HEN & CO. in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

YOU GUYS! Winnie's nursery has been published in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine. When I originally got an email from their editor, I legitimately thought it was junk mail and was a hot second away from sending it straight to the JUNK folder. I feel SO honored to have her nursery featured anywhere, let alone in a major publication. As a designer, all I could really ask for is that my work is seen, it's loved and more importantly, that it reflects me. I couldn't be happier about this and am so excited to share it with you guys! 

 

 

Banana Pudding: File under "TO DIE FOR"

Monday, January 16, 2017

Well it's Monday, which naturally means we should talk about dessert. 

We hosted a little birthday dinner for Bella (yes, still celebrating) and I decided to cheat on our go-to brownies & cake with a little something different.
 
Magnolia Bakery's Famous Banana Pudding

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Water  // 2/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix //  1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 cups heavy cream // 1 (12 oz) box vanilla wafers // 4 bananas (sliced)

Directions:
Mix together the water, pudding mix, and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight until it sets.

Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Working in thirds, fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until well incorporated.

In a trifle bowl, layer vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and pudding mixture; continue until you've used up all the pudding mixture. Refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes before serving.

Here's the thing: I don't love bananas, I almost never eat them straight up. However, I LOVE this dessert. It's not over-the-top banana flavor - just a hint and every bite is perfection. This works great to serve to a large group, as it makes a ton. You can also separate it out & make individual trifles. So pretty & very "impessive" as Baylor would say.

Valentine's Favorites

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The kids insist that since Christmas is over, they'll "never be happy again" until another holiday is here. And since I'm all about pleasing the people, I delivered the good news. Valentine's day is just around the corner, full of little heart notes, boat loads of candy and of course, all the red & pink we can find. We're really indulging this year, cause God forbid we have unhappy kids ;). 

I rounded up a few of my favorite Valentine's items I've seen around the ol' interwebs... this unicorn sweatshirt is already ours and same with those adorable little happy heart jammies. I'm a sucker for love. (whoa, that would be a CUTE valentine's card message with a lollipop attached!! )

ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX // SEVEN // EIGHT // NINE
 We spent our morning at Ikea and now I'm really feeling like I deserve an afternoon coffee and some serious time on the couch. A girl can dream, right?

Life Lately

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy Friday! We made it through our first week back to reality, but not without someone pooping on the floor. Mom LYFE. A little life lately for you:


We had the BEST NYE with our little crew. So fun.  

WHAT WE'RE EATING: 
Having a hard time breaking free of all those holiday treats, so we're making more. These chocolate chip cookies are to die for.

We've also been making paninis with roast beef, beechers cheese, grilled onions and crusty bread. They're divine.

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT: 
Bellamy turned three yesterday and I can't help but remember how little she was. She was the perfect newborn, and the days after bringing her home as a family of 4 were nothing short of majestic. I was SO worried about what life would look with two kids under 18 months and couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it all went.



WHAT I'M LOVING:
My quiet mornings. My new routine is to wake up at 5:30, before the craziness begins and the kids are up. It's quiet, calm, dark and is just enough time to gather myself and pick up whatever was left from the night before.

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO:
Baylor started school back up this week, Bellamy started ballet & tap, and Winnie started feeding herself with a spoon (living proof on snapchat today) ... big things, guys! We celebrated Bella's birthday yesterday with a trip to the mall for a new tutu, a stop at the Disney store, and of course lunch at Chick-fil-a (as requested by the birthday girl). We ended the day with dinner at our favorite italian spot complete with a hot fudge sunday!

WHAT I'M DREADING: 
January. It's currently 18 degrees, the kids are too cold to go outside, Collin's travel schedule hurts my eyes and the static cling in the air is doing a JOB on my hair.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON: 
I'm opening shop back up, working on some valentines tees and can't wait to share more exciting things with you guys!

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT: 
Spring. Heat. Vacation that I'll one day take. Ya know, the norm :)

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING: 
We went on a New Girl binge on our Christmas break so we're all caught up there. I finished Fuller House 2 on Netflix and of course, Gilmore Girls. And, above all, the BACHELOR is back on! I love Nick, and I love watching dumb girls on TV, so it's a given. Living for Monday Nights over here! 
 
As for reading, just children's books. The rest will have to wait. 

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: 
The Nursing & Cursing podcast, a little Megan Trainor - Champagne Problems and of course, my go-to, Ed Sheeran. I went on a major Randy Travis kick during the holidays (who am i?) but have hung up my cowgirl hat for awhile.

WHAT I'M WEARING: 
Pajamas. Guys, I wear pajamas to bed, get dressed to go somewhere and then change back into my pjs as soon as I get back home. I just can't quit them. I love the old navy thermal leggings, JCREW sets are SUPER cozy and the Gap Pendleton collection from Christmas was amazing.

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND: 
We're taking Bellamy to get her ears pierced (!), having a little family breakfast on Sunday and another birthday party! I also have a couple house projects to tend to, first being bellamy's shelf that she ripped out of the wall while practicing gymnastics...? WTF.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH: 
Valentine's Day! I told Bellamy we had to take her Christmas tree down in her room, and she said, "now that Christmas is over, I'll never be happy again." WOMP WOMP. While I have the same sentiment come Dec. 26, another holiday in the forecast helps soften the blow.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW: 
Every toy in this house. HA! No, but really. 
 
 
(questions via mixandmatchmama)

SNOW DAY!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

While most of our Christmas break was spent lounging and relaxing as a family, we did venture out on a couple different occasions (don't worry, we all changed back into jammies as soon as we got home) We had a pretty decent snowfall last week and decided to go find a big field full of snow that we could claim as our own. Not before we stopped for donuts & coffee but that's S.O.P around here. We built snowmen, Collin & the kids then tackled said snowmen in a series of slow-motion videos that I can't seem to quit watching. Bellamy did snow angels, which she's been dying to do since watching Minnie's Winter Bow Show (so happy that's not on anymore)... and we tested Winnie's walking abilities in the snow (which were mediocre at best). It was the perfect morning, the kids had the best time and there were no tears about being cold or feeling utterly claustrophobic in their snow clothes. A total win. 






Hope your week back to reality is going well! It's Bellamy's 3rd! Birthday today and we're headed out to do some CELEBRATING! 

Word of The Year

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year! We had an amazing Christmas, and the most relaxing week to follow. There were snow flurries, lots of naps, and a million snuggles with my people. I took time off - which was refreshing to say the least, and we spent so much quality time as family. It was perfect.

 Collin challenged me to think about my "word of the year" - something that I don't usually do. He's amazing at growth, self-betterment, and overall way more in touch with himself than I ever could be. (want to be inspired? visit his blog) ... Anyways, I spent some time thinking about this, and wanted to share more. 
Here's the thing - just like everyone else, I'm busy. Which is fine, it doesn't bother me and in all honesty, keeps me sane. However, sometimes, when we're really busy, we tend to lose our ability to be present. Sort of like the classic "jack of all trades, master of none" or "just because you can, doesn't mean you should". Yeah, I can answer emails while feeding the kids lunch and catching every third word, but not only do I miss out on 2/3 of the conversation & happenings, I leave feeling distracted, frustrated and spread too thin. Being present for me is a priority, because I'm sick of feeling frazzled. It looks like less multi-tasking, more saying "no", and more prioritizing my time. I want to be present when I'm working, present when I'm with the kids, present when I have time with Collin and honestly, present for myself when I can. Just because I can multitask, doesn't mean I should. I'm essentially looking to compartmentalize my life, because right now, it's one blurry mess and I'm not able to give anything my undivided attention. And yeah, sure, this isn't for everyone. Some people love the mish-mash, it works for them and they're fulfilled on all levels. It just isn't for me right now. I used to handle this fairly well, but now, I'm a mess and need a change :) So, for 2017, my goal is to be present. Present in all that I'm doing, but not all at the same time. I'll definitely fall short, but I'll keep working on it, because my resolution isn't black & white, it's a process.

A few other things I'm going to work on:
1. Wake up at the same time every day, before the babes 
(this is my big one - it literally alters the course of my day when I do this)

2. Get out of my dinner RUT - try new recipes, make more dinners and eat less take-out (worth a shot, but damnit I love Thai food).
3. Do more creative things with the kids - it's a win-win for all of us

4. Survive (because let's face it, this is just as much a struggle as any!) 

I hope your holidays were memorable and that you're going into the new year with a full heart and abundant expectations! What is your word of the year?? I'd LOVE to hear!

always amazing art by Jenna Kutcher

The Magic & The Truth about Christmas

Monday, December 19, 2016

This is without a question my favorite time of year - the traditions, the festive times and the chaotic times, the wrapping, the shopping, all of it. It's easy to see other people this time of year and look in amazement how they seem to "have it all together", but fear not, no matter how much you LOVE Christmas (and I'm at the top of that list), life just isn't perfect. It's easy to get roped into that expectation - that life in December is perfect. Breaking news...it's not.

 
I realize everyone is different, but for me, the magic of Christmas is: 
Decorating the house . Having hot cocoa & looking at Christmas lights with Collin & the kids (my favorite tradition) . The magic of Christmas through your kids eyes. The promise that a life following Jesus offers. The movies. The treats. The anticipation of the big day. The kids excitement when opening their gifts.

But, like with all things, the ugly truths of Christmas exist too:
I miss my dad. It's expensive. The expectations...oh the expectations. The overwhelming job of buying gifts for everyone and inevitably forgetting at least one unlucky soul each year. It's exhausting. That damn elf. That constant feeling that you have to make sure you're doing all the festive things with your kids to make "memories" when all they want to do is stay home & play with their toys.

So this year, if you're feeling all sorts of jolly or a little bit discouraged, take heart & be encouraged. We all struggle with something, whether it's finances, death or divorce, or just plain stress, it's real. Ultimately, Christmas is about celebrating the gift of Jesus and that unmatched act of LOVE. 
So this week, go love on your people, love on yourself and just be grateful for life. The rest will follow.  Life isn't perfect, and Christmas is no exception.

Christmas Sugar Cookies!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

I don't claim to be the most exceptional baker (I've had a few cakes go very south over the years), but holiday baking is one of my favorite things. Homemade cinammon rolls are reserved for Christmas eve, pumpkin bread is a Thanksgiving favorite & of course sugar cookies are our go-to just before Christmas. I wanted to share our favorite cookie & icing recipe with you guys - it's indulgent, extra sweet and SO good. The icing is very forgiving, which makes you look like a cookie decorating pro, when in reality, you're only mildly better than your two year old. 


LORI'S FAVORITE CUT OUT COOKIES 
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened 
3 oz cream cheese
1 egg + 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour

1. Combine sugar, butter, cream cheese, egg and vanilla...
beat at medium speed until light & fluffy. Add flour, beat until well mixed. 
2. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half & refrideragte for at least 2 hours. 
3. Roll out dough to 1/4" thickness on slightly floured surface. Cut out shapes.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes (take out before they start to brown)
5. Frost or dip in icing & sprinkles

We made our dough ahead of time and waited to bake for a couple days, it holds perfectly in the fridge or freezer! 

VANILLA ICING
2 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons fat-free milk, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Mix powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, and vanilla in a medium bowl with a fork. 
2. Add additional 1 tablespoon milk until desired spreading consistency is reached.

We added food coloring and separated frosting into piping bags for decorating! 

*Note: this frosting will harden, so you'll want to add sprinkles shortly after icing!

 


Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I'll just confess: baking with toddlers is every bit as stressful as you'd think. I'm more of a "you watch, I'll do" mom this way. I waited until the kids went down for naps to frost most of these, with the exception of three each. It was that or everyone got a pile of frosting and a half eaten cookie in their delivery. Pick your battles, friends. 

  
We doubled this recipe and made what felt like a million sugar cookies - perfect for your mailman (even though he hates you and all of your package pick-ups), house cleaner (who can't believe you let your kitchen sink get so gross), the milk man (the one who delivers all the milk that gets spilled at dinner every night) and even your favorite lady at the bank (who never rolls her eyes at your kids even though they're acting like absolute lunatics). 

Hope you'll go spread some cheer! We're only 10 days out and I'm just wiggling with Christmas excitement!

Christmas 2016 at the Hen House!

Monday, December 12, 2016

My favorite thing in the world is a house covered in Christmas, cheery and festive, cozy and glowing. Every year we vary things bit, add a handful of new decorations, pass on some from years before, and of course, add to our treasured Santa photo collection. Christmas time is nothing short of magical, just how it's intended to be, I presume.

A few things to note: 
1. Garland is impossible to keep alive. I'm on my 3rd set and I water those babies more diligently than I feed my kids. #alliwantforchristmasisafakegarlandthatlooksreal

2. I am in a constant struggle between a classic red & green christmas, complete with Pendleton plaids and wooly everything and the so fun & tempting pink, green & red that seems to have won over this year. 

3. I can't stop buying ornaments. Send me to rehab, I'm out of control. 
















Hope you enjoyed the little tour. We have all the rooms decorated, but "santa's workshop" on the dining room table (aka a mountain of shit that I haven't gotten around to wrapping/putting away/throwing out) totally cramps my style and ruins the rest of the photos. Maybe if you're lucky, I'll post it on my snapchat story. #you'rewelcome




A Very Bella Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

One of my favorite things about Bellamy is that she loves the little things, she notices a new picture in the house & delights in every decoration, ornament, christmas light or pillow we have. 

I wanted to indulge her and her little love language by giving her a very festive, christmas-sy room that fit her and all her magic. 


I made this canvas sign for above Bellamy's bed and plan on sharing a tutorial soon. Thinking it needs some glitter or something to "juj" it up a bit after the holidays :)


#needmoretutus






There's nothing more nostalgic than a Little Golden Book 






Always wondering "Whatcha doing?"


Land of Nod so graciously sent us the most festive decorations for this post, and you can get a lot of their holiday decorations on sale right now! Perfect for this year and you'll be so happy you have them for next year! 

DUVET COVER (C/O) LAND OF NOD // POM POM GARLAND (C/O) LAND OF NOD - SOLD OUT  // REINDEER PILLOW (C/O) LAND OF NOD - SOLD OUT  // MINI TREE (C/O) LAND OF NOD - SOLD OUT // SANTA SAID SO PRINT // WHITE JENNY LIND BED // WHITE DRESSER 



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