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The BEST Birthday Getaway!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Hi friends!!

Happy Tuesday!!!

Today is a VERY special day for our family...it's our number one guy's 40th birthday!!!
Yup. My hubby is 40. And looks pretty dang good if I do say so myself! HA! ;)

In honor of his birthday today...I thought it would be fun to recap the BEST birthday getaway we had this past weekend!!

A couple months ago, I asked Aaron if he wanted to do a big party or just something special with me for his birthday. He said he wanted ME :) So- I got busy planning a fun birthday weekend for him!

We drove up to Raleigh Friday night and spent the night at my brother's house. Early Saturday morning, we headed to Pinehurst, NC- which is only about 1 hour 15 minutes from Raleigh. It is the CUTEST town...and is VERY well known for it's golfing community and the fabulous Carolina Hotel and Resort.

We went straight to the Pinehurst Golf Club for Aaron's tee time which was at 10:00 am!
It was FREEZING but I came prepared with a hat, gloves and not one but TWO coats. HA!
As a special surprise, I had a bag tag waiting for him when he checked in at the pro shop! I wanted him to have something memorable from golfing at Pinehurst :)
The third line that is engraved is the longitude and latitude of course #8- which is where he played his round of golf! He loved it and immediately put it on his golf bag :)
He had the BEST time and was totally in his element! I have never golfed with him, so it was SO much fun to drive around with him in the golf cart and learn more about the game!! 
BEST morning with the birthday boy!
After we finished our round of golf, we headed to the Pinehurst Brewing Company for some lunch! Aaron got some soup and I got a salad and we split the smokehouse platter. This barbecue loving, Texas boy was SO happy!!
Our lunch was SO good and we just had the best time sitting at the bar hanging out and talking!! 
After lunch, we headed over to Southern Pines, which is a little town, literally RIGHT NEXT to Pinehurst. They have the CUTEST little downtown and we had so much fun walking around and checking everything out. We ended up at Swank Coffee Shop, where we re-fueled with some caffeine!
Once we finished walking around downtown Southern Pines, we headed over to our hotel. We stayed at the Marriott TownePlace Suites in Aberdeen, NC (another town SUPER close to Pinehurst) and were SO surprised when we walked into our room and saw that it was decorated and there were all sorts of goodies and beverages for Aaron!
One of Aaron's really good friends, who lives in the area, stopped by and dropped off his favorite adult beverages and put up a bunch of really cute 40th birthday decorations. SO SO nice of her!!
We hung out for a bit and then got ready to head to dinner! We had to take an obligatory mirror picture...because that's what you do when you are kid free and dressed up for a fancy dinner! HA!
We had dinner at the Ironwood Cafe and it was PHENOMENAL!
Our waitress, who was SO fun, made us take a "kissing" picture. 
I wasn't mad about that one bit! HA!
We both had filets with fresh green beans and roasted potatoes. Everything was SO good and by far, the best steaks we've ever had!
And for dessert, our waitress brought out homemade creme brûlée for Aaron! 
After dinner, we headed back to our hotel, got in our jammies, turned on the Food Network and then promptly passed out about 10 minutes into watching an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It was the PERFECT end to a PEFECT day!
The next morning we were up bright and early and went to church at 8 am. 
After church, we headed over to the Carolina Hotel to enjoy their famous breakfast buffet in the Carolina Dining Room.
Oh my goodness. Everything was SO delicious and the dining experience was just LOVELY. It was the perfect way to end our weekend!
After we were finished with breakfast, we got changed into "comfy" clothes and hit the road back to Raleigh to pick up the kids!
We got a great report from my sister-in-law and brother- which made us SO happy. It's always nice to know that your kids aren't TOTALLY crazy. HA!
We got back home in the early afternoon and spent the rest of the day getting ready for the week. We went grocery shopping, I made lunches for the week, we did all of our laundry from the weekend and I managed to get a batch of muffins and Aaron's birthday cake made!

I know I probably sound like a broken record...but it was the most wonderful little getaway. We were only gone for about 30 hours total...but the time away, just the two of us, was SO rejuvenating and it was SO much fun to spoil my husband and celebrate the incredible man that he is!

So thankful God put Aaron in my life 12 1/2 years ago. 
He is MY person and totally lights up my life.
He is steady, hysterically funny and so incredibly helpful.
He loves me and our children fiercely and is always seeking God to lead him through this crazy journey of life.
Here's to 40 years babe!! 
So thankful for you and cannot wait to see what's in store for you and for us this upcoming year!!!

Hope you have the BEST day and thank you for letting me ramble about my love!! ;)

Linking up with HeatherJohannahTanya and Lindsay Hello Monday and with StefanieKeriMauriSarah, and Lindsay for Welcome Wednesday!

Friday Favorites!!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Hi friends!!!

Happy Friday!!!

How was your week??
It was a "short" week for the kids- but I had to attend a work meeting all day Monday, while they were off from school...so it has not felt as short to me! HA!
The good news is...it's FRIDAY!!

I am going to make this short and sweet today and just share a FEW favorites! I have a lot of things I need to get checked off on my to-do list before I pick my kiddos up from school this afternoon!

//ONE//
Two Words: Apple Pie.

I shared this picture of an apple pie I made Aaron this past weekend in my Monday blog post and many of you commented how good it looked! Thank you! :) It was GOOD. HA!
I used the simplest recipe ever and I thought I would share it with you!
Here's the full recipe!!


Apple Crumb Pie




Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees


1 unbaked 9" pie shell
6 cups peeled and sliced apples
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter



Place sliced apples in unbaked pie shell. 

Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar with cinnamon; sprinkle over apples.
Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar with flour; cut in butter until crumbly.
Sprinkle crumb mixture over apples.
Bake at 400 for 40-50 minutes.

So here's my semi-homemade shortcut. Store bought pie crust! My absolute FAVORITE is Aldi's pie crust. You can get it in the refrigerated section!!
For the pie I made Aaron this past weekend- instead of doing a crumb topping- I used another pie crust and did a little "woven" top. Aldi's pie crust come with 2 separate crust in each box- so I used 1 of the pie crust for the base of the pie and the other one for the top!

I always keep a couple boxes of these pie crusts on hand...they are so great for making a quick pie or even just an easy apple crisp! My kids love it with I spread butter all over a (raw) pie crust, cover it in cinnamon and sugar and then bake it until it's golden brown. It's such an easy, YUMMY treat!!
//TWO//
Ok- I know I have professed my love for Shadowsense many times. But I had to share about my FAVORITE eyeshadow again!! I literally use these two Shadowsenses every.single.day.
For those of you not familiar, Shadowsense is a cream based eye shadow made by the company that makes Lipsense (that lipstick that you have to buy from a distributor that "never" comes off). I personally, don't care for Lipsense...but I LOVE Shadowsense and so many other products made the Senegence company!
These are the two colors I really can't live without: Pink Opal Shimmer and Sandstone Pearl Shimmer. I use the Pink Opal underneath my lower lash line to brighten up my under-eye area. I will either use Pink Opal or Sandstone Pearl all over my eyelid, always finishing with a little extra dab of Sandstone Pearl on my upper brow area for a little highlighting! If I am doing more of a "dramatic" eye, I will use another Shadowsense in the crease of my eyelid to add some definition. Friends- this stuff does not MOVE. It looks beautiful from the time you put it on until you wash your face! I get mine from April (who most of you know of- she is AMAZING)- you can reach out to her on Instagram through her account: @smoochbyapril
She will help you with any questions you might have and I guarantee you- if you give Shadowsense a try- are going to become HOOKED! ;)
//THREE//
This picture just makes me happy :)
I have been loving having a dedicated office space and a desk to sit at and work on my computer! My planner, my personalized notebook and a bunch of colorful pens. I mean...what else does a girl need?!?
These pens are my FAVORITE!! And thanks to the fabulous Andrea, who blogs at Momfessionals, I picked them up on sale for just under $7.00 on Amazon!! You can find them HERE!
I got them in the mail yesterday while my girls were at school yesterday...and then later in the evening we were all hanging out in my office and they all said, "MOM. Did you get new pens???? I LOVE them. Can we have some??" HA!
Love my girls. They know what's good in life: colorful pens. 
HA!
And that's all I have for today friends! Short and sweet!
As I mentioned...I have a busy day ahead of me...I need to get a lot of stuff done...because this evening, once Aaron gets off work- we are headed to Raleigh to stay at my brother's house. Tomorrow morning, Aaron and I leave bright and early for an overnight getaway to celebrate his 40th birthday (which is on Tuesday)!!!!

He has no idea where we're going or what we're doing and I am just SO excited to spoil my amazing husband and get some special time with him!
I will be sure to post a recap of our fun little overnight trip next week!!!

Hope you have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL weekend!!!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

Linking up with TifBeckyDellaWhitney and Katie too!






Weekly Walmart Finds!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Hi friends!!

Happy Wednesday!!

Sooooo....it has been way too long since I have done a Weekly Walmart Finds post!!
Honestly- I haven't been doing much shopping at Walmart (minus getting groceries) lately!! I always have a tendency to take a breather from shopping in general after the holidays...and let's be honest- my wallet needed a break too! HA!

This past weekend, while I was at Walmart getting a few random items, I walked through the women's clothing section and saw some CUTE things. And of course- HAD to share them with you today!!

First up is this ADORABLE striped sweater by Time and Tru!! 
If you follow the IG account @whoawaitwalmart- then you might have already seen this!
It is NOT online currently- but it is in the stores!! It's SO cute and is more of a lightweight type of sweater. For the colder weather we are experiencing right now- it would look SO cute layered over a denim button down shirt- or layered under a denim jacket paired with some black skinny jeans!! You can't beat the price- it's $11.84!!
Next up is this perfect open front cardigan! I saw this at my local Walmart and was like, "Oh. that is CUTE." Perfect to wear right now with a long sleeve layered underneath it...and then it can totally transition into spring with a short sleeve top!! I just feel like this style of cardigan looks good on EVERYONE and is such a closet staple!! Ok- so the "original" price tag on this cardigan is $16.94- and that's what you will pay if you get it in the store right now. BUT- online- it's currently on sale for $10.50!!! At that price, you should pick up two of these! This cardigan comes in this pretty gray color as well as white, black and a tan-ish nude color. All PERFECT, classic colors!! 
Ok...so I feel like this might be the "it" shirt from Walmart this spring. It is SO SO CUTE.
It's already in my Walmart store...but I have found they stock warmer weather clothes much sooner down here in North Carolina than they did when I lived up north! 
It's online- but the colors and sizes are VERY limited- so you will need to be on the lookout for it at your local Walmart! It's by Time and Tru and it is $11.88!
It's a super flattering, longer length top with these sweet bell sleeves. Another one of those tops that will look good on any body type! Get one of these tops and pair with a pair of jeans and you are SET. How good would that coral color or one of the floral patterns look with a pair of white jeans??
What I love most about this top- is that while it has a "flowy" look to it- it is definitely NOT oversized. It's got just enough room to it that you can feel comfortable but not so much that it will look like you are wearing a big sack. HA! You know what I mean?!?
So, FOR SURE, be checking your Walmart for this top! It's a total winner in my book! Or you can check it out HERE!
And finally- I am ending with this adorable short sleeve knot t-shirt! Again- I know it is not necessarily something most people can be wearing RIGHT NOW- but I saw it at my local store and just had to share about it!! It's just your average t-shirt material...VERY soft and it has a nice weight to it- but it has this super cute knotted detail on the sleeve! It's a closet staple- totally elevated! It comes in SO many pretty, fresh colors and it is $9.96. I mean, SERIOUSLY. You need to get at least one or two of these!! 
Ok. Who's ready to go shopping?!?!

Have you been to your Walmart lately?? Seen anything cute??

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



Hello Monday!!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Hey friends!!

Happy Monday!!

How was your weekend??

Our's was good! If I am being COMPLETELY honest...at times- it felt, a bit, ahem, long. HA!
Aaron worked allllll day Saturday and for most of Sunday...so the kids and I were flying solo and it was just bit much at times. HA! Just keeping it real!! ;)
(You'll be proud of me though...I kept my feet planted firm where God put them and just prayed to have a joyful heart even in the midst of some pretty "special" behavior moments we had! HA!)

The kids and I went and did a huge grocery shopping trip at Aldi on Saturday and we are pretty stocked up for the next couple of weeks.

I snapped a couple pictures of some meal ideas from things I buy regularly at Aldi!

These are our "salad" staples for the week. Mini cucumbers, shredded carrots, a big container of spring mix (it's prewashed and ready to go!) and croutons!!
 And for Taco Tuesday- here's what I always have on hand!
Taco seasoning mix (for ground beef or for shredded chicken in the crock pot!), brown rice (takes 90 seconds to cook in this package- YES!), shredded cheese, salsa, fat-free refried beans and taco shells! We alternate between having ground beef or shredded "salsa" chicken as our protein on Taco Tuesdays!
Saturday night, Aaron met us out for dinner and then we went to get frozen yogurt to celebrate the girls getting straight A's! 

Sunday we had church in the morning and then in the afternoon, I decided to be a "fun" mom and let the kids decorate a gingerbread house. We picked up four gingerbread house kits at Aldi when we were grocery shopping the day before. They were marked down to $0.25 per kit- so I figured..."what the heck?" HA!
The mess was ABSOLUTELY epic...but the kids had a blast and it was fun to use a "pre-made" kit. We always make our own gingerbread houses, very simply, using graham crackers and homemade icing...so this was definitely a fun change!

After I cleaned up the last bit of candies and icing off the floor and every other surface in our kitchen- we headed to Walmart to return this Dyson Handheld Vacuum. We wanted to LOVE this vacuum!! We were SO excited to use it! But- truth be told- we just didn't think it was worth the money! 

We currently have this Black and Decker hand vacuum- and it works just fine! It's nothing special, but it gets the job done. However, we've been noticing it's kind of losing it's suction lately...so that's why we thought we'd try out the Dyson! 
So- basically- you need to tell me what hand vacuum is your favorite. Before we got our Black and Decker hand vac, we had a Shark hand vac...and that worked great too! The problem is- we literally use our hand vac MULTIPLE times a day and we have them for about 1-2 years...and then they just seem to stop working as well as they did initially. 
I feel like I just spent way too much time talking about hand vacuums. HA!

Anyway...back to Sunday afternoon :)
We got home from Walmart...made some dinner and got everyone showered and in bed. 
I made Aaron one of his favorite desserts- APPLE PIE- and we caught up on a couple of our "Chicago" shows that we missed this past week! 
And now it's Monday!!

My kiddos are off school...but I have a work training all day.
We're taking them to daycare this morning and then Aaron is going to pick them up at lunch time and they get to spend the afternoon with Daddy!
I would definitely rather be hanging out with my kiddos today...but I am thankful for a husband who does A LOT of rearranging of his own schedule so that the kids don't have to be at daycare all day today! 

What are you up to today??
Do you have the day off? Kiddos home from school??

Before I forget- here's our family's menu plan for this week!!
Hope it helps a little bit if you are stuck on what to make your crew for dinner!!

Kid Version (and sometime's Aaron's version- HA!)
 Grown Up Version!
]
Hope you have the BEST day!!
Linking up with some of my most favorite bloggers: HeatherJohannahTanya and Lindsay!

Friday Favorites!!!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Hi friends!!!
Happy Friday!!!

How was your week?? Our's was pretty good! Nothing too exciting happened...just a good ol' regular week. I will never complain about having one of those! :)

It's Friday...so it's time to share some FAVORITES!!

//ONE//
I shared about this salad mix on my fullhandsfullheart_fit4life account earlier in the week. It's my FAVORITE and I get it at Aldi! Of course, I can't remember how much it costs..but I know it is no more than $3.99 for this HUGE, organic, pre-washed container of spring salad mix!
I use this for my salads at lunch and for when Aaron and I have salad with our dinners.
I will take short cuts anywhere I can get them- so I just LOVE this! 
Pre-washed and ready to go!!
//TWO//
Speaking of another FAVORITE, short-cut- let me introduce you to pasta that is cooked in your microwave and that is done within 60 seconds. 
I saw a commercial for this Barilla Ready Pasta about a year ago and promptly went to the grocery store and picked up several bags. And I have never looked back! HA!
We don't eat a ton of pasta....mostly because it just feels like too much work. I know that sounds ridiculous...but I strongly dislike creating messes at dinner time and the thought of getting a big pot out to boil water, then boil pasta, then have to strain the pasta...then have to wash said pot and strainer...well it just stresses me out. HA!
So- when we do eat pasta- we use this stuff. And it's GREAT. It's $1.79 at Publix, which is a local grocery store (I think they are all over the South)- which is obviously way more than a big box of dry pasta...but I am paying for no messes and convenience and it is TOTALLY worth it to me!!
//THREE//
I am settling into a new "planner system" this year! For the last several years, I have always used a Plum Paper Planner. And I LOVE them. They are beautiful, well made and truly the BEST. I wanted to get a different planner this year and then supplement my planner with a customized notebook from Plum Paper
So- I got this planner and then created by customized notebook on Plum Paper's website!
It definitely is taking a little bit of time for me to get used to having all of my "stuff" organized into two different places...but I am enjoying figuring it out and I love that I have a planner that is separate from all the other things I keep track of (meal planning, budgeting stuff, to-do lists, ect). Planners, notebooks, cute pads of paper = MY FAVORITE. 
//FOUR//
I am a super weirdo and HAVE to wear shoes in the house. When it's warm outside, I have a pair of flip flops I only wear in the house. Since it's been so cold...I have been needing a good pair of house shoes- so I ordered these slippers from Skechers off of Amazon. My husband has been calling them "clod hoppers" (HA!)- I am calling them comfy, warm and AMAZING. They are definitely more like a shoe than a slipper- which I love. A little bit more than I'd normally pay ($30)- but they seem like they are really good quality...so I am hoping they hold up well over the next few months of me wearing them every day!
//FIVE//
Isn't this graphic beautiful?? My friend Johannah created it for me and it is my FAVORITE! This prayer is my "prayer of the year" and I shared all about it yesterday. You can check the post out HERE!
We have a pretty wide open weekend....Aaron is on call this weekend so the kids and I will be flying solo on Saturday and fingers crossed he doesn't have to be at the hospital for too long on Sunday! The weather looks like it's going to be sunny and dry- so we will FOR SURE be getting outside!!

What are you up to this weekend?? Any fun plans? 

Hope you have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL weekend!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

Linking up with TifBeckyDellaWhitney and Katie too!







Thoughts for Thursday: My Prayer for this Year

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hey friends!!!
Happy Thursday!!!

How has your week been so far??
I know I can't be the only one that is doing a little happy dance that it's Friday Eve?!?

Today I wanted to share my "Prayer of the Year." 

I have had years where I have had a "word of the year," other years, it's been a "theme of the year." Other years it's been NOTHING...because I just needed to survive life in the season that we were in!

For the past couple of months, God has placed on my heart that 2019 needed to be different for me.
Last year, while it was filled SO many wonderful things, felt very hard for me. For a multitude of reasons....some of which that I still need to share with ya'll (please...could I just have a few more hours in the day?!? HA!) 

I felt like, a lot of the time, I was in a state of TENSION.

LOVING my life and feeling SO grateful to be a mom of 5 beautiful, healthy children and at the same time- feeling completely overwhelmed, exhausted and stretched really thin by said beautiful children;) And then feeling horribly guilty for feeling that way.

Feeling SO proud of my husband for all he has accomplished with going back to school and having such a GREAT job and at the same time- feeling frustrated that he is at work more than he is home. And then feeling horribly guilty for feeling that way.

Feeling incredible FORTUNATE that I have such a good job that allows me to work a flexible schedule while helping precious little kiddos and at the same time- feeling not fulfilled by my career and wanting to do SO many other things. And then feeling horribly guilty for feeling that way.

You see what I mean?!? It was a roller coaster of a year. HA!

And so I have been praying and thinking and praying some more and initially I thought I was going to have "words" for this year- and they were going to be SERVANT and ENOUGH.

Servant...while I take care of my family (pretty well in my humble opinion), I have not had a servant's heart about it this past year. While cleaning up a spill, I would grudgingly think frustrated thoughts. I would throw mini tantrums (mostly to my husband) about how I JUST CAN'T GET ANYTHING DONE. I would outwardly show my exasperation with my kids when they needed help with "just one more thing." So while I was totally taking care of them- I wasn't truly serving them.

And Enough. I constantly felt like I wasn't enough last year. Like I wasn't a good enough wife. A good enough mom. A good enough daughter. You get the point. 
I knew I was doing okay...but I knew I could be doing better...and that's when I felt like I wasn't enough.

Are you still with me?? HA!
These are pretty deep thoughts for a random Thursday! HA!

And then I came across this prayer last week and I was like, "Ok, Holy Spirit- I GET IT. I HEAR you!"

"Lord, help my heart to be where you have placed my feet."

*HUGE shoutout to my blogging bestie Johannah for creating this beautiful graphic for me. Love you Johannah!*

WOW.
Talk about getting hit with such clarity!!
This prayer has rocked my world and it is absolutely my anthem for the next year (and hopefully for the rest of my life!)

I HAVE to let go of the tension I feel of wanting something different than what is my reality RIGHT NOW.

I have big dreams. I have SO many personal interests and goals. I want to do SO much with my husband. I want to be EVERYTHING for my kids. I want to give more time to others who need me. 

But for now- my feet have been placed at home (while also working a wonderful part-time job) with 5 young children, who each have VERY different personalities and NEED me to be there for them. I have a husband who works himself into the ground...all for his family and he NEEDS me. And I have myself to take care of...because if I don't- I can't take care my people. 

Right now- my feet have been placed right where God wants them and I need to embrace, with open arms, the season of life that I am in.
And I think by embracing right where my feet have been placed, that tension I have been feeling will dissipate and becoming a better servant will happen naturally and I will trust in knowing that by following God's plan for my life that I.AM.ENOUGH.
So that is my "prayer of the year"-

LORD, 
HELP MY HEART TO BE WHERE YOU HAVE PLACED MY FEET.

Here's to living out that prayer and knowing that God has me right where he wants me. 
And I am SO grateful for that truth. 

I'd love to know...do you have a word/theme/prayer for this year??? Please share in the comments if you feel comfortable doing so! :)

Hope you have the BEST day!

One more thing- I wanted to share the Etsy store where you can buy a beautiful print of this prayer. The shop is called Fawnly Prints. I came across this prayer on the shop owner's Instagram feed!! You can find the print HERE!

 Linking up with StefanieKeriMauriSarah, and Lindsay (one day late) today!

 
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