Our 2016 Christmas Card Reveal + Christmas Photo Shoot

I received product from Minted in exchange for this post on Our 2016 Christmas Card Reveal + Christmas Photo Shoot. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Looking for Christmas family photo shoot inspiration? This Christmas card reveal has some beautiful ideas with gorgeous cards from Minted!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! We hope you had lots of fun spending time with your loved ones yesterday. We had such a blast and it was so wonderful to spend another Christmas at home instead of in the hospital with Addie. We all were very blessed to have received so many great gifts and gorgeous Christmas cards too!

I wanted to do a quick reveal with our Christmas Cards from Minted and show you the pictures that we didn’t end up choosing. We wanted a holiday card that was traditional with a bit of modern flair so we chose the Tidings of Great Joy cards. It comes with foil or without, and you can actually change the color of the foil if you’d like. We also chose to send our cards in a post card format. We’re a busy family, so it just seemed like the best option so we wouldn’t have to stuff envelopes!

Here are some of the other photos from our fun Christmas family photo shoot with Lauren Gilbert Photography:

Looking for Christmas family photo shoot inspiration? This Christmas card reveal has some beautiful ideas with gorgeous cards from Minted!

Looking for Christmas family photo shoot inspiration? This Christmas card reveal has some beautiful ideas with gorgeous cards from Minted!

Looking for Christmas family photo shoot inspiration? This Christmas card reveal has some beautiful ideas with gorgeous cards from Minted!

What we wore for our Christmas family photo shoot:

Mathew: Shirt

Stephanie: Dress / Hat / Scarf (similar) / Booties / Tights

Addie: Dress / Bow / Boots

I love these individuals Lauren got of our family. It was a crazy time trying to get every picture taken while the light was diminishing, but we got some great ones! Addie wasn’t quite feeling the shoot (she was first), but I still think she looks cute as a button. Mathew’s picture is so perfect and I love how handsome he looks. I definitely want to get these framed.

Looking for Christmas family photo shoot inspiration? This Christmas card reveal has some beautiful ideas with gorgeous cards from Minted!

Looking for Christmas family photo shoot inspiration? This Christmas card reveal has some beautiful ideas with gorgeous cards from Minted!

When your kid falls asleep during the Christmas family photo shoot, you just go with it. It happens! We got some very sweet pictures though while Addie took her nap. Despite her sleeping, I love every single one.

Looking for Christmas family photo shoot inspiration? This Christmas card reveal has some beautiful ideas with gorgeous cards from Minted!

Looking for Christmas family photo shoot inspiration? This Christmas card reveal has some beautiful ideas with gorgeous cards from Minted!

Looking for Christmas family photo shoot inspiration? This Christmas card reveal has some beautiful ideas with gorgeous cards from Minted!

Our Christmas family photo shoot was tons of fun and we had so many options to choose from for our Christmas Cards from Minted. A huge thanks to Lauren Gilbert for yet another great photo session. We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a fantastic New Year!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! Love, The Wolfes

Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta

This post on Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta was sponsored on behalf of H-E-B. All opinions stated are my own.

Looking for a stick-to-your-ribs winter dinner recipe? These Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta are SO good, you'll want to make it over and over again! So grab your Cocinaware Dutch Oven, and get cooking!

It’s finally starting to feel somewhat like winter here in Texas and I couldn’t be happier. Winter brings so much nostalgia to me. I recall the first time I came to Waco and met Mathew’s family one special New Years day, I think of our wedding and how we just celebrated 5 years last week, I think of numerous skiing trips to New Mexico with my family, and baking cookies with my cousin Monica and my Aunt Gloria. Winter not only brings nostalgia for fond memories, but excitement for stick-to-your-ribs kinds of foods. Sometimes though, as much as I love them, I get sick of chili or soup. I’m not alone in this, right? I stumbled upon a recipe for Braised Balsamic Short Ribs from H-E-B with creamy polenta and was so excited for a change in our usual recipe rotation.

Looking for a stick-to-your-ribs winter dinner recipe? These Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta are SO good, you'll want to make it over and over again! So grab your Cocinaware Dutch Oven, and get cooking!

In order to make my Braised Balsamic Short Ribs, I went to H-E-B and grabbed all my groceries. Guys, I go to H-E-B so much that the cashiers jokingly give me grief (especially when I get the tiny basket and play Tetris to see if I can make all my groceries fit.) This recipe calls for:

Grapeseed oil
All purpose flour
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Bone‑in beef short ribs
Shallot, minced
Fresh garlic, minced
Fennel, medium dice
Organic beef stock
Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon
H‑E‑B Pepper Toppers Jalapeno Sweet Balsamic Reduction
Fresh thyme
Bay leaves
Lamb’s Stone Ground Yellow Corn Meal, Original Coarse Grind
Looking for a stick-to-your-ribs winter dinner recipe? These Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta are SO good, you'll want to make it over and over again! So grab your Cocinaware Dutch Oven, and get cooking!
…and to cook it all in? a Cocinaware 5.2 quart Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven from H-E-B. This dutch oven is magical. I absolutely love it and it’s the perfect pot for this meal. If you don’t have a dutch oven, it’s time to invest in one- particularly this one from Cocinaware. I got mine in a gorgeous Aqua and it matches my Kitchenaid mixer! The Cocinaware Dutch Oven is great for any recipe that requires braising, soups, stews, casseroles, beans, or your favorite Texas chili recipe. I say that it’s “magical” because it can cook on the stovetop, on a grill, and even in the oven. Plus, it’s so pretty from the enamel coloring, that you can put it straight to the table for a beautiful serving piece.
Looking for a stick-to-your-ribs winter dinner recipe? These Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta are SO good, you'll want to make it over and over again! So grab your Cocinaware Dutch Oven, and get cooking!
After making the Braised Balsamic Short Ribs from H-E-B, Mathew proclaimed it was the “best meal ever” and licked his plate clean. I’ve never had braised short ribs before, and I will never try another recipe for one because this one is tried and true! The H‑E‑B Pepper Toppers Jalapeno Sweet Balsamic Reduction give these short ribs an unexpected spicy kick, while the wine brings sweetness to it. Although the recipe called for transferring to a slow cooker, I actually just kept my short ribs in my Cocinaware Dutch Oven the entire time (from searing all the way til they were done.) Less mess is best, right? If you keep your Braised Balsamic Short Ribs in the dutch oven, just put it on low/medium-low for 6-8 hours so those deliciously sticky, spicy, and sweet ribs can fall off the bones.

I bet you’re dying for the recipe now, right? You can get the recipe for the Braised Balsamic Short Ribs right here!

If you try it, come back and tell us how much you loved it! Now go grab yourself a Cocinaware 5.2 quart Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven and get to cooking. You won’t regret it!

5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families

This post on 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families was sponsored on behalf of RAYCOP. All opinions stated are my own.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

I never fussed too much about being healthy until Addie was born. The term “wellness” wasn’t something that I’d ever really used, and I didn’t think much about taking care of myself until I became pregnant. Now that I’m a mom, and one to a medically fragile toddler, my eyes have been opened up to an entire new world. During the wintertime, all I see on Facebook are people talking about how sick they are or how entire families have been inundated with illness. My Facebook memories pop up each morning when I log on, and even I am reminded how frequently I was sick during this time of the year! Ever since Addie was in the NICU, I’ve learned some amazing winter wellness tips and I wanted to share them with families that are sick and tired of being, well, sick and tired!

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #1: Wash your hands. It sounds simple enough, right? Yet, more germs are passed around because we simply don’t wash our hands enough or wash them as long as we should. Here’s a tip for you, when washing your hands, sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star twice in your head. It may seem a long time, but it’s just the perfect amount of time to help you wash any little germy friends on your skin.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #2: Drink Kombucha. I’m a HUGE fan of drinking Kombucha because of all the amazing health and wellness benefits it provides. Kombucha is a fermented tea that has live bacterial cultures in it, like a probiotic does. You can make your own, or you can purchase some at your local grocery store (usually in the healthy living aisle). Drinking Kombucha every day will help protect your body naturally by supporting your gut. In fact, 70% of your immunity is in your gut. Your health starts in your gut, so you need to support it year-round, but especially in the winter. Not comfortable with the thought of Kombucha? Grab yourself a probiotic. We’re huge fans of Young Living Life 9.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #3: Sanitize your home. Here’s the thing- we have a TON of people in and out of our home because Addie requires nursing, therapies, and medical supplies. To say our door is revolving would be an understatement. Now that the holidays are here, we’re having more friends over for different events like Friendsgiving and our upcoming Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Christmas Party! Of course, we love diffusing Thieves to purify the air in our home after we have guests, but have you ever thought about the germs on your couches? What about your bed after you’ve been around a lot of people? It’s something many people don’t even think about, but it’s one that’s on my radar often. We just recently got a RAYCOP RS2 and it is AMAZING for sanitizing any fabric surface in your home. After TWO seconds, it is able to extract 99.99% of bacteria, 99.8% of pollen after 1 minute, and can extract 90% of household dust in just 3 minutes. Insane right?!

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

After my recent Friendsgiving party I decided to give my RAYCOP RS2 a whirl. I can’t chance having any of our family members or nurses sick,  especially because of Addie’s respiratory needs. Every RAYCOP purifier uses patented RayClean Technology® to efficiently sanitize fabric surfaces. Unlike a regular vacuum, RAYCOP purifiers have a dual filtration system incorporating a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter which is proven to capture 99.9% of common allergens like dust, pollen and mold, and UV light technology that deactivates the DNA in dust mites, bacteria, pollen, mold and mildew. Of course, don’t take my word for it- they have tons of research and development to back up their claims. I’m all about research (hello, oily mom here!) so it made me happy to see that on their website.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

I love love love the RAYCOP RS2 for my couches, Pearl’s dog bed (because let’s face it, pets bring in lots of stuff from the outdoors), pillows, beds, and even blankets. I am also planning to use it on my curtains that have been hung in our dining room for 2.5 years and need a good cleaning. It’s a great way to save water by not having to physically wash them! I never even knew a product like this existed until recently, and I’m so thankful for it. I’m always looking for natural yet effective ways to clean our home and this is just an amazing product that is going to make such a difference for our family- especially Addie. If you want to snag a RAYCOP RS2 purifier, grab it today at raycop.com/shop.

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #4: Keep exercising. When I started Camp Gladiator a little over a month ago, everyone kept asking me why I chose this time of year to start working out. The more I thought about it, the more I realized, “Why not?!” This is the time of year when indulgences are high for many, weather is chilly (because, you know it doesn’t truly get cold here in Texas!), and it gets darker faster. You have every single excuse to not work out, but this is the best time to push those excuses away. Working out is what is going to keep your body in tip top shape. Not into working out outside like me? Try a workout DVD, head to your local gym, do laps in a heated pool, or find a partner that will bundle up with you and will go for a walk!

Trying to stay healthy this winter? Check out these 5 Winter Wellness Tips for Families. So many amazing ideas that I never would have thought of before!

Winter Wellness Tip #5: Add spice. When I think about the holidays, I always think about the different spices of the season: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, orange. Did you know that all of these spices are eaten this time of year for a reason? Each spice has its own health benefits that are crucial to keeping you and your family healthy during the winter season. We love using Young Living Vitality Essential Oils in vegetable capsules, but adding spices to your foods will naturally aid your body in wellness. How cool is that?!

Using these winter wellness tips you’ll be set to fight off all the stuff that winter brings! Check out the giveaway from RAYCOP below for your chance to enter their lightest and most portable purifier, the RAYCOP Lite! It is a must-have for every home. I’m so thankful for it! 

RAYCOP Lite Giveaway