Facebook Instagram Pinterest

Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate covered Almonds

Chocolate Almonds1.jpg

So Valentines day is this week. Life has been so crazy lately that I completely forgot this holiday was even a thing until Kriss jokingly said “honey, I paid off the credit card. Happy Valentines day!”. Hashtag: romance

I do not have anything against Valentine’s Day - it is just a little inconvenient. It is right after the Holidays and is basically a day dedicated to chocolate only 6 weeks into the new year (aka 6 weeks in to half of the country’s new diet). Also, it often falls in the middle of the week and who has the time to go on a date in the middle of the week? Definitely not two working/ commuting parents.

This is why the past few years I have been boycotting the traditional box of chocolates in favor of a delicious handful of Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds.

This is a perfect little Valentine's Day gift that will not break your diet or the bank! All you have to do is buy the ingredients at your local grocery store find a cute little bag to put them in and boom - a gift that says "I love you so much that I covered each one of these almonds in chocolate & sea salt! And as an added bonus – you get all the nutritional value of almonds (high in fiber, great source of protein, loaded with important vitamins & minerals) and dark chocolate (boost in energy, healthy fats, and loaded with antioxidants).”

Presentation ideas for your Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

Presentation ideas for your Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

The Makings

  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet high quality chocolate (72% cacao and above only)

  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsalted raw almonds

  • Sea salt

  • Raw sugar, coconut sugar Stevia, or monk fruit.


  1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper

  2. Place chocolate in medium heat proof bowl – melt in 30 second increments (stir between each increment)

  3. Stir almonds into melted chocolate – making sure to cover each one

  4. Lift the almonds out of the chocolate 1 by 1 – if you do not do this, they will all stick together.

  5. Sprinkle almonds with a little sea salt and sugar then allow chocolate to set; place your baking sheet in the refrigerator to expedite the process

  6. Enjoy :)

Presentation ideas for your Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

Presentation ideas for your Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

My 5 Favorite Harry Potter Characters

A classic Luna Lovegood quote

A classic Luna Lovegood quote

Last week my good friend Ashten and I were trying to brainstorm post ideas when Ashten threw out the idea of posting about our favorite Harry Potter characters. Full transparency, we are both huge HP fans.

I immediately loved this idea because while we all love the series, I am sure that we love each book for very different reasons. Every word, character, and story line struck different chords with us at different times in our lives.  As we started to talk through this post more we decided it would be fun to post our top 5 favorite characters in the series on the same day without revealing them to each other. And because Ashten is very well connected in the blog community, she invited another amazing blogger, Erin, to join in on the fun too!

The Rules:

  1. Your list cannot include Harry, Hermione, Ron or Dumbledore.

  2. Must be the TOP 5 characters and no more (this will be a hard challenge for me because I love so many of them!)

  3. Your list does not have to be in order (because honestly, this feels like picking your favorite child).

ONE: Professor Remus Lupin

“You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working. But you’ll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no . . . anything. There’s no chance at all of recovery. You’ll just — exist. As an empty shell. And your soul is gone forever . . . lost.” - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

It is no coincidence that The Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book in the series. It was so full of twists and turns that every time I re-read (or re-listen to on Audible) I cannot put this book down. One of the greatest surprises in this book is none other than Professor Lupin - the closeted werewolf, the trusted adviser, and the first real link Harry has to his parents. Not to mention, Lupin was Head Boy of Hufflepuff, which happens to be the house I feel I would be sorted into.

TWO: Luna Lovegood

“Always be yourself because if your not yourself who are you? Someone else therefore not being you at all.” - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I mean, how can you not LOVE Luna? She is unapologetically herself; she does not hide her flaws or pain, but rather embraces them and does not let them define her. I live in awe of the Luna Lovegoods of the world. We should all be so lucky to posse that kind of demeanor.

THREE: Rubeus Hagrid

“No good sittin’ worryin’ abou’ it,” he said. “What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.” - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

There is no character in the entire series more lovable and more consistent than Hagrid. He is presented as a simple half-giant, but his words (like the quote above) are profound and comforting. Not to mention…#hufflepuff

FOUR: Molly Weasley

“NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH.”  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

 Reading Mrs Weasley say “bitch” felt almost as shocking (if not more than) if my own mother uttered the words. I loved it. I love a strong woman, and Molly Weasley is a STRONG WOMAN. She is fierce, loving, supportive, and kind… that is if you do not mess with the ones she loves.

FIVE: Ginny Weasley

“I never really gave up on you. Not really.” - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The evolution of Ginny Weasley is pure gold. We were able to watch her mature from this annoying young girl who was doe-eyed for Harry to being the object of his affection and all of the awkward moments in-between. The quote I picked for Ginny is my favorite is when she and Harry were finally getting around to admitting their feelings for each other, and although she had many hardships that come with growing up she was still a romantic! A girl after my own heart right there <3

As I look through my list I cannot help but laugh at the gang of misfits I picked as my favorites. Each charterer is wounded in a way, but all find a way to persevere. Or as another amazing character eloquently put it "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are."


Monday night bubbles


It's Monday night. I do not have any meals planned for the week and nothing prepped because Kriss and I went out this weekend decided to drink instead of being responsible. After picking Philip up from day care, we piled into the house… and I am starving. I put Philip down on the ground and he is immediately knocked over by one of the dogs - who the exact offender is unknown at this point in time, but it does not matter they are all on my shit list now. The damage is done; Philip is crying.

My stomach growls… did I tell you I am starving?

I try and grab him a snack, but he throws it on the ground and the crying persists and intensifies. He wants to be held. I pick him up and throw him on my hip while I try to multi-task.

I need to start dinner.

In a moment of desperation I hoist him up on the counter while I try and search for something (I honestly cannot even remember what it was now) and suddenly the crying stops. He stands up (on the counter) and with a gleeful face grabs the bubbles I hid from him over the summer.

Parents, this is the real reason you do not put your children on counters - you give them a vantage point to see all of the things you have hidden from them up high.

These bubbles are a blessing and curse. Yes, they are entertaining and Philip is instantly in a better mood; however, he cannot blow bubbles on his own yet. He cannot grab the stick without knocking over the entire jar. And he certainly cannot chase the bubbles if he is blowing them himself at this point. In other words - bubbles are not bubbles without mom.

I begrudgingly play along; I take Philip out to the backyard, where it is pitch black, and I start blowing bubbles. At first he stands back and admires them, but it does not take long for him to start chasing, popping, and asking for more.  Pretty soon the dogs come to check out what the commotion is all about, and they immediately join in the chase. The bubbles do not stand and chance, and neither do I. The giggles are contagious, and pretty soon I have forgotten about my growling stomach, the stressful commute, and all other minor stressed I carried around with me for the day.

This adventure was not planned, nor was it grand by any stretch, but it was everything we needed in that moment. We needed time to step outside of our daily grind to appreciate the moment and the little bits of magic in front of us.

I would love to tell you the bubbles were the magic solution to ending all trantrums, stresses and hanger for the night, but that would be far from the truth. Philip was still very much a two year old at the end of our bubble excursion. However, as I continued on with the rest of our night, I did so with a grateful heart. Grateful for the bubbles, grateful for the release, but most importantly, grateful for that giggle that brings me so much joy.

Personal growth and the books that helped me get there

If I could sum up 2018 in one word, it would be growth. Professional, physical, and personal growth.

It was a big year in the House of Drum, and with it came some very tough seasons. My story is not unlike others - I, for whatever reason, felt the need to “be it all”. I felt that I had to be THE working mother with a big time job who is fabulously in-shape and fully engaged with her family. I have always been a hard worker, so I knew that if I just worked hard enough, I could make it all come true. So I tried. I landed an amazing job where I would be surrounded by truly inspiring people. I cut out carbs are became married to my workout routine. I rode my bike to work. I signed up for half marathons. I made plans with my friends, and I still had Sunday night dinner with my family.

I feel like this quote so accurately represents my journey &lt;3

I feel like this quote so accurately represents my journey <3

I did all of this for 6 months before I began to crash, but if I am being honest with myself the spiral downward started pretty early on. My body started to quit on me first. I started gaining weight because I was barely getting 6 hours of sleep a night. I was tired and cranky - I was snapping at my husband, child and dogs more than I was telling them I loved them. When I was at work I was constantly stressed that I was not performing as a mother, and when I was home I was constantly stressed I was not performing at work. I was frazzled, and was convinced it was my failures that were to blame.

In a typical stubborn rookie move, I dared not speak of my struggles to anyone because that would be “admitting weakness”. So, I tried to persevere until one day over the summer during lunch with a co-worker. We got into a discussion around schedules when I recounted my daily grind. Her response was something I will never forget - she did not scold me for taking on to much (which typically would give me the opportunity to gloat and lie as I said "I can handle it") nor did she fawn over my ability to be that person who I had dreamed of becoming - she simply sat back for a second, and said "wow - that is stressful". For whatever reason, that comment and the look of pity in her eyes was like a mirror and I could actually see myself clearly for the first time in months. My schedule WAS stressful, I was STRESSED, and I was doing it to myself. This realization stopped me dead in my tracks and I knew something had to change.

Over the next several months I poured myself into unpacking my schedule. I devoured books to help me create a plan because clearly I had no idea what I was doing. It was hard at first, and slowly but surely progress was made. I began to find balance. I began to feel a shift in my priorities and expectations. I began to celebrate small wins and to give myself grace when I faltered. 

Personal growth is challenging, but if you are willing to take it on, the reward is sweet. Although my story is not unlike others, the tactics I utilize to to find balance in my life are as unique as I am, and I would not have found them had I not swallowed my pride and asked for help. If there is one lesson I took away from this year it would be to ask for help early and often. In a world full of brilliant people, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Seeing as how it is the beginning of the year and most people are fired up to achieve the a year of lofty goals, I thought it would be nice to share the list of books that really spoke to me. Each one of these books brought something very special to my journey. I am excited to share them with you, and if you have any questions please know that I am always happy to grab coffee (either in person or virtually) to chat about them in depth.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

2019 Vision, Goals & Intentions


Walking through the halls on New Year’s Day, side stepping toys as I shut off the lights before going to bed, I cannot help but laugh when I think about the fact we got our house cleaned less than 24 hours prior. I smiled as I a made the conscious decision to leave the mess where it lay so I could spend just a few more minuets enjoying the holidays with my husband before returning to work. I said to myself “time is fleeting; the mess will be there tomorrow.”

This holiday season was among my favorites in the history of our little family. Yes, Philip was sick the entire time, yes we spent way too much money, and yes we over consumed everything. But more importantly, we spent time with family, lounged around the house without an agenda, drank good wine, ate good food, and made countless memories.

One night during the break, Kriss and I decided we should pour ourselves a glass of wine and write out our family goals for 2019. As we got settled in, we realized that all we wanted for the coming year was more of what this Holiday season has already brought us. More time at home. More morning walks with the dogs in our pajamas. More time in the kitchen preparing meals for loved ones. More book reading books, and more playing games as a family.

It turns out, we did not want more of anything at all. What we really wanted was less. Less weekend plans. Less eating out. Less dressing up. Less TV. And most importantly, less doing things out of perceived obligation.

I have decided to share our goals this year for a number of reasons, but mostly because in the words of my beloved Reba McEntire “There is a lot of power in putting it out in the universe. It is telling your subconscious mind ‘this is what’s gonna happen.’”


Spend time as a family and support each other to chase our dreams and purse our passions.


  1. Pay off debt.

  2. Implement mandatory family outside time every weekend.

  3. Moderate phone usage (especially around Philip).

  4. Consistent walking schedule with the dogs.

  5. Pursue education that fuels passion.

  6. Stick to a healthy, balanced diet; no more “dieting”.

  7. Less weekend plans; more at home time.

  8. More camping and hiking.

  9. Add more money to Philip’s college account than we did last year.

  10. Take care of at least ONE house project.


  •  Live more i-n-t-e-n-t-i-o-n-a-l-l-y. Do things we WANT to do, not because we feel obligated.

  • Continue to push ourselves to learn and grow.

  • Embrace & nurture creativity.

  • Balance.

Writing out goals may not sound profound for some, but it was definitely a new practice for us. If I were to make one recommendation for couples trying this out for the first time, it would be to make sure that one person wears the level headed “realist” hat. I cannot tell you how many times Kirss stopped me as I was starting to write down some outrageous goal and said something like “remember, the goal is to do LESS this year”. This really helped keep me grounded and intentional.

If there are any other goal-setters out there, I would love to know any tips or tricks you have around checking in on your progress! Thanks for all of your support and hope your new year is off to a great start!

2018 Holiday Picture Recap

Welp, the holidays are over but vacation brain is alive and well over here! I have no idea how it is already THURSDAY! This is especially inconvenient because I was convinced it was Tuesday all day and was hoping to get a post written on Wednesday to share on Thursday... 

Clearly I missed the ball on that goal! 

Fortunately, not all is lost! Today is going to be a lighthearted post, sharing all the highlights of the 2018 Holidays! Our regular programming will return next week... and by regular programming I mean posts that have more than 150 words. 


  #1. I baked a lot of cookies! Like 4 dozen... and granola is and two rounds of buscotti. It was amazing to be back in the kitchen, doing what brings my heart joy, and is something I hope to invest a lot more time doing in 2019.


#2. I got my camera back! I was finally able to grab this beautiful picture we snagged on a hike right before we sent it in, and they did not disappoint. 


#3. It was cold and I spent almost every day in Kriss’s Roots sweatshirt. I am obsessed. It has become my new uniform... and Kriss has relinquished ownership.


#4. I finally received my Start Today journal by Rachel Hollis. I know some people have strong opinions about ol’ Rach, but I love her and I love this new daily practice. 


#5. Spent Christmas Eve at my parents house! We were supposed to go to church that night, but due to a little snafu with the timing, we accidentally showed up as it was ending... oops!  Oh well, more time for wine!


#6. My beautiful cousin gave us a surprise visit on Christmas Eve at 11 PM as her flight home was cancelled! Her misfortune was our gain, and she was able to snag this beautiful family picture on Christmas morning! 


#7. Kriss and I went on a date and I got a new sweater! Thank you #Target! 


#8. Philip and I read all the books about 100x each. We are trying really hard to keep him away from the TV, which has turned into A LOT of reading time. I don’t hate the activity, but a little variety wouldn’t hurt. 


#9. New camera lens for Christmas = all the photoshoots! I am currently looking for volunteer models because Philip runs away when he sees my camera saying “no cheese!”....


#10. Celebrated NYE with my sister and her family - we treated the boys (and one little lady) to homemade pasta! It was so fun and surprisingly easy! Definitely something I want to do again soon! 


#11. Took this little stinker on countless walks in his PJs. He LOVES taking the pups for a walk, which is good because with 4 dogs so there are ample opportunities. 


#12. All the quality time with this guy... also note the sweatshirt. Like I said, I wore it A LOT! 


#13. I enrolled in a class for the first time since 2010! More to come on this soon, but I am really excited, and (I do not say this much) very proud of this decision. 

Alright, well that is it for now! I hope you all had a relaxing week after a restful holiday! As always, please let me know if you are stopping by and reading this content by leaving a comment below ❤️

Buttery Vanilla Whiskey Biscotti

Fun fact: stressed is just desserts spelled backwards.

It is hard to believe that Christmas is almost a week and half away! Seriously, where has the time gone. Last week we talked about how I was struggling to get over my Yuletide Blues, and I am sad to admit that I have fallen behind on my holiday gifting. To be fair, we have our family completely covered and will be shipping our gifts off this week, but last night it dawned on me that I have completely neglected our beloved friends and colleagues. Granted, we do not NEED to shower everyone we know with gifts, but I cannot help it, I LOVE giving gifts (arguably more than I love receiving them!).

Since we are only a week and half away from Christmas, and only a mere 4 days away until vacation begins for me, I needed to come up with a wonderful gift that can be distributed to the masses. Something that is fun, but easy to make on a week night when I simultaneously have a toddler to chase around. Insert: BISCOTTI!


Recipe Yields 2 Dozen Cookies

  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons Whiskey

  • 2 cups | 1/2 cup of whole almonds + 1/2 cup of Craisins

How to make Biscotti

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

  2. Melt the butter and then combine with sugar.  Mix together until well combined.

  3. One by one add the eggs, vanilla extract, whiskey, baking powder, salt, and flour. Mix everything well until it forms a smooth, sticky batter.

  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions - add second mixture into a separate bowl.

  5. Add in desired fixings (i.e. the almonds + craisins or the whoopers or whatever your heart desires)

  6. Make two long, 3-inch wide, flat rows of dough on the sheet pan, spaced TWO INCHES apart. They will expand.  

  7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cookie rows turns golden brown.

  8. Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Let the cookie rows cool for about 10 minutes then slice into 1 inch pieces with a sharp knife*. Turn the cookies over so they lay on the side.

  9. Return the cookies back into the oven to dry out any moisture still in the cookies. You can use the residual heat from the first baking, or turn the oven on to a low temperature.

The results are delicious.  I am obsessed with the buttery, whiskey, sweet vanilla taste. I hope you have fun playing around with this recipe at home - it was so easy to make this deliciously unique treat that your loved ones are sure to remember. 


Yuletide Blues


With the holiday season in full swing, I have to admit that I am struggling to get in my typical yuletide spirit. Most years, I am that annoying friend who decides that Christmas has begun the day after Thanksgiving. I am almost always the first to put up our tree, to have my wrapping paper organized, and to have an excel spreadsheet of all the gifts for our family and friends. I am not usually one to toot my own horn, but Christmas is typically my time to shine. This year, however, is not a typical year. This year, I am struggling. My tree is up, my stockings are hung, and my excel spreadsheet is saved on my desktop, but I am struggling to feel the same joy that usually carries me through the hustle and bustle of the holiday chaos.

While I am sure there are many arguments to be made about why this year is more challenging than others, I think it can all be traced back to the fateful day we got our tree. It started out like any old Sunday - we woke up, made breakfast, packed up the car and headed to my parents to drop off a few things from Thanksgiving. After being roped into helping set up their tree, it was finally our turn to take Philip to his first tree farm.

The tree farm was nestled away in the most perfect neighborhood that Kriss and I both fell in love with immediately. We got front row parking and found our tree immediately. Then to top it off, when I was checking out we received a generous military discount and a delicious cookie the size of Philip's face. I felt like it was shaping up to be truly magical Christmas day…


 Regrettably, due to a series of unfortunate events (hanger + poor communication), Kriss and I got into an argument instantly upon arriving home. After getting the tree in the stand, neither of us were in the mood to decorate so we went our separate ways and took care of miscellaneous errands. Later that night, we returned to the tree. We unpacked the ornaments, the stockings, wraths, candles, and other miscellaneous décor. I was just beginning to regain my Christmas cheer when something unexpected happened… I saw that Kriss had started putting the lights on the tree…without me.

Not only do we ALWAYS put up the lights together, but he also started the lights on the top of the tree! Didn't he know that putting the lights on the tree is our thing AND how could he have forgotten that you always start on the bottom of the tree? The nerve of this man.

At this point I was fuming, and the worst part was that I knew I was being utterly irrational. I mean, it is just a tree, and so what if he started the lights without me – he literally untangled the entire string without me having to lift a finger! But none the less I strained to gain my composure as I walked over to ask what he was doing, to which he gleefully responded, "I am putting up the lights!". Clearly, he was not in the least bit concerned that he was spoiling OUR TRADITION, in fact I am not even sure he knew that it was our tradition! I couldn’t have made this up, could I? We do it every year…. But he was most certainly putting the lights on incorrectly, he had to have known that!

I decided to take a 'fake it till' you make it' approach, and instead of instigating another fight, I joined in. I helped wrap the tree in lights from the top down. I hung our ornaments with care and placed all the stocking on the mantel. When all was assembled, we took a step back and admired our work. The tree looked stunning, and I if I am being honest, the lights looked better this year than they have ever looked in years past… I allowed myself to be open to change and, turns out, things worked out just fine.

 I find myself in a state of flux as we round the corner of our second Christmas with Philip.  The process of change has been fluid and radiant, and it happened so quickly that I hardly noticed until it was gone. When I reflect on my yuletide blues, I find myself wondering if I was mad at the lights on the tree or if I was simply digging my heels in the ground refusing to embrace the evolution of the holiday traditions as Kriss and I continue to thread our two worlds together. We are beyond blessed that this is our reality, but regardless of how lucky you are to have the opportunity to grow, change is messy and uncomfortable.

As we continue to walk down this path of change, I hope you join me in remembering that the one thing that is consistent in life is change. As people, we are constantly evolving and as we evolve we are forced to look inward and challenge the ideas we have always known to be true, the traditions we have always held true to our hearts, and all the other things we thought we could count on. Sometimes the Christmas lights go up differently, but the important thing to remember is that there is a tree and that we have the opportunity to try something new. 


Currently | November


Theme of the month: Reading over this post, I noticed there is a very prominent theme for the month of November… and that theme is wine! Lots and lots of wine and wine induced decisions. During this season of celebration I love a good spicy red blend, and to really embrace this month’s theme I decided to also dye my hair a very fun spicy red. I was pretty nervous about it at first, but after a week I am really settling into this color and LOVING it.

Currently celebrating... If you ask my husband what the best day of the year is, he will respond [without hesitation] "November 14th". This is because one year my husband forgot my birthday… I thought he would never make that mistake again… until two weeks ago when he forgot again! In his defense, he fully remembered my birthday and gifted me the most amazing gift for this coffee lover - a Nespresso - earlier in the week, but when we woke up on the morning of my birthday, he completely forgot. It was only when I started giggling as he was walking out the door (after we had been awake and getting ready for the past hour together) that he realized his folly.

As an extended celebration, the Drumheller's took a pre-holiday vacation. We traveled to the coast for the weekend to an adorable little town called Seabrook. We played on the beach, took countless walks, taught Philip how to walk the dogs, and relaxed. It was an amazing vacation and I would not be mad if we made this an annual tradition.


Currently celebrating # 2... For whatever reason, there is a large influx in birthdays in my family in November. And this year is particularly exciting as my father hit the big 6-0! It was a weekend full of celebrating as the entire family came into town for the weekend. The wine was flowing, the conversation was rich, and there were many good belly laughs shared.


Currently watching... Harry Potter! Why you may ask? Well the obvious answer is the movies are amazing, the storyline is endlessly captivating and the character development is pure genius. But outside of those facts, I have an annual tradition of kicking-off the Holiday season with a movie marathon of all of the Harry Potter movies. The genesis of this tradition can be traced back to my early 20s during a time I was too poor to afford cable and would spend almost every Sunday at my parent's house in front of their TV. The day would always start off with football, but for some reason or another it would almost always end with HP. Now HP just reminds me of chilly weather, a comfortable couch and family time.

Note the Ed Sheeran shirt - looks like I am on the super fan train!

Note the Ed Sheeran shirt - looks like I am on the super fan train!

Currently listening to... This past summer I was fortunate enough to attend several amazing concerts, but one that stands out among the crowd is Ed Sheeran. We bought his tickets on a wine induced Sunday night, and although they were outrageously priced, I am so grateful for the experience. He was amazing and I cannot get enough of his album, Divide. I bought Kriss a vinyl copy at the concert (another wine induced decision) and it basically lives in the record player now. I am o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d. Barcelona is my favorite song on the album - it is just feel good music, and I think it is safe to say we could all use a little bit of feel good anything in this current climate.

Currently reading.... This section should really be “listening to #2” because thanks to my commute I have become an Audible power user. I recently listened to Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and loved it, and it opened my eyes to an entire new genre of books and podcasts by female powerhouses. I am so inspired by these women who are putting themselves out there and becoming leaders of their industries, and how they are encouraging others to join them at the table. We need more of that in this world. My next book I am diving into is High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard, and I cannot wait to see what gems I pick up. 

Current workout routine... After pregnancy I struggled / continue to struggle to work off my baby weight. This has been an incredibly challenging journey for me as I have spent a good portion of my life being hyper-focused on my physical appearance. In recent months I have tried to pivot my focus from inches lost and numbers on the scale to personal improvement and personal strength. Like I mentioned, this has been a journey, but possibly the most instrumental tool in this transformation has been Onnit’s 12-Week Fat Loss Workout Plan. I know this workout does not look that challenging, but if you go through the entire 12 week program you will be AMAZED at the results.

Currently indulging in... Dark Chocolate. Most of you know I am a little crazy when it comes to what I consume, but I really jumped off the deep end this year after Kriss and I watched the documentary The Magic Pill on Netflix. We went full blown keto for about 3 months. It is an amazing diet… for men. For women, not so great. I have since gone back to a paleo-ish diet, but one thing I took from Keto was a love of 80% cacao dark chocolate. A little bit goes a long way and totally satisfies my sweet tooth.

Currently excited about... Photography. Earlier this year I had a ‘treat yo-self’ moment and bought a beautiful new Sony a6000 mirrorless camera. You may remember a few years back when I first started dabbling in food photography, and this new camera has re-energized me in a way I did not even know was possible. I am basically begging people for opportunities to take pictures of them (so if you are in the Seattle area and are looking for pictures, hit me up!). My next big project is to figure out a way to share my pictures in a fun way - currently dabbling with a few templates but I have not found anything I am in love with yet.

I am loving the creative release photography has brought to my life and I cannot wait to see where it takes me next.


And that about sums up November, my friends! I hope to blog a little more in December, but I also want to make sure I give myself some grace with this holiday season. 

What are your holiday plans this year? Any big trips? Just hanging around the house? Let’s hear it!

One Bowl Pumpkin Pancakes


Happy Friday, friends. I am not sure about you, but am looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow! Between sickness, Halloween, work, and mom’ing - I AM POOPED! We have a relatively chill weekend planned at the House of Drum which is a welcome change of pace. So in honor of this rare occasion, we are going to celebrate with something a little sweet.

For those of you who followed my old blog you may remember these pictures. I am 100% recycling old content… and yes, this one may be an oldie, but it’s a goodie. Not to mention, I love these pictures.

As I mentioned in my last post (here) we are in the thick of pumpkin season. Most of you know that I am not a pumpkin person myself, but it turns out I am a bit of a lone ranger on that front. My family loves them some pumpkin flavored goodies. During this season, I try and indulge their taste buds with a few recipes, and today I am sharing a family fav - Pumpkin Pancakes!

It is a one bowl recipe, that takes about 30 min. It's easy. Anyone can do it - especially YOU!


Prep Time: 20 Min

Cook Time: 15 Min

Yields: 12 Mini Pancakes or 6 Monster Pancakes (I opted for Monsters... obviously)

The Makings

  • 2 Cups flour of choice (we use GF)

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 3/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (here is a link of what I use)

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted, plus more cold butter for griddle

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Turn on your burner to medium heat, place pan of choice on top, and start warming.

  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, buttermilk, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs and vanilla until well combined.

  3. Mix in flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.

  4. Let batter rest 3 minutes.

  5. Butter pan then pour batter on the pan (about 1/3 cup for tiny pancakes or 3/4 cup for monster pancakes). Spread pancakes outward just slightly with spatula or bottom of measuring cup. Cook until golden brown on bottom then flip and cook opposite side until golden. Repeat process until all of the batter has been used. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.


Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Post


HAPPY HALLOWEEN, friends!! Reporting live from my couch as I sit at home recovering from the latest illness my son has shared with the family. So I thought I would take this time to provide an update from the trenches.

Well, I think the title says it all, but what can I say, I am a basic white woman who loves a pumpkin patch. It is a fun, family and wallet friendly adventure that brings all the smiles to my face.

Traditionally, I am not a pumpkin person. The flavor is just not for me and I am not really into the craze of decorating my house in all thing round and orange. To me, fall is all about the reds. Red leaves, red scarves, red wine and red apples for delicious baked treats. But if there is one pumpkin oriented festivity I can it get down, it is an crisp morning trudging around a pumpkin patch. At the risk of sounding super cheesy, there is something about a pumpkin patch that immediately transports you back to childhood… all of the excitement of playing in the leaves, hunting for the perfect pumpkin to carve, and preparing for Halloween come rushing back all at once.

The only picture of Philip and I - clearly he is really into it!

The only picture of Philip and I - clearly he is really into it!

Now that Philip is rounding the corner to two, it is easy for Kirss and I to talk ourselves out of leaving the house. It is easy to dwell on the 3 inevitable tantrums it takes to just get into the car or to know that no matter how much we prepare we will always forget something that will turn out to be very important later in the day. But with that said, seeing his excitement as he experiences this seasons of life reminds me that for every reason we have ever thought of for why we shouldn't go, there are at least 100 more for why we should. We should always go. Period. We should always go because these moments are not for us or about us; these moments are for Philip. These moments are about Philip and his childhood.

So far this year we have played in hay, moo’d at cows, climbed on tractors, and ridden on trains. We have spent time with family and made new friends. We have hunted for pumpkins and ridden in wheel barrels. We have also had countless tantrums, at least 3 outfit changing blowouts, and drawn blood at least once. These season of life has had its ups and down, but the most important thing this season has brought to us is the countless memories we have made as a family.

These are my favorite pictures from the two pumpkin patches we went to this year - I hope you enjoy!

Saturday in West Seattle

A few weeks ago, Kriss and I woke up one Saturday morning and realized we were looking at a blank canvas of a day. There were no errands to run, no play dates to attend, no social engagements that required our presence. This is just about as rare as a lunar eclipse in our house because (as Kirss can personally attest) I am a chronic over-planner. The options were endless, and we were excited but also anxious to make sure we made the most of this day (like I said, chronic over-planner). While sipping our coffee, we decided to see what my sister and her family had planned for the day - and to our surprise, they too had nothing on the docket.


About thirty minutes later, we had the diaper bag packed, stroller loaded, two dogs in the car and we were on our way to West Seattle for a walk alongside the beach. The perfect “easy” Saturday.

When we arrived in Westy, our adventure did not start out as gracefully as it was planned. Between Lenny escaping from the car running in the streets and discovering we had forgotten Kavu's collar at home, tensions were high. Then, no more than a mile into our walk, the dogs nearly drug me to the ground when they caught a glimpse of a squirrel…and that, my friends, is when gloves came off. I was officially grumpy. I snapped at the dogs for being poorly behaved, Kriss snapped at me for snapping at the dogs and then I snapped at him for all the snapping… it was a scene.

Suffice to say - it was a rough start to our day. 

Fortunately, we preserved.. because we are adults and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. Once we met up with my sister we walked up and down the beach (albeit 20 yards away from my husband until tempers cooled), let our sons play at a local park, played fetch with the dogs, and ended the day at West Seattle Brewing Co. We talked, drank good beer, ate pizza and shamelessly took pictures of our kids. The tensions of our earlier heated conversation melted away, and all that was left was happy feels.

That Saturday served as a gentle reminder that some of the best moments in life do not have to be planned to create great memories.

Some of my favorite pictures from that day

Welcome, to House of Drum

When I was younger, every summer my parents would ship my siblings and I off to overnight camps for weeks at a time. While I cannot say that I was ever particularly excited about these excursions, I do vividly remember there was always one thing I LOVED about camp: the two disposable cameras my parents packed with me to document my adventures.

After camp was over I would beg my parents to drop my film off at RiteAid and I would anxiously await the 2 days until they were developed. After showing my parents and siblings every picture at least 100 times, I would go upstairs to my room and make a giant collage to document the experience.

It is safe to say that I have come a long way from disposable cameras and collaging, I am still an avid photographer… so much so that my husband has lovingly nicknamed me "the paparazzi". 

Until recently, pretty much all of my pictures have found a home on my iPhone. This is great for the ability to quickly access all of my favorite snapshots of my family and our latest adventures, but I cannot say it has been an optimal experience for the storage on my phone. After my latest reminder that my iPhone has not been backed up for almost 27 weeks due to lack of storage, I knew something had to be done.

And that is how The House of Drum has come to fruition.

This blog is a space to celebrate our family in a way that gets the images off my phone and into a space that we can share with our friends and family. My hope is that by having this space I will force myself to take a moment and reflect on all the moments (big and small) that we share as a family.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our small place on the interwebs - I hope you enjoy following along as we navigate our way through marriage, parenthood, careers and beyond.

Love - Nicole, Kriss & Philip