Wednesday, December 6, 2017


💕Karley Maisyn Brazeal💕

Born November 13, 2017
5:20 pm
7 pounds 4 ounces
20 inches long


We are SOOOOO excited she is finally here!!
Mommy, Daddy and her entire family are completely and totally in love with every inch of her!

We are all doing well, and adjusting to our wonderful new life together!

Stay tuned for picture overload!!!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Creamy Slow-Cooker Mashed Potatoes:

Happy week-of-Thanksgiving, 

I have a super easy mashed potato recipe for you this week,
that could help make your Thanksgiving dinner a breeze! 
And delicious!

Crockpot Mashed potatoes can sometimes get a bad rap, and rightfully so, because they can tend to be, well.....gross!
Plus, they aren't always easier. I mean, they cook in the crockpot, but you still have to do a lot of work before and after, and whereas it frees up some of your stove top, and you don't have to stand there making sure they don't boil over; that doesn't necessarily make them "so much easier."

Until now.

These really are super easy, and actually taste good too!!!

Not every one likes the skins left on their mashed potatoes, and you can certainly peel them, if you want.
But, that does take more time and work, and the flavor is so, so good when you leave them on. 

So whether you make these for your Thanksgiving dinner, or just simply any dinner in the middle of the week,
I hope you enjoy them!!!

2 lbs. red potatoes, washed and cut into quarters 
(I prefer the skins still on, but that is optional)
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried parsley 
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
dash of salt and pepper

Place potatoes in a slow cooker that has been coated with cooking spray. 
Cover and cook on Low for 5-6 hours, or High for 2-3 hours 
(no need to add water or anything...they'll be just fine!).
Once the potatoes are fork tender, add the butter and stir lightly, just until it begins to soften. 
Add the remaining ingredients. 
Using a hand mixer, mash potatoes until everything is well combined,
and potatoes are as smooth or chunky as you want them. 

-If you don't want your mashed potatoes to have that much seasoning/flavor, you can certainly cut the seasonings in half, or leave out what you don't want. I would leave in the garlic, and some salt and pepper. But other than that, you can do whatever you prefer!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Herb Roasted Chicken Legs:

Bradley and I have been in the mood for a 
nice, good, flavorful, juicy roasted chicken
(maybe we're just getting anxious for Thanksgiving😊).

But we just haven't gotten around to trying to make one, yet.

These chicken legs are not necessarily a substitute for that, but it definitely had a similar taste to what we've been craving!
Super flavorful, moist, slightly crispy, but not too much.

They were super easy to throw together, and we really, really enjoyed them!

I hope you give them a try!

10 Chicken legs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
dash of salt and pepper

Pat chicken legs with paper towels so they are as dry as possible. 
Cover a baking sheet (that has sides) with foil. 
Brush 1 tablespoon of Olive oil all over the foil-lined baking sheet. 
Rub each piece of chicken with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and place on baking sheet.
In a small bowl, mix together all the herbs and seasonings. 
Rub each piece evenly with seasoning mixture, and return to baking sheet 
(make sure there is a little space between each piece of don't want them touching).
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. 
Flip each piece over with tongs, and bake for 25 more minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. 
Remove to serving plate. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Sticky BBQ Popcorn Chicken:

A few days ago, I shared a recipe for some super easy chicken nuggets. 
If you didn't see it, you can click HERE to check it out.

Of course you can eat them however you want them, 
but if you want to take them up a notch, 
you can try this trick out!

It was super yummy, and so easy! 
I played it safe with BBQ sauce, 
and it turned out nice and thick and super sticky.
It clung really good to the breading of the chicken.

I can't wait to try it with some sort of Buffalo wing sauce, 
or even some great Chinese-type/flavor sauces! 

We had these in a salad, but they were equally good all by themselves, as well!!

They would also make a great little 
party food/appetizer type of thing!

(I wish you could tell how thick and sticky the sauce was!)

3/4 cup BBQ sauce (any kind you like)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup

Heat together in a small saucepan.
Bring to a gently boil, and simmer about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until reduced and very thick.

Add 1 batch of pre-baked, warm chicken nuggets. 
Gently stir until chicken is evenly coated.

-If your chicken nuggets are cold, just heat them slightly in the microwave, before adding them to the sauce.
-If you chicken nuggets are frozen, heat them on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Then toss them with the sauce.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Last bump update?

I don't know, but it could be!
We hope and pray that it is, case anyone wants to join in and help us pray about that, lol!!!😁

Feeling plump and tired and ready to meet this baby girl!
Heartburn, nausea, some braxton hicks, normal aches and pains...all the feels!

Loving Arby's Roast beef, chocolate milk and egg nog (not together, I should clarify), but there's not much room in there for food anymore!

Car seat is buckled in the car, bags are packed, my toothbrush is charged and my nails are painted (the two most important things, you know?!), and Nana is coming on Friday!!!!
We're as ready as we're ever gonna be, and we can't wait to meet you very soon, baby girl!!!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets:

I'm sure I have...well, I'm guessing anyways....that at some point in my life, I have eaten chicken nuggets, 
like from a restaurant. 
But, I honestly have no memory of ever eating one. 
Probably mostly because we pretty much never ate out growing up, and when we did, it was almost never fast food 
(except for the occasional milk shake and french fries kind of thing). I don't even think I ever had them at any one else's house. Then there was the whole gluten-free thing when I was a teenager, so that ruled out breaded anything, anywhere.
So basically, what I'm saying is, I don't remember having a chicken nugget that wasn't homemade!

We did, however, make them at home. 
My older sister had a great recipe (click HERE to check it out), and we all loved them! 
I had actually forgotten about them for a really long time, until recently, when I was really in the mood for chicken nuggets. 
But, as it always happens, I didn't have the right ingredients. However, in my search for some other inspiration, I came across a version of this recipe. The author was advertising mainly for the fact that this is a "low-carb" recipe, which it is, but I also had all the ingredients for it, so that made it stand out even more to me!
I did not expect them to turn out at all, to be honest. 
Mainly because there is no "breading" ingredient. 
Like, no bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, cornflake crumbs, flour...nothing that seems like it would help turn them into actual chicken nuggets with a breading!
And then to be baked on top of all that...I just figured they might turn out pretty slimy and disgusting.
But, turns out, it works!!! 
I made them once, and had to adjust the recipe a little bit. The second time was absolutely perfect, and I'm excited to be able to share them with you today!

This is certainly not the best picture, 
but I hope you give them a try, and enjoy them!

1 & 1/2 - 2 pounds of chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg

Place the Parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano, paprika, garlic, cayenne pepper and black pepper in a resealable plastic bag. Seal tightly and shake until well mixed.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg until thoroughly beaten.

Pat the chicken pieces with paper towels, so they are as dry as possible. Add them to the egg, and mix until well combined.

One by one, allow the excess egg to drip off each piece of chicken, and then drop them into the bag with the Parmesan cheese mixture (you don't want extra egg to make the breading wet). Once all the chicken is in the bag, seal tightly, and shake and squish until the chicken pieces are evenly coated.

Remove each piece, and divide between two baking sheets with sides, that have been lined with foil, and generously coated with cooking spray.

It's best if the chicken pieces don't touch each other.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
Gently flip each piece over with tongs. 
Bake for 5 more minutes, or until desired crispiness is reached, and chicken is cooked through (to 160 degrees).
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, in a salad, or however you like!

-You can do the normal breading formula: dip each piece of chicken in egg, roll in breading mixture and place on baking sheet. But this is a lot easier and faster, and turned out with the same results.
-The cayenne pepper definitely adds a bit of heat, so you may want to omit that, depending on your spice preferences.
-I've not tried it yet, but according to the original recipe, these freeze really well. After they have been baked and cooled completely, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and flash freeze them for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove to a resealable, plastic bag, and keep frozen.
To re-heat:
You can microwave a few at a time, or place on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Baby Showers!!!

1st Baby Shower

Our first baby shower was in Maryland.
While we were there in September for our Anniversary trip, they surprised us (well, me! Bradley already knew)! 
I had no clue!

My mom and sisters did an amazing job and it was just adorable!
I have always loved Raggedy Ann and Andy, and I think it was so cute!

Super cute invitation that Kelley designed

The donut cake! So cute!

My mom made all the banners/decorations, of course, which could not have been any cuter! 
And my Aunt actually made the dolls for Karley!
Thanks so much, Aunt Dianna!!

It was so amazing and sweet of so many people to come by! Got to see so many people that I used to work for, and their sweet kids, and people from church, and lots more!

(Just a little shout-out to Katrina...
she crocheted that 
red blanket ↑ for Karley, 
and I think it's so cute!!)
I still can't get over how sweet and generous everyone was to us! We got so many wonderful and amazing and super cute gifts! Karley already has way more clothes than I do, and some of the best books to start her collection!
Our car was packed out going home, and our hearts were even fuller!


2nd Baby Shower

Bradley's mom and sisters threw us another baby shower, the first weekend in October.
We knew about it, but they wouldn't tell us any details, and we actually had to leave our house while they decorated, lol!!

It was so, so cute, though, and so very sweet of them!
Everything was beautiful!

How adorable was that?!!!
Thanks, Shane!

Probably the prettiest diaper cake I've ever seen!
Rina did such an amazing job!

They made these cute notes to hand out to guests as they left. I thought they were so sweet!

Again, so many amazing people gave us so many amazing, generous gifts!


Thank you to both of our families for hosting the showers for us, and for everyone that came and for all the gifts (many of which aren't even pictured here)!!!

Bradley and I are just blown away by the generosity of both of our families, and many, many friends!
We, and Karley, are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives!
I feel like "thank you" just doesn't even come close to telling you all how truly grateful we are!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Are we there yet?

Nope, not yet!

BUT, we are getting close!
Hopefully less than 4 more weeks to go, and we are SO very excited about that!

Weekly OB appointments have started, and everything is still looking good!!!
At last weeks appointment she was head down, 
but she is still moving around constantly, 
so I wouldn't count on her staying there just yet.

I'm still feeling roughly the same.
Some days are good. 
Some days are bad. 
Some days are good and bad!
It just comes and goes and there's no rhyme or reason to any of it!

We still have a love/hate relationship.
Sometimes food sits well, other times it does not.
I can eat one thing one day, and it'll be fine. 
I eat the exact same thing the next day, and, well, it's not fine.

The only thing I have wanted and that always, always makes me feel so much better when I eat it: PICKLES!!!!
The Bread & Butter kind.
Not dill. Not sweet.
Oh goodness, they're so good, and they oddly make me feel better every time I eat them (which is multiple times a day, and ALWAYS before I go to bed).
So weird, I know!

So yeah, mostly consuming pickles and fudge pops right now.

(Sorry to gross you all out!!!)
I sooooo never wanted to be "one of those" but, yeah, I totally get the whole pickles and ice cream thing now. It absolutely makes sense.

The struggle is real, people.

But, anyways..........moving on!!!!!!!!
My bag is mostly packed except for 1 thing (and last minute things).
The diaper bag is packed.
The car seat is ready to go.
Now, we just wait!