals you’d like to accomplish over the next twelve months. Need help coming up with ideas? Here’s my list to help you get started!

 

2—The Two Best Things That Happened This Year

 

Adding to My Friends List

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No, I don’t mean on Facebook. I’m talking about real life, yo. This year I’ve really got to know some awesome ladies and have become super close with. It’s just nice to have some gal pals you can commiserate with, laugh with, and swap stories with who totally “get you”.

 

Teaching KidFit

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Last year was my first year teaching at my church’s Mother’s Day Out program. I enjoyed working with the Littles I taught but this year, instead of working in a classroom with the same kids all day, my co-teacher and I decided to shake things up and teach “KidFit” (basically P.E.). It’s so much fun! We get to see all age groups of kids AND we get paid to PLAY. How awesome it that?!

 

 

0–Something You Want to Stop in the New Year

 

Getting Unnecessarily Stressed Out

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Ugh. I do this so much. Something trivial will happen, I’ll freak out, and then later I’ll think: “Wow that really wasn’t a big deal. And now that I’ve had time to think about it, I’m super embarrassed about how I handled it.” This happens to me frequently throughout the day. I want to be more relaxed—especially about stuff that doesn’t really matter—because I think that will add to my (and everyone around me) quality of life. *takes deep, cleansing breath*

 

1—My One Wish for 2018

 

Health

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Last year I saw so many people I know and care for come down with terrible sicknesses and diagnoses. My wish for the New Year is health—for me, my family, my friends, and acquaintances.

 

8—Eight Goals for the New Year

 

Get Down to Pre-Huff the Tot Weight

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This has pretty much been a goal since I gave birth to HtT…four years ago.

 

Find a Literary Agent

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Again, this has been a goal of mine for YEARS. Last year, I may have sat down to work on my book and find an agent ONCE. O-N-C-E. I really want to become a published author with a literary agent, so I’ve got to actually TRY.

 

Practice Banjo Everyday

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For our anniversary last year, Huff the Hubs got me a banjo! I’m super excited about learning and I’ve been doing lessons now for about three months. As you can imagine, it’s hard to accomplish anything when you’ve got two little ankle biters running amok, so my practice times have been few and far between (especially with the holidays). But, it’s the time for resolutions and I’m ready to stick to this one!

 

Be Consistent with Tot School

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I’m prayerfully considering homeschool my turkeys. For many reasons, of which I won’t bore you with now. I have basically two years to decide whether or not it will be the avenue our family will take, so I’m trying to get a glimpse of what it would be like by creating—and sticking to—lesson plans for Tot School. This is a BIG goal of mine for 2018!

 

Wake Before the Kids

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This is a constant goal. I want to wake before the kids so I can workout, shower, read a devotional, eat breakfast, and pretty much get my head in the game before, as Huff the Hubs calls it, “The Krakens awaken”, ha!

 

Read One Book a Month

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Last year I read two books. TWO. FREAKING. BOOKS. That’s it. My sister has read NINE in the past two weeks. Yeah. If I want to be a better writer, I’ve got to be a better reader. This means I need to read so I can learn from other writers I enjoy (and even some I dislike)!

 

Blog Consistently

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The holidays really threw off my groove. I felt like I was doing okay with blogging and then bam! Thanksgiving hit and it was all downhill. I want to blog more consistently; even if folks don’t read what I post, it’s a great outlet for me!

 

Save More Money

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When Christmas came around, I sadly saw my checking account was not as plentiful as I had hoped. Why? Because, Target Dollar Spot. And Chick-Fil-A. And Starbucks’ cake pops. And Chick-Fil-A. And Chick-Fil-A. (Seeing a pattern?) I’ve made up a personal savings plan for myself (I even made a spreadsheet in Excel, woot!) and I intend to make it rain…in the safety of my account.

 

What about you? What are your resolutions? Share in the comments below!

Try It Tuesday

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We’re three days into the new year, how ya doin’ with your resolutions? What?! ALREADY? Come on, guys! Jk, jk… I know its tough to stick to resolutions. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips, tricks, and apps to help you stick with it!

One thing that has helped me in the past to actually keep my resolutions was to stop calling them resolutions. Instead, I call them goals. It may sound simple (and a little trite) but it honestly took some of the pressure off and made me want to achieve them even more.

 

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The next thing I do is make a plan. Benjamin Franklin said, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail” and boy, did that kite-flying Founding Father know what he was talking about! Saying, “I’m going to exercise three times a week” is a great goal, but do you know how you’re going to accomplish it?

“Well, no, I’m just going to do it.”

Yeah, well, hate to break it to ya but you’re “just going to fail”.

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When do you want to workout? In the morning so you’ll get it over with or in the evening to help you de-stress? Pick a time a stick with it. What kind of exercise are you going to do? For how long? Make a plan, get organized, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it. (There are a lot of great resources out there to help you get fit. Personally, I really like Jillian’s 30 Day Shred to kick off the new year. Its only 20 minutes a day and it works!)

People make all kinds of resolutions and have a hard time sticking with them because of lack of accountability. But, thanks to technology, you can have accountability right at your fingertips! There are many apps that can help you plan and achieve your goals! I’ve blogged about some in the past, but here are a few new ones:

 

HabitBull

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Have a lot of goals this year and don’t feel like having a ton of apps to help you keep track? HabitBull is basically a “catch all” for your goals. You set the goals, determine when it is considered successful, and track your progress! I downloaded this app and its pretty awesome!

 

Elevate

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Do you want to strengthen your memory or increase your focus in 2017? There’s an app for that, too! Elevate is a daily “mind-strengthening” app filled with games designed to help you focus and train your brain! After all, if you’re going to get your body in shape, might as well work on the ole noggin, too!

Gratitude 365

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Want to be more positive in the new year? You should definitely try it! Studies show that by being grateful for the things we have, we improve our immune system, lowers anxiety, and even makes our hearts healthier! The Gratitude Journal 365 app is an awesome way to keep track of the things you’re thankful for. You can add photos to your lists, password protect your journal and back them up to your computer so you can print them later!

 

You may say, “That’s great and all, Jess, but my New Year’s Resolution is to spend less time on my phone.” I’ve got an answer for THAT, too–the K Safe.

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The K Safe (aka, The Kitchen Safe) is a time locked container that you drop your phone, TV/gaming remotes, cookies, candy–whatever it is that is tempting you–into for a specific amount of time.  Once you’ve placed the tempting item into the safe, set the timer, and go about your business. There’s no way to hack into the safe until the timer counts down to zero, so there’s no way to cheat! If you’d rather not spend the $49.95, you can always make your own version like I did! (Mine only cost $2.50!)

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What are you hoping to accomplish in the new year? What do you do to make it happen? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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Happy New Year!

Typically I do an end of the year wrap-up blog post before the new year, but the holiday season is basically one long whirlwind of cheese, get-togethers, and mad dashes to Walmart for things you forgot. Hence, today’s post.

I don’t think I’m saying anything new when I tell you that 2016 was rough. Between everyone being stressed out about the election; not being able to state your opinion without being flogged by keyboard judge, jury, and executioners; the many attacks across our nation and the world; the loss of musicians, actors, writers and public figures we grew up with; and people losing dear family members and friends, I was not sad to see 2016 go.

BUT…

Last year was also a great year. So many great things happened to the Huffman clan:

 

We welcomed our newest addition!

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I became a SAHM (who works two days a week).

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I firmly believe leaving my full-time job of five years was the best decision for our family. Has it been easy? Oh hecks naw! Has it always been a blast? Hahahahahahaha! No. But has it been worth it? Abso-freaking-lutely! I love my kiddos and I’m so glad I get to spend this time with them. I truly feel like I am being molded and shaped into a new person. These adorable little turkeys are teaching me what real love is, patience, self-control, and to not sweat the small stuff.

 

Huff the Tot is Potty-Trained!

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Y’all, potty training was an interesting road we traveled down this year. It was exhausting, overwhelming, time-consuming, and I thought it might break me a time or two. But Huff the Tot is FINALLY potty-trained! It is such a glorious feeling to only have one diaper to change! Don’t get me wrong–the kid still wears a diaper at nap time and bedtime–but she regularly takes herself to the bathroom and hasn’t had an accident in WEEKS! That was a huge weight lifted this year!

And, there were several other great things that happened in 2016! Don’t believe me? Just watch:

What were your favorite moments from last year? Share in the comments below!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1….

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Its that time of year again, folks!

That time of year when people say they’re going to get fit, get rich, and get organized only to putter out around Valentine’s Day. But don’t worry, I’ve got a way to make your resolutions simple and attainable!

Remember on NYE 2013 when I blogged about how my sister was teaching her fourth grade class about resolutions? No? Then read this. I’ll wait.

You done? Good. Let’s continue…

Here’s what to do.

Write this out on a sheet of paper:

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0

1

6

For the 2: Name the two best things that happened in 2015.

For the 0: Name something you want to STOP doing in the New Year.

For the 1: Your one wish for 2016.

For the 6: Six goals for 2016.
Here’s mine:
The 2 Best Things of 2015:
We Bought a House!
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I had been a long road to buying our first home, but we did it! We lived with my sister, Bridget, for a year and a half and were able to save a 20% down payment! We’ve finally settled in and have *almost* everything finished!
BABIES!
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My newsfeed has been blowing up this year with pictures of positive pregnancy tests and new little ones being brought into the world. I found out I was pregnant in July and my best friend found out she’s pregnant a few months after! Up with babies!
Something I Want to Stop in the New Year:
Putting chores before my kids. 
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Dishes can wait. Laundry can wait. Dusting can wait. You know what can’t wait? My little girl saying, “Momma, come dance with me!” or “Momma, you read dis book to me?” I’ve been really bad lately about trying to just get everything done that I forget that there’s a tiny human that craves and needs a lot of my focus and attention right now. These are precious years I’ll never get back. And, she’s going to have a little brother soon that will also require my time. Chores can wait.
My 1 Wish for 2016:
Health
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This year was filled with so many of my friends and loved ones getting seriously ill. I don’t like it! My wish for 2016 is that my family, friends, and I all have excellent health!
Six Goals for the New Year:
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Workout Consistently
I’ve lost some of my speed and endurance. I’d like to get that back!
Be Able to Live on One Income
Eventually, I’d like to become a SAHM. But I’d like to try living on one income for a while, just to be 100% sure we can do it.
Be Present
So much of my time that I spend with family and friends is consumed with thoughts like, “Okay, let’s get this over with because I need to do A, B, C…” or “I need to check Facebook one more time…” I want to be able to stop the distractions and actually be present. 
De-Clutter
Nothing like moving to show you how much crap you have and how much crap you don’t need. I’ve already started getting things organized for a garage sale next summer!
Save Money
Huff the Hubs and I have a lot of goals for our family and we can’t really do a lot of them unless we watch our spending and save. Now that the holidays are over, hopefully it will be a bit easier!
Travel
We traveled a little this year, but I’d like to take a trip with Huff the Hubs and a family vacation next year. We’ll see if my tune changes once Huff the Babe gets here!
What are your goals for the new year? Have you filled out the “2016” form? What would your’s say? Share in the comments below!

Fan Girl Friday

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Happy Friday, boys and girls! Another end to another week! Kept your resolutions so far? Yes? Good job!

If one of your resolutions was to flaunt your fandom, then today’s FGF is made for you!

 

Even though I’ve only caught two episodes of the Peter Capaldi season, I still consider myself a Doctor Who fan. And when I saw these BEE-YOU-TEE-FULL rings on Etsy, I did the biggest of nerd squeals:

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This “his and hers” wedding set (sterling silver and tungsten carbide bands) are less than $120! For the SET! Perfect for Whovians about to travel the galaxy as Doctor and Companion.

 

Make your bathroom routine more patriotic with this set of Captain America towels!

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This 3-piece towel set is available from the folks over at Think Geek! Perfect to keep your super hero super clean!

 

Bad spellers of the world, UNTIE! (See what I did there?) I love to write—clearly—and I love any kind of accessory that shows that. That’s why I am totes going to buy this adorable purse from ModCloth:

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This next find isn’t so much related to a fandom, it’s more just a way to spruce up your workspace with a little fun and flair. Plus, it’s a practical organizational tool! May I introduce the Keyboard Pirates from Monkey Business:

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These little guys stick in your keyboard (while still allowing you to type) but hold up reminders so you don’t forget to mark all your To Do’s off your list!

 

 

I can’t close out today’s Fan Girl Friday without mentioning the trailer that’s got everyone talking (and no, I don’t mean the one with Mr. Grey). Did you see the Ant-Man trailer this week?! If not, here it is!

What do you think?

 

Happy fangirling!