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home and hostess

My Coffee Favorites – Espresso Maker + Coffee Brand

Baby number four arrived and Ben told my mombie self it was time to force myself to like coffee. haha.
I thought it was seriously going to be a plug your nose and drink it moment…
But the new espresso maker I got Ben for Christmas..mixed with the brand of ground coffee we get…
made it AMAZING!
It’s a much gentler(?) taste than the regular coffee I had been trying.
Now I actually love the taste! And I think I’ve been broken in enough
where I can drink most brands, but prefer the way we make it!
I TOTALLY get it now. WHY people drink coffee. haha.
We make Caffe Americanos every morning.
I haven’t had Starbucks since Christmas because I prefer how we make it.
coffee favorites-athomewithnatalie
We use this Espresso Maker:
De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
and order this ground Coffee off of Amazon:
Lavazza Crema e Gusto – Ground Coffee, 8.8-Ounce Bricks (Pack of 4)
How do you take your coffee??
I like mine with a little sugar and creamer.
Ben has his coffee black. He’s a real man. lol.
It’s been nice when we have company over, to be able to offer espressos!
The machine also has a frother on it but we haven’t used it yet.
I did a lot of research when I was looking for what espresso maker to get Ben for Christmas…
and heard great things about this one.
We have been using it non stop since December and it’s been great.
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 This is the mug holder I mentioned on my Periscope the other day!
Ben got it for me for my Birthday.
(Pottery Barn. On Clearance….Which made me love it even more.)
We can’t do a total kitchen makeover…but I’ve been adding in pieces that are more the style I like.
The rustic farmhouse look. Baby steps!
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I designed these Coffee Mugs to have at the shop table at my Moms’ Night Out Event.
I listed some of them in my Blog’s Etsy Shop…so mamas far away can get in on the fun!
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Ben and I cheers our mugs in the morning… “we got this!”
Whether you are home wrangling kids or heading out the door..we could all use a little pep talk in the morning.
Morning Pep Talk.
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It’s a mom rule.. if the kids nap, YOU nap!
I always joke about how the dishes can wait…so now it’s on a mug and official.
Naptime before Dishes! always.
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IT’S FRIDAY. Andd that doesn’t really mean much for parents of young kids… haha
BUT
I like it none the less. It just feels like I can exhale and breathe a little easier friday nights.
I have my whole crew home and that makes me happy.
We are doing family movie night and pizza. Always a good friday plan. :)
What are your plans for this weekend???

Our Semi-Clean Home Tour

It can be very liberating knowing that you aren’t alone with a crazy house!
Posting this, I know I’ll probably have some people who say, “that’s messy??” or “that’s semi-clean??” haha.
But ya know what…this is my reality and some days it’s worse and some days it’s better.
On this day I decided to pick up my camera and capture my morning with Micah and Asher.
You can’t even see the sofa because it’s covered in clean laundry to fold
and I have a toy trap covering the staircase.
I thought it might be refreshing seeing that people don’t always live in a pinterest perfect home
or with nannies or have all their
shtuff together but are still making things happen and choosing a joyful family life…even with the crazy!
As moms we can be so hard on ourselves, constantly comparing ourselves to
others or worried about what people think of us…
But we need to break free of that and celebrate where we are today and all of our blessings.
Enjoy the crazy three year old and out of control laundry.
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Four kids and running a business means that the house isn’t always spotless, but we are making it work!
I do love that quote “Pardon the Mess, I’m busy making memories with my kids.”
I need to get that sign I always see at Hobby Lobby. ;)
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Asher will be wearing his santa outfit until the very last day I can’t zip it up.
One too many Christmas cookies for that one.
I just can’t even handle his chubby toes! I have the boy santa version of the hippo from Disney’s Fantasia.
I went into the Dining Room to take an instagram photo of the items
I’ve been gathering for Asher and Micah’s shared room…
and saw that the kids had left some play food in the cabinet.
In their defense, it does kind of look like an oven.
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This verse motivates me daily. It’s hung in my office area of our kitchen.
If you want to make one yourself check out the Chalkboard DIY Tutorial I shared a while back.
It’s one of the easiest DIY projects I’ve ever done!

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Life sometimes feels like it’s moving in super speed…but I’m trying to slow down and soak up these moments more.
I love Asher’s cute chubby lips and cheeks in this photo.
Ben took a couple of me trying to lift him up in the air for a shot….nope.
too heavy. haha.
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I hope that you enjoy getting a little glimpse into our normal day to day life.
Nothing glamorous, and plenty of mom work to do… but I’m grateful for all that we have.
I’m also totally proud of how clean I can keep it with my crazy family.  And you should be too!
Mom life can be overwhelming and sometimes we are too hard on ourselves.
One day I won’t have a potty in my bathroom and I’ll be so sad. ;)
PS. The laundry, that was so beautifully showcased in the video, has since been folded and put away. haha.

How to Make Gifting Meals Actually Happen

Life can fill up fast. We have our own stuff going on and then sometimes
we have friends that are off giving birth to babies or adopting little ones and they need some extra love from us!
How can we get food to them without losing our sanity? 1. gift card.
totally acceptable. email it.. drop it off.. they’ll love you.
BUT if you want to make something yourself, because you enjoy it, but just
don’t know what to bring that’s easy… here you go!
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I have four kids, running a business and trying to not lose my mind….
but I knew I really want to make it a priority to get a meal to my friend Angela from This Gathered Nest.
They just adopted a sweet little girl, Rosie, from China and I knew just what I wanted to make them!
It all came together pretty easily and quickly and so I thought I would pass
on my tricks for making gifting meals actually happen!
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First thing you need to know about delivering meals… the guys want meat.
A loaf of meat delivered to their door, usuallyyyyy, goes across pretty well.
“Holy meatloaf batman” was the facebook comment I got this morning from Angela’s hubby.
See? Meatloaf works.
THIS one to be exact.
That’s an important piece of info… THISSS MEATLOAF. you’re welcome.
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I had made up a meal gifting printable years ago, but I wanted to make an updated one to use.
You can find it in my Etsy Shop if you want to use it too!
(You get the download and can print as many and as often as you want.
It can be your go to label for when you make meals!)
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When I deliver meals, I like to encourage the parents to use the dessert as bribery or keep totally for themselves.
Kids don’t need dessert..we are the ones having to adult!
I LOVE the Nestle Chocolate chip or chunk cookie recipes.
I just cook them for 7 minutes or so…taking them out kind of soft so they end up being soft and chewy!Gifting Meals-ATHOMEWITHNATALIE  

I usually make the cookie dough the night before. Then just pull it out and let it sit a minute and
use my cookie scoop to put on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
I don’t even wash the cookie sheet I just toss the parchment paper. not sure if that is allowed haha.
But it makes clean up a breeze!
And having a not destroyed kitchen is helpful.
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Cheesy Potatoes is always a hearty yummy comfort food!
Make it super easy for yourself by grabbing the steamable potatoes (by the regular potatoes!)
and kick it up a notch by sending it with sour cream and cheese.
Loaded potaotes. boom. done.
I love the steamable veggies. They make it super easy and they keep things cold when you are delivering!
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I love including something small for the big siblings when I drop off a meal.
Sometimes some fresh crayons and a coloring book or activity place mat is all
a mama needs for a few moments of sanity! And that’s what we are trying to provide right?
Just a fewww moments of sanity.
I always go to the dollar tree and grab paper plates, crayons, place mats or
coloring books and ALWAYS containers for the food.
Sending a meal with throw away or “do not return to me” packaging is important!Gifting Meals7-ATHOMEWITHNATALIE

 

If you are looking for an Easy Meal to drop off…
Here’s the list of what you need:

Meatloaf
Potatoes (Steaming kind)
Small Sour Cream
Pack of Fancy Shredded Cheese
Steamable Frozen Whole Green Beans
Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(You could also include a bag of grapes….and wine. ;)
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I hope this helpful for those of you WANTING to be the friend who delivers a meal, but don’t think you can handle it.
You got this! I love gift giving…but sometimes with my whole crew it’s hard to make it happen.
But having a plan and knowing what works helps a lot in making it happen.
Community is so important to me and I love putting this at the top of my to do list.
It takes a village ladies!