The Real Super Bowl MVP

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
This post is sponsored by Febreze. All opinions are mine alone. 

All good Super Bowl parties have a whole lot of food. All that food smells really really good until the party is over. Then the smell lingers and by day three of smelling little smokies and crockpot meatballs, you're convinced the smell is stuck in the walls for good... right? What if I told you there was a way to clean away those tough, lingering odors better than ever before? You'd jump on any chance you could get, right?? I know I would! This year I'm planning on doing a nacho bar for the super bowl with literally ALL the toppings you can think of... I'm talking chopped onions, lots of cilantro, all sorts of salsas, melty cheese, shredded chicken, jalapeños, sour cream, tomatoes, black beans... the possibilities are endless! Nachos are a favorite dinner over here and I love that everyone eating can customize them how they like! The only problem is, between the leftover onions, the stinky garbage disposal, and the salsa jar smelling up the fridge there are a lot of unwanted post-party smells. I'm super excited to tell you guys about a simple solution that'll make it so you can make all the delish Super Bowl dishes without the leftover smells! Make sure to read to the end because I'm sharing my favorite crockpot shredded chicken recipe with you guys so you can make a nacho bar this year too!

Does anyone else hate dishes? A sink full of messy, dirty dishes full of leftover food is pretty darn bad... but even worse is after finishing cleaning the kitchen and realizing it still smells anything but clean! You've wiped the counters, mopped the floors, done the dishes, taken out the trash and still your house has lingering odors that are tough to get out. That's when Febreze AIR comes in! Febreze will hands down be the MVP of your Super Bowl party thanks to it's OdorClear Technology that cleans out odors in two simple ways. It seeks out tough odors and cleans them away by deactivating and replacing them with with a light, fresh scent! From experience, I can promise you that as a guest there is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable at someone else's home based off the smell. Somehow stinky smells make a home feel less clean and comfortable. So make sure to add Febreze to your game day shopping list. It will save you, your party, your home, and your guests from pregame and postgame odors. Check out this hilarious video with Terrell Owens that shows what will happen at your party if you don't have Febreze!

Now on to my favorite simple and yummy crockpot shredded chicken recipe!

Here's what you'll need:
3 frozen chicken breasts (or thawed but who has time for that? ha!)
one can of diced green chiles
one packet of taco seasoning
-1 tsp garlic salt
-1 tsp chili powder
-2 tbsp water

All you do is add all the ingredients to the crockpot and cook on high for 6 hours! Once it's cooked through, shred your chicken and you have the perfect chicken for tacos, enchiladas, taco salad, and of course... nachos!

I hope you all have a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday with friends and family! Just remember to add Febreze to your list to help the day smell and run smoother!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy 

Tasty Tuesday: My Favorite Energy Bites

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Literally every single night right after the girls go to bed, all I want to do is treat myself to something sweet. It's like giving myself a reward for getting through another day, ha! If I was still 16, it would be totally fine to have a little treat every night! Buttttt... I'm not haha. So, I've been trying to find an alternatives to cookies, ice cream, and all the other deliciousness I crave. There are a million and a half protein and energy bite recipes out there. Each of them contain mainly the same ingredients, just different ratios and different extras. After putting these ones together, I became obsessed! They are plenty sweet without all that extra guilt and are filling enough that you really only need one. I hope you love them as much as we do!

-2 cups natural peanut butter or almond butter
-2 cups quick oats
-1/4 cup honey or agave (if you choose agave, you'll need about 1/4 cup extra quick oats to hold them together better)
-1/3 cup chopped almonds
-1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
-1/3 cup shredded coconut 

1) Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine. You can do this with a spatula, your hands, or my favorite way... in a kitchenaid with the bread hook. 
2) Line tupperware with parchment paper. Spray your hand lightly with cooking spray. Grab a small handful of the mixture and roll it into a ball. You can also use a cookie scoop to make it easier. If you run out of room, you can add another layer of parchment paper so they don't all stick together. 
3) Keep in the fridge until set! You can also freeze them. Whatever you fancy!

Anddd that's it! So simple and so yummy!
I hope you love them!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Crockpot Shredded Barbacoa Beef

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Every year in Hunter's family, we do a big Christmas Eve party. It's filled with laughter, cousins running around, a gift exchange, sweets, activities, and really good food! We've done several different things over the years, but this year's menu was definitely a crowd favorite! We had a taco bar and every couple brought a different meat. Carne Asada and Pollo Asada got taken pretty quick so I decided to get creative. I loooveee Chipotle. I don't care what you have to say about how it really isn't good for me and what not... I would eat at Chipotle every week if I could! I love their barbacoa and always have. I always say I'm going to try something new, but literally always go back to the barbacoa. Sooo I thought, why not try to make it?? Barbacoa is a really tender shredded beef with a smoky, spicy, chipotle sauce on it. I did some research and decided to experiment. The experiment definitely worked because this stuff was soo yummy! Anddd... so easy! Gotta love crockpot dump and go meals! I'm sure it could be made in the instant pot too, but I loved that I could just dump it all in when I wasn't busy in the morning and let it cook all day so I used the crockpot.

-Chuck Roast. I don't have a specific pound requirement. I just buy a 2 pack at Costco and use one of them!
-1 small can of chilis in adobo sauce. 
-1 cup beef broth
-4 tsp minced garlic
-1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-1/4 tsp ground cloves
-juice of one lime
-4 tbsp vegetable oil

1) Thaw your meat. I usually buy the 2 pack of chuck roast from Costco, separate them in different bags, then freeze them. I'll usually take one bag out and put it in the sink to thaw it overnight. 
2) Heat oil in a non stick skillet. To test if it's hot enough, flick a little water on the oil. If it starts to crackle and pop like crazy, it's ready!
3) Coat both sides of your roast in salt and pepper then sear in oil. Searing usually takes 3-4 minutes per side. You'll want a golden crust on both sides. Use tongs to make your life easier!

4) Stick your roast in the bottom of the crockpot and make your sauce. I use a Vitamix to make it, but I'm sure any blender on high speed will work. Add allll of your ingredients other than oil and roast obviously... If you can't handle spice very well... only do 1/4 to 1/2 the can of chilis. I do the whole can and it definitely is spicy but can be mellowed out with sour cream. Soo add all remaining ingredients to blender and blend on high speed. Once all ingredients are combined to make a thick sauce, you'll know it's ready!
5) Pour sauce over roast and cook on high for a minimum of 6 hours. After 6 hours shred your meat. It should literally fall apart. If it doesn't, cook it longer! Once it's shredded, you can stick on low or keep warm setting until ready to serve.

6) You can serve it two ways. You can either keep it in the crockpot with all the spicy juices or mellow it out by scooping out the meat and leaving the juices behind. So far we've eaten it in tacos and burritos and loved both!

Let me know what you guys think!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


DIY Extra Large Wood Sign

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Okay, this post has been a long time coming and I'm really sorry it has taken so long... but I can't wait to share it with you! I've wanted a really big sign above our bed for SO long but have not been able to find one I love for an affordable price. After searching and searching, I decided it was worth a shot to at least look into making my own. I walked into Home Depot with no real direction so I just walked up to an employee and he helped me tons! You guys won't believe how cheap it ended up being with all of the employees suggestions! It was cheap, easy, and might just be one of my favorite decorations we own! Soo let's get right into it!

What You'll Need:
-A stencil or really good handwriting. I used my Cricut and stencil vinyl to create my own. 
-5.0mm 2'x4' underlayment. It'll be pre cut and really cheap! I found a piece with some pretty natural wood designs. Find one that lays completely flat and stick it in your cart.
-General Purpose Lattice cut into 4 pieces. 2 pieces will be 4 ft and 2 pieces will be 2 ft
-grey wash for the frame
-White wash for the wood
-Black acrylic paint
-White acrylic paint
-Paint brush
-apoxy glue
-Two large sawtooth hooks

What You Need To Do
1) Go to Home Depot and get your supplies. You should be able to purchase everything there. While I was in store, I made sure to take pictures! So here's what you'll need... Also you'll need to cut the lattice. You can absolutely ask someone to cut it for you, but they should have saws out and it's really easy to just cut yourself. 

2) Lay out some plastic trash bags or an old blanket and white wash your big board. After that lay out your lattice pieces and grey wash them. I did a couple coats of each until I found the look I was going for. Let it all dry fully.
3) Lay out your lattice pieces to make a frame on the board. Once you get them all to fit use the apoxy to attach them. I used clean rocks on top to keep the pieces laying flat while they dried.

4) Okay, your board is ready! You have some options here... If you have excellent handwriting, go ahead and free write it. If you have a cricut, create your own stencil. I used fonts from dafont. I used Athena and Italian Breakfast. I did it in three parts, "You Will" (12in across) "Forever" (23in across) and "Be My Always" (20in across). I added on the swirls freehand. I used stencil vinyl and transfer tape to get it just right. I just used black acrylic paint and once it was fully dry, I touched up with white where needed. Your last option is to just buy a stencil from etsy or Hobby Lobby!
5) Once the stencil is removed and all paint is dried, attach your hooks to the back. I did two, one on the upper right side and one on the upper left side. Use a ruler to make sure they are even in height. Then ta-da! Your sign is ready to be hung and will be such a statement piece!

I really hope I covered it all in this post but if not, feel free to reach out with any questions!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy



Friday, January 4, 2019

It's been a while since I've sat here with a blank screen and nothing to type but my thoughts. I love that I have the opportunity to create sponsored content and provide a little bit for my family... but I have also found myself dreading sitting down to type nowadays. I generally only take on sponsored posts for products I already love and use, but somehow when someone is telling you to write, it begins to feel a lot less fun. I don't think I've shared this before, but I debated going to culinary school for a while. It was actually my plan for most of high school. Then when it came time, I couldn't bring myself to want to apply. It just felt so unappealing to have someone telling me how to cook rather than me experimenting in the kitchen like I actually love doing. I didn't care about what knife I needed to use to cut steak or the proper way to make a roux. I just wanted to create. That's how I'm beginning to feel with this blog. I just want to create! I spend a lot of my time negotiating, creating invoices, editing photos, emailing drafts, and applying for opportunities which leaves a whole let less time to type my thoughts on here like I used to. I've been going over my plans for this year, and more specifically my plans for this blog, and ultimately decided I need to push myself to create more. I need to share more of what makes me feel joy and I need to work on remembering that I prayed for the opportunities I'm receiving now. Work, no matter what form, can feel a whole lot like a burden. But, I think if we let it, it can feel more like a blessing. One of my goals for 2019 is to remember that this blog of mine, is a blessing. That every one of you that has stuck around over the  years, are a blessing. Every comment, view, swipe up, like, and response really means a lot to me. You all really mean a lot to me. I'm sorry I've slacked off and I'm sorry I've resisted sharing what I've been inspired to share. So here we go 2019, let's do this thing!

On the topic of goals, fresh starts, and wanting to change... I thought I'd share another thought I've had recently. I usually pick a phrase or saying to live by each year. For example: 2012 was: "Do more of what makes you happy." 2013 was "she believed she could, so she did." A more recent one, 2018 was: "Children are not a distraction from more important work, they are THE most important work." So, it came time for me to pick something for 2019 and nothing was popping out or felt right. So, I decided to just pick a word. One word that motivated me to be my best self and accomplish what I'm hoping to accomplish. I was pondering several words and decided on... Intentional. I want to be intentional. In everything. I want to be intentional in my words, my spending, my time, my food choices, my life choices, with my children, with the ways I choose to serve, with the exercises I do... literally in everything I do, I want to be intentional.

2019 started off rough for me. I've felt a bout of anxiety lately with a hint of yucky depression-ish feelings. I'm having a harder time feeling happy and rather than looking on the bright side, the not so bright side keeps slapping me in the face. While i believe that depression and anxiety are not something someone can choose to just change one day, I do believe there are exercises both mental and physical that I can do to at least help a little bit. Today when I was loading the kids in the car for some errands, they were both crying and my head was pounding and I clenched my fists after closing Oaklyn's door. I found my thoughts quickly spiraling into a tangled mess of unhealthy feelings and reactions. I wanted to get into the car and yell. I wanted to tell Oaklyn she was being needy and annoying and I wanted to tell Cambria she was being loud and whiney. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and suddenly my word popped into my head. Intentional. Be intentional with your words. Be intentional with your thoughts. I took another deep breath and sat in the car. I took another deep breath and dug deep down for my "everything is okay" mom voice. "Are you girlies ready to go to Target??" I said trying to turn the situation around... and you know what I heard? Oaklyn yelled an excited "YEAH!" with giggles from Cambria right behind. I looked back at Oaklyn... "Be intentional" I thought. "Okay Oaks, you're the big sister. I need you to be a good example and be a listener. Can you do that?" Another excited "YEAH!" followed by more giggles from Cambria let me know that even if the Target trip turned out pretty awful, I know I'm doing my best.

I'm probably not always going to do my best. I'm probably going to lose my cool a few too many times. I'm probably going to miss a week of posting on my blog... I'm not going to be "perfect." But, I am going to try my best to be more intentional this year. Because if all else fails, I can at least feel at peace with the idea that I tried. And I mean really, honestly tried. I hope to remember that each day is a new day. Each day is a chance to choose to be a little better and do a little better. My mom has a sign that says "Don't look back, you're not going that way." I hope to apply that in my life and with an intentional mindset, I think I can. What word will you choose?

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

*The pictures really don't have anything to do with this post... but she's cuter than a post with just words soo... here ya go! haha