Motherhood & Gratitude

motherhood gratitude

Motherhood & Gratitude

With last weekend being Mothers Day, motherhood has been on my mind. I love a day to celebrate Moms!!

Moms are the Bomb!

Plain and simple. I don’t know what I’d do without mine. My mother has a lot of guilt over working so much during my childhood, but one think I’ve never questioned is her unconditional love for me and her good intentions. I am lucky to know quite a few truly amazing moms and the one thing they all have in common is that they are all trying their best. Trying to make ends meet, trying to give their children the best opportunities, and some days simply trying to make it through the day.

Hope

I hope my children one day know how much they mean to me and that I tried my very best. Mistakes have been made and I’m sure there are many more to come, but my intentions have always been pure. They always come first. I hope they know that they are my world and for that I am thankful. I know that Mother’s Day can often be a sad day for so many who have lost their mothers. To each of you, I hope that you are able to still celebrate your mother on this special day because I’m sure that would bring a smile to her face.

So…this week I’m thankful for:

  • My Momma
  • My mother-in-law
  • Two sweet kiddos
  • Time spent together at a big family dinner celebrating each other
  • Truly amazing mom friends who inspire me daily

Although I love flowers, I’m not a huge fan of flowers on holidays like Valentine’s  and Mother’s Day. They cost twice as much as a normal day. So instead, I got new tennis shoes and my sweet husband took my car and washed and cleaned it for me…what can I say, I like practical gifts! (And I’m super thankful for them!)

Everyone has a Mom, is a Mom, or knows a Mom…how did you celebrate?

Let me know what y’all think!

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Motherhood & Gratitute

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How and Why You Should Travel Carry-On Only!

Travel Carry-on Only

Our Favorite Way to Travel…

Carry-on Only!

It’s much easier than you might think!

Our family of four has gone to Europe for ten days during cold weather…to Texas for ten days over Spring Break…and we’ve done multiple weekend trips…ALL as carry-on only!!

You can do this too!!

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Busyness & Gratitude

busyness gratitude

Busyness & Gratitude

I ran into a friend at the grocery store today and she asked me how I was doing. “Busy” I said, because it is my standard reply.

And it’s true, I am very busy.

But…busy in a good way. I like staying busy. But that hasn’t always been the case.

I started thinking about the concept of busyness this week after reading a post from one of my favorite bloggers on Facebook- Tales of an Educated Debutante. Adrian talked about how we all complain about being busy, busy, busy and how it can often weigh you down. She thought that maybe if we try to be more intentional about the things we do then we might find a little more joy in life!

So, let me be clear: I am very busy. But those things I am so very busy with bring me joy. I like running my kids to their activities after school…because those activities bring them joy. Attending class programs, parties, and events because my kids enjoy me being present brings me joy. I like making cupcakes for a friend’s birthday because I enjoy baking- it brings me joy. Those things that I do each day that cause my “busyness” all bring me joy.

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The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort: An Honest Review

JW Marriott San Antonio review

The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort: An Honest Review

Our family of four recently stayed three nights at the JW Marriott resort in San Antonio, Texas. First let me say that we are pretty loyal Marriott Rewards members for almost twenty years. When we’re traveling we often look for a Marriott property first and then compare to other options. We’ve stayed the gamut of their properties, from the resorts to the Fairfield Inn…and nine times out of ten we’re satisfied customers! We also love their rewards program- we’ve earned lots of free travel through Marriott Rewards! We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the JW Marriott in San Antonio and the property is amazing.  By the way…this isn’t an ad…just my opinion!! So, let’s get to my JW Marriott San Antonio review!

The Property

JW Marriott San Antonio review

The property is beautiful. Upon arrival there is a very impressive entrance and awesome lobby!  And then there’s the very large pool, kids area, a huge hot tub, waterslides, sandy beach pool, lazy river, and a gorgeous golf course. We arrived later in the afternoon on Easter Sunday and they were wrapping up some fun events they had planned for kids for the holiday. They do have poolside s’mores every afternoon which was a fabulous treat! And for Easter Sunday…peeps s’mores! Genious!JW Marriott San Antonio review

We were not able to actually play the golf course due to a PGA event, but I think my husband and son would have loved the course. They were able, luckily, to go out and watch some of the player’s practice rounds which was a fun experience for my two golf lovers! And we did not take advantage of the spa…because well…that’s not typically something we do when we have the kids with us. We did however enjoy the pool, water slides, and lazy river. They have a great little grill at the pool as well and outdoor ping pong tables that my kids really loved. Oh! And a very nice bar/ lounge area with a pool table downstairs from the lobby.

The Room

JW Marriott San Antonio review

The room was nicely appointed with the biggest tv I’ve ever seen in a hotel room. The bathroom was huge boasting a shower and separate tub. We had a grand view of the property, golf course and pool. The room had a very comfortable king size bed and a sleeper sofa/couch. We also requested a roll away since my kids wanted their own sleeping space. A small balcony was perfect for some fresh air and the air conditioning kept the room very comfortable. We’ve found that the temperature in the room can really affect how well our family sleeps so this was a plus in our book!

The Food

JW Marriott San Antonio review

The food at this resort was fantastic! They have a Starbucks, Cibola Moon (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner), High Velocity sports bar, and a poolside grill. There are two other dining options at the golf course clubhouse and at the spa, but we didn’t visit either of those. We had breakfast buffet at Cibola Moon- my kids dubbed this the “best buffet in the USA.” Pretty high praise, right? The buffet was huge, fresh, and delicious! We enjoyed every bite! JW Marriott San Antonio review

We ate an early dinner at High Velocity and were able to take advantage of discounted appetizers. My husband decided they were the best onion rings he had ever had…I mean- WOW! And the buffalo chicken nachos were pretty on point in my opinion. Both kids really enjoyed their meals as well. But I can honestly say I’ve never seen quite this level of a sports bar at a hotel/ resort. The TVs were huge which was  plus since NBA playoffs were happening. JW Marriott San Antonio review

And the poolside grill was good- nothing fancy- but our chicken tenders and chips, salsa, and guacamole were just what we were looking for. Our kids love being able to eat lunch and never have to leave the pool!

The Down Sides

The grill at the pool closed at five o’clock. This just seemed a tad early for us. Maybe it has extended hours in the summer…we were there in April.

There was no one serving poolside. Maybe we’re spoiled by other resorts, but we’re happy to buy food and drinks and tip a server willing to deliver poolside. Just sayin!

There is nowhere to grab an inexpensive breakfast on the property unless you want Starbucks. We LOVED the breakfast buffet but it was around $100 for the four of us. This is fine for our family once during a visit, but not something we can do each morning. I do howeverr think this is on par pricing for most resort properties.

The sofa bed in the room was quite uncomfortable. I know there aren’t many sleeper sofas that are comfortable, but this was pretty bad.

There was nowhere to print tickets without paying. This seems trivial, I know. But, to have to pay to print four pieces of paper is just silly. (In my opinion.)

Would We Go Back?

So…this is an amazing golf property! And we would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking to have a golf getaway. I would love to go back for some R & R and take advantage of the spa!! If you’re looking to explore more of San Antonio than just the River Walk area, this is a very family friendly resort.

I wrote all about what and where we ate in San Antonio HERE and what fun activities we got into HERE.

Have you been to the JW Marriott resort in San Antonio? Let me know what y’all think!

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JW Marriott San Antonio Review

 

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe (or Banana Bread)

Hmmmm….left over, too-ripe to eat bananas. What to do??

I’ve been making this banana bread recipe for more than ten years. It’s old hat to me and almost comfort food in a way. Originally it was from Paula Dean, but as usual I tweaked it by adding the applesauce and chocolate chips. The applesauce makes it super moist and delicious!! It’s a family favorite!

You can easily make this recipe in a loaf pan to make banana bread or go the muffin route like we do. I choose to make muffins because my son has a severe nut allergy. By making muffins, I can make some with nuts and some without. Just fill the muffin tins without nuts first, then add the nuts to your batter and scoop the rest. Super easy and makes everyone happy! If you choose to make the banana bread in a loaf pan, just cook on 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

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Stress & Gratitude

Stress and Gratitude

STRESS!!

It’s been a stressful week. My daughter broke her arm (again), my to-do list is still a mile long, we have family coming to visit, and my kids won’t stop bickering. I mean why do they insist on arguing over EVERYTHING?? The arguing is the one thing that gets to me more than anything. And it can often bring me down.

But, I have so much to be grateful for…

  • My daughter only has to wear a brace…no hard cast or splint! Woot!
  • My family is coming to visit! Yay!
  • My husband and I have been able to go on a walk every night this week. The weather this time of year is so wonderful!!
  • I made the bomb chicken enchiladas…it makes my day when everybody actually truthfully loves a meal I have made! Check out the recipe HERE.
  • I was able to spend an entire day with my sweet mother in law shopping and genuinely enjoyed our girls day.

Usually I try to combat stress by focusing on the positive and taking a few minutes to myself. I tell me kids all the time that they have “to choose to be happy”. They aren’t going to have a good day if they don’t have a good attitude. And this week I found that I needed to take my own advice!

Some ways I typically try to de-stress:

  • Go outside- Even if just for a few minutes…take a deep breath and try to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
  • Call or text a friend- helps me to get my mind off of me!
  • Read a book- escape for a little while.
  • Meditate- this is a new one for me- but I kinda enjoy it. I just got a free app on my phone and when I’m feeling the stress, I take a few minutes to complete an exercise.
  • Take a bath- I don’t have a luxurious bath tub yet this still one of my favorite ways to “come down” off the anxiety roller coaster.
  • Focus on the positive! Find the silver lining. There’s always something to be grateful for.

What are you thankful for this week? What are your best ways to de-stress? Happy Friday friends…let me know what y’all think!

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Amazing Chicken Enchiladas

chicken enchiladas

The Most Amazing Chicken Enchiladas!

I know y’all know by now how much I love Mexican food.

And Cinco de Mayo is just the perfect opportunity to make my favorite chicken enchiladas!

These enchiladas are so flavorful. My entire family raved about them! Homemade enchilada sauce paired with tender chicken and lots of cheese make for a winning combo. If you’ve never made homemade enchilada sauce before, please I beg you to try! It is so freaking good…I can’t even explain how yummy it is! Again, I cook my chicken in the crockpot with just some salt and pepper which allows me to shred it so easily! Then, I add white sharp cheddar cheese and cream cheese to fill my enchiladas. Top them with the sauce and more cheese and you have the most amazing chicken enchiladas! I like to serve with chips, homemade salsa, guacamole, fresh corn, and refried beans. Oh! And a margarita-it’s a fiesta!!

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