whole30 chicken soup

Oct 20, 2016

There germs in this house are spreading like wild fire lately, and it seems like everyone is coming down with something. The bacteria is infiltrating my immune system as I type, I am sure. First Ace with the allergies, turned strep throat. Now Pierce and Odette are walking fever zombies. And Chris is battling through his aches and sniffles like a baby champ. So Avalon and I are doing our best to runaway, I mean, stay away. While still being helpful of course. 
Whole30 Chicken Soup
We all know the magical healing powers of chicken soup for the achy couch potato soul, and I have made this one three times in the last two weeks. 

I know the way we eat is slightly confusing....whole30 is meant initially for 30 days. But we kind of carried that over for the last almost two years and adapted that into our "normal". So during the week we try to make just about everything whole30 compliant, minus a snack here or there for the kids. On the weekend we usually have a cheat day. So having a huge pot of this in the fridge is great for everyone!
Whole30 Chicken Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 carrots peeled, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4-5 yukon gold potatoes, chopped (you can leave skins on, we do just depends on your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (I sprinkle a little more on the chicken as well)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasonings (if you're doing whole30 make sure to read your label)
  • 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 8-9 cups water

I use my dutch oven for this, but whatever large pot you have, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in your chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper. I usually do a sprinkle of thyme on the chicken as well to give the stock some flavor. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. Add in onion and garlic and cook until fragrant. 

Add in water and bring to a boil, then simmer until chicken is done. 

Once chicken is cooked through, pull it out of the stock and let rest. Then add in carrots, celery, potatoes, and the remainder of the seasonings. Bring back up to a boil for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. 

While waiting for that to boil I pull out my stand mixer to shred the chicken. This is the greatest kitchen hack in the word. Just throw the chicken into your mixer and use your flat beater attachment, and watch that baby shred it with ease. 

Then add it back into the pot and simmer until you are ready to serve. Check your seasoning and add salt and pepper to your liking. 

Enjoy! And hopefully it makes your feel better for a minute or two. If you aren't feeling ill, this is just a perfect soup for the season!

Shop Spotlight + Giveaway with The Picket Fence Boutique in Pittsburgh

Oct 19, 2016

Some of the best boutique finds come when you are just driving around, trying to prolong car naps and then you suddenly see a small shop with cute window displays and you jot down a new note in your phone to remember to come back when snag some alone time and are not on a time sensitive mission. 

That seems to always be the case for me. But there are amazing women's and kids boutiques everywhere, which is why I am so excited to introduce you to The Picket Fence a boutique in Pittsburgh. 
The Picket Fence Boutique in Pittsburgh
The Picket Fence Boutique in Pittsburgh- Kids Clothing
I browsed all of the home stuff, women's things, and kept coming back to this little girls top. I love the tiny stitch pattern, the fit and flare waist, the composition overall. But then....
Cutest top from The Picket Fence Boutique
I saw this back detailing, and it just screamed Avalon! Anything with a girly flare is going to be a favorite of hers. And sure enough when it showed up, and she opened the package she said "Oh, this is gor-de-ous!!!"
Boutiques in Pittsburgh- The Picket Fence
Cute Kids Boutique- The Picket Fence
I'd have to agree! I cannot get over how cute it is, and it is so well made. Which is the allure of small boutiques. That handpicked one of a kind piece that is a stand alone in your closet. Or Avalon's closet for that matter. But, The Picket Fence has so many cute things! 

Now....the part you have all been waiting for.....$50 online credit to The Picket Fence is up for grabs! Do yourself a huge favor and checkout their home section as well. Truthfully everything is amazing, and I don't know how you will choose but, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

pumpkin patch parents

Oct 18, 2016

On Saturday we did a very original thing for this time of year, we visited a pumpkin patch. I know what you're thinking, totally random. But you know what? It just felt right. And you can't deny that loving feeling.
Fall Festivals
(normal picture, mom laughing Pierce pouting)

When we went blueberry picking not long ago, we marked our calendar for the fall festival back at that same farm. It did not disappoint. We got the kids amped up on our drive over for pumpkins, corn mazes, food, and just so much fun. Odette fell asleep, and Avalon refused to get out of the car at first, so you see, we are really good at getting a party started. 
A little bribing and some threats of the pumpkins getting up and walking away, and we were ready! As soon as we got our wrist bands on for pumpkin de la fun, we were ready to go to the patch. That is when a large wagon pulled by a tractor showed up. The kids jumped right on, not even looking for an approval glance from paranoid mom. And the next thing you know we were off, on what I would like to categorize as a roller coaster wagon, minus the chest harness and the automated voice saying "please keep all hands and feet inside the wagon at all times". This ride was bumpy, and slightly frightening as I was trying to hold the majority of my children in a seat before we hit a bump that would for sure send one flying. But as I was making myself a human seat belt, my children were screaming with delight. Except Odette, she hated it. 
Backyard Orchards, Alabama, pumpkin patches
Fall Festivals
Once safely at the patch it was pickin' time. True to this families form, it became a competition to find the biggest pumpkin, thing was....you had to be able to carry it yourself. Chris caught me in a moment helping Pierce cheat as Ace was getting dangerously close to bringing his pumpkin back to the rendezvous point. Teamwork isn't cheating right? I'll let you imagine the speech Ace gave us on   "cheaters never really win"....blah blah blah Pierce and I's pumpkin was badass. 
From there we made our way to the corn maze. This had to have been my favorite part. What do you get when you put three alpha male personalities together in a corn maze? Chaos. Chris of course the navigator of all navigators put up a good fight against Ace who from the start "knew" how to get through. Pierce went along with their shenanigans for two too many wrong turns before he said eff it, and went off the path to find his way out. Avalon was either too hot, or too bored, or too "princessy" to get dirty, so she sat down somewhere. Odette was on a mission to collect every abandoned piece of corn and adopt it into her Angelina like arms and take them home. 
After we bushwhacked our way out of the corn maze, we decided to try our hands at the obstacle course that was set up. Oh, of course after saying a prayer and getting back on the wagon of death. 

This was so great for the kids!! I think we spent a solid hour just letting them climb on everything and race each other through all the obstacles. From there they went into the sandbox and to play in all the corn in the barn. 
The owners and their kids came out to play as well, and we sat and talked to them about all things farm life, and Chris and I were just so amazed at this hard working family, generations of hard workers. And we could not give them enough praise and compliments for sharing it all with us. 

After two and a half hours, the kids led us back to the car. We loaded up our pumpkins and left with another date to put on the calendar for next month, the syrup festival!! 

So for all those in the Columbus, GA area head out to Backyard Orchards. Get some homemade ice cream, ride the wagon for an adrenaline rush, and tell them Kelsey sent you. 

Just kidding they have no idea who I am, but they might know who Odette is. They probably have a wanted poster with her corn thieving mugshot on it!

pom poms ready!

Oct 17, 2016

Blush Sweaters For Fall
A fun sweater you need for fall
Chicwish Pom Pom Sweater
Blush Sweaters For Fall
Sweater and Boot Combos for fall
Blush Sweater For Fall
sweater: chicwish (also comes in yellow!) // jeans: old (similar here
boots: zara (similar maroon boots here and here)

Hey hey hey!! How was everyones weekend? We packed a lot in, or maybe we got a lot done, I'm not sure. One thing I do know is that putting a fire pit in your backyard is not what clean eating makes. I am now tempted by the thought of s'mores all day. The kids couldn't contain their excitement to roast a mallow or twenty on Saturday night, and Chris and I might have snuck out there last night after the kids went to bed. Thank goodness for Monday's and getting me right back on the clean eating path or I'd get lost somewhere between bread and wine. I truly enjoy eating clean for the majority of the week, it makes a cheat night that much more enjoyable. Or a night or two thanks to the weekend. 

If you follow me on snapchat, then you saw that we hit up the pumpkin patch yesterday. That was quite the experience, let me tell you!! Or actually, I will tell you in a totally different post, because trust me it deserves it! And because I just want to keep you on your tippy toes. Humor me....

I did get my Halloween decorations out over the weekend as well. I put some up in the house, but I don't like to do too much outside until we get closer to my favorite of all days. I like the shock and awe approach with the neighbors. Not to mention, I change my mind on how I want things to go so much it would just drive Chris nuts. 

Something not to Halloween-ish but very fall friendly is this sweater! THIS SWEATER!! I don't own a ton of pink, in any hue. But when I saw this sweater, it was a speedy checkout. I just like the boxy fit, great for hiding the overabundance of s'more eating. Obviously the hanging pom poms, (or balls as Chris couldn't stop saying) are a fun touch. The sleeves were also a huge selling point for me because I wanted to wear this thing like MEOW, so the less fabric the better when you are pretending it is really fall outside. Right? So right! 

Semi-short and sweet today. It's Monday and I have coffee to be drinking. 


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