Spiced chicken with sweet potatoes

Spiced chicken with sweet potatoesThis dinner will make your day! It is so quick and straightforward, with simple ingredients, and everyone in my family gobbled it up.

Spiced Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes (depending on size)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp of all spice
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/4 chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime cut into wedges


  1. Wash, peel, and cut sweet potatoes into chunks
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a high sided cookie sheet with foil.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, allspice, chili powder, and salt
  4. Place chicken breast in a Ziploc bag, and then add half the olive oil mixture
  5. Place sweet potatoes on a pan, and pour the rest of the olive oil mixture over top.
  6. Roast sweet potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes, while the chicken marinates.
  7. Add the chicken to the sweet potato pan, and cook for another 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked completely and potatoes are fork tender.
  8. Out of the oven sprinkle with cilantro and squeeze lime wedges over the top.
  9. Serve warm with Hawaiian rolls!
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Current favorites

A’s current favorites are creating and identifying arrays:

Current favorites

And practicing his holiday piano songs:

Current favorites

J’s current favorites are building puzzles, playing tsum tsums, and watching his train under the Christmas tree:

Current favorites

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The return of Link

Elf on the shelfLink made his yearly appearance this past week. Hurray for four weeks of jumping up at 6 a.m. realizing he is still hanging out in the same spot from the day before. This guy causes me nothing but trouble. However, the boys sure do love him! Here’s a bit more of our yearly “welcome Link” tradition…

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Friday Favorites

This week we watched the rest of the leaves fall…Friday Favorites

Saw the first rainy day in months: Friday Favorites

And graded lots of papers and prepped final exams: Friday FavoritesThis weekend we are headed to see Santa, expecting a bit more rain, and hopefully I’ll get the rest of my grades done. Wish me luck!

Tortellini + meatballs = weeknight dinner

A month of outfit inspiration.

A dry-erase notebook! Thus is revolutionary!

Fixer-upper Christmas decorating ideas.

A Thai coconut soup perfect for cold winter nights.

Finding your joy

Stylish sweatpant solutions. 

Re-defining your weekday mornings with music.

Rigatoni dinner with fresh bread.

Holiday stove simmers to make your home smell yummy. Just don’t forget they are on the stove!

And finally, the beautiful paintings of Felix Dolittle. I really want to get the bookmark set for A.

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Santa hat cookies

J is all about the holidays this year, and I’m pretty sure he’s on  a mission to make all the cookies possible between now and Christmas. He wants to help with every single step of baking, which can be a bit challenging, but also terrific. So our first cookie of the season he named “Santa hat cookies” because the cookies have red & white m&ms, and peppermint chocolate chips (just like Santa’s hat, J said).

So here is J’s step by step process. Start with a stick of butter…Santa cookiesWhile it’s softening mix together your dry ingredients…  Santa hat cookiesPlay hide and seek while the butter is creaming in the mixer… img_0933Check to make sure your butter and sugars have mixed completely… Santa hat cookiesAsk repeatedly if you can try one of the candies (and then another, and then another)… Santa hat cookiesPut the cookies in rounded teaspoonfuls on a pan and count them… Santa hat cookiesWait patiently ten minutes for them to cook and another three for them to cool and then wince at your Mom in annoyance as she tries to take your picture while your eating your cookie… Santa hat cookiesAnd that’s it! The complete recipe is below!

Santa hat cookiesSanta Hat Cookies


 1 1/2 + 2 tbs of all purpose flour

3/4 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of kosher salt

1/4 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of butter at room temperature

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tbs of vanilla extract

1/2 cup of peppermint chocolate chips

1/2 cup of red m&ms

1/3 cup of white m&ms


1. Cut butter into tablespoon slices and place in the bottom of the mixer. Set your egg out on the counter. Do this first then prep the rest of your ingredients.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt. Set aside.

4. Crack egg into a small cup and whisk with vanilla.

5. On medium speed cream butter for about three minutes.

6. Add sugars to butter and mix until light and fluffy about 3-4 minutes.

7. Scrape down the sides and then add in the egg mixture. Mix until it resembles cottage cheese (so slightly lumpy, but well mixed).

8. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix just a little by hand (so it doesn’t puff out when you start the mixer), and then mix on low speed only until barely blended.

9. Stir in mix ins.

10. Bake for seven minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for two additional minutes. Let cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

11. Will keep in an air tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. In our house they rarely last that long.

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A tour of our Christmas decor

Join me around our house! I’ve been steadily adding to our Christmas decorations each year, and I’m loving how everything turned out this year. I’m not the best at decorating, but I’m learning slowly (layering, creating visual points, etc.). The boys’ excitement over the decorations make it worth while. Oh and if you need help decorating quickly, have J come over. He will bustle behind you until you are finished, saying things like “why are you sitting down?” and “keep decorating!!”

First up, our entry way!

I love the idea of combining what you have already with some Christmas updates…

holiday decor

And I was beyond thrilled to find these cotton stems from one of my favorite local shops (Mint Julep Marketplace), to include in the Target vase I had been eyeing:

Holiday Decor

And then we dressed up our little reading nook in the living room:

Reading nook

And our mantel is fresh and new with accents from Kirklands (that mirror was 20 dollars!!):

Mantel DecorMantel Decor Mantel DecorThe bottle brush trees are from Hobby Lobby and I’m going to tell you, they are a glittery mess. But they look awesome!

And here is a close-up of our tree. Take a good look, because this guy is about to be replaced. We have to string lights that work around the middle of the tree because the pre-lit portion stopped working. Last year. No judgement.

Christmas Tree

The layering detail was a tip I picked up from the mantel link I posted with my Friday Favorites two weeks ago:

Stocking layering

And this year we added in a fox to our random lighted animal collection:

Christmas DecorI cannot even express to you the hilarity of this set-up. The Bible does discuss behemoth animals, so I’m pretty sure this is what they were talking about.

Let’s move on to the kitchen, shall we?

Immediately upon posting this, I noticed that one of my candle wraps has slipped down, and my A-typeness cannot handle that, so I’m fixing it now…

Christmas Decor

I love the incorporation of the metal canvas with the cookie print that’s a staple in our house.

Holiday Decor

And our Christmas card holder is ready to go…


And my wall swag:

Christmas Decor

And my wreath that I made a few years ago with my sister and Mom:

Christmas Decor

And our cookie holder and Christmas countdown snowman:

Cookies & Counting

And that’s it! I’ve got my eye on these pieces from Anthropologie to complete a few areas:

Christmas Extras

And then it’s on to wrapping presents! Happy decorating!

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Painted snowflakes

While at Target insisting we “NEEDED” more holiday decorations, J found large wooden snowflakes and declared that they would be perfect for his and A’s doors. A agreed they were a great idea and I set them up one evening with their wooden snowflakes and a host of acrylic paints:

Painted Snowflakes

I love that they rarely go for typical Christmas colors. They wanted every primary color, silver, bronze, white, and black:

Painted snowflakes

Ten minutes later, they were all done!

Painted Snowflakes

After leaving them to dry overnight, I added them to their door with the included twine, and a little monogram ornament over the top. Perfection!

Painted snowflakes

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J’s been creating magna tile houses for his animals…

Building houses

And block tile houses at Nana & Grandpa’s:

Block tile houses

And A created a chicken salad dinner for a cub scouts badge:

Chicken Salad Dinner

And A played some Pokemon with Aunt Amanda:


One of J’s BFFs had a rocket themed birthday party and J thought it was the coolest:

Rocket Birthday party Rocket birthday party

And the boys watched Home Alone for the first time and laughed all the way through it:

Home AloneThis is their re-creation of the scene where Kevin puts on aftershave. HA!


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