Dallas Instax US Tour!

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Dallas!  I had the most amazing experience getting invited to the Instax US Tour with Connectors and Creators and Fujifilm Instax.  If you know me, you know how much I love Texas!  There is something about the people and atmosphere that makes you feel welcome and home, so when you add in some amazing ladies… you get pure magic!!! 


We toured the city with our FUJIFILM Instax® Mini 70 camera in hand!  If you don’t have one, you need one!  The images are sharp and gorgeous and it was so fun to have the pictures right when we took them, you all know I am a fan of taking a picture of a picture… ART!  I picked the Gold camera, but all of the colors are amazing.

Rachel @xo.rachelpitzel, Carlie @carliestylez, Kaylie @heykalie, Connectors and Creators @connectorsandcreators are some of the most amazing and inspiring women I have ever met.  To be able to spend the week with them was amazing! 


The Joule Hotel

This place is classy and fabulous!  It was amazing from the second we walked in the door!  The staff was so kind and honestly I think I could have spent the entire week in my bedroom and been happy!


BUT, there is no better way to start the @fujifilm_instax_northamerica Dallas tour than a day at the spa @thejouledallas with some amazing ladies! Think European heat treatment and girl time.


The State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas is all you dreamt it to be…we may have eaten our way through the fair, but ummm State Fair food is amazing! 🍔🍭🍬🍎  I think this was my favorite place to use my Instax mini 70 camera!  I loved taking detail pictures of all of the food and bright colors!  So fun!



We all won a prize and met some of the friendliest Texan’s around!!! How are y’all so friendly?

Group vote was a yes on the Fried Fruit Loops❤️, and a “it might be an acquired taste” on the Kool-Aid pickles! 😝

We carried our @fujifilm_instax_northamerica around the fair, and they are cutest pictures I have ever taken! Thanks @statefairoftx and @visit_dallas the fair is magic! ..


The Dallas Arboretum

 Have you ever been to the @thedallasarboretum? Oh my gosh, it’s gorgeous! They had thousands of pumpkins and it was so much fun! This year they had a Wizard of OZ theme and it was amazing!!! .


Southfork Ranch

Growing up my grandpa had horses and we spent every second we could at his farm, and at the horse races with him. He would hook up a feeding bucket to his horse walker, and we’d sit in it and ride it around and around. Some of my best memories. ✨🐴 .

It’s been way too long since I have been on a horse, so a day at the
@southfork_ranch was a dream!
This is where the show Dallas was filmed and the place is honestly gorgeous!


All I have to say is thank you to Connectors and Creators, FUJIFILM, and to all the amazing mamas that went on the trip with us!  Not to forget the most amazing photographer!  Yasss Patricio Roldan! 


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So we are keeping it real around here, let’s talk CoolSculpting ❄️… We have all seen the advertisements, but like me, wondering does it really work?  I always want to be open with you all.  I think we are all a lot the same, I am the typical girl who wishes she woke up and had the perfect body without any work 👙…. unfortunately it’s not the case.  I work out 6 days a week 🏋🏼‍♀️, and only eat the occasional treat (read: when insta makes me do it 😝📷).  Being fit is tough work!  @form_spa (my favorite spa ever) offers cool sculpting, and lucky me got to give it a try!

First of all  @form_spa is amazing!  Head to my Instagram to read about my amazing Vampire Facial!  The girls who work there make you feel like girlfriends 👯…  I have been to my fair share of spas and this one is 🙌🏻 the best!!!

❄️ CoolSculpting is a fat-freezing procedure and is FDA-cleared!  It uses cooling to eliminate stubborn fat that resists all efforts through diet and exercise. The results are proven, and lasting.  I am here to give you 100% honest review!  So stay tuned for an updated blog post keeping you updated on my progress! 🙌🏻❤️  Check out their Instagram too! @form_spa

The perfect gift!

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I got a special delivery this week of gorgeous, fresh blooms straight to my door.   I love how fresh flowers on the counter can make my house feel happy and so I’m excited about Enjoy Flowers subscription service. They deliver long-lasting fresh flowers once or twice a month.

The flowers are delivered directly from the farm to your doorstep within 4 days so my flowers lasted so long.

They have vase-ready bouquets or loose stems you can arrange on your own and you pick your size and decide if you want them once a month or every two weeks.  Fresh flowers for no reason is a win in my book.
They are giving our readers 10% off the discounted rate with code “Kami” and I honestly think you’ll love them.





Be a better parent. With 24 Hours in a day, give them one.

- my life

It’s probably pretty ironic that I’m writing a post about parenthood because to tell you the truth sometimes I feel like I need to read a book (or few hundred) to teach me how to be a better parent for my kids myself. This week I got a good reminder on one simple way to be a better parent and maybe my advice might just help someone else be a better parent too. I’ll call it my parenting reality check.

At this point in his life, my two year-old has a case of the jabbers. He jabbers all day about Power Rangers or whatever crosses his little mind. It doesn’t really matter what he’s jabbering about, he seems pretty content as long as his lips are moving and someone is close enough to hear him.

In all Smith fashion, I heard him for a solid hour saying over and over, “Mom. Mom. Mooooom. Mom. Mom. Mooooom.” So naturally, I ignored him the best I could, that’s what moms do after hearing that dreaded three letter M-O-M word day after day, inside and out. It wasn’t until some time later that I finally said, “what, Smith?” with a large emphasis on the what. “Mom, I wuv your hair!” He said. I’m not so sure I had much of a response besides a little, “thanks”. Lesson learned Mom, lesson learned.

parenting, how to parent, improve your parenting
Fast forward a little while to my 5 year-old and our bedtime routine. He informs me that instead of me reading to him the usual “Errol the Squirrel” or “Where’s the Bathroom”, which we’ve read so many times he has memorized before we even turn the page, he wants to tell me about Minecraft. In a simpler form, he just wanted to talk to me. My first instinct was to just grab the book and read it quickly because it had been a long day, but then I realized he wanted me to sit there and have a conversation with him about something he loved, something I found silly but he loved. He wanted me to listen and his explanations about Minecraft slowly turned into me hearing him talk about parts of his life at school and his friends. I never would have known any of this if I brushed off his request and hurried through “Errol the Squirrel for the billionth time. Lesson learned Mom, lesson learned.
parenting, motherhood, time, family, priorities, family time
These might have been the simplest of examples, but they were my wake up calls to pay attention, to slow down and ask my kids about their lives… to answer the endless “mom, mooooom, mom” echoes. These things are important to them and someday the silly Minecraft chatter will turn into something bigger and hopefully by this point they will already know they can talk to you.  I pray I can be there for my kids when they need me, that I can support them with whatever they are going through. I want to be their person.

I think I’ll go now and ask my kids about their day…


Family Favorites – Beef Goulash

- Recipes
pasta, red sauce, marinara, recipe, goulash, beef goulash, dinner ideas, slow cooker recipe, crock pot recipe

When we lived out of state, our family’s Sunday dinners were the one thing I missed the most.  Sunday dinner is always loud and crazy and exactly how we like it. The adults get to enjoy each other and catch up on life while the littles run around causing chaos.

So one of my family goals is to cook more home-cooked meals that will draw people together and create an atmosphere people can linger around. Now we are living back in Utah with family close by, I want my kids to have the same memories of chaotically perfect, Sunday family dinners.

When searching for some new meals to make for it, I’ve found myself in the mood for some thick and hearty recipes lately. Maybe to warm myself from this crazy weather. You know the recipes that make you feel like you grew up on a farm and your mom slaved away in the kitchen all day to fill your belly with warm pasta goodness? Those kind of meals… Small problem, I didn’t grow up on a farm and I definitely don’t have close to the amount of time it takes to cook like that.

My solution, I took a 1970’s vintage recipe and updated it to make it plausible in this hustle and bustle of my crazy mom life. You can make it on the stove if you prefer, or if you are in a hurry you can stick it in the crock pot to simplify life a little.

There’s nothing better than a thick, rich meat sauce and the good news is it tasted like I slaved away all day and even my pickiest of my kids snarfed it. That’s a win if you ask me.

Beef Goulash Recipe

serves 6-8
prep time: 25 minutes
cook time: 1 hour stovetop, 2-3 hours slow cooker


  • 1 1/2 lb. Beef, cut into 1″cubes, flour, seasoned w/salt & pepper
  • 3 T. Butter
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 1 C. Sliced Celery
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. caraway seed
  • 1 jar RAGÚ Italian Cooking Sauce (I’ve tried Old World traditional or Sauteed onion & garlic)
  • 3/4 C. Sour Cream
  • 3 C. Cooked Noodles
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • ½ cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Parsley leaves to liking

Stovetop Directions:

  1. Cut beef into 1″cubes and dredge in seasoned flour & brown in butter. Remove beef & set aside.
  2. Saute onions, celery & paprika.
  3. Add beef cubes, caraway seeds & RAGÚ Italian Cooking Sauce & simmer, covered for 1 hour.
  4. Cook pasta till al dente, according to package instructions, drain well.
  5. Add cooked pasta, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese to the meat sauce and stir to combine.
  6. Cook on high for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally.
  7. Blend in sour cream right before serving, heat thoroughly but do not allow sauce to boil.
  8. Serve hot with parsley as garnish.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  1. Cut beef into 1″cubes and dredge in seasoned flour & brown in butter. Remove beef & set aside.
  2. Saute onions, celery & paprika.
  3. Layer beef cubes, caraway seeds & uncooked pasta in the slow cooker. Add RAGÚ Italian Cooking
  4. Sauce atop uncooked noodles, cook on high 2-3 hours (avoid low settings to prevent soggy noodles)
  5. Right before serving add Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese, blend in sour cream, and heat thoroughly but do not allow sauce to boil.
  6. Serve hot with parsley atop and any extra cheese as garnish.

If you make this recipe, I’d be excited to see how it turns out or if you recreate it yourself.

Healthy Protein Brownies

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I have a great healthy recipe I thought I would share with you. Protein Brownies! ❤️🍪
They are amazing, filling and a great healthy way to keep you on track and fill you up!

It seems like there is a lot of ingredients, but it is SO worth it. If you are a brownie lover like me, and want a low carb, low sugar solution 🙌🏻! Wahoo to Guilt Free brownies! I keep them in my fridge to help them stay better longer. You can top them with a little peanut butter or a little whipped greek yogurt! I could eat them all day long!
If you are looking for some variations, head to Instagram and track #katieannebrownies there are a bunch!
. – 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed – 100 g pumpkin puree – 1 pkg fat free cream cheese – 2 whole eggs – 125 g egg whites – 40 g oat flour – 15 g honey – 25 g coconut flour – 60 ml sugar free syrup, I used Walden Farms – 14 g mini chocolate chips – 30 g dark cocoa powder – dash salt – Sweetener to taste – 1 tsp baking soda – 1 tsp baking powder – 1 tsp almond extract – 25 g Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate chips

1- In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients through sweetener. Blend until fully combined.
2- Add baking soda, baking powder and almond extract. Pulse until just combined.
3- Fold in chocolate chips.
4- Pour batter into a greased non-stick baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.