Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Getting to know us... (Brynlee)

As I mentioned yesterday getting to know me and my husband that I was going to talk more about my girls so today is all about Brynlee. Both Justin and I knew we wanted to start a family shortly after we got married. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis so we really weren't sure how long it would take to become pregnant. After a few months of trying I was put on fertility and within eight months we found out that I was pregnant. We were SO excited. Little did I know what the next nine months were going to bring (although Brynlee was the easier pregnancy of the 2). I started getting extremely bad morning sickness and that continued until I was seven months along. My levels were always off which caused me to pass out several times. I also had pre-term labor luckily this little sweetie stayed in until 8 days before she was due. My pregnancy wasn't easy but it was SO worth it. On November 19, 2009 I went in to get induced. After 27 hours of labor, throwing up, and blood pressure dropping my doctor made the decision to do a c-section, just another surprise with my pregnancy. I had no idea what to expect and was so nervous but I was so ready to meet our sweet baby girl. On November 20, 2009, within 10 minutes of making that decision we finally had our Brynlee, 7 lbs. 21 inches and cute as can be. I was instantly in Love after seeing her for a split second before they took her to the nursery so both baby and mommy could get cleaned up. Oh I can't explain the joy I had when they finally brought Brynlee in my room and I held her for the first time. Since the day Brynlee was born she has had the sweetest, caring, and most loving personality. She was such a good baby, we were really lucky!

10 Things Brynlee LOVES being 3 1/2 
(because when your growing up your "favorites" change often!) 

1. She LOVES being a big sister (even when I was pregnant she was always so thoughtful about the baby in my tummy)

2. She LOVES to dance

3. She LOVES to perform (always setting up a stage and having us sit down to watch her dance and sing)

4. She LOVES the color purple. Which leads to #5

5. She LOVES Tangled (because her dress is purple!)

6. She LOVES to swim

7. She LOVES to dress up or wear her jammies but never wants to stay dressed

8. She LOVES making new friends (she is very outgoing and social)

9. She LOVES playing doctor and if anyone has an "owie" she worries about them until she knows they are better.

10. She LOVES being with her family. Especially Grandma's and PaPa's

Our first family picture (don't pay attention to me, as I told you I had a rough labor!)
2 Weeks Old

 1st Birthday

 1 1/2 Years Old

LOVES Swimming
Outdoors at the cabin
2nd Birthday
LOVES To Dance
1st Trip to Disneyland... Brynlee was in heaven
 Brynlee giving the "I Love You" sign to Ellie

 3rd Birthday (Belle use to be her favorite!)
Brynlee... just being her HAPPY self
Hope you enjoyed getting to know Brynlee more. She is extremely LOVABLE! Please leave comments, I would love to hear them. Thanks for stopping by.
XOXO Brooke

Monday, April 29, 2013

Get to know us... (Justin & Brooke)

I thought it would be fun for you to get to know more about my family. I decided to start off the week getting to know me and my husband. From the time we were in Jr High we lived right around the corner from each other. I was 14 and Justin was 16 when his friends starting telling me that Justin "liked" me. We started hanging out more, hanging out turned into dating, and well.. I can honestly say I married my high school sweetheart! We dated for a couple years and then Justin left for 2 years to serve a mission in Durban South Africa. It was such a bitter-sweet moment for both of us, but definetly knew it was for the best! I knew when he got home I wanted to marry him. While Justin was serving his mission I graduated from high school and started my life "in the real world!" After 2 years of waiting around for my prince the day finally came. On August 4, 2007 I had never been so nervous in my life. I was waiting at the airport with his family feeling like I was going to pass out and/or vomit at any minute. He looked just as good as I remembered coming down the escalator towards us. We easily got re-adjusted back into the real world. We started dating again and things were even better then before. We dated for 4 months and on Christmas morning we got engaged (one of the best days of my life!) We got busy planning for our BIG day and on June 21, 2008 we were married (another one of the best days of my life!) We knew right away we wanted to have kids and after 9 months of trying we found out I was pregnant with my first baby girl Brynlee (more about her coming soon!) Once Brynlee turned 1 we started trying for baby #2. I have a lot of female problems and don't ever know how long it will take so we didn't want to waste time! ( I will go into more detail on that the next couple days when I talk about my girls.) After a little over a year of trying we found out we were pregnant with our second baby girl Ellie ( more about her coming soon!) Justin and I love our two little girls and couldn't be any happier. Justin enjoys hunting,"fixing things", spending time as a family, boating, and any sports. I Enjoy being a wife, mom, cooking, baking, making sure my house is always clean, creating, decorating, being outside, swimming, going on vacation, shopping for a great deal, any Holiday (especially Halloween and Christmas) and just being around my sweet little family! We both have started living a healthier life, eating better and working out together (much easier doing it with your best friend!) Check out our detox and healthy eating tips. One of our dreams is to get back to South Africa so Justin can show me around, ONE DAY! We will be celebrating five years of marriage in Las Vegas this June and we are both looking forward to it. We don't have too much to complain about... life has been pretty good to us both! Hope you enjoy these pictures!
Dating Before Justin's Mission
Justin serving in South Africa
(my favorite pictures are with all the sweet kids)
Airport (seeing each other for the first time in 2 years)
Dating after...
The day we got engaged
Our engagement pictures
Our Wedding

Our honeymoon in Miami
Baby Brynlee (more about her coming soon!)
Baby Ellie (more about her coming soon!)
As always Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave any comments or questions for me, I love to see them!
XOXO Brooke

Friday, April 26, 2013

Graduation Time

Graduation time is here for some and right around the corner for others. It doesn't matter if someone you know is graduating from High School, College, or even Preschool you want them to feel important! One of my great friends is graduating from College probably as I am writting this blog, and I couldn't be more proud! I know all the hard work she has done and it has finally paid off. She is not only my friend but my neighbor and also my husbands cousin. My girls both adore her and so we thought we would take her a little something to let her know we are happy for her.

Graduation Gram:
What you will need:
Container, foam, sticks, candy, crinkle paper (easter grass) and whatever you want to decorate it with.
Next you need to think up a little saying to go with your candy.

Arrange the candy in the container to your liking. Roll your saying up and tie it with a ribbon to look like a diploma and here you have it.
Congrats to all those hard working graduates! A huge shout out to my brother in law who in just a few weeks will be graduating from medical school! Such a huge accomplishment and we are so proud! Feel free to leave any comments and feedback I woud appreciate it! As always thanks for stopping by!
XOXO Brooke

Weekend Nachos

It's the start of the weekend. Nights when you just want a quick, yummy dinner well... I have the perfect solution: Try Nachos the Hamblin way!

First things first, you pick whatever you want to go on top of your Nachos. Here is what we did (salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, green chillis, avacado, green peppers, olives and tomato)
Next cook and shred chicken with a little of your favorite taco seasoning. You'll need a baking sheet lined with foil. Lay your chips, cheese and cooked chicken on the baking sheet and here is the secret... BROIL this in the oven for about 3-5 minutes at the most.
You will be in heaven and wish you had always made nachos this way! Doesn't this look delicious!?!
Thanks to everyone that has been so great to continue to read my blog, I really appreciate it! As always please feel free to leave any comments or feedback for me. That would make me happy!
XOXO Brooke

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bites

These are a favorite to every occasion I have made them for. For this recipe you do need a miniature cupcake pan (if you don't have one this is a VERY good reason to go out and buy one) This recipe came from Betty Crocker, and anytime I try a recipe from Betty Crocker I am very pleased!

What you will need:
1 pouch double chocolate chunk cookie mix (look at your local grocery store it is easier to find then at Wal-Mart)                      

1/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries, drained
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
3/4 cup chocolate frosting
24 maraschino cherries with stems, drained on paper towels (from two 10-oz. jars, these are to top off the cookie)


*Line 24 miniature muffin cups with paper baking cups, or spray with cooking spray.

*Make cookie dough by blending cookie mix, cherries, oil, cherry juice, almond extract and egg until soft dough forms.

*Spoon dough into each muffin cup filling each about 3/4 full.
*Bake at 350°F 12 to 14 minutes or until dough is set. Cool 20 minutes. Remove from pan. Place cookies on cooling racks.
*Heat 3/4 cup of frosting on High for 30 seconds; stir. Dip tops of cookies into frosting. Allow to set about 1 minute; top each bite with cherry.
Hope you Enjoy~ Please leave any comments or feedback, I would love to hear from everyone! Thanks!
XOXO Brooke

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Eating Healthier Makes a BIG Difference

As I promised in my detox details earlier this week I would share what my husband and I have been eating to help us each lose 30 pounds in just over two months and continue to lose. I am the first one to agree it's not easy to make the change but once you've totally committed yourself it starts to become natural.

1. Drink lots of water, anytime you can take a drink do!! Try to drink a full glass of water before each meal.

2. Eat 6 small meals a day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack.
( I don't eat a snack after dinner but Justin does)

3. Eat as many berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) and vegetables as you want.

Breakfast Meal Ideas:

Plain oatmeal with blueberries, strawberries, apples and cinnamon.
Hard Boiled Eggs (eat 1 full egg and 3 egg whites) with fruit
Fried Eggs (3 egg whites and one whole egg.) with fruit
Granola bar and fruit
Greek Yogurt with fruit
Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas

Lunch Meal Ideas:

Grilled chicken breast and vegetables
Grilled chicken salad
Whole wheat pita or tortilla, Dijon mustard, turkey breast lunch meat, and vegetables.
Tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat bread with carrots
Light progresso soup

Dinner Meal Ideas:

Grilled chicken breast with grilled peppers.
Broiled whole wheat bun, shredded chicken, avocado, and salsa
( a new Hamblin favorite, will post recipe soon!)
Chicken tacos with whole wheat tortillas
*I actually cook a lot of the same dinners that I always have, just make sure you eat smaller portions and serve with salad, vegetables and fruit.

Snack Ideas:

String Cheese
Cottage Cheese
Greek Yogurt
Hard boiled egg
Granola bars
Apples with peanut butter

*Don't be too hard on yourself it's ok to mess up sometimes ( like me having a root canal yesterday and thought an ice cold Pepsi was well deserved!)

(Grilled Lemon Chicken with Carrots and Green Beans)

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them for me, I would appreciate it!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Applebee's Blondies

Yesterday was my mom's birthday and I knew she LOVED Blondies from Applebee's, so of course that is what I made her and it did not disappoint! They were so yummy! There are lots of copycat Applebee's Blondies but I found my recipe here, and changed it up just a bit.

4 egg whites
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
3/4 bag of white chocolate chips
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped (add more or less depending on your liking)

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. salt

Vanilla ice cream
chopped walnuts

To make the Blondie cake, whip the egg whites until stiff and form peaks. Add butter, brown sugar,sugar,and vanilla. Mix with mixer until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder,and salt.

Add dry to wet and mix well. Stir in the milk.

Add the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes until golden. Cool and cut into squares.

Time Saver: While Blondies are in the oven cooking, mix up the sauce. Put it in the fridge until ready to serve. When ready heat the sauce in the microwave for about 60 seconds until hot. Top the Blondie square off with a scoop of ice cream, drizzle with sauce and if you want sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Also another tip: Try not to let your 3 year old get a scoop of baking powder and throw it in the mixture otherwise you'll have to start over ! Gotta love the kids helping out.

Hope you Enjoy, and hope to hear from you. Comments, feedback would be great! Thanks

XOXO Brooke

Monday, April 22, 2013

Detox Details!

Justin and I have been trying to lose weight for a little over two months. I had a baby 8 months ago, so I needed to lose plus we both wanted to just be healthier. We have had great results, with both of us losing about 30 pounds! A couple weeks ago Justin had a brilliant idea (well it was brilliant in his mind NOT mine!) He had found a Detox online and everyone was claiming to have had great results from it. He told me all about it and even though I was not thrilled about the idea I knew if I didn't do it and he had great results I would have been mad at myself. Turns out seven days of not so fun eating gave both of us GREAT results! Justin lost almost 11 pounds, 3 inches in his chest and 2 inches around his hips. I lost 8 pounds and 3 inches around my hips!! It made it so worth it.

Want the Detox Details... Here it goes:

Vegetables to choose from: artichoke, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, green beans, mushrooms,onions, peppers, spinach, squash, tomato. These can be eaten raw, steamed, or in a big salad drizzled with a little olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar.
*I personally think the balsamic vinegar is so gross, I wouldn't recommend using that. We steamed out veggies for most of our meals and found out that was a lot yummier!

DAY 1: At 8am, noon, 4pm, and 8pm eat as much of any vegetable as you want, in any combination. You don’t have to eat at those exact times, but spread out the four meals as evenly as possible. Drink 100 ounces of water.

DAYS 2-4: Eat vegetables at the same four times each day but add in 20 grams of protein from fish, chicken, lean beef, turkey, eggs or seafood at 8am and 4pm meals. This equates to 3-4 ounces of fish, chicken, lean beef, turkey, or seafood or 3-4 whole eggs at those two meals. Drink 100 ounces of water.

DAYS 5-7: At 8am, noon, 4pm, and 8pm eat vegetables in any combination and quantity and have 20 grams of protein (3-4 ounces) from fish, chicken, lean beef, turkey, seafood or 3-4 eggs at each meal. Drink 100 ounces of water.

*Make sure you weigh and measure yourself before starting the Detox.

Later this week I will be letting you know what else we have been doing to loose our weight. If you have anything you want to know about our diet leave a comment and let me know and I would be happy to tell you!

Thanks for stopping by as always I would love to see some comments or feedback!

P.S. If you try this Detox you will not want to look at this picture for atleast a week after (you get a little sick of Veggies!)
XOXO Brooke

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Surviving Sleepovers: My little girls very first sleepover

Last night my 3 year old Brynlee had her very first sleepover with her cousin Hunter. They were both so excited. Brynlee woke up Friday morning asking if it was almost time for Hunter to be here (so you can imagine how my day was until 5:00) I took Brynlee to the store to pick dinner. She chose a gourmet meal consisting of corn dogs, french fries and fruit (at least she wanted some fruit right?) Then she chose treats and drinks. That got her so excited for the sleepover.

A couple tips to survivng sleepovers? My first tip would be letting your kids choose the dinner, treats etc... it made Brynlee feel like it was her sleepover and she planned it! My second tip would be just let them have fun and be wild they are going to be either way so you might as well embrass it! My third tip is have lots of ideas for them to do. A 3 and 6 year old change their minds alot. Brynlee and Hunter Played Candy Land, Go Fish, Disneyland Adventures on the Kinect, hide and seek, and grocery store! We ate treats and watched Matilda and Cop and A Half (oldies but goodies) We made a comfy bed on the floor and I was excited when both agreed it was so fun to have me at the "sleepover" too! My fourth tip is to have a fun breakfast. We made them Mickey and Minnie pancakes that put a smile on both their faces.

I would have to say our fist sleepover was a success! We had lots of fun!

Please feel free to leave comments and feedback. I would LOVE to hear from all my viewers.

XOXO Brooke

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Duck Dynasty Kind of Party!

First off I have to say I am overwhelmed at the views my blog has had in less then 24 hours. I feel so blessed and HAPPY to all of you who have taken a minute out of your busy crazy lives to check this out. I hope you continue to enjoy this as much as I am.

One of my most favorite things to do is plan a party (birthday, bridal shower, baby shower... ANYTHING!) This was my hubby's birthday last week. He loves Duck Dynasty, as most of us do, so of course we had to give him a party that he would LOVE! This was kind of a last minute decision and thrown together quick but everyone loved it and had lots of fun.


Brynlee with her daddy. My girls sure LOVE their daddy!

* For the cute beards ( I probably shouldn't call beards cute) Ok for the manly beards I printed a Santa beard template from Pintrest, colored them brown, and attatched them to a dowel stick. Everyone enjoyed them, especially the kids!

I Hope this gets your creative mids going. Enjoy your day, and thanks for stopping bye!
XOXO Brooke

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chocolate Macaroon Bundt Cake

Ok this is a MUST TRY! I made this for my Dad's birthday and it was DELICIOUS and looked so nice.
What you'll need:
One chocolate cake mix-prepare it according to box instructions. German Chocolate or Devils Food. ( I used German Chocolate)
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flaked coconut
2 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
(If you want to do both Vanilla and Chocolate glaze you can add 2 Tablespoons of cocoa to the above mixture.
You can buy icing if you are in a hurry put it in the microwave for a few seconds and drizzle over... but it wont be near as yummy as the homemade glaze!
Preheat oven to 350* Coat your bundt pan with shortening and flour ( or you can spray with non stick cooking spray)
Prepare cake mix as per box instructions. In a seperate bowl mix up the coconut filling.
Pour about 1/2 of the cake mix into your bundt pan. Now spoon filling in a tunnel on top of the batter:
Be careful not to let the filling touch the pan.
Pour the rest of the cake mix covering the tunnel.
Bake the cake for 45 minutes
Cool in pan for 20-30 minutes and turn onto a plate to cool.
Drizzle with frosting as you desire.
*Feel free to leave comments or if you have any request let me know
Found this delicious Chocolate Macaroon Cake Here

New at this Blogging Stuff

I am definetly a new "blogger" if I can even call myself that yet. I am excited to start this new adventure as I document my life being a wife, mom, decorater, chef, maid (everything moms are) and everything in between. I see and read blogs often and always think to myself I need to start a blog for myself. I enjoy writting and creating! I love trying new things it doesn't matter what it is. My absolute favorite new thing to try is recipes. I don't care if its for dinner or everyone's favorite DESSERT, I LOVE making new creations! I am constantly trying new things I find on Pintrest (and of course making them my own) and would love letting you know how they turn out. Not everything turns out as yummy as the picture on Pintrest looks, Hopefully saving you time and money on what to try and what NOT to try. On my journey I will be giving updates on my family and also on all of my so called "projects!"  I'm so looking forward to it!