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On the Menu: Resurrection Rolls

Saturday, March 31, 2018

I hope everyone had a blessed Easter!

Justin and I spent the week doing a devotional that focused on Easter and the reason that we celebrate. It was intended to be done with your children, but we just felt like the kids were a little too small to grasp the concept that way. I came across MixandMatchMama's Resurrection Rolls, and thought it would be the perfect way to explain to McKinlee the true reason we celebrate Easter. She loves to help in the kitchen and she loved this activity and really understood the story that went along with it.


YOU WILL NEED:

1 Package of Crescent rolls (8ct)
1 Package of Marshmallows (large)
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350°

Prepare the pan by covering in foil and spraying with non-stick cooking spray
*the foil is key, when marshmallows melt, they turn into a hard sticky goo, who knew?

PREPARING THE STORY:


Roll out the crescents flat This will represent the TOMB.
Melt the butter — This will represent the OILS, in which Christ was anointed. 
Mix the sugar & brown sugar — This will represent the SPICES, placed on Christ before his burial.
The marshmallow — This will represent CHRIST.

Take a marshmallow (Christ) and dip it in the butter (Oils).



Next, dip the marshmallow into the sugar mixture (Spices).



Place each marshmallow onto the crescent roll and roll up until completely covered (representing the tomb).
Place the finished tombs in the oven for about 3 days, or 10-12 minutes.




This is what the "tomb" looked like fresh out of the oven.


The tomb is empty, because He is risen!


Happy Easter!


On the Menu: Cranberry Salsa

Monday, January 8, 2018

The holidays are behind us and we're eagerly awaiting the days when it doesn't get dark until 9PM. However, as healthy as I am trying to be in the new year, I hate to say goodbye to all of the delicious food that the holidays bring!


Today I am sharing one of my favorite recipes that I take to family gatherings during December. It's the perfect mix of salty and sweet and it includes cream cheese! With the tart sweetness of cranberries and a kick of jalapeno, it's the perfect dish for any party. Let me start by saying this is best when refrigerated overnight. I hate when I screenshot a recipe and don't notice until 2 hours before a party that they they slipped in "must refrigerate overnight" into the middle of the directions, *eyeroll*.

INGREDIENTS

8oz Cranberries
16oz Cream Cheese (I prefer regular, over whipped)
1 Jalapeno, seeded & chopped
1/4 C Cilantro, finely chopped
4 Green onions
1 Lime, juiced
3/4 C Granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine cranberries, jalapeno, cilantro, green onions, lime juice and sugar in the food processor. Pulse until you get your desired consistency (I prefer chunky salsa). *Add more sugar if you find that your salsa is too tart
2. Refrigerate overnight
3. Spread cream cheese into the bottom of an 8" round dish, layer the salsa on top.
4. Serve with Wheat Thins or Tortilla chips

Raising Confident Children

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Confidence.

One simple word with so much meaning.


I pray, gosh, I pray my children are confident. Not to be confused with arrogant, but I hope they truly are proud of the person they become. In a world where bullies are in full force, in real life and in cyber space, I fear for them. Over the holiday we had a conversation with one of Justin's cousins that's in 7th grade, she's 13, and she was telling me how awful Jr. High was. JR HIGH. Like adulting is so hard, being a parent is hard, having a mortgage is hard, Jr. High shouldn't be hard. It broke my heart. 

As a parent, it got me thinking that I need to figure out how I am going to handle a situation like that. The day that my daughter comes home from school upset because she was bullied, because her hair is different, or because she doesn't have an iPhone X in the 4th grade? Every time I see a story about a 13-year-old that took their life because they "had no other options", I lose it. I just pray that my children have hearts for other people. We will raise them to know that they are beautiful and handsome from the inside. I dress them in nice clothes, because I can, and it's something I enjoy. However, if I ever feel like that's overshadowing the beauty that comes from within, to the point where they think they NEED those things to feel beautiful and confident, we will stop.

Quick story: I grew up with bad self-esteem issues, I just always felt insecure in who I was. I went to a High School that had over 900 people in my graduating class and the cliques were endless. It was a district that was known for being the "rich kids", which there were, but there was also middle class and there was also kids that didn't  have much at all. Growing up, my parents weren't going to drop $52 on a crop top from Abercrombie or Hollister, so I'd be mad, and I would feel like I wasn't going to fit it with my friends. Fit in with my friends? What? Clothes made me fit in with my friends? As an adult, I now know what friends truly should be, and they could care less if I'm in J.Crew or sweatpants from Target, and that's how it should be. (FYI: I prefer the sweatpants)

My very best friend, Emily, at our Senior pictures in 2010.

 Anyway, I soon moved to the East Coast after my Sophomore year and truly made some of the best friends I've ever had. Friends that loved sweatpants, and worked part-time for their gas money, who's parents gave them a curfew and who truly cared about me as a person. I graduated with 252 people in my graduating class, and the cliques were minimal. Every High School has cliques, but I really feel like I could hang out with the jocks, the smart kids, the artsy people and the people that didn't really have a "thing" but were just super nice!? I thought switching schools at 16 was going to be detrimental, but it really was the best thing that could've ever happened to me.

That wasn't a short story, I suppose, but I say all that to say, I found my confidence at Patton High School. Once I realized that my beauty didn't come from spray tans and name brand clothes, is when I really started to find beauty beyond the surface. Not only in myself, but in other people as well. I think you're constantly striving to find confidence in yourself, whether it be your body, your career, or anything in life really.

I will continue to build my children up in their efforts to be great. I am always cheering them on for their smallest feats. I want them to know I am proud of them regardless of an outcome. It's important even when they fail, that they know they can try again. I don't want them to ever give up on something, because someone says they should. Raising children is hard in itself, but raising children to be kind and confident in who they are, that's what's most important. When the times get tough, we plan to turn to the word and show love, like God loves us, and only then will we know true beauty.

Us again, at her wedding in 2017, after giving my Matron of Honor Speech.

Here's to Patton HS Class of 2010 and to raising confident children.

a new year, a happy me

Monday, January 1, 2018

As cliche as it sounds, 2018 is going to be a year dedicated to myself.

Not just in the sense of fitness goals, but like obviously need that too. More so, working on myself from the inside out. 2017 showed me a lot about myself and the people I surround myself with. I've been killing myself to save friendships that aren't worth saving. Old friends, that you've known for 15 years, so you feel like you have to put the work in, even though they bring nothing to the table. New friends, who were there for a fun season, and then moved on.

I would find myself driving home and just crying that I had no girlfriends that could relate to me. I wouldn't get invites to happy hour after work, because I have a family, so "I probably couldn't come anyway", or plans that had been made in advance, would get bailed on. I just was feeling so inadequate. My husband would try to show empathy, but ultimately would be like, "why do you care?" At first, I would be annoyed, like he just didn't get it. Babes support babes, and I felt like I didn't have a support system, outside of what my husband had to offer. I realized I was trying to fit my lifestyle into theirs, late nights, drinks, dinners. I did all that when I was 21. As a 25 year old, this is the stage of life I should be in. A marriage, a family, a mortgage, a car payment, a career - so why was I feeling left out?

After several weeks of just feeling "alone", I started praying about it and I just felt this peace come over me, that I'm in a season where I am meant to be alone. Time to focus on my faith, my family and my job. Justin and I have really been investing in our church and finding a small group for the new year. We want to find friends who are in the same season of life as us and who will pour into us as brothers & sisters in Christ, as well as spouses and parents. I don't want friends that are going to reach out and say "Hey! What's up?", I need them to show up and say, "Hey! How's your marriage?" I want them to invest in me. Not on the surface, but really invest in my well-being.

OTHER 2018 RESOLUTIONS:
Pray more / Quiet time | We have been a lot better about praying at dinner time and really making it a routine to thank God for our blessings. I want to be more intentional about praying more throughout the day and praying for other people. Justin and I want to do a couple's devotional to kick-off the New Year and really dive head-first into God's word.
Be present at home | We are very rushed in the evenings during the week. We typically get home around 630PM, then I cook dinner, go through backpacks and we eat. We get about 20 minutes to chill before bath and bed, and I have been so bad about using that as my "down-time" to be on my phone. I am going to make a real effort to put my phone in the bedroom once I arrive home.
Get strong | Carter will be 3 in 2018, which really means it's time to get rid of that baby weight - mostly because is it even considered postpartum baby weight at this point? whoops. I want to make it clear that I don't want to just get skinny, I want to be strong. I want to feel confident and comfortable in the clothes I'm in. I've learned to not be caught up in the number on the scale, but to just feel good in my skin.
Be active | I don't necessarily mean exercise, but planning fun activities as a family. Hikes, bike rides, camping, and sports. Just getting outside and really unplugging from the hustle of the week.
Date nights | Justin and I used to be really good about going on a date once a week, either to dinner, a movie, or sometimes we would just get take-out and watching a show at home, uninterrupted. I would love to get back to that in 2018. Maybe I'll make a date jar? Or not.
Cook more | As much as Justin hates it when I try new recipes (mostly because I'm an awful cook), I really want to try new meals this year. I have gone back-and-forth on whether we should try HelloFresh or BlueApron, but I just don't know that it's worth it. We eat the same 12 meals for the most part in rotation, so I've decided to venture out in 2018. Sorry, honey.
Decorate the house | A big goal is to have our house fully decorated by this time in 2019. I wanted to start fresh with all new decor, but I just haven't decided what I am wanting. I don't want to decorate the living room, until we get new couches and I don't want to decorate our room until we decide on new bedding. It's just a whole domino effect.
Blog | I made a decision about two months ago that I am going to make a real effort to show my blog more attention. I really want to focus on building a brand and making this blog into something I am really proud of. I want to make sure that it focuses on everything that's important to me as a mom and a woman and that it ultimately will help someone else in need.

I am feeling very excited going in 2018 and I think it's going to be a great year for our family.

Happy New Year & go make your dreams come true!

the Fayetteville Mama

With 2018 on the horizon, I thought it would be a good time for a quick introduction and the meaning and intent behind The Fayetteville Mama.


I started this blog in 2012 when my daughter was born. It was originally created as a baby-book type page that I could update periodically for our family to stay informed. Over the past three years or so, as I have followed more bloggers, it's really become a chosen career path for some. Although, I don't expect my blog to become a career anytime soon, I do enjoy writing and the community that blogging brings. With that said, I decided to revamp my blog and I hope to post on a more regular basis in 2018.

I'm the mama of two sweet babes and wife to Justin (that's my crew up there!). I work full time and spend way too much money on birthday parties. I love that blogging connects you with so many different people and you learn that you're not alone in this crazy journey of motherhood. I've learned I'm not the only one that makes Bagel Bites for dinner and that's what it's all about. Knowing that being a Mom, is 100% the hardest job in the world, and that sometimes you just need to hear "you're doing a good job!"

I love calligraphy and although it ain't easy, I'm a huge Arkansas Razorback fan. Our children have been yelling "WOO PIG SOOIE" since they could talk. I can quote almost every Adam Sandler movie and sing every lyric to every Disney Jr. song, ever. If you like Dr. Pepper or know that no duo will ever top Mary-Kate and Ashley in the 90's then please leave a comment or follow me on Instagram because we need to be friends.

Since I work full-time as a management assistant, I am busy during the day, so that leaves blogging to the few hours I have in the evening, which I want to spend with my family. I am hoping to carve out 30 minutes each night to really invest in my blog and have exciting content that people want to read!

We live in one of the best cities in the USA. No, really, we're ranked #5 out of the "Top 100 places to live". I wanted my blog name to be something that was meaningful to me, but also was relevant to the my writing. My blog will mostly be posts about being a mom and things that we do around our town. I thought The Fayetteville Mama was something so fun, and really brought together two of my favorite things.

So here's to hoping this blog really grows in 2018.

Elf on the Shelf: Holly's shenanigans

Monday, December 11, 2017

Get an elf, they said. It will be fun, they said. 


Every year by day four, good behavior is exhausted and mama is tired of getting out of bed just to have this elf make a mess that I'll have to clean up tomorrow! All annoyance aside, it's actually so fun to see McKinlee rush around in the mornings looking for her! This is the first year Carter actually recognizes Holly's existence, so it's been a fun December.

Here are some of the crazy things that #thebolingerelf has done around our house this year!

Holly always makes her entrance by bringing the kids a small gift and a letter explaining that she's back and that she's here to monitor good and bad behavior. This year she brought along some lists for the kids to fill out and mail to Santa. Typically she'll bring a movie, a game, and this year, cookies! I asked a local bakery if they could make these and I picked them up the day before Thanksgiving. They ate them for breakfast. Mom win. 





We gave her some wardrobe options and she returned the favor by drawing McKinlee a "Thank you" note!


Holly loves a good board game! I even ran home that day on lunch and set up some friends for a little competition. Also, I caught them snapping a quick selfie on the Polaroid camera!




"I see London, I see France, I stole your underpants!" Although our kids can't read well yet, they still thought it was hilarious to see their panties/diapers all over the tree!



Elf Selfies! Elfies? 
I just posed Holly up a few different ways, took some pictures and then printed them off! My heart was beating so fast, in fear that McKinlee would wake up and see me taping pictures on the closet! I made Justin stand in front of her face, blocking her view. Trying to save the magic of Christmas as long as we can!




You can even have your elf write some fun cheers or inspirational quotes for the kids!


Rocking baby Jesus to sleep - simple, but McKinlee thought it was so sweet!


Another annual surprise, is the night that Holly brings a Gingerbread house for the kids to decorate. Last year, we just sat the box out, but this year we tried to make it a little more realistic and organize all of the building materials. We just sneak a Wilton's Gingerbread house kit into our cart while we grocery shop.






Roastin' smores over our Christmas candle.


This one was super last minute - found this old birdcage in the back of McKinlee's closet and scrunched Holly in there, then threw her up on the mantle. 


I was running low on ideas, but then found some magazines I was just going to toss out. I remembered I used to love making collages and spelling words from magazine cutouts. Perfect! Took me two hours, but worth it, because McKinlee loves arts & crafts and thought it was so cool!




The toilet-papering of the family room.



Can't keep my hands, my hands, my hands out the cookie jar. (song circa 2008)



Bath time was getting a little rowdy, so one day she was on watch in the bathroom.

She turned the milk green - I'd advise waiting until it's a little less full. Our kids wouldn't drink it! HA!


JAMMY COCOA CHRISTMAS! Our favorite night with Holly the Elf! She locks herself in a jar so we can drive around and show her the Christmas lights. The kids end up carrying her around everywhere, so I am going to try to find a plastic jar next year!



Zip-lining with a candy cane through the family room!


Not pictured: all the last minute places she got tossed at 6:22AM before the kids woke up(the top corner of the shower, the Christmas tree (our go-to), the mantle, hanging from curtain rods, etc.).

May the odds be ever in your favor. Merry Christmas!
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