Happy Friday! What are your plans for this Labor Day weekend? Hope you have a fun weekend ahead.
Check out this week's Fashion Friday!
This is one of my good friends, Ginger, rocking this cute country summer look with me!
Similar boots are linked below, but mine are from Nigro's Western Store and I absolutely love them! Take a look at their page and if you want some for yourself, give them a call and ask for David Jr. He is so sweet and worked so hard to make sure I got these on time for our wedding!
P.S. Speaking of our wedding, in case you missed it, take a look at our pics here!
Post Author: Rachel
You’ve probably noticed I love easy crockpot recipes. So yet again, I want to share with you one of my favorites.
Not only is this recipe simple, requiring just four ingredients, but it can also go with so many things. I've put it on top of salads, wrapped it in a tortilla, and it can even just stand on it's own. It has just enough spice and flavor!
For lunch, I put the buffalo ranch chicken in a big piece of romaine lettuce, topped it with cherry tomatoes, avocados, banana peppers and spicy ranch dressing. It was incredibly delicious! (photo below)
1. Place all ingredients in the crockpot and set on low for six hours or high for four hours.
2. Once the chicken is cooked through, about four hours, shred it by pulling it apart with two forks. The chicken should be very tender and easily shred.
3. Place it back in the crockpot for at least 30 minutes.
Note: Often times there is too much sauce left in the crockpot, so I don't keep all of it. I save just a small amount of sauce to store with the leftovers, but if needed later to reheat, I'll add some chicken broth or more buffalo sauce to taste.
post author: grace
I'm back with more pregnancy tips. I know that this is probably does not apply to a good portion of you, but I've gotten some great feedback from momma's, soon-to-be moms, and women hoping to be mommies soon. So with that, I'm going to give the mom's what they want!
Today, I'm sharing what I have found to be my top four items for pregnancy so far. I am loving it and enjoy feeling my baby kick and grow, but it definitely is a sacrifice. Pregnancy is a beautiful gift from God, but it's also tough.
Anything that makes the process a little bit more comfortable, I want to know about! So without further adieu, below are my top four pregnancy items!
I didn't think I would need this as soon as I am needing it (I'm just over 20 weeks), but sleep is getting harder and harder. I have to sleep on my side now, and preferably my left side. This is simply not comfortable for me because I am a back sleeper. Oh how I miss sleeping on my back already! So, I caved and decided to invest in a good pregnancy pillow. I have chosen the PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow with Jersey Cover. I've read amazing reviews on this one.
It's coming for us ladies. And you all know what I am talking about....the dreaded stretch marks. While this is mostly hereditary, I do think that there are some steps you can take to help prevent these or ease the appearance as much as possible. I have loved using Bio Oil. It is super easy to apply, smells amazing and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. So far I have not gotten any stretch marks, but let's touch base in a few weeks to see if it still works as my body grows ;)
Okay, I feel like a total grandma saying this, but Tums have been a lifesaver for me. I don't experience a lot of acid reflux yet, but gas pain is no joke in pregnancy. Because there is not a lot of room in my belly anymore, I get horrible gas pains that shoot up to my shoulders! It almost feels like I'm having a heart attack and definitely scared me the first time it happened. Therefore, Tums has been my best friend because they really work to help settle my tummy. They have rescued me many times already!
Because this is my first pregnancy, I have not started wearing maternity clothes yet. They are still a little too big and don't hang right on my body yet. But trust me, I can't wait to experience the joy of maternity jeans. I don't think I'll ever want to go back. So for now, I have been using these belly bands from Amazon! They have been awesome for this awkward in-between stage of pregnancy. They don't ride up and are very comfortable.
Do you have anything to add to this list? I'm all ears and open to suggestions. After all, I'm only halfway thru my pregnancy and I'm sure there are plenty more unexpected growth pains and body changes coming my way.
Please feel free to share your favorite pregnancy must haves too!
We are so happy it's finally Friday! Looking forward to a weekend of sleeping in and spending time with friends.
What are your plans for the weekend?
Here are our picks for this week's Fashion Friday!
Post Author: Rachel
As you know, I love experimenting in the kitchen and use my crockpot regularly. It's just so easy to throw some ingredients into the pot and let it do all the work until dinner time.
So, I wanted to share with you another easy recipe I discovered. Plus, the only actual cooking required is browning the meat.
1. Brown the ground beef. I used half a pound of ground beef and half a pound of turkey.
2. Chop, drain, dice the remaining ingredients as needed and then add to the crockpot. Set on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
3. Once the timer is up, grab a bowl and a scoop of this delicious soup. Top with cilantro and avocado.
I also added some roasted red pepper tortilla chips on top for crunch.
Note: To add a little more spice, throw in some chili powder or an extra jalapeño or two. Or if you're a cheese lover, top your bowl with some cheddar cheese.
This is such an easy recipe and a great meal for dinner or to pack for lunch at work.
Happy Friday! We are pumped for the weekend after a long work week.
What are your weekend plans? Let us know in the comments!
Here's our picks for this week's Fashion Friday!
Post Author: Grace
This second trimester has been my best friend! I feel more energized, more excited to exercise and much more like myself. It has been a dream compared to the first trimester, which was not a walk in the park. With that being said, I wanted to share my favorite Prenatal Fitness Programs!
I have been so amazed at how many options are available for pregnancy workout routines. It has really encouraged me to keep staying active throughout this pregnancy. There are so many options that are easily accessible and I believe these programs will be a major help to prepare me for labor and delivery.
Walking has also been amazing for my pregnancy. On the days where I don't utilize the prenatal fitness programs, I love to still stay active in some way. So, walking has been my go-to! I've even got Blake to join me and it's nice to get some uninterrupted quality time together before Asher arrives! Also, these Nikes have been amazing for pregnancy! Cute and super supportive.
So without further adieu, below are my top 3 prenatal fitness programs that I have been turning to during this pregnancy.
What have been your favorite fitness programs during pregnancy? Leave a comment below!
1. Tone It Up
Okay, I loved Tone It Up before I found out I was pregnant and lucky for me, they just introduced a new prenatal fitness program! Katrina Scott, Co-Founder of Tone It Up, is a few months ahead of me in her pregnancy so when she announced she was pregnant, they implemented this new program!
What I love about Tone It Up is they are SO encouraging. They have so much energy and joy, it's always fun to workout to their videos. Not only that, but it is the perfect amount of difficulty for my growing body. I feel like they really pay attention to how you are feeling, especially since Katrina is pregnant and leading the videos. Their videos get an A++ for prenatal workouts in my book!
⚫ TONE IT UP
My sister who is due any minute introduced me to Knocked-Up Fitness originally. This program is all about strengthening your core and preparing you for postpartum recovery. I really really loved this program during my 1st Trimester! The workouts are fantastic, but for what I am used to, they are on the lighter side. So for me, this was perfect when I didn't feel like working out but knew I needed to. I felt like I could get through the workouts without feeling like I was going to puke during them.
⚫ KNOCKED-UP FITNESS
I'll be honest, I was super hesitant to try the SugarySixPack Prenatal Fitness Program. This girl is legit and is in probably the best shape of anyone I follow on social media. But, when I saw that there was a 1 week free trial, I knew I had to give it a shot. I've been feeling great and knew I could push myself a little harder than I was in the 1st Trimester.
This program is only $12.99/month and to me is completely 100% worth it. I can go at my own pace, but every day there is a workout plan. Her workouts are anywhere from 30-45 minutes typically depending on your speed. The workouts are legit and I'm learning so much. She always starts with strengthening your deep core (super important for labor) and then leads into the workout.
I am sold and plan on implementing this fitness program throughout my entire pregnancy. I believe she is starting a post partum program as well so be on the lookout!
Did you catch Grace's big name reveal?! If not, read it here. It's very sweet and she shares the significant meaning behind the name too.
Here's our picks for this Fashion Friday! Enjoy your weekend. Cheers!
POST AUTHOR: GRACE
Naming a child - so many choices, so many opinions, so many names attached to people in our lives (past and present, good and bad), a name that fits a teeny tiny baby but also an adult. Isn't it funny how we don't think too much about names, their meanings, or how they were chosen until the day arrives to choose one that's going to be attached to another human being their ENTIRE life!
Will they love it as much as we do, will they wear it proudly, and on and on and on it goes.
When we found out we were having a boy, naturally names started popping in my head all hours of the day and night. I started testing every name I heard. Mostly, did I like the way it rolled off my tongue, how did it sound with the middle name we had chosen years ago (more on that in a bit) and did I like the way it went with our last name?
Santschi is already a bit of a tongue twister that requires spelling every single time we tell someone our name. The least we can do is give our kids first names that people can spell without much trouble, right?
We spent hours praying, pondering, and mulling over a bazillion options to choose just the right name for our baby boy. Blake and I finally narrowed it down to a few names we liked a LOT and then we sort of taste tested them. Trying them out in our heads, saying them out loud a bit, writing them, and, of course, getting opinions from friends and family.
It was tougher than I expected for us to settle on something together! We are both fairly opinionated and so it felt like a miracle when we both agreed!
So without further adieu, we have chosen to name our baby boy...Asher Bradley Santschi.
I'm excited to tell you why we chose Asher Bradley, what the significance means to us, and all of our hopes for this sweet baby boy.
Blake was really drawn to this name. I had heard it before and while I liked it, I wasn't sold on it at first. We had a couple of top contenders and it felt like one day we'd love a name and the next day not so much. Back and forth we went.
Blake begged me to give Asher a shot. He felt so strongly that this was the name and he loved the significance behind it. I sat on it for a couple of days and it honestly just started to grow on me. Now don't get me wrong, I thought the name was beautiful, I just wasn't sure that it was the name for OUR baby. But, soon the Lord changed me heart and I found myself becoming really excited about naming our baby Asher!
Asher is one of the 12 tribes of Israel and the name means "happy" or "blessed". I love the meaning of it because we honestly feel so happy and blessed to be experiencing the miracle of life. Children are a gift from the Lord and his name is so representative of how we feel about this new season of life.
We both love the blessing that was given to the Tribe of Asher in Deuteronomy 33:24-25. It's beautiful and it feels strong and full of favor.
And of Asher he said,
“Most blessed of sons be Asher;
let him be the favorite of his brothers,
and let him dip his foot in oil.
Your bars shall be iron and bronze,
and as your days, so shall your strength be.
We've always known if God blessed us with a son, we would name him after Blake's childhood friend, Bradley.
Blake and Bradley were best friends in elementary school. Tragically, Bradley passed away at the age of 10 after a yearlong battle with cancer. Five years later, when Blake and I met, he shared story after story with me about Bradley and their friendship. It was obvious how much his friend meant to him and we just always knew we would honor his memory by naming our first born son after him.
I've hoped and prayed for a chance to meet Bradley's mother and to share with her that her son is still in our hearts and we want his legacy to live on. It hasn't happened yet, but we are hoping for that special time with her during our next visit back home.
And there you have it! Asher Bradley Santschi.
We can't wait to welcome this baby boy in January. We hope and pray that he loves the Lord, is happy all the days of his life, and lives a life of strength and honor. At the end of the day, we want him to know how much the Father loves him and that he is a child of God. We pray he walks in that identity every single day.
Thank you for following along! I hope it's been encouraging and has given you an inside look to the heart we have for our baby Asher!
pOST Author: Rachel
Have you ever heard of Beautycounter? I hadn't until recently when a family friend, Tracy, suggested I give some of their products a try.
Just over fourteen years ago, Tracy was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, the most serious and life-threatening stage! However, I'm overjoyed to report that today Tracy is CANCER FREE! Praise the Lord!
Since receiving her diagnosis, Tracy has adjusted her lifestyle, educated herself and others on healthier choices and is always on the hunt for safer products.
After learning how important it was for her and her family’s health and well-being, Tracy started working with Beautycounter and spreading the message about safer beauty products. After all, our skin is our largest organ, shouldn't we know what we’re putting on it?
I never really thought about the ingredients in beauty products or the effect of using them from head to toe. Now that Tracy has me thinking in a whole new way, I have to say, it is comforting to know these products are safe.
I spoke with Tracy recently to find out more about Beautycounter, their mission and their products. Plus, she shared some of her favorite picks that she uses daily. And, I'll add that my favorite is the Color Intense Lip Stick - I use it every morning and love the look of it!
RACHEL: For someone who has never heard of Beautycounter, what is it?
TRACY: Beautycounter is not just a beauty company, it is a movement. The goal is to get safer products into the hands of everyone by fighting for more regulations in the personal care industry. Beautycounter created a solution for safer products by building a company that sells personal care products that are screened rigorously and tested for over 1,500 ingredients that we will NOT put in our products. We provide safer, healthier products for consumers looking for high performing and safer skin care solutions. We have three skincare lines with more coming, as well as makeup, hair care, body care, kids products and baby products.
R: Why did you start using these products?
T: I started using Beautycounter after a friend of mine reached out and offered me samples. She knew that I would be interested in safer healthier products because I have been searching for this since my Stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis over 14 years ago. I strove hard to eat healthy and exercise because at the young age of 33, at the time of my diagnosis, I was determined to be around for my kids. In addition to doing everything the doctors told me to, I began researching ways to live healthier and that's when I had the “aha” moment of “I’m doing this all wrong!” Here I was worrying about what I ate while I was slathering harmful chemicals all over my skin, which happens to be my largest organ. That's when I began trying to find products that I liked how they felt, smelled and performed. I never did until Beautycounter. Once I tried the products and learned about their strict screening processes and their mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone, I was hooked.
R: How does Beautycounter keep those chemicals out of their products?
T: In order to ensure that every product meets our high performance standard without compromising health, we have established a health-protective Ingredient Selection Process.
These are the principles we uphold with the selection of every single ingredient:
1. Ban Intentionally
2. Screen Rigorously
3. Learn Constantly
4. Source Responsibly
5. Share Transparently
There are major data gaps on most cosmetic ingredients. This is because it is perfectly legal for chemical companies to bring a chemical to market with no information on how it might impact health or the environment. We do not assume that the absence of data means a chemical is safe. It simply means we don’t know about the potential health impacts. So, we review emerging data regularly and will even commission our own studies when we are not able to turn up enough information.
R: Which product(s) is your favorite?
T: That's a tough one because I have many, but right now my “go to” faves are Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer with SPF, Citrus Mimosa Body Lotion, Color Intense Lipstick - First Date (pink) and 9 to 5 (mauve)- and Citrus Mimosa body wash.
R: For someone who wants to begin using these products for the first time, what do you suggest they start with?
T: I suggest they look at their beauty products and see what they are almost out of and start there. I have customers that add one product at a time as they replace/swap out their old products for safer ones. I also have other customers that just want to start from scratch with safer products and buy the whole set of a skincare line.
Our lip sheers are a great place to start as well because everyone falls in love. They have sheer color, a nice vanilla scent/taste and are super moisturizing.
Do yourself a favor and give these products a try. I love them all!
Tracy is your go to gal for safer products and would be happy to answer any questions. She is sweet as can be and passionate about getting exceptional and safe products in everyone's hands. Click here to start shopping or connect with Tracy.
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