It is finally feeling like Christmas time here in Colorado! J made me promise we wouldn't start decorating for Christmas until December 1st, but I broke him down because I just couldn't wait any longer! If you know me, I don't really go all out for holidays. But, since buying our first home I wanted to start decorating it more, and Christmas is the perfect time to begin!
Because I was never into decorating before, and couldn't really afford to be, we were starting from almost complete scratch on our decorations. Which meant: shopping spree!!!
I love a more vintage, classic look so that is what my inspiration was throughout picking out our pieces. I like sticking with the classic Christmas colors and having a more natural, woodsy look.
We shopped at Target and found the cutest decorations! We also caved and bought a few pieces that I had my eye on and will enjoy for years to come. Target is currently having pretty big savings that you can show at checkout and you can find them here and here (they expire december 3rd so hurry!)
I love how simple but elegant our staircase looks, we just picked up a garland that had lights intertwined and added a few red bows for accent.
J made these reindeer in 4th and 6th grade, and were our only and first decorations haha. I love how cute they look and that they are special because he created them during his childhood. I am so happy to have things that hold a lot of memory and maybe one day pass it down to our children!
And yes we have an ammo box in our sitting room, because hello military family haha. I haven't decided if I want to paint it or leave it as is, what do you think?
Also, we bought the Mannheim Steamroller vinyl record and I love hearing this Christmas music throughout the day! I have a Christmas station on my pandora, but nothing beats a record player playing as the snow falls.
Now onto my favorite part of the room, the mantle! This garland came with the pinecones and berries already on it, and I laced a copper light string that I found in the dollar spot throughout it. I love lighting it up at night time, it makes the room look even more cozy!
THIS. CAMPER. Y'all, I have picked this up and put it back down so many times and luckily J liked it too and we added it to our home! haha I think it is the cutest thing and we got the red truck to go along with it. I love the little details like the wreaths and lights on them. We have always joked how much simpler life would be if we just bought a camper and lived in that so we could travel to texas and utah easier, so it is like our pipe dream of finally owning a camper.
This Christmas tree garland was a last minute find from the dollar spot, and was a great replacement for my thanksgiving garland!
I feel so blessed to be able to celebrate the holidays in our new home together. I cannot wait for the years to come when our family grows more and decorate all together!
We plan on getting our tree and it will go in the blank spot in front of the stair case! I love that we have vaulted ceilings and can get a taller tree. It is so much fun to pick out a real tree together and I will definitely be blogging the tree decorating process!
Have you started on your Christmas decorating? I would love to hear about your favorite traditions for this time of the year, or what you look forward to the most!
Also, this post is shoppable, which means if you click on the links it will direct you to the website, or a similar product from amazon! The amazon ones are affiliate links, which you can learn more about here.
I made these last night for me and J and shared a picture asking if anyone would like to know the recipe! I got a great response and got to work! haha This recipe was very easy to make, and it was something different from what we normally would eat, but it was so delicious!
We are lovers of italian and american food, so what better dish to combine them in? I joked that it is kind of like a pizza burger, you get all the taste of a sausage pizza packed into a little burger. So, that is what I'll call this recipe! 🍕🍔
1 package of meatballs (I used frozen)
1 package of slider buns
Ragu traditional sauce
2 Tbsp Olive oil
~2 cups Mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
supplies include, casserole dish, tin foil, and pan for meatballs.
Preheat oven to 350 | Serves 5 | Prep Time 10 minutes | Cook time 20 minutes
(optional) 1. Since I used frozen meatballs, I cooked them first on the stovetop. I spooned in a little Ragu sauce as they were cooking so they would soak up more of the flavor.
2. Place the bottom slider bun on the casserole dish, I kept them packed tight, rather than spreading them out.
3. Take a tablespoon and spoon ragu sauce across each bun. I then topped each bottom slider bun with two-three meatballs, then added some more sauce on top of that.
4. Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese over each slider.
5. Brush the top slider bun with a bit of olive oil, this will help the seasoning stick.
6. In a separate bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.
7. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the buns.
8. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
9. Remove the foil from the dish and bake for another 10 minutes.
10. Serve with a spatula and dig in! Use a fork and eat it, or pick it up like a burger!
Notes: I tweaked the measurements for the parmesan and italian seasoning after making this. While the taste wasn't overpowering, it was very messy and I feel too much on top of the slider bun.
And there you have it! A super delicious dish, that won't have you pulling your hair out! I believe the simpler, the better and that is definitely the case with this recipe. Please let me know if you give it a try, I would love to see how it turns out for you! Thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Happy Monday! J and I had a great weekend, and I had to document this outfit because I thought it was so cute haha. We spent Saturday running quite a few errands and finally got a curtain for our bedroom window. Oh the joys of home buying! J gave me the idea to do a blog post on what you need to know before buying a home- so expect that in the near future! I love when he contributes, because often times his ideas are better than mine! haha good thing our blog name is the strattons, it is definitely a duo effort.
Now onto this look! I love layering this military style jacket, and it has the cutest studs above the front pocket! Also, these are my trusty winter combat boots haha. They are one of the few that don't let me embarrass myself and fall on the snow. It snowed a ton a few days ago, but we have quite a bit of snow leftover which Pepper absolutely loves!
It has warmed up quite a bit but I still wanted to stay cozy! We first stopped by Petco to get Pepper a new dog food bowl set. She has outgrown her puppy ones and now I can feed her more, and we got one that is higher up for her which she has been enjoying! I enjoy it too, because it catches all the dog food and water spills from getting on the floor.
Next, J had to drag me out of Target because y'all their Christmas section is everything!!! I cannot wait for it to finally be December so I can start decorating! Christmas and fourth of July are the two holidays I truly go all out for haha. But, half the reason J had to drag me out, is because he had a hair appointment. Sunday (the day I'm writing this) we are getting Christmas photos done! Our goal is to get his hair to look like Tom Cruise's in Fury haha but his hair has a little bit to grow out on top but he looks so amazingly handsome!
I am so excited for this upcoming Thanksgiving week. J and I will be driving to Utah (pray for us, because Wyoming is the worst to drive through!) and will be spending Thanksgiving with his family. I am so ready to be back in Utah and I have my own little bucket list of things I want to see/do in our days there.
Also, let me know if you would like to see a hair tutorial on my hair! I love how it turned out and it was a pure result of my dirty hair and me trying to make it work haha. It was super easy and I would love to share it with you all!
Have an amazing Thanksgiving week + may you eat lots of turkey & stuffing!
So, I posted a picture of my taco bake on Facebook, as well as a Facebook group I'm in, and people went crazy over it! I had said my husband requests this all the time and how I had plenty of leftovers for his lunch tomorrow and the next day. My favorite thing about this recipe is how cheap, but oh so good it is! So, here is our taco bake recipe! (You're going to be shocked how simple it is)
Normally when I do recipe posts I do it step by step with the picture tutorial in between each step. I think you will be better off with receiving the full recipe and steps, and then pictures so that is how this post will be laid out! Next to each item is the price, but I purchased some from the Commissary. If you don't have military base access the price may vary, but all can be found at your local grocery store.
serves 4 , prep time 5 minutes, cook time ~30 minutes
1 lb. of ground beef - $2
1 can of cheddar cheese soup- $1.36
1/2 cup of milk- ~$2.50 for gallon
1 package of taco seasoning- .67
chili cheese fritos-$2.80 (use half of the bag)
Total: less than $10
1. Brown your ground beef, drain, and add in the taco seasoning (and 3/4 water or whatever amount your taco seasoning requires)
2. Cover the bottom of a 9x9 pan with chili cheese Fritos and top with the ground beef.
3. Combine cheddar cheese soup and milk into a saucepan and stir until it is smooth and melted down.
4. Pour this mixture over the beef and top with mozzarella as the final layer.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until the top layer of cheese begins to bubble.
6. Allow to cool for a little bit and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
A few questions I was asked...
Do the chips get soggy? Surprisingly no! When you bake them they get a little more hard and are the perfect texture. As I stated that it is great for leftovers, I have noticed when reheating in the microwave they do get a tad softer, but not soggy!
What is the white? In the picture below, I used mozzarella cheese. Above, I had made it with a mexican blend cheese. I say use whatever cheese you want, both are just as delicious!
How much cheese do I put on it? For the cheese, I put no measurements because I just go with what I'm in the mood for! Sometimes I will just lightly sprinkle the cheese over and other times I like to put more of a layer of it. If you want it more cheesy, then add more! The cheddar cheese soup adds a great amount of cheesiness to it, so if you don't want it too cheesy, I would just put a little bit on.
And there you have it! I'm serious when I tell y'all, this recipe is so delicious and your family will fall in love! J asks for this all the time and I am so surprised, because I really thought he wouldn't like it the first time I made it! If you want to spice things up, you can add some drained pinto beans and make it more of a 'frito pie' or top it with lettuce after it is done baking! I love how much you can transform it and customize it to your liking. Please tell me if you try out this recipe, I'd love to know how you like it!
This week has been a rollercoaster in the Stratton Household! We closed on our home Wednesday and slowly moved things in to our home. Then on Saturday, some of J's friends helped us move the big furniture! I am in love with this home and we have become quite acquainted in our new homestead.
I still have a lot of work to do, but for the most part we are finished! I snapped a few pictures to share, but it was dark when I took them, so I took a few more in the morning.
Details: Rug- Lorena Canals | Loveseat- American Furniture Warehouse | Flag + Clock courtesy of the U.S. Army | Jesus Picture- Deseret Industries | Mason jar- courtesy of my Mother-in-law | Friendsgiving- Target | Stockings courtesy of my mother
This is probably my favorite space in the house. I love our sitting room and how you get a view of our stairs as soon as you walk in the door. It has been a dream since we were planning on buying a home, to make it very 'All American' and patriotic. I clearly have a special place in my heart for country pride as well as pride in my soldier! This space is so welcoming and open, all the while representing who we are as a couple.
Details: Dog bed- Texas Tractor Show | 'S'- Ross | Canvas- CanvasPop (post here) | American Flag frame- courtesy of my mother
I didn't think I could do it, but miraculously I fit all of our things in the kitchen! It is a lot smaller than our old apartment, but I think I made it work and I have loved this little kitchen so far. I love how bright it gets from the window over the sink, and then the huge sliding doors to the left!
I really look forward to the summers when we can open up all the windows and host parties with our friends. We have a massive deck going off the kitchen and it is more space than we could ever need!
Details: hot tools holder- Holster Brand | Mirror- Ross | Mosaic bowls- Deseret Industries
Another small miracle, was fitting all of my makeup and beauty products in this bathroom! haha This is the downstairs bathroom that will be for guests, but is also mainly to hold all of my makeup and hair tools! Our upstairs bathroom is more marriage-friendly and all of his things (and of course more of mine) are up there. I love how girly this bathroom is, I have a small makeup stool, some vintage decorations, and I love how it all looks!
This is what I have completed so far, we also have finished our TV room, but we don't have a couch in there just yet, so I am holding off on that for now. We are also planning on upgrading our bedroom furniture so that makeover will be fun to share on my blog!
I know I am very excited for our new home and what all we will be doing to it and I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do! Please comment down below what kind of home related posts you would like to see, I would love to have some extra input. Thank you all and I will be back to regular blogging!
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons Blog! Here are snippets of my life, motherhood, and the military!