Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

Prep Time: 15 to 20 mins
Cook Time: 60 to 100 mins
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Oven Temp: 350

1 envelope graham crackers
5 Tbsp. butter (melted)
1 Tbsp. sugar
Take your one envelope of graham crackers, put in a bowl and mash till they are very fine crumbs, almost a powder (a food processor would probably come in handy for this too).
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together, just till coated and crumbly.
Press onto the bottom of a 8" spring form pan. Bake for 5 min. at 350 and set aside.
3- 8oz.pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
Combine cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl, mix until smooth with an electric mixer. add pumpkin eggs, and spices, beat till smooth and creamy. Pour into the crust.
Bake for 60 to 100 min (depending on your oven). or till the top turns a bit darker.
Remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature, then refrigerate. After it has thoroughly chilled, remove the pan sides and cut.
You can also serve topped with whipped cream.


(LOVE) For A Cause: A Guest Blog With The Happy Heart Box + A Giveaway

Hello! April has been so kind to invite me to share with all of her sweet readers about a ministry close to my heart. Happy Heart Box was launched in late September and I invite you to come join our community after getting to know more about us today.
Happy Heart Box is a ministry created for the purpose of celebrating life by encouraging others. We are created in Christ's image called to love, encourage, and serve one another. This ministry began out of a place of true desperation in my life. At a time when hope and happiness began to slip away His faithfulness remained true. To read more about my journey click here. As the Lord remained faithful, he began placing a desire in my heart to share His love with other women who might be experiencing hard times or who could simply use some encouragement.
The mission of Happy Heart Box is to share Christ's love by bringing joy into other women’s lives. The purpose is to encourage women right where they are in life by letting them know they are loved, valued, and thought of by the Lord. Our hope is to inspire women who are in the middle of their everyday lives to live passionately in pursuit of the Lord. 
Happy Heart Box is a ministry that monthly reaches out to women who are going through a very difficult time of life by sending them a box full of beautiful gifts. Featuring scarfs, jewelry, scripture art, journals, and more. The boxes are tailored for woman in mind. The boxes are completely free for the women receiving them and arrive directly on their doorstep. Our hope is that each box sent out arrives at just the right time be a source of encouragement and reminder that the Lord loves them. Our team is honored to pray over every box sent out each month.
You might be wondering how all of this works. Let me explain. On our website www.happyheartbox.com there is a, Nominate, tab at the top. If you have a woman in mind who would be a perfect candidate to receive a box simply click on the tab, fill out the form, and hit enter to nominate her. Once she is accepted to receive a box we ask that the person nominating someone consider paying a $12 shipping fee, but we understand if this is not possible. The box will still be sent to the recipient. Happy Heart Box runs completely off of donations. We try to stretch our funds as much as possible and this small fee helps our ministry to reach more women every month.
We currently send out 5-10 boxes a month to recipients nominated. Happy Heart Box does not take a profit from the ministry instead all resources directly fund the boxes reaching women each month. If you own a shop and would like more information about donating items to boxes Happy Heart Box would love to partner with you in featuring your shop on our website and in the boxes. Send us an email at happyheartbox@gmail.com.

Thank you so much for letting me share Happy Heart Box with you. We love community and want to connect with you, hear your story, and encourage you to passionately pursue Jesus in all seasons. The best way to connect with us is to follow along on our Instagram @happyheartbox
We are so excited to offer a giveaway today to send one lady a Happy Heart Box of her own. Featuring one of our beautiful lace double knit infinity scarves, 5x7 scripture art, and a set of hair ties!
Just follow the steps in the rafflecopter below to enter!
The giveaway will run from Wednesday, October 29th to Tuesday, November 4th at midnight EST. A random winner will be chosen via rafflecopter and announced on the rafflecopter widget here on the blog on November 8th.
(US Residents Only Please).
(What you will win)
(another beautifully modeled shot of the scarf you will win)
Be sure to come say hello and enter to win! (US Residents Only Please)
Thanks again for letting me tell you about Happy Heart Box!
In love,


A to Z (Being A Mama of 3): A Guest Blog With Kassie From The Freshly Brewed

Hello, I'm Kassie and I blog over at freshlybrewed.

I'm a lifestyle blogger, so I pretty much blog about whatever I want, but mostly I blog about my faith and my family.

I've been married to my husband for 4 years and together we have three little ones - Braden (almost 4), Maeva (2), and Sutton (almost 9 months).

I'm excited to be here sharing in April's space!
I just love the pictures she snaps of her little Bella. I can definitely see the love she has for her and her whole family!

Today, I'm happy to share with you a little about being a mama of three from A to Z!

Being a mama to three little ones always takes lots of action!
Often I'm just trying to survive and wish we could sit on the couch and watch PBS all day,
but three little ones are full of so much action, that mama has to be too!

The one that first made me a mama. My only boy (so far)!
So loving to his mama and such a good big brother to his sisters!

Somebody is usually always crying, fussing or whining.
It's usually because they aren't getting their way and it's usually the middle child!

I often find myself asking, "Where is daddy?!" because I could always use some help!
The kids often want their daddy too because they love him so much!

Again, this one is for me. I often feel the need to escape.
Most of the time it's to my room with Netflix while the kids are napping.
However, I often wish it was running out the door and far far away! ;)
Sometimes I just escape to the closet for five minutes. Especially on really rough days!

Someone is always hungry.
It doesn't matter if they just ate ten minutes ago, they are starving!
They always "want a snack!" and I pretty much always feel like I'm making food!

I give lots and lots of hugs around here!
They ask for them. I ask for them.
They also ask to be held a lot.
I don't mind it... it may just be one of my favorite things!

Insane asylum.
The thought that I may end up in one, one day often passes through my mind.
Motherhood definitely makes me feel crazy almost every day, multiple times a day.

It is the biggest joy to be their mama.
I may struggle with feeling it daily, but when I sit back and really look at life,
it is the biggest joy because as much as they make me want to run away and cry,
they make me smile and laugh so much more! They are the light in dark moments!

I don't know everything, but I've grown as a mama since having three babies.
We definitely made some mistakes with each child, but learn more and more as we go.
They teach me a lot and with each kid I think I figure out how to be better!

With every single child I've worried about whether or not I'd have enough love for each child.
Is there enough of me? Can I love more than I already do?
The heart grows and there's definitely so much love for my children.
I love them more than I can explain! They are my world!

My middle child. The girl that is wild and crazy!
She's the one that makes us feel like we're going to lose it, but we love her all the same!

With three kiddos someone always needs something.
Food, a nap, a toy, to be held, to watch TV, to use the iPad, on and on.
I'm thankful I get to stay home with them and give them the things they need and want!
It may be crazy and not so restful, but I love it!

I'm one of those people that want things to go my way, but I've had to change a lot when it comes to being a mama! I have to be open to change and things not going my way at all. Welcome to parenthood!

Having a relationship with God is the one thing that keeps me sane! I know that without Him I would really suck at this whole mom thing! I have a constant conversation going on with Him in my head. I need Him (and coffee) daily to get through this whole mom thing!

Quiet time.
One thing I make sure happens almost daily! I need me time everyday, even if it's just thirty minutes.
My oldest doesn't take a nap, but he does go to his room to play with trains for a bit! It helps me to take care of me and be a better mama for them! I encourage this no matter how many babies you have!

There's always somebody running!
Braden and Maeva like to run laps in the kitchen and I let them because they are getting exercise and having fun! I'm sure someday Sutton will join them!

My baby girl. Possibly our last.
The third one feels like the easy one and I think it's because we're a bit more knowledgeable! ;)

Testing my limits.
I'm pretty sure the kids get together and think how can we drive our parents crazy today?!
Braden telling me he doesn't want to use the potty or crying because he wants the iPad.
Maeva screaming her head off just because she feels like it. She's so emo.
I feel like with three there's always someone pushing my buttons!
Except when they are asleep because goodness, then they are all so cute!

It's weird to be a mom. Often I find myself asking, "These are mine? I have three kids?"
Wasn't I just outside running around at the age of eight? Life sure does fly by and I am so thankful that God chose me to have these babies. As hard as it can be, I really wouldn't change it!

All of my kids are full of life and high spirited. Especially when they are together!
They always giggling, yelling, running, playing, and being SO LOUD.
That's one thing that's definitely different from having just one or two kids - it is SO LOUD ALL THE TIME.

Our house can, at times, feel like a battle ground.
Toddlers have their own opinions about things and want things to go exactly their way.
I guess babies are the same and you can't really reason with them!
If things aren't happening the way they want it feels like a wars about to break out.
I'm often on the losing side especially if all the kids are upset at the same time!

EXciting (that's the best I could do;).
The kids are always learning new things and that's one thing I love about being a mama!
I love to see the kids grow and learn about life! Braden can tell me so many trains from Thomas the train and it just leaves me amazed! I couldn't remember all of those! Maeva talks non-stop and it's amazing to see how much she can say and understand! Sutton started crawling earlier than I remember the other two doing so! I love the exciting moments of watching them grow! Makes me so proud to be their mama!

You crazy!
We say that a lot around here! The kids are just crazy, especially when together!
If I have Braden or Maeva by themselves they are so good and well behaved.
Put them together and it's crazy town, but they sure do love one another!

It's a zoo around here! Come stop by and see!
There's so many things I could say about being a mama to three little ones.
So many words could describe it. These are just little bits and pieces about how it is with my kids.
It's hard to be a mama. No matter the number of kids you have, but I'm thankful for all of them.
They've changed my heart and made me grow more than I could have imagined. I know they will continue to do so! Even though it's the hardest job in the world, it really is the best!


Paleo Steak Fajitas

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 to 30 mins
Makes 2-4 servings
What you'll need:

Olive Oil

2 Minute Steaks

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Green Bell Pepper

2 Small Onions

Chili Powder



Cut up peppers and onions to desired size and set aside.
Next, take the two minute steaks, slice them thinly and sauté in olive oil till thoroughly cooked.
Combine the peppers and onions along with a small amount more of olive oil with the cooked steak, let cook for about 5 minutes then add the fajita seasoning spices, I didn't measure (just added to taste) but I made sure the steak and veggies were coated pretty good.
Cook until veggies are done, let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!
(It is extremely good over a bed of romaine lettuce with a spoon full of sour cream,  or it's good in a tortilla as well.)


(LOVE) For A Cause: A Guest Blog with Go Shout Love

We are so thankful to April for having us do a guest post on her blog today and to be able to share a little bit about Go Shout Love and our hearts behind it with you guys! April asked me to share about Go Shout Love and what it’s all about and the mission behind it so we are super thankful for this opportunity!

Go Shout Love is a charitable organization that works to raise funds, support, and most importantly, LOVE for families who have a baby with a rare illness. Go Shout Love started this past June and was created by my business partner, Tiffany and me. We started Go Shout Love because we saw a huge need. We fell in love with a family who has a baby with a rare and terminal illness, SMA type 1. This family was not only battling the shock of their baby being diagnosed with a disease that would eventually take her life, but was also battling sky high medical bills. We set up an Instagram Auction for her and were able to raise a good amount of money to help offset some of those medical bills. Beyond the funds, the support that poured in all over social media for this family was overwhelming and beautiful. People began to shout love for them and encourage them from all over the world and the connections this family was able to make with other families and over individuals over social media was an amazing thing to see. After the auction we threw for this family we began to receive emails from people from all over asking us if we could help their families out and help spread awareness for their child. We realized that we could really do something with this and make it into an organization that could provide fun, easy, and accessible ways for people to help these families out! We hear too often how lonely and isolating these mothers feel while battling this situation they are in and we do not want them to feel so alone. We want to open doors and connections for them and we want them to feel the love being soured for them all across the world. We truly believe that everyone should be rising up and raising their voices for these children and families. The power of spreading a story and lending a hand can be truly amazing. 

We have so far featured six families and Go Shout Love has taken off in a way that we could never have imagined. We truly feel that it would not have taken off this way without our supporters who have jumped on board with us and helped us to shout love loudly for these families. Each month we feature a different family and a special kiddo and we spend all month long shouting love for them and coming up with fun and unique ways to celebrate them. We have limited edition inspirational apparel (available in infant sizes all the way up to adult) that we sell each month. The design of our shirts is always made in honor of the child we are featuring that month and 60% of proceeds goes straight to the family. We also throw an Instagram Auction each month and 100% of proceeds from our auctions goes to the families. We encourage individuals to really get to know our families that we feature, follow them on their social media accounts, and send them words of love and encouragement. One month we held a really fun dance challenge for our feature and were able to raise well over $2,000 dollars with the dance challenge alone.
Sweet little Zane and his family
We are currently in the middle of our October feature and we are featuring a little boy named Zane. Zane has Trisomy 17 and on the first day of him and his family being a feature with us he ended up in the hospital due to contracting a virus. His lungs took a bad hit with the virus and he is not fighting for his life and is on life support at the local children’s hospital. We set up a card train where people could send words of love and encouragement to Zane’s family while they sit with him at the hospital. We were fortunate enough to receive great local support in the Pittsburgh area where Zane is from and even had Hines Ward from the Steelers send him a card! Zane and his family have so far received literally thousands of cards and they have told us that they can truly feel the love and support around them. That is what we want to be about. We cannot take the pain away from these families, but if we can make them feel loved and a little less alone then we feel we have accomplished something great. 

We want Go Shout Love to be a movement. We want it to spread like wildfire all over the world. Right now we can only feature one child a month, but if we can encourage and inspire other individuals to literally go out into the world and “go shout love” for other families walking through these hard times then I think we have done our job. 

Just a couple of the lovely items for sale on Go Shout Love
We would love for you to join us in shouting love for Zane this month! You can buy one of our adorable shirts (designs are by Shouting Love Designs (shoutinglovedesigns.com) at our website www.goshoutlove.com or you can donate directly to the family on the “donate” button on our homepage or you can send Zane and his family a card of encouragement to Go Shout Love P.O. Box 401 Glenshaw, PA 15116! There are so many fun ways to get involved and to help us love on these incredible families and we would love for you to jump in and join us! Make sure to follow us on our Instagram account @goshoutlove!

You can also help by participating in our Instagram Auction that we are putting on for Zane and his family today! Auction begins at 12:00 p.m. EST over at @goshoutloveauction on Instagram! The items we have this month are all so incredible! It's a great way to get some Christmas shopping done all while helping out a great cause! 100% of auction proceeds goes straight to the family to help offset medical costs!

Thank you again to April for letting us take over your blog for the day! 

- Kristin, Co-Founder of Go Shout Love
Kristin, Co-Founder of Go Shout Love
Tiffany, Co-Founder of Go Shout Love


12 Days On The Whole30 (And Why Its Not For Me)

The Whole30.
What is it, you ask?
The Whole30 diet is a 30 day program where you just eat "real" food...
Yep, no processed foods whatsoever, no added sugars (not even honey or agave), no grains (no pasta, oats, wheat, rice, quinoa, corn, bread... you get the point), no legumes (nope not even peanuts or peanut butter are allowed; Though green beans and snow peas are), no alcohol (not a big deal since I don't drink anyway), and no dairy (put that bowl of ice cream down! Lol).
Have I scared you yet? Haha.
But given that I'd gained a few pounds in the past few months I decided to take the plunge and give whole30 a shot.
Not that I wanted to, I mostly just didn't want to go into the holiday season with a few extra when I know the holiday season is notorious for adding a few extra... plus I wanted to feel better about my body and I wanted my body to feel better.
But 12 days into the Whole30 I realized it was not for me!
It wasn't the fact that I couldn't have my beloved Nutella (and you know how much I love my Nutella), or the fact that I couldn't have pasta or my regular homemade meat sauce (marrying into an Italian family has its perks, one of them being the food), or the fact that I craved bread while on Whole30 (even though I rarely eat it and haven't eaten it since being off the Whole30)...
It was the fact that the Whole30 was making me become an unhealthy person.
I mean no, I don't constantly eat "super healthy" or even eat "clean" 24/7, I enjoy a good cupcake and a big ole bowl of pasta with homemade sauce, I enjoy my Nutella and yes I even enjoy Doritos... But generally speaking I eat pretty healthy on a daily basis.
But I don't constantly eat nothing but the mentioned above either, I eat a lot of salads, sautéed and roasted veggies, and some meats too.
But getting back to the point of why Whole30 made me unhealthy...
When I eat so much of one thing or only a few things over and over constantly I just get sick of them, but on the Whole30 there isn't a whole lot of diversity of what you can eat so eating the same things over and over and getting more sick of them by the day I found myself just eating less and less, till I was only eating once a day...
Because of the Whole30 I was starving myself! (if I would have eaten another sautéed green bean or piece of baked chicken I would have literally thrown up).
And how can starving myself and only eating a tiny bit of super healthy food be "healthier" than eating relatively healthy on an average day?
I remember the last day of my whole"30" I ate only a small salad and when bedtime rolled around I tossed and turned that whole night with hunger pangs and when I woke up the next morning with terrible cramps I realized something had to change.
So I stopped... It simply just wasn't for me.
12 days of starvation, 12 days of being moody (and yes I cried more than a few times) because I was depriving my self of things, 12 days of no "cheating" according to the Whole30 guidelines and rules, and 12 days of being miserable...
No, I mean it wasn't all bad, I found a few new recipes that were good that I will continue to make and will keep in my recipe repertoire, and yes I look a little skinnier which I'm happy about (not sure if its pounds or just inches I lost because I don't have a scale and haven't weighed myself), but overall the Whole30 was simply just a no.
Love it?
Hate it?

I don't love it neither do I hate it.
I just personally think its overrated, I think healthy eating is a good way of life but I think if you overdo it and "diet" then you do more harm than good to yourself, not only physically but mentally as well.

Have your heart set on trying the Whole30?
If its something you really have your heart set on then please don't let this post dash your hopes, but at the same time, if you decide that its not for you or if you find yourself becoming unhealthier because of it I encourage you not to feel bad if you stop, because there's no point to doing something to be healthier and feel better if you feel that its making you unhealthy and if its making you feel worse!
Me personally, I will go back to my regular clean eating and healthy ways and just delicious eating with a cupcake or two now and then, I feel that life is too short not to enjoy good food!

What is your opinion of the Whole30? What is your experience?


(Captured) Autumn Memories

You know its autumn when the pumpkins come out and everyone starts taking photos of their kids... I stopped and took a few minutes earlier today to capture some autumn snaps of our precious baba-goose.
Happy Fall Ya'll! 

My little hipster baby.

Mmm! Pumpkins taste soo good!

Um, I think my heart just skipped a few beats. And Oh my goodness, those lashes!

She reminds me of a little lumberjack in this picture. :)
Sweet preciousness.

This is her " Mom, are you done taking picture yet" face. lol.

Pumpkin-y Fun!

Be still my heart! I am in LOVE!


Kream of Mushroom Soup (Whole30 approved & Vegan)

I started the Whole30 diet this past week (which I'll be writing more on soon) and due to the fact that I didn't want to eat just sautéed or roasted veggies and meat for a month I have been trying a few new recipes and doing a lot of experimenting in the kitchen (some good, some not so good lol), but here is one that is sure to become a fast favorite! All the ingredients in this recipe are whole30 approved and this soup is vegan as well!
Prep Time: 10 mins or less 
Cook Time: 20 to 30 mins
Makes 2-4 servings
What you will need:

3 large portobello mushrooms

4 cups almond milk

Half a large red onion (chopped)

2 Tablespoons Coconut oil



Italian seasoning (optional)

Take two large portobello mushrooms and puree them in a blender with 2 cups almond milk (break them into several pieces each and add one piece at a time). Once you've blended them together you can go ahead and add them to a sauce pan and start cooking it on Low (you can adjust the heat as needed, you just don't want it to cook too fast). Next chop both your onion and other portobello mushroom up into (slightly smaller than) penny size pieces. Coat a skillet in coconut oil and sauté the mushroom and onion pieces till done. Once you have finished sautéing the mushrooms and onion put in the soup and add 2 more cups of almond milk. Let cook for 5 minutes then add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning (optional) to taste. Turn stove up a little and let cook till it boils, once ithe soup starts boiling turn down to low again and let cook for 15 minutes. After that, let cool off a little and enjoy! :)


Front and Center: Freshly Picked Feature + A Giveaway

I opened our front door the other day to a wonderful sight sitting on the doorstep...
A box from Freshly Picked moccs!
I could hardly contain myself as I practically ran back up the stairwell and into our kitchen to get something to cut open the box. I lifted the top flaps, turned the box over and into my hands slipped a bag, a freshly picked bag... with the softest and most perfect little pair of baby moccs you ever did feel... and looks wise? They are beautiful! A work of art!

Needless to say I was so excited I hardly got anything done for next two hours as I waited for my nine and a half month old daughter Bella to wake up from her nap so I could try them on her (and yes I almost woke her up to try them on her several times, but thankfully my better judgment got the best of me and I didn't lol).

We chose size 3 moccs in Gold and we couldn't be happier: with a size 3 they fit her good, not too big, not too small, a little room grow, I can already see that we will most definitely get a lot of wear out of them and they will go perfectly with the outfit I am working on putting together for her 1st birthday party coming up here in a couple months!

Freshly Picked moccs are made of the highest quality leather (100% Genuine Leather) and I think the thing that surprised me about them most was how soft they are! I don't know why, but I thought they would be somewhat stiff and require a "breaking in" period, but nope, no "breaking in" required, they are extremely comfortable and cozy on my daughter's feet and she loves wearing them!

They're also lighter than I thought they'd be, they're light as a feather! Which is wonderful for small feet that are crawling and in the beginning stages of learning to walk.

Freshly Picked Moccs also don't come as a "left" moccasin and "right" moccasin, they come straight and as your child wears them they shape uniquely to their little tootsies! Bella has already started to shape hers after only wearing them a handful of times! I've also heard that in time their little foot will be imprinted on the bottom of the moccasin, forever sealing the memories of everywhere your child journeyed and wandered... that is one thing I am looking forward to and after she is done wearing  them they will become a keepsake I will never part with.

As for the price, yes, they are a little pricey, but after holding a pair in my hands, seeing them on my daughter and feeling the quality, I think they are worth every bit of the $60 price tag they sell for! Maybe they're not something you could afford everyday, but at least for a special occasion would definitely be worth it, plus like I said, I can tell they're going to last a very long time!

I also love the elastic on the ankle of the shoe, they actually stay on! Unlike most regular baby shoes that babies kick or pull off in a matter of minutes (sometimes seconds). 

Upon closing my review of Freshly Picked Moccs I have only good things to say about them to anyone who might ask, from the wonderful people they have working for them to the quality and beauty of the moccs (their shininess gets me every time lol), to the fact that they were kind enough to give me this pair for Bella to review and last but not least they are giving one of you the chance to win your very own pair of Freshly Picked Moccs for your little one!
 The best thing?

If you win, you can choose any size and any color/style you want! I know, Amazing right?!

The only rules are that you cannot have won any other giveaway in the past 60 days that was or included a pair of Freshly Picked moccs (gotta let everyone have a fair chance at owning a pair for their little one), and the giveaway is open to US residents only. :)

The giveaway will run from Wednesday, October 1st to Tuesday, October 7th at midnight EST. A random winner will be chosen via rafflecopter and announced on October 8th.

Just follow the steps in the rafflecopter below to enter (end of this post)! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Please note:  I received a free product to review, but the opinions expressed above are 100% my own.