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What I am Loving Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Hey friends!!

Happy Wednesday!!
How are you doing?

We're just cruising right along...but I know that is not the case for many as the coronavirus is really impacting people's lives in so many ways!!

I know everyone has really strong opinions about this topic so I don't feel a need to really "talk" about it...I am just doing my best to stay informed, wash my hands and my kids' hands like crazy, keep everything as clean as possibly and just live our lives!
I would say if anything that has me on a little more high alert is that the fact that we have a trip planned to Austin, TX next month for spring break. I feel like it's still too early to decide about canceling our trip and hopefully (this may be naive of me thinking this) things will have "calmed down" a bit by then!

Okay.

I wanted to share THREE things I am loving lately! 

ONE
First up- the show "Hometown" on HGTV.
Aaron and I are OBSESSED!
We have regularly started watching this show in the last month or so and we both just LOVE it. Aaron loves watching Ben make all sorts of amazing woodworking projects and I just LOVE seeing the before and afters of what they are able to do with budgets that aren't very big. Both Erin and Ben have such awesome personalities (I am talking about them like I know them personally- HA!) and they are just SO fun to watch. They are also the reason we have started looking up houses for sale in Laurel, Mississippi and are totally scheming a way Ben and Erin can renovate a house for us :)
Hands down- this show is our new FAVORITE and the reason we have been going to bed later than we should! HA!

TWO
I have a found a favorite way to have a 5 minute "pick me up." 
It involves this charcoal scrub and these tanning drops!
I picked up this gel mask + scrub by Freeman at Walmart (you can find it HERE- it is under $4.00!!) and these tanning drops- which can find several different places- but I will link to them HERE on Spehora.com!
First- do the mask/scrub...I put it on when my face is clean and dry. You rub it in, exfoliate and then I let it sit on my face for about a minute or so. Then I rinse it off with warm water. Next, I get some of my daily moisturizer and add 1-3 drops (depending on how tan I want to be - HA!) to my lotion, mix the drops in (I just use my finger) and then I apply my moisturizer. These tanning drops give such a nice, natural color and they work fast! In just a couple hours, I have a nice color to my face and the color lasts for at least 4 days! 
I love to do this little "treatment" on Sunday morning before I get ready for church...it feels so good to take just a couple of extra minutes and do a little something extra!
FYI: The tanning drops are expensive- but because you only use a couple drops at a time- they last a LONG time.
Also- I happened to catch a sale QVC was having on them and I was able to get 2 bottles for the price of one! So be on the lookout for a sale like that if you don't want to spend $29.00 on just one bottle!

THREE

I make it a point to only follow people I love on Instagram..therefore..it's always a happy and inspiring place for me to "check in." 
Here's a few tidbits of goodness I have been loving lately with some people I follow on the 'gram....

Love @gratiadesignco 's ideas for Almsgiving on a budget. Check it out HERE!
There are SO many ways we can give even if we are not in a season of life where we can give financially as much as we would like. Giving your time to someone in need holds just as much worth as donating $100 to a worthy cause!

Such GOOD words of parenting wisdom from @catholiccounselors- find it HERE!
(and you don't have to be Catholic to really benefit from following this account- SO much GOOD, practical, faith filled advice is shared!! )

And finally...Loving what Abbie from @m.is.for.mama had to say about how we can "do better..." 
Check it out HERE!
Also- be sure to look at her laundry room...it is SO pretty!!

Now it's your turn...what are YOU loving lately?!?

Hope you have the BEST day!
Linking up with StefanieKeriMauriSarah, and Lindsay today!





Tuesday Talk!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Hey friends!!

Happy Tuesday!!

How are you doing so far this week??
Are you loving Daylight Savings Time as much as we are?!?

We love to go for walks after dinner...and it is always such a TREAT when it's that time of the year when it's light enough for us to get outside after we eat!!
Also- I FIRMLY believe our bedtime routine goes SO MUCH SMOOTHER when my kiddos get a little extra time outside to run around. During the winter months..my boys are NUTSO after their shower. They get SO ramped up and I am so ready for them to wind DOWN. 
They don't typically get my memo that it's time to chill once they're in their jammies. HA!

So YES to some extra jumping on the trampoline, riding bikes and running around in the front yard!

I have two fun Walmart finds to share with ya'll today!!

First- is this "square neck top" by Time and Tru. It comes in several different colors and patterns- I picked it up in the chambray material and it is SO cute!! I cannot wait to wear it with white jeans and when it is warmer out- with a fun pair of colored chino shorts!
I got my regular size small and it is the perfect mix of a tad bit flowy, a little longer in the back- but tailored enough that you don't look like you are wearing a maternity shirt. HA!
I have to tell you- I am perplexed by the reviews...they are not great and I don't know why?!? I really think it's a SUPER cute shirt!
You can find it HERE online! It's under $14!
The other fun "find" is this ADORABLE Easter egg pillow!
Would you believe me if I told you I dragged Marshall to 4 different stores last week, looking for a couple fun Easter pillows for my couch?!? Well..I did and poor thing was such a trooper. HA!
After not finding anything I liked...EVERYTHING had a creepy bunny on it!! Why??
I did a quick on Walmart.com and found this sweet pillow! I got two of them to put on my couch and I can't wait for them to get delivered!
You can find the pillow HERE!
 Update on this pillow! When I purchased them last week- one pillow was $13- which I thought was very reasonable. Most pillows I saw at TJ Maxx and Marshalls were between $16.99 and $19.99.
Well- I just went to check to make sure the link included works- and the price has gone up and now the pillow is $26!! What in the world?!
So yeah. Not so affordable anymore! UGH!
Maybe the price will go down again? 

Speaking of Easter decor...do ya'll decorate your house for Easter?

I do a little bit of decorating...but not a ton..which is kind of how I approach most holidays. I like things to be a little festive...but not over done- because I just really can't handle the clutter.

I always like to make our reading nook area fun for each holiday...so this is what I did for Easter!

I've had this Easter banner forever and I just LOVE it!
Just wanted to share about this little egg...I made this in girl scouts when I was in sixth grade!! I had the most amazing troop leader and we always did the coolest projects. We made the egg by soaking string in paper mache liquid and then we wrapped it around a balloon. Once it was dried, my leader cut the opening and put the lace trim around it. 
My mom always set this egg out (and she put the cute bunny in it) every Easter and a few years ago- she gave it to me. It's just one of those simple little things that bring me so much joy to set out every Easter! And my kids think it's so neat too :)

Okay- really quick- as I need to get myself ready for the gym and get my kids out the door for school- here's what's on our menu plan for the week!
I am not going to specify by day what we are having as it's Tuesday- but hopefully- if you're needing some inspiration in regards to meal planning- one of these meals might sound good to you!!
Chicken tenders, applesauce and green beans
Grown-ups: chicken tenders on a big salad

Taco Naan pizzas- I got this meal from Whitney's post last week- check it out HERE!

Open face meatloaf sandwiches, mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli
(this past Sunday, I made meatloaf for dinner and I made an extra one! I am going to take some french bread, cut it into slices, melt some provolone over the top of each slice and then put a slice of meatloaf on top of that! 

Meatballs in red sauce (making these in the crockpot), parmesan egg noodles and steamed green beans

Grilled cheese and potato corn chowder (our go-to meal every Friday during Lent!)

Chicken and veggie kabobs
Hot dogs for kids
(we were supposed to have this meal last Saturday- but ended up going to a friends' house for dinner...so we're having it this week!)

Cheeseburgers, homemade oven fries and grilled veggies (kids will have carrot sticks with ranch)

Okay! That's all I have for today!!
Hope you have the BEST day!!!



Linking up (one day late!) with HeatherJohannahTanya and Lindsay!




Friday Favorites!

Friday, March 6, 2020

Hey friends!!

Happy Friday!!

How was your week??

I tell you what...it's been a bit too rainy for my liking here in Eastern North Carolina...BUT that also means that lots of spring flowers are already blooming...which is SO pretty :)

We had a good, full week. Aaron was on call an extra day this week which always feels a bit EXTRA (if you know what I mean ;)  I shouldn't be complaining even the tiniest bit...Aaron works SO hard and barely even mentions that he's tired!

Ok...I have a few FAVORITES to share today!!

Charlotte, my oldest daughter, and I are now in the stage of life where we can wear each other's clothes :) It's weird and SO fun at the same time!

She got a SUPER cute sweatshirt from her aunt for her birthday and I asked to wear it this past weekend...luckily she said yes. HA! A couple weeks ago, she saw that I had a new camo t-shirt in my closet and asked to wear it. Since then, she has asked to wear to wear several more times..so I just went ahead and got one for her :)

LOVE this girl so much! And I love this sweatshirt so much! It's comfy, the perfect weight and you know I went ahead and picked one up for myself ;)
You can find the sweatshirt HERE and the cute camo t-shirt HERE!

I really love Kendra Scott jewelry. It's kind of become something special Aaron gets me, so he gets random emails from them. We were in bed the other night and he leaned over and showed them to me and said, "I really like these earrings...but they're too expensive." HA!
They are these SUPER cute, colorful beaded hoops- and they are $68- which I agree with Aaron- is pretty pricey for a pair of hoop earrings. BUT- they sure are FUN!
You can find them HERE!

Anyway...I agreed with him about how cute they are...and told him- that I actually picked a up "steal" version of those earrings from Forever 21 for $6.80!!!
I actually picked these earrings up a couple weeks ago- but I thought it was so fun that he showed me the beaded earrings from Kendra Scott and that I had already bought such a similar (and cheaper) pair!  You can find them HERE!
On Monday, it was pretty warm and I wanted to take advantage of the fact it wasn't raining, so I asked Marshall if he wanted to ride his bike while mommy walked. We did a couple laps in our neighborhood and it was a lot of fun just chatting with my sweet buddy.
Since Monday, every morning Marshall has asked me if I want to go for a "WAP" with him.

HE IS SO CUTE. 
Except for yesterday, when it was pouring rain all day, we have taken a "WAP" every day this week and it has quickly become one of the FAVORITE parts of my day!!
And that's all I have for today! Short and sweet. Aaron goes to an early morning men's group on Friday's...which means I am flying solo getting all of our kiddos out the door for school...which means..I need to GET GOING. HA!

Real quick- in case you missed it- my post from Monday has our menu plan for the week, including a SUPER easy version of chicken parmesan! You can find that post HERE! And on Wednesday, I just chatted about a bunch of random things including a new nail polish brand I am loving and the fact that I can't read a book to save my life. HA! You can find that post HERE!

I hope you have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL week!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!
Linking up with TifBeckyDella,and Katie too!


Coffee Chat!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Hi friends!!

Happy Wednesday!!

How is your week going so far??
We're doing well over in our neck of the woods...just cruising along with a pretty uneventful week...which I am SOAKING up! :)

Thought it would be fun to just have a little fun chat today.
Hopefully you are sipping on some coffee or your favorite beverage of choice while you are reading all of my random ramblings! :)
My daughter Celine asked me for a "pants romper thing" this past Sunday :) My oldest daughter Charlotte has a cute pantsuit and Celine was pretty adamant she needed one too!
I was at Walmart yesterday and saw this ADORABLE chambray jumpsuit and despite Celine absolutely not NEEDING any kind of clothing...promptly put it in my cart. It was just too cute to pass up!
I surprised her with it when she came home from school yesterday and she was SO excited!
I mean...could it be ANY cuter?!?
You can find it HERE online!!
Speaking of jumpsuits...I do not own one. But...I see so many women wearing them and raving about how comfy they are!! I just don't know if I could pull one off?!?
We are traveling to Texas next month and I was thinking this jumpsuit could potentially be perfect for our day of airplane travel. I would wear a cardigan or a denim jacket over it.
I am going to try it in both a small and medium and see how it fits! I will report back and let you know what I think!!
Ok. I have been trying SO hard to be a better reader this year. 
And it is just not going that well. HA!
I am very good about reading my daily prayer books and Aaron and I are actually currently doing a plan for Lent where we are reading a chapter of the bible everyday (which we are LOVING). But when it comes to just good ol' plain fiction....I just can't stay interested!!
I saw this book recommended by Shay Shull and it was available at my library...so I checked it out!
FRIENDS. I have already had to renew it once and I am only in the middle of the second chapter!! It's not a terrible book...but I also don't find it that great.
Sooo...I will probably return it to the library and hopefully find another book to check out and give a try! Any recommendations you would like to give me would be greatly appreciated!!
I would love to know..am I the only one who has the greatest intentions of being a "reader" but can never just finish a dang book?!? HA! 

I have a subscription to "Real Simple" magazine and they had a fun feature of must have cosmetics. They mentioned the LBK brand of nail polish and I was so excited to find it at my local Walmart! It was a similar price point to Essie and OPI- each nail polish was $7.47.
I put the pink on my toes...which by the way, I haven't painted since last October. YIKES.

I was VERY pleased with color and how smoothly it went on! Definitely compared to the quality of Essie and OPI in my opinion! And the biggest selling point to me is that it is vegan!
I am obviously not going to win any awards for my at home manicures...but I love this color!
In the picture..the color is coming off very gray...I would say in person it has more of a purple undertone! It's super pretty !
I don't know if I ever mentioned this...but I had to take a break from getting dip manicures. I know I shared about how much I loved the dip manicure I got a couple of months ago...and I had every intention of getting another one! But when my polish finally came off...which was about 3.5 weeks after I had my manicure...my nails were WRECKED.
Which I was so surprised about...because I was under the impression dip manicures were supposed to be healthier than a gel manicure!
Have any of you had that experience with a dip manicure??

Needless to say...I am taking a little break before I get another one just to make sure my nails get completely back to normal!

Ok...jumping from nail polish to a yummy recipe...because that's a natural transition...HA!

My husband isn't a huge fan of gyros but my brother is...so I sent this recipe over to my sister-in-law a couple of days ago because it looked SO good and SO easy!!

Speaking of yummy meals...you need to go check out my friend Whitney's post from yesterday where she shared 6 easy dinner ideas. She has the BEST meal ideas and all of her meals are SO simple and major crowd pleasers!!

Okay...I had planned to ramble some more...but I have to get going with the rest of my day :)

Hope you have the BEST day!

Linking up with StefanieKeriMauriSarah, and Lindsay today!




Hello Monday!!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Hi friends!! Happy Monday! Happy MARCH!!

How was your weekend??

Are you happy to be starting a new month?

In my last few blog posts, I have mentioned that I have definitely been feeling a little funky...and I am MORE than excited to be welcoming a new month, which includes Daylight Savings Time! Bring on the longer days, more sunshine and hopefully WARMER temperatures! 

If you're a goal setter...how do you feel about starting the THIRD month of the year?
Are you feeling good about the goals you set for yourself...or have things fallen to the wayside? 
Are you maybe just ready for a RESTART?

At the beginning of the year, I shared that I would be doing quarterly goals, working on a few specific things every few months. You can check out that post HERE!

I had hoped to share a little more bit regularly about my health and wellness/fitness goals...and yeah...haven't done that at all. HA! It's not that I haven't been working on them- I just haven't taken the time to get organized and be more consistent about my progress! 

So- I will be doing that NEXT week!

As far as my other goals: FAITH, FRIENDSHIP and MARRIAGE- I am maintaining my commitment to the growth I set for myself in those areas!

In the area of FAITH: Aaron and I have been using this prayer journal to help us pray for our kiddos daily and we LOVE it. It has been very good for us to have the journal to help guide us in our prayers and it's really opened up a lot of conversations and we've found it to be a wonderful addition to our morning prayer time!

In regard to FRIENDSHIP: I have been making effort to meet a friends for coffee, set up play dates and regularly attend a small group that I have formed with a few other woman. I will be completely honest with you and tell you this has been an area where I have felt a lot of resistance. Personally, we've been going through some pretty tough stuff in our immediate family and I honestly just haven't felt super motivated to go hang out with friends. My life feels VERY full taking care of my family as it is- so I have really had to prioritize the importance of cultivating friendships and pushing past my comfort zone of wanting to snuggle up on my couch with Aaron and watch HGTV. HA!
I am thankful for the growth I have experienced in this area and will continue to pursue growing friendships!

In the area of MARRIAGE: Aaron and I have had been doing our monthly date nights- I set them up 3 months at a time so they are on the calendar! Also- we got to have a 24 hour getaway to celebrate Aaron's birthday and that was incredibly life giving. We are hoping to do one more 24 hour getaway this year...it's hard to ask for help with the kids (because we hate to inconvenience by brother and his wife)- but we have found it to be SO SO good for our marriage!

So...I am feeling good about where I am, heading into March! I have definitely have some things I am working on and have had to adjust the past couple of months..but I have really enjoyed having a few attainable goals set for the first quarter of the year and look forward to establishing a new set of goals at the end of April!
I stumbled across this blog post that outlines some important questions to ask yourself at the end of each month. I thought it was very helpful in helping me reflect on what went well, what didn't go well or as planned and how I want things to change. You can check out it HERE!

And guess what. If you haven't done anything you had hoped so far this year....that is OKAY.

Every day is a new, fresh day. You don't need a Monday or a new month or a new year to start over.
Heck- you could start fresh at 3:30 pm on a Wednesday! HA! It's not about when you START- it's that you decide to start, take the first step and just keep doing the next right thing. Consistency is literally KEY is achieving goals and making TRUE lasting change!

Okay. 
Real quick- because I have to figure some of you may not know exactly what you are making for dinner this week- I am going to share what's on the menu at our house for dinner this week!
MONDAY: Baked chicken, oven roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli

TUESDAY: Salsa verde chicken/ground beef tacos

WEDNESDAY: grilled sausage, buttered parmesan noodles and roasted broccoli (green beans for kiddos)

THURSDAY: Semi-homemade chicken parmesan

FRIDAY: Grilled cheese and homemade potato corn chowder 
(we take a break from pizza during Lent!)

SATURDAY: grilled chicken and veggie skewers and cauliflower rice (for grown-ups)
hot dogs and mac 'n' cheese for the kids

SUNDAY: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and steamed green beans

I have fallen into a routine of planning one "fun" meal for Aaron and I...and then planning an easy "kid" meal for that night so everyone is happy. It's helped me not get super bored with meal planning and it gives Aaron and I an opportunity to have a "grown up" meal that we really look forward to!

I wanted to share real quick how I plan on doing my semi-homemade version of chicken parmesan!
I picked up all these ingredients from Aldi:
These parmesan encrusted chicken tenders from Aldi are delicious! I am going to bake them and then had a slice or two of provolone to the top of each of them and melt the cheese!
I will make egg noodles and add some marinara sauce to the top of the noodles and then place a couple cheesy parmesan chicken tenders on top of the noodles. I'll serve a side salad with it and dinner is DONE!

SO good and SO easy. Aaron is a huge fan of chicken parmesan and is SUPER excited about this dinner! :)

Are you making any fun dinners this week??

Okay- off to get this Monday started!!

Hope you have the BEST day!! 
Here's to an amazing start to our week!!

Linking up with HeatherJohannahTanya and Lindsay!


Friday Favorites

Friday, February 28, 2020

Hey friends!!

Happy Friday!!!

Wow. We're finishing up the last week of February and I will be honest- I am not mad about it! HA!
Aaron and I have coined this month: FUNKY February. It has just felt like an "off" month. 
Anybody else nodding their head "yes" to this?!?

I am ready for March and daylight savings time!!!

Despite feeling kind of funky lately- we've been managing to stay pretty busy and have lots of fun. I thought I would share some favorite moments from the past couple of weeks!

James was off school last Tuesday- so it was just me and my boys. I can't remember that last time I got to hang out with just them!
We went to the gym and then I took them to get a donut and we ended our fun morning at the park.
It was SO fun and I love getting some extra time with my boys!!
Speaking of James...I had to share what he has been up to in Tae Kwon Do!!
He just got his yellow belt and as part of his examination- he had to kick a board and break it!! He did amazing and I still look at this picture and can't believe my precious baby (who is absolutely no longer a baby) is breaking boards and just doing such an awesome job!!
 Switching gears for a quick second- I wanted to share a couple of Pantene hair products I picked up at Walmart this past week.
I have been straightening my hair more now that it is shorter and I thought I would try out this heat primer to add an extra layer of protection.
I used it once and will NOT be using it again.
It made my hair feel sticky and SO dirty. 
So- a big thumbs down to this heat primer!
The other Pantene product I picked up is this dry shampoo. I am CONSTANTLY trying out different brands of shampoo! I have a problem! HA!
Anyway- LOVE this stuff.
It smells AMAZING, it doesn't leave a weird white residue and it is under $7.00 at Walmart!!
A bigger winner in my opinion!!
You can find it HERE on Walmart's website!
Okay- back to fun life happenings :)

We celebrated Fat Tuesday by having ice cream sundaes for our afternoon school snack!!
We weren't able to have a full fledged Mardi Gras celebration because Charlotte and Cora had a music performance and Aaron was working...but the kids were thrilled to have a treat BEFORE dinner! :)
We always have ice cream sundaes every Sunday...but during Lent, one of the kids' Lenten sacrifices is forgoing dessert. The money we spend on ice cream and other treats gets put into our Rice Bowl and at the end of Lent we make a family donation. It's a simple way of teaching our kids that while it's not easy to do without some of their favorite things..there is tangible evidence in their sacrifices by the money we are able to give to people in need!

After a snowy cold LONG weekend, that also coincided with Aaron working (insert me going slightly bananas- HA!), we got some sunshine this past Sunday afternoon and we went to a local park to play and get some fresh air.

Aaron took this picture and it is HANDS DOWN, my new favorite picture of my kids.

I LOVE BEING THEIR MOM SO MUCH!
And there you have it friends...just a little peek into what's been going on lately!

What do you have planned for the weekend?
We don't really have much going on and I am THRILLED.

I hope you have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL week!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!
Linking up with TifBeckyDella,and Katie too!

 
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