Friday Favorites!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Happy Friday!!
It is an especially fun day at our house for a couple of reasons- Aaron has been out of town since Tuesday and he gets home today! My parents are here visiting- which is always so special and fun! And it is Aaron's birthday! The girls are so excited to not only have Daddy back home today- but to get to celebrate his special day!'s going to be a super fun Friday for us :)

How was your week? I sure hope it was a good one...and if it wasn't the greatest...I hope this weekend can make up for it! ;)

Here are some fun FAVORITES of mine from this past week!

Last Saturday, Aaron was working, so I took the kids to the library in the morning so they could play and check out books and DVDs. Well- we just so happened to be at the library on a morning when they were having an event in the children's area- and they had DONUTS!
The girls were so excited!
They got to check out books, DVDs AND eat a donut- INSIDE the library??? 
Life pretty much couldn't get better. HA!
Love these 4 so much and I am so grateful to get to do life alongside of them...they are always showing me how easy it is to appreciate the smallest things! :)

SUPER RANDOM- But- for the past several months I have been using this hairspray by Pantene- and while it smells lovely- I have NOT liked it. Of course, I didn't want to waste it- so I tried to use it up as fast as I could- HA!
And then I went back to my tried and true favorite of many years- Tresemme' Tres Two Extra Hold Aerosol hairspray. It feels really good to be reunited with my favorite hairspray! :)
I have not really tried any higher end brands of hairspray- but I will say as far as "drug store" brands go- this hairspray is my all time FAVORITE! 
The temperatures "warmed" up this past Sunday and we went on a family walk! 
While I was still freezing- it was SO nice to get some fresh air and have the kids be outside!!
My kids are truly happiest when they can run around and play in the sunshine!
Definitely a FAVORITE moment to see such big, happy smiles on my kids faces while they ran around and acted like complete nuts! :)
We got the happiest package this week in the mail! One of my most special friends sent Celine a HUGE box of the most gorgeous Matilda Jane dresses, ruffle pants, and tops!!!
I seriously was SO giddy with excitement looking at all the beautiful things she sent us!!
And Celine could NOT get over all of the "gorgeous things" Miss Aurora (my friend's name is Laura) sent her. 
It was ridiculously generous of Laura to think of us and pass down such special clothes to Celine and we are SO grateful. Thank you SO SO much Miss Aurora!! We love you:)
And is my FAVORITE person's 37th birthday today!! 
I was just telling my mom last night how blessed I feel, everyday, to have Aaron in my life. He is not just my husband, but my very best friend, who I can talk to about anything and everything. We truly enjoy each other and always have the BEST time together. 
(And I don't say this to brag or be boastful...I am just so very grateful for our friendship and marriage :)
He is an amazing father and loves all of us so fiercely.
I can't wait to pick this handsome guy up from the airport this morning and go out to celebrate him tonight!! 
Happiest Birthday Aaron!! 

And don't forget!! Leigh, Erica and I are doing a fun, monthly link-up- starting next week, on Wednesday, February 3!!! On the FIRST Wednesday of every month, we are getting together to share our favorite Pinterest Inspirations!
Next week, as we prepare for the BIG GAME (Go Panthers!), we will be sharing our FAVORITE Super Bowl Recipes!  
We would love it if you grab our button and link up with us!

Hope you have the BEST day and a wonderful weekend!!

I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!

 I am also linking up with April for Five on Friday!
 Joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up! too!

And lastly, linking up with KatieTifDella & Caitlin for High Five for Friday!

Thoughts for Thursday!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hi!! Happy Thursday! 
Today is going to be an awesome day at our house! My parents arrive this afternoon! I am SO excited to see them AND extra happy they will be here because Aaron has been out of town the past few days and it is going to be great to have a couple extra pairs of helping hands! :)

Okay- now moving on to the topic at hand :)
I usually do a "Weekly Walmart Finds" post every Wednesday- but yesterday I joined Shay, Mel and Shaeffer for their "What's Up Wednesday" link up I am sharing my "Weekly Walmart Find" today instead! 

I am SO SO excited to show you what I found last week while I was picking up a few things at my local Walmart!!
You know those super cute, popular stud earrings a lot of women are loving and wearing???...Kate Spade makes several beautiful versions of them and Nordstrom carries a very similar version, at a much lower price point too. You can find the Kate Spade version here and here and the Nordstrom brand here!

Well...Walmart is now carrying the same, large stud earrings, in multiple, amazing FUN colors, in gold and silver tone- for THREE DOLLARS!!!
I KNOW. I mean seriously what can you buy for $3?!?
Here are some fun colors they had at my pink with gold glitter flecks (hard to see in this picture), multi-colored glitter, jade/mint green with sparkly flecks, and GORGEOUS glitter red (HELLO Valentine's Day)!! And not sure if you see in the way back- they have an amazing gold glitter pair set in gold tone- SO PRETTY!

I personally own 3 pairs of Kate Spade studs, two of them being this exact style, so I will admit I was a little hesitant to buy a pair.  Even at just $3- I am not the type of person to just buy something because it is a good price. I have to love them and use them!
I decided to give them a try- cause I am fun and spontaneous like that- HA! and picked this super pretty opal, glitter pair that are set in "silver."

And now that I have had them for a week and worn them MULTIPLE times- I will tell you what I think- I LOVE them. Like- I kind of like them better than my Kate Spade studs because they are so much lighter and don't hurt my ears by the end of the day! Obviously, the Kate Spade studs are made of a much higher quality metal and therefore have a heavier weight to them. These, being $3- are made of a much lighter (and I am sure not as high of quality) metal. At the end of the day, my ears appreciated the lighter weight of my Walmart studs VERY much! 

Here is an up close picture of the Walmart studs- in silver glitter.
Aren't they just fabulous?!?

Okay and now- here is a picture (sorry the lighting in this picture is so bad- I took this last night and had to have my bedroom light on!!) of my Kate Spade studs- my pink ones you can find here and you can find the Kate Spade silver glitter studs here
Um- please look at my silver Kate Spade studs and then take a look at the Walmart version of them pictured above.
Can you even tell a difference?!? 

To me- once you have them in your ear- you literally can NOT tell a difference.
However- if you were to look at them up close- there IS a difference. Again, being that the Walmart version is MUCH less expensive ($3 versus $38) the materials used to make the earring and how the earring is made is a little different. This is an up close picture of the Walmart stud and you can see how there is no "opening" to the setting- it is all just one "closed" piece. 

Here are my two pairs of Kate Spade studs and you can see the difference in the settings. 
The metal is open and has what I consider to be a "higher quality" look to it.
To me- it is not a big difference AT ALL- but it might be one that you do not care for and would rather pay the higher price to get the Kate Spade version of this fun stud earring!

So for me- I am TOTALLY excited Walmart has these earrings right now!
Like I said, I picked up the opal, glitter pair last week and have been wearing them A LOT. I love how lightweight they are and literally don't notice I am wearing them all day (something I can't say when I wear my Kate Spade version).
For the season of life I am in with young kids, running around a lot and ahem, sometimes getting my earrings yanked out by a certain ornery 18 month old- I don't always like to wear my nicer, more expensive earrings.  So these studs are perfect for me! I am definitely going to go pick up a few more pairs...some for gifts and couple more for myself. These will be the PERFECT earrings to wear this summer when we are going to the pool and the park every day. If I happen to lose one of them- NO BIGGIE. They were $3!!!

I would love to know what you think!! Do you own any of the Kate Spade studs or the Nordstrom BP brand of these studs? Have you seen these earrings at your Walmart? 
I found them right over on a major side aisle, right past the hats, gloves and scarves and just before smaller jewelry aisles.
(And just FYI- I looked everywhere online and can't find these earrings :( I will keep checking periodically and let you know if they do show up online!)

Hope you have the BEST day!!

I am linking up with Annie and Natalie today!

What's Up Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hi!! Happy Wednesday!
Can you believe next week we will be in February?!? This month has FLOWN by! is the last Wednesday of the month...which means it is time for another What's Up Wednesday Post! I am joining MelShay and Sheaffer for their super fun link up party!

What we're eating this week...Well...Aaron has been tied up at work a lot and hasn't been home for the kids and I have been having some really gourmet meals as a result of this. Peanut butter sandwiches and applesauce and pancakes have been some of the fine dining that has taken place at our house! HA! Seriously though- when Aaron isn't home for dinner...I keep it SIMPLE.  Just for fun- I looked up "peanut butter and jelly" on Pinterest and you would not believe the amazingness that popped up!! Check out this link if you love PBJ as much as we do!

What I'm reminiscing about... I am a pretty sentimental I am ALWAYS reminiscing about something :) I would say as of VERY recently, like yesterday, I was thinking about when Aaron and I first started dating (because I had just watched the Bachelor the night before :) We seriously had the BEST time dating!! We both agreed though, that even though we have been together for over 9 years...we still feel like boyfriend and girlfriend...but we also have that wonderful bond and level of intimacy between us that only comes from being married and going through LOTS of stuff together!

What I am loving....soooo...I do NOT want this to come off sound vain at all- but I am really loving my current hair color! HA! I had my hair highlighted at the end of December and I told my stylist to just kind of go for it as far as what colors to put in my hair.  The only thing I told her was that I wanted to it look bright and fresh. She worked her magic and did an awesome job and gave me a great cut too! Considering I have had many a time at the salon where I have walked out and hated my hair...I ALWAYS appreciate when I love it!
Not sure if you can see in this picture...but she did some really pretty blonde highlights and then added in some caramel highlights too!
P.S. I can't handle James. He is so DARN cute!! :)
Speaking of hair...I am also loving my Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo! For the last several months, I had switched over to using Batiste Dry Shampoo...which I really like too- but I was getting SO much white residue in my hair when I used it!!! I switched back to my Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo just last week and while I prefer the smell of the Batiste Dry Shampoo...I like Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo better overall. 
What we've been up to...Honestly we haven't been up to much!
Our weeks have been full with school and a few extra things here and there. We haven't had many plans on the weekend...but we always manage to be busy the entire time! 
One thing I started in the New Year was to take a picture of the kids EVERY Sunday after church.  I can't wait to put together a collage of a year's worth of "Sunday Best" pictures of my precious kiddos!! In just a few more months, there will be another little person in these pictures!! 
What I'm dreading...I am really not dreading anything...but if I HAD to answer this question-  I would say I am dreading or just actively disliking :) that we still have a couple more months of winter to get through. It really hasn't been that bad of a winter- so I don't feel like I can complain too much...but wow. what I would give for some warm sunshine on my face and flip flops on my feet! HA!

What I am working on...well...I actually wrote a post about this last week! I am working on getting organized with how I make each of my kids' yearly photo books. I am ALMOST done with Cora's (about 6 months behind- UGH). I need to hustle and get Charlotte's done (2 months behind on that one) and then I am going to start my new organization system. My goal is to be completely update with everything by the time Baby #5 arrives at the end of April.  Which means I really need to GET TO WORK! HA!

What I'm excited about...
I have several things I am excited about! My parents are coming for a quick visit tomorrow! YAY! And because my parents are going to be here- Aaron and I are going out on a date for his birthday on Friday!  SUPER YAY!  
And finally- I really am excited to be teaming up with Erica and Leigh for a new monthly link up – Pinspiration Wednesday!  
The first Wednesday of each month beginning February 3, we will link-up together and share our favorite Pinterest Inspirations based on an established topic for the month. February’s topic is: Share your favorite Super Bowl Recipes! Grab our button and come share in the fun!  I love linking up with others – and finding Pinterest Inspiration is going to be so much fun!!

What I am watching/reading...LOVING the new show Chicago Med and this Season of the Bachelor!! I am a HUGE fan of Chicago PD and Chicago Fire- so Chicago Med has been an awesome edition!! And The Bachelor. So much to say so little time. HA!
I have not enjoyed watching The Bachelor this much in a LONG time. Ben is a total class act and is so adorable. There are a lot of GREAT girls on this season and several CRAZY ones that are driving me batty. It is SO bad to watch that it is GOOD. HA! My husband has been watching it with me and his commentary is SO funny! I have not looked at any of the spoilers- but if I had to guess- I am thinking it is going to be down to Becca, Cailla and Lauren B. at the end!!

And I am currently reading The Matchmaker!! I LOVED reading Winter Stroll and Winter Street and my friend Johannah mentioned that she really liked The Matchmaker- so that is what I started on next! I am only a couple chapters into it- but so far I am hooked!
What I am listening to...Pandora. Always Pandora :) Some of my favorite channels are: Matt Wertz Radio, Dave Barnes Radio and Sam Smith Radio!!

What I'm wearing...this maternity tunic from Target- I just LOVE it! It is one of those tops that looks really nice- but really it is just a glorified sweatshirt! HA! 
And for pants- I am wearing these compression maternity leggings from Old Navy.
I got them to wear when I work out- but I am also loving wearing them as "everyday" pants! So I have been alternating wearing one pair to the gym and making sure the other pair is clean so I can wear them when I get home from the gym! 
And finally, I am wearing and loving my Old Navy Full Panel Maternity Skinny Jeans
April mentioned these were her favorite maternity jeans- so I decided to get them and I love them! As with all maternity jeans, they need to pulled up every now and then- but I love the wash, they are very slimming and look great with tall boots!

What I'm doing this weekend...My parents will be here Friday and Aaron and I will be going out to celebrate his birthday! Saturday we don't really have any plans- but I think we are going to rent Burnt and watch that! Sunday, our church is having a blood drive and pancake I am thinking that is where we will end up after Mass! :)

What I'm looking forward to next month...Valentine's Day!! I think Valentine's Day is such a fun holiday and I LOVE getting my kids a few little treats to make the day extra special.  This year I picked a "theme" for the girls' treats and I think they are going to love it! I will share more about what I got them next week!  And if you haven't seen these ADORABLE Valentines Target has in their Dollar Spot- go check them out today!! 
Here are just a few of our favorites:
What else is new...Nothing really! Just enjoying being where we are RIGHT NOW :)

BONUS QUESTION: What is Your Favorite Valentine's Treat? This one was hard for me!! I can't really indulge in desserts with a lot of dairy in them- but if that was not a factor- I would say a big slice of original cheesecake with a yummy strawberry sauce drizzled all over it!! Also- I LOVE chocolate covered strawberries- which I think are such a classic Valentine's treat!

Hope you have the BEST day!!!

Calling All Chocolate Lovers!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hi!! Happy Tuesday!
Hope your week is off to a great start!! husband's birthday is at the end of this week and I have been bugging him to let me know what kind of dessert he would like me to make for his special day!
Of course, just last night when I asked him again- he said, "brownies or triple chocolate cake- you pick!"
If it was up to me- we would have both! HA!

We are a chocolate loving family (minus my precious Cora Maye who can't stand it- I KNOW. I don't know where that trait came from!!) and the two recipes I am sharing today are our FAVORITES.
First up: The Best Brownies EVER.  I posted this recipe probably 9 months and because these brownies are SO good- I wanted to share it again in case you might have missed it the first time!

Here's the recipe!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 X 11 pan (I use a Pyrex baking dish) with cooking spray.

This is where it gets fun- because this recipe is totally one where you can dump all the ingredients in at once.  You don't need a mixer to make these brownies!!

In a mixing bowl, dump the following ingredients-
1 cup flour
2 cups white, granulated sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips (and an additional 1 - 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips)

Mix well together and pour brownie batter into your 9 X 11 pan.
The batter will be THICK!
Bake your brownies for approximately 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  You do NOT want to over bake them!! Over baking can take any dessert from super delicious to hockey puck status in just a few extra minutes too long in the oven!! :)
At the 30 minute mark, put a knife in the middle of the brownies- if it comes out clean- they're done! If not- let them bake for a couple minutes longer and check again.  
Once you have taken the brownies out of the oven, sprinkle your remaining chocolate chips (I like to use a mix of milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips) all over the hot brownies.  Let the chocolate chips sit on top for about 5 minutes- then they will be melted enough that they can be spread into an "icing!"  Once you have your chocolate chips all spread out- you can add some fun sprinkles (my family LOVES sprinkles- including my husband!:) Or you can just leave them plain.  Either way- the brownies will be delicious.
Next is Triple Chocolate Cake!!
I have two favorite recipes for this cake.

The first recipe I use and LOVE is from Shay at Mix and Match Mama
It is SO easy! You can find her recipe for Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache here!!

All you need is:
1 box of chocolate fudge cake mix
2 small boxes of instant chocolate fudge pudding
1/2 cup of veggie oil
1 1/4 cups of water
4 eggs
2 cups dark chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a 10 inch bundt pan

In mixing bowl, combine cake mix, puddings, oil, water and eggs with electric mixer.  Add in 1 cup of dark chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared bundt pan.
Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cake rest on counter in pan 10 minutes.  Then, invert cake onto serving plate to finish cooling.  

To make the ganache, place remaining cup of chocolate chips in medium bowl.  On stove, bring whipping cream just up to boiling.  Pour over chocolate chips.  Stir a few minutes until chocolate is melted.  Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Pour over cooled cake. 
If you don't want to make the chocolate ganache- you can put a thin layer of chocolate icing on the cake or just leave it plain- it will still be DELICIOUS.

The other variation of this recipe, that I sometimes follow, and that is equally amazing has sour cream in it! I KNOW. It sounds weird- but it actually makes the cake SUPER dense and moist!

Here's the recipe:
1 Box German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 box instant chocolate pudding
12 ounces (1 regular size bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 ounces sour cream (light or regular is fine!)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup warm water
4 eggs

Dump all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
Put in a greased bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. Make sure to NOT over bake this cake! You want it to stay moist and perfect!

If you compare this recipe to Shay's version, there are few differences. The above recipe calls for only 1 box of instant pudding (versus 2 in Shay's recipe), 8 ounces of sour cream and it uses less oil and water. 
Both cakes are SUPER yummy and I suggest just making both! HA! You can never have too much chocolate cake in my opinion!

Do you love chocolate??
Do you have a favorite chocolate dessert recipe? Please share it with me! 
Baking makes me so happy and I love to try out new recipes!!

Hope you have the BEST day!

Linking up with these wonderful ladies for Tuesday Talk!
 Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Christina at Waltzing In Beauty | Pinterest | Instagram
Michelle at Grammie Time | Pinterest | Instagram  
Whitney at Polka Dotty Place | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

Let's Talk...Revisiting My 2016 Goals!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hi!! Happy Monday!!
How was your weekend??
Aaron had to work this weekend...but we still managed to get a lot done around the house AND have lots of fun together has a family.  Win-Win!

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika as part of their new monthly "let's talk" link up party! This month's topic is New Year's goals, resolutions and in general, hopes and aspirations for the next 12 months!

I will be honest, when I saw this month's topic, I was kind of "meh" about it- since I had already written a post about my New Year's/January goals earlier in the month.
But...then I started to think about it and realized that talking about my 2016 goals at the END of January was actually quite perfect! I have pretty much had the whole month to think about the "initial" goals I set for myself and had some more time to reflect on how I want this next year to go.  So I am excited to be re-visiting this topic!!

I posted about my New Year's goals and a few specific things I wanted to achieve for the month of January.  You can read my post here!

Just for a quick recap, my three goals for January were to: 
1) Be on my phone and computer LESS and read ONE book.
2) Keep MOVING and EXERCISING and hit 10k steps EVERY day.
3) Be JOYFUL and PATIENT- when it is CRAZY, CHAOTIC and everyone seems to be losing it all at the same time! :)
 I am happy to say I feel that I have done a pretty good job with my goals this month! 
As far as reading goes, I am still establishing the habit of picking up a book instead of my phone. I read Winter Street over the last 2 weeks of December and finished Winter Stroll in the first two weeks of January.  I just started another book, The Matchmaker (by the same author- Elin Hilderbrand) and I can tell that I am going to love it!
As far a getting to the gym and hitting my 10,000 steps every day- it's been going great! I did have to adjust my goal early on in the month though. During the week- I go to the gym every morning and we have also been going for about 40 minutes in the afternoon. I have easily been not only getting in 40-60 minutes of exercise but exceeding my 10K steps goal.
On the weekends, however, with the weather being so cold and yucky- we have not been getting outside and that has definitely affected me getting in my 10k steps. So- my adjusted goal is exercise/hit 10k steps Monday through Friday and rest on the weekends :)
Finally, focusing on my patience (and maintaining a sense of humor) in the super intense, "everyone is screaming about something and somebody has a bleeding finger and my toddler took the air vent out of the floor for the 50th time that day" has been a work in progress :) I am definitely doing a better job of remaining calm and staying patient- BUT I still have a lot of room for improvement. This is an ongoing, every day (heck- who am I kidding- sometimes minute by minute) goal that I am working on, failing at, and starting over again.  I am so thankful for God's abundant grace :) that I have had almost a good, solid month to think about this upcoming year and all that it holds for our family- a couple words keep coming into focus for me. SAVOR and SLOW DOWN. I want to savor where each of my kids are at- I am SO blessed to be parenting not only very young children, but also children who are getting older and more independent. I absolutely LOVE getting to experience so many different stages with my kids all at ONCE! And I want them each to know this!!!  So- I want to make sure I am savoring the precious moments I have with my kids. 
And I want to (and NEED) to slow down. I would not say I am overly busy person. I do not work outside the home, I don't have a "side job," and I don't do a lot of social things with friends. I do however, feel like I am always racing against the clock.  You know what I mean? Get the kids up and out the door by 7:10 am- because we HAVE to be at school by 7:30 am. Get in a quick workout and race home to get cleaned up, get James a snack, do a couple things around the house so I can be back in the car to get my daughter from preschool. Make sure my two youngest are down for their naps at a certain time because we HAVE to leave by 2:30 to go get their sisters. Race around during nap time doing anything and everything that needs to be done because that is truly the only time when I can get stuff DONE. I know you know what I am talking about!! :) 
And my time and our schedule will go through another season of change once our 5th baby is born at the end of April! 
So while I have been thinking about needing to slow down, prioritize what things NEED to be done and what can wait, I read this (pictured below) in one of my daily devotionals a couple weeks ago and it just totally hit my heart. God is ACTIVE, ALWAYS moving to bring about good. I mean- let's really talk about who is busy, right?? And the idea to live all parts of my life, all the VERBS that I am living in my daily routine- to make them a blessing to myself and to others. What an amazing perspective!! So simple and yet it has really helped stir a change in how I go about my day and how I want to continue to live my life.

So for 2016- I am going to SAVOR all the moments, big and small, AND I am going to SLOW DOWN, and go about my routine and live out the actions I do on a regular basis so I can bless others (and myself)!!

Now your turn! I would love to know about what you are hoping for this year!
Any specific goals? A certain mindset you want to have?
I LOVE the fresh start a New Year brings...but I always love knowing that changes can occur WHENEVER I want them to- I just have to make it happen! :)

Hope you have the BEST day!!

Friday Favorites!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Hi!! Happy FRIDAY!!! 
How has your week been?  Our's was good! 

Yesterday morning, I had my glucose test (I don't know if there is much worse than chugging a sugary orange drink at 7:30 am- HA!) and then had an appointment with my doctor- I heard the baby's heartbeat and that just NEVER gets old!! :) Next week marks the beginning  of my third trimester with Baby L#5 and I am kind of having a hard time believing it!! :)

Okay- so in the past couple weeks I have started using a few new health and beauty products- all of which I happen to LOVE so I thought I would share them with you today!
So here are some of my FAVORITE new health and beauty items I have been using lately!!

At my last few dentist appointments I have been encouraged by the dental hygienist and my dentist to get an electric toothbrush.  I have some pretty bad gum recession from brushing too hard (oops!) and they said a rechargeable toothbrush would help so much!!
Well, just last week, Aaron got us both a new Oral B electric toothbrush and I am LOVING it!!  I have to admit- at first- I was kind of aversive to the idea of using an electric toothbrush- I am a traditionalist and just like a good ol' fashioned toothbrush! HA!  But after the first time brushing with my electric toothbrush- OMG! My teeth had never felt that clean (minus when I go to the dentist for a cleaning)!! The toothbrush Aaron got us has a "pressure sensor" for when you are brushing too hard and it has been a great feature for me- since I have a problem with that. 
I know A LOT of people LOVE the Sonicare toothbrushes- which have AMAZING reviews...but for us- we needed something lower in price. Aaron got our's at Sam's Club and got 2 toothbrushes for $80! So- if you are looking to start using an electric toothbrush- you might want to check out Oral B's line of them! We our totally sold on our's!! 

Aaron got me a new body spray for Christmas- I was wanting something light, that I could wear every day, versus my "special" perfume that I like to save because it is so expensive (which in case your wondering- my two all time FAVORITE scents of perfume are Light Blue by Dolce and Gabana and Chanel Chance Fraiche by Chanel :) Anyway- he got me this body spray by Victoria Secret (but purchased it here on Amazon) and it smells SO GOOD!! I just love it!! It is my new FAVORITE because 1) it comes in a plastic bottle which is so great for traveling (I always get so worried about packing a glass bottle of perfume!) and 2) it has the perfect LIGHT but very DISTINCTIVE scent.  And because it is a body spray- it doesn't go on heavy at all- and is perfect for every day!
My skin has been all kinds of special this winter and because of that- I really needed to get a new foundation to wear that could even out my skin tone but also be really hydrating when I put it on.  In the past, I have NEVER worn foundation...but just in the last year- I have noticed how much better my face looks when I apply some before putting on the rest of my makeup.  So...when I was at Walmart last week looking for a new foundation- I seriously had NO idea what to get.  There are SO many!!  I ended up getting this Dream Velvet foundation by Maybelline and it is just PERFECT!  I decided to go with the Dream Velvet foundation because right on the front of the bottle it says, "soft matte hydrating foundation." BOOM. Exactly what I was looking for!! And luckily- Maybelline's marketing ploy has proven to be true for me- as I find it very hydrating and I think it provides the perfect amount of light- medium coverage- which is exactly what I was looking for!  It is a small bottle- but seriously- a LITTLE goes a LONG way! I use only about a pea size amount of it to cover my face.  
If you are in the market for a new foundation- you might want to check this one out! It is definitely a FAVORITE of mine!

Speaking of horrible skin...last week I asked all of you to help me find a gentle, moisturizing, NOT expensive cream for my face :) I got so many AMAZING suggestions and I seriously appreciated all of you sharing with me the products that you love!! I ended listening to my FAVORITE friend Laura, who suggested I just stick with the Cetaphil brand (she uses the facial wash and lotion) since it works so well with highly sensitive skin AND it is very affordable.  I did a little research and decided to go with the moisturizing CREAM versus the moisturizing lotion- the cream is thicker and more hydrating and it can be used on your whole body- including your face. I have been using this cream for a week and my face is totally back to normal!!! I could tell an immediate difference just after the first night of applying it to my face.  It does an amazing job moisturizing my face- which is SO dry and it has completely helped with the red, blotchy, irritated parts of skin that I had around my eyes.  
At both Walmart and Target- this huge tub is just under $12.  I can guarantee you this is going to last me at least 6 months- if not longer!! And I love that I can also use it on my horribly cracked and dry hands.  SUPER excited that I have found my new FAVORITE face cream!! And thank you so much again for the suggestions!!

And totally not related to health and beauty products :), yesterday marked the one year anniversary since I started writing this blog!! I honestly had no idea what I was doing (and pretty much still don't! HA!) but I did know that I wanted to share my journey and thoughts as a wife and mother- and it has ended up being such an amazing, FUN creative outlet for me.  I have "met" so many wonderful, supportive women and I just LOVE having a space where I can ramble on and on about random topics. 
When I write a blog post...I seriously feel like I am just having a conversation with a group of girlfriends! Your comments, emails and kind and supportive words have been so uplifting and I appreciate them SO much.
Hope you have the BEST day and a wonderful weekend!! 

I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!

 I am also linking up with April for Five on Friday!
 Joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up! too!

And lastly, linking up with KatieTifDella & Caitlin for High Five for Friday!