Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I can promise you that this is the best Pumpkin Bread recipe you will find!
The bread is moist and full of flavor!
The chocolate chips give it more of a dessert type taste.
Leave them out and it still is delish!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
3 Cups Sugar
1 (15 ounce) Can Pumpkin Puree
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
2/3 Cup Water
4 Eggs
3 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Tablspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Ground Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
This recipe filled two regular bread loaf pans plus one mini loaf pan.
Grease your pans.
Combine your sugar, pumpkin, oil, water and eggs.
Beat until smooth.
Blend in your flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
Fold in your chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into your bread pans.
Bake one hour or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Feature Post-Modern Monogram

Head over here to hear more about my favorite football shirt from Modern Monograms!
 pleated poppy

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Afternoon

I had planned on having a nomal post today.
One that was well thought out.
But yeah... it's just not happening.
It'll be my usual post of randomness.
I feel like that is kind of how my life is right now.
A whole bunch of random thrown together:)
This afternoon my big two are getting the special treat of skipping naps.
Emma doesn't nap anymore... but I do make her lay on the couch to read books quietly.
Some days trying to get them to lay down for naps can be downright exahusting.
They're both curled up on the couch with their blankets watching a movie now.
It's peaceful and quiet... nobody's trying to sneak out of their rooms... or throwing a fit.
My kind of afternoon:)
Plus I kind of enjoy their company while I work around the house!
And as if a peaceful afternoon isn't enough... there's pumpkin chocolate chip bread in the oven.
Enough said.
It's going to be a great afternoon :)
To answer your questions about my shirt from Saturday's post.
Yes, I did make it!
No, it was not a pinterest find.
Sweet Travis brought home an XL shirt the night before the football game.
Just a tad to big.
So I cut off the top, made it strapless (*gasp!*), added some elastic and voila!
Instant dress/maternity top/whatever you want to call it!
Super fun and comfy for a mother of three who has a pregnant belly...
I plan on making many more and wearing them proudly;)
This little guy.
Oh man.
He melts my heart.
He's sweet as can be,
 loves to give me kisses,
is content being by my side constantly,
can whistle (seriously whistle like an adult...he does it when we're in the car and he's looking out the window...cutest thing EVER),
says only a handful of words (important ones...ball, deer, mama, sissy and dadda)
and is just plain precious.
I adore him if you can't tell :)

I'm off to clean out my craft drawers.
They are out of control.
I am not a hoarder by any means.
I truly hate too much stuff.
But when it comes to craft supplies and fabrics I am a dangerous hoarder.
A 1 inch by 1 inch piece of fabric... heavens no don't throw it away!
I might need it someday for a craft:)
So wish me luck... it's going down with my fabric stash.
Hope your Monday has been great!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Morning Mishmash

Saturday mornings after a late Friday night football game are my favorite.
Especially Friday night football games that we WIN!
Another win for our team!
SO proud of our coaches and team!
Cade is already down for his morning nap.
Colt my little artist is coloring and working on his "science test"...whatever that means :).
Emma is curled up watching a movie.
I tried a new muffin recipe this morning.
Applesauce muffins.
You'll be seeing the recipe on the blog next week.
They were SO GOOD and fallish!
And now I'm sitting here playing catch up with my e-mail, the blog and the Holiday Gift Bazaar.
Speaking of the Bazaar... you guys... there are over 30 shops signed up so far!
And I am not kidding when I tell you that each one is incredible!
The variety of shops is what I love the most... a little bit of everything!
It will go live on October 1st so make sure you check back!
And if you're a shop who is interested I'd love to have you!
Back to the mishmash...
I was e-mailing a friend this week.
She has four little ones and homeschools the older ones.
She was saying at night she is exhausted... but a good exhausted.
That's how I felt this week.
I would get up before the sun was up...
work like a crazy through the day...
cleaning and decluttering for our move next month...
taking care of the kids...
and everything else in the mix.
And fall into bed around 11 each night.
Bone tired but happy about how productive my days have been.
There's a lot that I've been wanting to share with you.
Thoughts I've had on "less is best"...
thoughts on having patience with my kids...
thoughts on being purposful.
Next week :)
I'm off to shower.
The kids and I are taking lunch up to the coach's office.
Any excuse to see our dad;)
Hope your weekend has been good!

*this stuff... YUM. It has replaced my morning coffee and creamer for now!*

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Holiday Gift Bazaar

I'm excited for the second annual Holiday Gift Bazaar!
I did it last year and was surprised at the amount of shops who participated.
I love handmade and I love supporting it!
I've sold handmade before and I know the hard work that goes into each product.
My desire with the Holiday Gift Bazaar is to not only create a "one stop shop" for you to get your Holiday shopping done but also to encourage shopping handmade!
(I'll stop saying handmade...I promise ;) )
If you're a "buyer" like I will be this year then the following information is for you.
"Sellers" keep reading... your information is right below :)
Those of you who are like me and will not be selling goods this upcoming Christmas season...
my desire is to create one place for you to get all of your shopping done.
I'm hoping to cover everything from babies to adults.
To the left of my blog you will find the Holiday Gift Bazaar button.
If you wouldn't mind would you put it on the side of your blog?
Help me to spread the word to other buyers and sellers about the Holiday Gift Bazaar.
The more the merrier :)
The following information is for you!

Here are the details:


This includes the following...

-Your Shop's Ad in constant rotation along the side of my blog for the months of
October, November AND December.
That's three whole months!!!
Break it down and that's less than $14 a month.

-Your shop will be included on the Holiday Gift Bazaar Page.
On this page you will have the opportunity to display
up to 4 pictures of your product (I will turn them into a collage),
offer a discount code to my readers,
as well as 1-4 sentences letting the readers know what it is you sell.

-Once a month (October, November and December) I will be doing a post
featuring ALL of the shops participating.
This will be a time again for you to offer the readers a discount if you choose
as well as to show off your work through pictures.


If you would like your shop to be featured on it's own (in addition to the group feature),
for $20 you can purchase your own Feature Post.
This includes your choice of month (October, November or December).
If you want to be featured more than one month that is great!
It's $20 per month.

The Feature Post would include 4-6 pictures of your products as well
as a detailed write up about your shop and the products you offer.
A great way to make your shop stand out!

*You must be part of the Holiday Gift Bazaar to be eligible for this option*

Reserve your spot now!
The Gift Bazaar will be going live on October 1st and ending December 31st.

E-mail me at
thevanillatulip (at) yahoo (dot) com

Last month The Vanilla Tulip had over 150,000 page views.
The Vanilla Tulip Blog is averaging 4-5,000 page views a day.

Giveaway- Take the Cannoli

Today is an incredible giveaway from Nat from Take the Cannoli.
Let me tell you something about this girl....
she is as genuine and sweet as it gets!
Awhile back she sent me a package of goodies...JUST BECAUSE.
And in that package was a beautiful hoop she had made just for me.
It was and is such a blessing to me.
I hung it above my desk.
A sweet reminder from one of my favorite hymns! :)
 Today she is giving away a one of a kind hoop for one of you.
Doesn't get much better than that!
Here's Nat with more details...

Hi there Vanilla Tulip fans, I'm so excited to be sharing Ashley's space today. (She truly is a gem and one of my fave blogs out there)
You know everyday is a new day (no brainer right?!) Some days are fabulous while others require extra mascara to help accentuate the only thing I have going for me because I'm rockin' my pi's All-Day-Long. Though I have no idea what each day will bring I do know God is faithful and good.

Lamentations 3:22-23 says” Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are New Every Morning; great is Thy faithfulness”
And so I blog. About the everyday life as a wife and mama striving to become a better woman after God's own heart. That includes the good, bad and sometimes ugly. You'll find touches of crafts, fashion (hardly ever), DIY projects and if I'm feeling really spunky I may even toss in a recipe here and there.

I’m Nat, the girl behind Take the Cannoli. I am twenty something (for just a couple more weeks, eek!), wifey to Micah, mama to my two sweet babes, a Southern Californian girl, and a crafter of sorts. I am a lover of Jesus, coffee, all things vintage, the beach and any sweet treat!

I also own a little shop filled mostly with hand-stitched lovelies a.k.a embroidered hoop art; both my blog and shop were created with the goal of wanting to give encouragement and inspiration to others. The pieces in my collection are inspired by affirmations, scriptures, hymns and any other little thing that brings me joy. My hope is that these hoops will be a blessing to those who have them displayed throughout their homes, craft stations or workspaces.

Speaking of hoops, I am giving away a piece from my collection titled, "Home". This hoop is a one of a kind piece which was hand stitched with love and is display ready for your home or for that perfect gift for someone special.
Good Luck to you all and hope you'll stop by and say hi!
To Enter:
You MUST be a follower of
The Vanilla Tulip AND Take the Cannoli via GFC
Leave ONE comment letting me know you're following both
Additional Entries:

Check out her shop here and tell me your favorite product
Follow Take the Cannoli on Twitter here
Like Take the Cannoli on Facebook here

Follow The Vanilla Tulip on Twitter here
Like The Vanilla Tulip on Facebook here

Tweet about giveaway
Status Update on Facebook about giveaway
Blog Post about giveaway

Leave ONE comment for each thing you do.
Each person has a total of NINE entries.

Monday, September 17, 2012


The weekend was fast and furious!
Friday night's game ended with our third win of the season!
I am so proud of our team!
Saturday was another late night celebrating Trav's sister and her fiance with a wedding shower.
Sunday was filled with church and groceries.
This morning has been slow and quiet for the kids.
The rainy weather has me feeling extra productive today!
It balances well with the kids laid back moods :)
I made our first batch of pumpkin muffins for the fall season.
I always forget how much I love pumpkin and the smell of it baking!
This week on the blog will be a good one.
I've got a few things I'm excited to share with you.
One of them is a giveaway from Take The Cannoli!
Her embroidered hoops are to die for!
And something else is I will be talking more about is a Holiday Gift Bazaar here on the blog.
I did it last year and it was a big hit!
If you have a shop that you would like to promote for the Holidays make sure to check back!
I'm off to clean out my kitchen cabinets.
Lots of getting de-cluttering and getting rid of going on over here.
More on that this week too.
Wish me luck:)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Feature Sponsor- Maggie Bogart

Words can't even begin to describe how much I love my newest sponsor's shop!
Maggie Bogart is a children's clothing line made by Maggie herself!
What I love most about her clothing line is that her little girl clothes
are girly and sweet yet easy to play in!
Make sure you head to her shop.... she has a TON more items...
each one cuter than the one before;)

"Welcome! Have a cup of tea and look around! Be inspired by classic, vintage, and whimsical influences for playing, dreaming, and the business of being a child. Ruffles, soft knits and vintage prints are a few of our favorite things. Customizing is always welcome, and by all means, if you have questions, ideas, or feedback -- get in touch with me!"

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Feature Sponsor Post-Modern Monograms

I am in LOVE with this shop!
If you attend any sporting events or love sports than this shop is for you!
Tenille is a pleasure to work with!
She made me a football shirt which I'll show you next week!
Her turn around is fast and the quality of her work is top notch!
Check out her shop on Etsy.
She has a huge selection...make sure you head over there to see!
You won't be disappointed!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Phone Pics-Two weeks worth

This past week has been a good one.
Alot to be thankful for.
I hadn't shared it with many people but I had been going to
the dr. every two weeks to keep an eye on my placenta.
It was "low-lying".
Their hope was that as the pregnancy progressed it would move on up to where it needed to be.
I went in yesterday for my checkup and it has moved way up!!!
That in itself made for an awesome week :)
Now I am considered a normal pregnancy...hallelujah!
And in other crazy news.
We're moving houses.
During football season.
 My husband is a jewel...amazing...too good for me.
Our current house is located way out in the woods.
Kind of lonely out here and kind of far out.
We're moving to a PRECIOUS historic house in town.
I'm so excited about being right in town and closer to Travis at work!
So the next few weeks will be filled with packing, cleaning and moving.
Have I mentioned my husband is too good to me?!
We're gearing up for the football game tonight.
Excited to cheer our boys on to a third win!

1. Colt and George are inseperable these days
2. This little row of shoes by my back door melts my heart...can't wait to add another pair
3. Em and I have been taking afternoon naps together...I'll miss these days
4. I painted a bedroom the other night...and obviously forgot how big my belly is getting.
1. Emma's outfit for the day. Cowgirl costume+Cade's First Birthday Tshirt=AWESOME
2. Cherry 7-Up with Lime has been my newest craving
3. Lots of planning and praying going on these days while the kids play outside
4. The kids and I enjoyed some Chinese the other night before we got groceries. Delish and cheap!
1. Rainy nights, grilled cheese, soup and a table of babies. Love.
2. This is from last week (18 weeks)...I'm even bigger this week. Grow baby girl grow!
3. Cade is a big baby and I adore that about him.
This particular day he brought me a blanket and pillow for me to tuck him in on the couch.
And there he laid for about 30 minutes :)
4. Tiny cans of Dr. Pepper and Fritos. Another favorite snack.
*linking up with Life Rearranged Insta Friday*

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


This weekend my family came into town for the football game as well
as Cade's baby dedication at church on Sunday.
While they were only here for a short weekend we managed to pack it full of fun!

Sunday morning was Cade's baby dedication at church.
We were so blessed to have BOTH sets of grandparents join us for the morning.
Thankyou Grandma, Grandpa, Nan and Pop for making it such a special Sunday!


Monday, September 10, 2012

10 on 10: September 2012

ten on ten button
10 pictures on the 10th day of the month!
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!}
*linking up with A Bit of Sunshine*

Our Monday was a good one.
The morning was the chilliest it's been since spring.
Windows open...fall candles lit...
back door open so the kids could run in and out to play...
laundry machine busy washing sheets and towels from a glorious weekend of company...
Something about the hint of fall in the air made our day an extra good one :)
We took the morning off from our normal "school" schedule.
Some days it's nice to just take the morning off from your normal routine.
Wouldn't you agree?
How was your Monday?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Night Lights- Game Two

Friday Night Lights.
This is our life.
Our livelyhood.
I've thought alot lately about coaching being Trav's profession
There's not alot of money in it.
The hours are long.
Why do we do what we do?
Tonight as the National Anthem was being played and I looked
 at the row of players on the field I couldn't help but swell with pride.
Pride for my husband.
Pride for the boys and the team as a whole.
That moment solidified what I already knew.
We do what we do because it makes a difference.
Each boy has a different story.
Each boy has a different need.
Impacting their lives is why he does what he does.
I am so proud of my husband for the hard work he puts in day after day.
Not only to provide for our family but to make a difference in the lives of these young men.
And the cherry on top tonight....
a HUGE win :)


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

This + That

With Travis working more I've had a bit more time to peruse the internet.
I thought I'd share some of what has caught my eye over the past few weeks!

*for those of you who read this earlier...the links are fixed!
Proof that I shouldn't blog when I really need to be napping ;) *
Let's talk Starbucks.
I've seen this offer all over twitter and facebook.
You spend $5 and get a $10 gift card instead.
And if you refer 3 friends you get your $10 card for free.
No brainer.
So click below... buy yourself a Pumpkin Spice Latte...get one free.
And in the mean time you're helping me get mine for free ;) HERE.
I am so excited about one of my newest sponsors.
Maggie Bogart.
She makes THE CUTEST little kid clothes.
And I'm not just saying this because she's a sponsor.
Head over to her shop and see for yourself.
I'm getting ready to start this book in the next week.
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.
Have you read it?
A few friends and I are going to start a book club.
This was first on the list.
This Apple Braid from Eat Live Run's blog looks incredible...
I've had Christmas on my brain lately.
Mainly Christmas gifts.
I'm wanting to get a head start on them.
LoveThe Tip Junkie's 48 Homeade Gift Ideas In A Jar.