bing at nine

There is something about 9 months old. At first it can make a mommy weepy….”How on earth can this babe be as many months as I was pregnant?” But then their little personalities start to bloom and you fall in love even harder than you ever thought you could. This guy is proving to be a clown, a lover and an eater. 100% all boy and 100% impossible not to kiss every chance I get. Still can’t believe he will be one soon…

Bingham Banks 9 Months Bingham Banks 9 Months Bingham Banks 9 Months Bingham Banks 9 Months Bingham Banks 9 MonthsBetween sending Jettie’s 4 year birthday party invites and this post of a 9 month Binger (who is actually 10 months old today) I’m having a sentimental Monday. I thought why not post a pic of our sweet girl at the same age. You can tell they’re siblings yet they certainly don’t look exactly alike. I loved her two bottom chompers at this stage. And those big dark eyes, they still get me.

Jettie Jean 9 Months

Ugh, and now she’s all legs, sassy and absolutely everything I would want a daughter to be. I think I’ll go cry in my cold cup of coffee now. (We are not having more babies…we are not having more babies…we are not having more babies…)



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fresh pineapple margaritas

fresh pineapple margaritasYou guys, if you like pineapple at all you absolutely must try these. That is unless you don’t like margaritas. (But who doesn’t like margaritas???)

This is the freshest, most perfectly pineapple-y marg you will ever taste. With just the right balance of sweet and sour. As long as you don’t try to shortcut any of the ingredients (can of pineapple juice – no, no) you can not go wrong with this cocktail.

fresh pineapple margaritas fresh pineapple margaritasTypically before posting a recipe I do a quick search of how many other posts include the star ingredient. You could have knocked me over with a feather when only one recipe came up featuring pineapple. I mean, I love me some pineapple! It’s cute, fun to cut and incredibly delicious. Be prepared to see more pineapple goodness on PPJ. (And feel free to send me your favorite recipes, please!)

fresh pineapple margaritas fresh pineapple margaritasThis evening we will celebrate our friend Adelynn’s FOURTH birthday…which also means our Jettie will be turning the big 4 in a few weeks. Followed by Bingham turning into a ONE YEAR OLD. What is happening??!! This cannot be real life guys! These kids really do grow up in a blink of an eye – just like everyone warned us. Thank goodness for memories…and margaritas, lots and lots of margaritas.

Hope you’re celebrating this weekend!






fresh pineapple margaritas
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 3 cups of chopped fresh or frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup silver tequila
  • ½ cup orange liquor (such as triple sec)
  • ¼ cup simple syrup
  • sea salt to rim glasses (optional)
  • lime and pineapple wedges for garnish (optional)
  1. Place pineapple and lime juice in a blender and pulse until well pureed. Add tequila, liquor and simple syrup. Blend until combined.
  2. Rim 4 large glasses with lime juice and dip in sea salt. (optional) Fill glasses with ice.
  3. Divide margarita evenly between glasses and enjoy!


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a barber and a bing

When I was pregnant with Bingham all I could envision was a bald round head, and ear to ear grin just like his old man’s. Wouldn’t you know that kid came out pretty darn close to what my mind had contrived. All except the hair, he had just a touch more than anticipated – not a ton, but definitely more than peach fuzz. It dawned on me later that Bingham needed that hair. His dad is a licensed barber and the first haircut was going to be something special. (Someday I will explain why he is licensed yet not working at a barber shop – better yet, someday I’ll explain why his name is really/not really “Sticky”.)

Bing has had “wings” over the top of his ears for weeks – driving Sticky slightly crazy (he’s well educated in “manscaping”). The barber chair is in the garage though, and we needed a warm day for this inauguration. Last Saturday was the day. As soon as that cape went around Bing’s neck the grinning began…and my heart exploded.

first haircutFirsts can stress a mom out a bit. You want to capture them just so but at the same time you want to be present, and not miss a second. This haircut lasted all of 5 minutes and I maybe got 10 shots out of it. The thing about moments like these is that you don’t have to overdo it with the images. Sticky’s beaming, Bing is his jolly self – it’s right there to be captured and then enjoyed. I’m incredibly grateful for these few images, even more so for the experience of witnessing my man cutting his son’s hair for the first time.

first haircutWe all have images of our kids that pull extra hard on a heartstring. I think this will be one of Bingham’s. I can’t imagine looking at the above image and not getting an ear to ear smile of my own.






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mint julep cream pie

mint julep cream pieMint Julep – is it just me or is that incredibly fun to say? We love it so much “Julep” was on our list of possible “J” names for Jettie. Which she could have totally rocked. Pretty and sweet (just like the cocktail) yet packs a punch (just like the cocktail).

You could certainly say the same thing about this pie. From appearances one may think “oh, cream pie.” But one bite in and you’ll know you’re eating something reserved for adults only. It is named after a cocktail after all. One that is loaded with mint and bourbon. I happen to love me a good mint julep – I may even love this pie more.

mint julep cream pie mint julep cream pieIf you are a Kentucky Derby fan you know why I have mint julep on the brain. It is the official drink of the derby and quite frankly can be a little on the strong side. This pie doesn’t disguise the taste of bourbon, but the sugar and cream provide a buffer that the cocktail lacks. Perfect for anyone who wants to partake in the fun but does not particularly like a stiff drink. Boozey pie on the other hand…who doesn’t like that?

mint julep cream pie mint julep cream pieTraditionally my mom makes a Derby Pie on race day. It’s very rich, very chocolatey and very good. I think this minty, creamy drunk pie would be the perfect partner next to it. And let’s face it – you can never have too much pie!






mint julep cream pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 1 9" unbaked pie crust (I used this recipe)
  • Mint Syrup:
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 bunch mint leaves
  • Pie Filling:
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup good quality bourbon
  • 1 cup mint syrup
  • ¼tsp salt
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3tbsp mint syrup
  1. Preheat oven 425degrees. Place unbaked pie crust in a pie dish - remove any extra crust hanging over. (You can leave "rustic" or crimp crust at this point.) Prick the bottom with a fork, evenly and several times.
  2. Place parchment paper or foil in crust and fill with dry beans. Bake for 20 minutes rotating halfway through. Remove crust from oven. Take out beans/paper or foil. If bottom still looks "wet" throw in oven for a few more minutes until dry (without beans). Allow to cool completely.
  3. Make syrup. Mix sugar and water in a sauce pan. Allow to come to a boil. Remove from heat and add mint. Let sit until cool. Strain mint and store in container with lid.
  4. Turn the oven down to 350degrees. Place eggs and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined and slightly frothy. Add bourbon, cooled mint syrup and salt. Mix until well combined.
  5. Poor mixture in pie crust and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Until pie is set yet middle is still a little wobbly. Cool completely on a wire rack before adding topping.
  6. While pie is cooling, place cream in a large mixing bowl and whip until it becomes desired whip cream consistency. Add mint syrup towards the end. Store in fridge till pie is completely cool.
  7. Top pie with whipped cream. Garnish with a few mint leaves if you so desire. Serve and enjoy! (Adults only.)
You will have leftover mint syrup. Use in mojitos or better yet - mint juleps!


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hello beth & hawks homestead

A few weeks ago I received some lovely products from Beth of Hawks Homestead. We know each other through a mutual friend (thank you Lisa) and I have been admiring her line of essential oil based items for a couple of months now. While it seems like everyone and their neighbor uses essential oils, I have to admit I know very little about their effects and how exactly to apply them. This is why I love Beth’s line. Everyday items, loaded with essential oils – but the best part of all is that they are ready to use.


Beth graciously answered a few questions that a newbie like me wanted to know:

What initially drew you to using essential oils for your family?

I was introduced to essential oils while I was pregnant with my son. I was more than half way through my pregnancy, but having had “morning sickness” the entire time I started seeking more natural options for relief. I was very skeptical at first, but I became a total convert at 36 weeks pregnant. I was told by my doctor to give up the idea of a vaginal birth. My son hadn’t flipped yet and he was “out of room.” Hoping to avoid a C-section, if possible, I tried every old wives tale I had heard of – hanging off a couch for 10 minutes at time, doing headstands, etc. When one of my sorority sister’s suggested a drop of Myrrh on the top of my belly, I really thought she’d taken a train into Crazy Town… but I figured it couldn’t hurt. After 2 days of applying the Myrrh, Cole flipped on a shopping trip to Kohl’s and arrived two weeks later. After the baby flip experience, I approached every health concern with the mindset, “There’s an oil for that.”

How long have you been using the oils and how quickly did you begin to see the benefits?

My family has been actively integrating essential oils into our daily routine for over 2 years now. We’ve been successful in replacing almost all of our OTC medications, as well as household cleaning products and personal care products.  Essential oils can provide immediate results, often going to work within 30 seconds of application. Even after 2 years of using oils, I’m still impressed with how fast they provide relief. I really nerd out sometimes when I talk about the power of Mother Nature and these amazing gifts she’s given us.

Which oil (or hawks homestead product) do you use the most?

I’m a Keep Calm & Roll On addict. It’s my anti-anxiety blend with essential oils chosen for their calming and grounding effects. I have a rollerball in my office, at the head of my bed, and I carry one around in my purse. I’ve also been known to bust it out at meetings and cover other people in it when things start to unravel. But on a more serious note, I use every single one of my products daily or on a routine basis which is a big reason why the Hawks Homestead brand exists.


Your products are wonderful. What inspired you to make a business out of creating them?

The essential oil movement has been growing for a while, and I think we’re just now starting to see it hit mainstream. Even if someone isn’t an avid essential oil user, they’ve at least heard of them or dabbled with something like Lavender for sleep. As a dōTERRA Wellness Advocate, I had a lot of people buying essential oils from me and then quickly becoming overwhelmed. They wanted to know more and do more with them, but they didn’t have the time or energy to sort it all out. I was sad to see them giving up before they really started, or avoiding it all together due to the cost of individual oils. I saw an opportunity for my products to act as a gateway for people… a way to slowly and affordably be introduced to the amazing benefits of essential oils without the extra work and cost of buying carrier oils and rollerballs, finding blend recipes, mixing up blends, etc. My core product line is a collection of all the items I cannot live without and I really believe everyone can use.

To someone new to oils do you have a suggestion for good “starters”?

Any of the rollerball blends available through Hawks Homestead are a great place to start. I have a blend for allergies, sleep, anxiety, and immune protection… and I think everyone could use at least one of those! No one wants to get sick, so if I had to pick, I’d recommend the Stay Healthy blend to have on hand when you start feeling under-the-weather. My customers also love the Probiotic Deodorant, and it seems “less crunchy” than some of my other products. Knowing how bad aluminum and other chemicals in traditional store bought deodorants can be for women, I think a natural deodorant is a must. The probiotic in mine is the secret ingredient!

When it comes essential oils on their own, I love the enrollment kits from dōTERRA. They’ve put a lot of time into developing them and the Family Physician Kit and Home Essentials Kit are tops in my book. They have everything you need to really take control of your personal health and well-being.

Summer is coming up. Any plans on offering a bug and tick spray? Sunscreen? Poison ivy relief?

I do have some ideas and products in the works for the summer season. You can definitely expect a sea salt hair spray and a soothing skin spray for sunburns. I’d love to offer a sunscreen option too! We’ll have to see what makes it out of the “test kitchen”! I don’t sell anything I don’t 100% love and use for myself or my family.

Are there any concerns when using essential oils for my little ones?

Due to their potency, essential oils need to be diluted for use on children. While adults follow a ratio of 1 drop essential oil to 1 drop carrier oil, that dilution rate increases substantially for children. They are generally 1 drop of essential oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil, or 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tablespoon carrier oil (depending on age). Caretakers should always test a very small amount of the oil on the skin first for sensitivities. For small children, it’s also important to be mindful of not getting an oil on a child’s hand or in other places where they could potentially transfer it to their eyes or mouth.

Do you have some exciting products coming to your shop in the future you would like to tell us about?

I am really looking forward to launching a mom-to-be/new mom line I’m working on. It will contain some great products for pregnancy and post-partum. I have some fabulous mommies currently trying out a Belly Butter, Boobie Balm, Peri-Care Spray, and Rockabye Baby rollerball blend. I’d also like to get a hand sanitizer, diaper spray, and a few other goodies in that mix. I am hoping to have them in my Etsy shop by Mother’s Day. The products will be available individually or a mix and match gift set.



 Thanks to Beth for the fabulous answers! From my own personal experience I can tell you that the Healing Salve is amazing. I’m incredibly accident prone especially when it comes to pulling things in and out of the oven. After bumping a sensitive part of my arm on a hot oven rack last week I applied the salve and noticed almost instant relief from the pain. There was very little redness and absolutely no blistering. Much to my surprise I could barely see the mark just a few days later. Sorry Neosporin, you have been replaced.

For those of you who find sleep hard to come by, I highly recommend the Sweet Dreams Rollerball. The combination of Cedarwood, Vetiver, Lavender, and Juniper Berry oils instantly sends your senses a soothing vibe. You relax and your mind finds it easier to shutdown. I’m so grateful to have this in my nighttime routine.

You can shop the full line of Hawks Homestead on etsy as well as dōTERRA for your essential oils.

Thanks again to Beth for sharing her love for essential oils!






photo credit: My Wild Photography
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