Friday Favorites!!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Happy Friday friends!!!

It sure has been a FUN week for us. As I mentioned in my post on Wednesday- my mom is visiting us right now and we are just beyond happy that she is here!!!
We have big plans to show Baba (that's what all the grandkids call her) around our cute little town this weekend and it's just going to be a really special time!

Now- time for some Friday FAVORITES!

Here's just a few, FAVORITE things that have been making me smile this past week! 

Have ya'll ever had Kodiak Cakes? It's a protein packed pancake mix and we love using it to make waffles, pancakes and even muffins! Well...guess what!? Aldi now carries their own version of Kodiak Cakes!! For HALF the price! And my kids actually like the taste of Aldi's version of the protein pancake mix better than the Kodiak Cakes!
My FAVORITE thing to do on Saturday mornings is make the kids chocolate chip waffles with this protein mix. We are always is such a hurry during the week to get to school on time- that breakfast is pretty rushed. I love taking the time to make them something (semi) homemade on Saturday morning and they think it's SUCH a treat!!
One of my FAVORITE blogging friends, Heather, asked me the other day about my eyebrows :) I had them microbladed almost two years ago (I blogged about it! You can check out the post HERE!) and have had them touched up once..but the ink has definitely faded in some areas. A lifestyle blogger, Cori Robinson, mentioned using this brow gel- and her brows are PERFECT- so you know I promptly went to Walmart to get some!! HA!
Her biggest tip was NOT to use the brush it comes with- and instead- use an angled brush to fill in your brows. I have been using it for about a week now- and oh my goodness! This stuff is AWESOME! It doesn't budge and it totally helps fill out the uneven areas of my brows!! For sure my latest beauty FAVORITE!
I finally got the little corner in the kitchen functional and organized!
 With all 5 kids being back in school, I knew I needed to get a set-up that worked for us when they do their homework and bring home ALL THE PAPERS.
I found this galvanized metal holder with 3 jars (it also has a cute, functional handle) at Michael's in their fall section! It has turned out to be the perfect container for holding all the necessary items the kids need when it comes time to do homework!
I also got this cute "envelope." I am a HUGE I rarely keep anything my kids make at school- HA! So- I don't really have a problem with having papers pile up. What I needed was an area to keep permission slips, requests from teachers and the girls economy/chore charts. I had this little space on the wall under a cabinet and this envelope has just fit perfectly in there!
Here's a view of the whole area: the galvanized metal envelope that holds all of our VIPs (very important papers ;), a little basket (got it from Walmart a couple years ago) with our pencil sharpener, some hand sanitizer (kids are GROSS-HA!), a calculator and a few big erasers and our homework supplies caddy. The kids LOVE how everything is set out for them and I love that it is an organized and functional area for them!! Win-Win!!
I just got the 3 pieces I ordered from the latest Lilly Pulitzer sale in the mail 
and I just LOVE them!!
I got two dresses- they are the same dress style- just two different patterns/color combos and a tank top. I have quite the Lilly collection- only from shopping the sales they run two times a year and I have figured out what styles fit me the best. The prices are AMAZING when they run their sales- but you cannot return anything- so you need to be sure what you are ordering is going to fit!
The tank top I got is my FAVORITE style of tank top they carry. You can wear a regular bra with it and I just think it's so flattering!! And you just can't beat the happy, fun colors of Lilly clothes. They just make me feel good when I wear them! :)
Time with my MOM! 
Wow. There are so many things to say about having her here visiting us- but for now- I will just say- it's been SO good for all of us. The past year has been so extremely hard and our time together has just been another tiny step towards healing.
So thankful for her making the trip to come see us!!
Today is going to be such a fun day! All the kids have school, so my mom and I have a few hours to ourselves! We are going to take a walk, go to church with my older kids, then go shopping and end up at my favorite coffee shop/cafe in our cute little downtown for lunch!! It has been YEARS- like A LOT of years since my mom and I have been able to just have a girly day with each other- so to say I am excited would be an understatement :)

Hope ya'll have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL weekend!!

Linking up with TifBeckyDella,and Katie too!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

What I am Loving Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Hey friends!!! Happy Wednesday!!

It is a VERY happy Wednesday for me...because I am picking up my mom in Raleigh today!!! As many of you know, my father passed away this past March. And prior to that he was very sick and my mother was his full time caregiver. Because of this, she has never been able to come visit Greenville since we moved here in June 2017. 
This trip is a BIG deal and we are just BEYOND giddy with excitement that she will be staying with us for the next several days. It's going to be so special to show her our house and our little town and I am just SO grateful she is finally able to make this trip!

I have been continuing to make little notes to myself of fun things I want to share with ya'll, so here's another installment of "What I am Loving Wednesday!"

The girls and I are currently reading "3 Minute Devotions for Girls" every night before they go to bed. It has a short scripture, a reflection and then a prayer. They are just SO well written and it has just been such a great way to get some special prayer time in with my girls before they go to bed! This sweet little devotional would be such a great gift for a school age girl or even a gift to YOU and your daughter! Best part- it's $4.99 if you are an Amazon prime member!!

About a month and a half ago- I saw a sign randomly at an intersection that was advertising for a tennis program called "Try Tennis." I was intrigued, so I did a quick google search and found out it was a beginner tennis program for people who just wanted to learn and get exposed to the game of tennis. I have ALWAYS wanted to be able to play tennis- but sports seriously scare me. HA! I totally took seeing that sign as a little nudge from the Holy Spirit to just do something out of my comfort zone- so I signed up for a 5 week course!! I have been going weekly, to learn how to play tennis, with a group of other women and oh my goodness. IT IS SO MUCH FUN!!!!

I am not good at all- but I am having a blast and it has quickly become one of my favorite parts of the week. I am really hoping that the course will be offered again or it will continue in some fashion...because I don't want to stop going and I still have so much to learn!

So last week I shared a super AWESOME, affordable pair of jeans that I got from Walmart. Well, today, I wanted to share with you the other pair of jeans that I recently purchased...that I am loving just as much as my Walmart jeans! These are from Target...they are regularly priced at $27.99- but last time I checked were on sale for $25. If you are looking for a distressed, "yes my jeans are supposed to be ripped" look- then these are the jeans for you. HA! Seriously though- they are high waisted, soft, hold you in where you need to be held in and have a few fun areas of distressing on them. Nothing too crazy though...not like some pairs I have seen where I am like..."did they let a dog just chew on those for a couple hours and then decide to sell them?!" HA! I also got these same jeans in white and love them as well! I will say though- the white jeans are definitely stiffer and don't have as much "give" as the regular denim ones have. 
And because this mama has NO time to go into Target to try on a bunch of jeans..I just placed a big online order with several different sizes in the jeans I wanted to try out, tried them on at home and then returned that ones that didn't fit. 
This post is SO GOOD from the Instagram account @biblesandcoffee. "He discreetly makes us work for them to build something: strength, faith, knowledge, wisdom, character, etc." Click HERE to read the full post!!
And then this post by @solesearchingmamma just really spoke to my heart. "We didn’t quit because the coaches were terrible, or unfair ((they’re actually excellent), or because Henry couldn’t hack the program. We quit because I couldn’t hack it."
Friends- if you are already feeling burnt out by all the activities your family is involved will want to click HERE and read the full post!
Anything you are especially loving right now? I'd love for you to share it with me!

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

Hello Monday: Happy First Day of FALL!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Hi! Happy Monday!!

How was your weekend??
We had a good weekend! Aaron worked for most of it- but we still managed to have lots of fun playing in our backyard- which we JUST got landscaped. It was an absolute disaster from having our pool put in this past summer and it was in desperate need of some tender loving care. I was telling a friend the other day- you know you are an ADULT when you get giddy with excitement about your yard being leveled and new sod being put down. HA!'s the start of a new week AND it's the first day of FALL!!!
And extra fun for us- my kiddos have the day off school today for a teacher inservice (well- the four older have the day off- but little Marshall still has school- so the girls and James are VERY excited to drop him off this morning)!
YAY for a 3 day weekend for us!

Oh my goodness. How beautiful is this quote?!
I just think it's perfect...especially for us here in the South where the temperatures are definitely still fairly warm...but here and there we are getting some cooler temperatures. I just love how we are simultaneously still enjoying the warmth of summer and at the same experiencing the anticipation of cooler temperatures, leaves changing and just a whole new season ahead. 
I personally LOVE summer. Like more than Christmas time. HA! I am being totally serious :) So- part of me honestly feels a little anxious about the change in weather and even more so, the days getting shorter and DARKER. But...I am feeling a shift- and it's a good one. I am ready to experience what this next season holds...not that anything profound is going to happen- but that I am welcoming change, that I typically resist, with an open heart and mind.
With that being said and in honor of the first day of fall- I HAD to share this recipe with you- that is from one of my best blogging buddies, Johannah. I have been using this recipe for several years now and it is hands down our family's FAVORITE pumpkin bread recipe!! 
I definitely plan to be making some of this yummy bread with my kiddos today as a "fun day off of school" activity! Just FYI: this bread is delicious by itself AND also super yummy if you want to add some mini chocolate chips to it!! :) I love this recipe because I make a dozen muffins for my kiddos and still have enough batter leftover to break a loaf of bread or a couple mini loaves of bread! 

One thing I always try to keep on hand are disposable mini bread pans (as well as plastic containers for meals- I get these from Walmart). That way when I am baking, I can make a couple mini loaves and have them on hand to drop off at a friend's house, include with a dinner that I am dropping off to a family or sometimes the kids want to bring their teachers a treat. There are so many times- when I want to share a treat with someone- but don't have the time in THAT MOMENT to bake something. That's why it's so handy to have little treats already baked and ready to go for moments like those :)
And because we are feeling all sorts of fall-ish- if you haven't already- go check out my post from this past Friday- I shared a few fun FALL things that I am currently loving!!

Hope ya'll have the BEST Monday! It's going to be a WONDERFUL week! I just know it! ;)

Linking up with HeatherJohannahTanya and Lindsay!

Friday Favorites: Happy Fall Edition!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Friends!! It's Friday! And in just a few days- it will FALL will officially be here! In full disclosure- I actually thought today was the first day of fall. Then- I did a quick google search...and nope- it's Monday. HA! So yeah- Happy Almost First Day of Fall!

How was your week? Our's was a good one. The kids are involved in more after school activities than we have ever done- so by the time we get to Friday we are all kind of limping to the finish line. HA! Actually- it's been really great. VERY FULL for sure- but the kids are all doing things they love and I think they are actually worth our time (and money)- so it's been a neat season to begin with them!

For this edition of Friday Favorites- I wanted to share some budget friendly fall items that I am loving and have around our house!

This mercury glass candle from Aldi!
It's in the shape of a pumpkin, but because it's made out of mercury glass- it has a higher end look to it!! I have it sitting on top of our piano and just love it!
This beautiful and YUMMY smelling candle was $4.99. 
YES!! How good is that?!? Wouldn't it be nice to pick up a few of these to have on hand as little gifts to bring to people who have you over for a cookout or a bonfire?
I only got one- but I am thinking I need to go pick up a few more!
How awesome is this throw pillow?!?
I know you're curious where I got it....
No...not Walmart. HA!
My other FAVORITE place: Aldi!!

Friends! They have the cutest throw pillows right now!!
I am not sure if you can see the detail on this pillow- but there is some really nice embroidery on them and very well made!
I bought two of these pillows to add to our couch for fall. I had some other pillows I got last year- but I ended up not putting them out- because I love my pumpkin pillows from Aldi so much more!
These pillows were $7.99 each!! SUCH A STEAL!!
Fall scented essential oils!!
Okay- so these two oils are not what I would consider budget friendly- BUT- they will last me throughout the entire fall season. Most days, I put 4 drops of Stress Away and 4 drops of Cinnamon Bark in my diffuser (I got mine off of Amazon- here's the LINK to it!) and our house smells AMAZING. So light, fresh and fall-ish. 
I like to burn candles and use my wax warmer...but not all day long. My diffuser runs for 6 this is currently my FAVORITE way to have our house smelling delightful! 
I don't "sell" oils- I get mine from the sweetest girl- Rachel Walker. She is on Instagram and if you would like her contact info- just email me!!
So- speaking of yummy fall scents...I am LOVING lighting this candle at night, after I have cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. It is NOT a pumpkiny scent. I am not sure how to describe it..but I can tell you it is LOVELY! HA!
I picked up 4 of Bath and Body Works candles when they were on sale and had a promo that you get one free if you spent $30 (and there was free shipping!). Done and Done. 
Also- how beautiful is this candle? I feel like Bath and Body works has really stepped up the aesthetics of their products and I am loving it!
This FUN pumpkin shirt!!
Okay- here's the deal. I am not great with branching outside of my typical closet staples. 
I just kind of wear the same basics over and over again. But with the start of this new school year, one of my goals was/is to get dressed every day- which for me- can be kind of annoying- because I work out every day- so I feel like I am getting dressed twice. HA!
Anyway- some days are still no makeup, wearing the clothes I worked out in at 8 am kind of days- but at least 3 days a week- I am getting dressed. YAY!
All that to say- I added a few fun things to my closet to make getting dressed more fun and this cute pumpkin shirt was one of them! I really like it because its not Halloween ORANGE and is more low key "fall." Does that make any sense?! HA!
I got it from this boutique called Peach Marketplace! They have SO MANY CUTE holiday t-shirts..among many fun clothing items. I used a coupon code I found online to save a little bit on the shirt and they offer free shipping on all items (SO GREAT) and I think my t-shirt ended up being just under $20. Not dirt cheap by any means...but it's cute, comfy and I know I will get lots of wear out of it! :)
And there you have it...a few of my FALL FAVORITES!

What do ya'll have planned for this weekend? It's Aaron's weekend to be on the kids and I will be flying solo for a good portion of the weekend. Sunday we have church in the morning and then we'll be busy finishing up some small projects around the house as well as getting ready for the week! Aside from getting a good amount of cleaning done, the one thing I would like to do is go for a nature walk with the kids. I LOVE being outside and with the weather we've been having the past couple of just makes it SO nice!

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

Linking up with TifBeckyDella,and Katie too!

Linking up with AndreaErika and Narci!

What I am Loving Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Hey Hey friends!!
Happy Wednesday! How has your week been going so far? 
We're cruising right along over here! Not too much to report other than just feeling like I have run about 100 miles by the time I drop the kids off at school at 7:30 every morning. HA!
(Please tell me I am not the only one who feels like I get COMPLETELY organized every night and then somehow nothing is ready or done the morning of?!?)

Oh my goodness. Thank you so so much for all the kind words ya'll have shared with me about being back to blogging. 
It was just SO kind of you to take time out of your day to comment on the blog post or send me a message via Instagram! Your support and encouragement mean A LOT to me!!

So I thought it would be fun to do a "What I am Loving" post today. I could see this being a regular thing...just because I am always making mental notes of things I want to share! :)

First up- these jeans. They are so good and you know they are from Walmart!;)
I found out about these jeans from Shelley Smith- who is on Instagram under the handle @houseofsmiths. I LOVE HER. She is hysterical, has the BEST makeup tips and tricks and is such a REAL life mom. Follow her for sure!
Anyway- she shared about these jeans and said they were perfect for any body size. DONE. I bought them in about 2.2 seconds flat. HA!
And you know what- she was right! I ordered two sizes- ended up going with smaller size- and they are just a GOOD pair of jeans. And they are under $25. And they come in 3 different washes. Go get yourself a pair if you are in need of a new pair of jeans!!
You can find the jeans HERE!
One more Walmart find to share with you!!
It is a super cute, comfy thermal peplum top from the Time and Tru line. 
Okay- this top is GOOD. It is soft. It is flattering. I personally don't think I look good in peplum tops- but this one is cut JUST right.
I am usually a size extra small or small in tops- but I ended up getting a medium in this top for the length. It is under $14 and it really is just a fun easy top to wear as the weather gets gradually cooler. I think it is going to look so cute with jeans and possibly layered under my green utility vest!
 Here's the link to this top! Several sizes are sold out online- but definitely check your store- they might have your size there!
So- I LOVE to bake from scratch...BUT- sometimes I don't feel like gathering up all the ingredients I need for a recipe or I just don't have the time! 
Which is why I always have some "go-to" boxed dessert mixes in my pantry.
A couple months ago, we were on a big family vacation and I was in charge of dessert for one of our big family dinners. I did brownie hot fudge sundaes and they were such a HIT!
In an effort to simplify my life- I made two big pans of brownies- from the box!
Everyone kept asking me what kind of recipe I used- because they were the BEST brownies! HA!
I told them I got the recipe from my friend, Duncan Hines:)
Okay- so here's what I think make them extra yummy box brownies. I mix a box of the dark chocolate fudge brownies with a box of the chewy fudge brownies. Then I add chocolate chips- I don't measure them- I just dump a bunch in there! And then I sprinkle some more on the top of the brownie batter before I pop them into the oven. They are SO good! 
And the best part is these mixes are $1.00 each at Walmart! 
 My hubby isn't a big dessert person, but he likes to have a "little" something sweet after dinner. So- made him a bunch of brownie "bites" and popped them in the freezer. I will put a couple in with his lunch and he can grab them when he gets a craving after dinner. I will definitely have to make sure the kids don't find these in the freezer because they will be GONE. HA!
I read this post from someone I follow on Instagram on Monday- and wow. I LOVED it. 
So of course- I wanted to share it with ya'll. It is just SO good. 
Check it out HERE!
Hope ya'll have the BEST day!! Share with me in the comments what you are loving on this Wednesday!

 Linking up with StefanieKeriMauriSarah, and Lindsay today!

Hello Monday!!!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Hi friends!!!

WOW. It's been a LOOONNNGGGG time since I last posted. So much life has happened and there is just lots to unpack with ya'll over time and as I feel led to share. I do want to say the biggest, most heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you who have reached out via email, comments or on Instagram and have told me how much you miss my blog posts. Seriously- you taking the time to share that with me, meant the world!!! I knew when it felt "right" I would start blogging again- I just didn't know when that time would be! But here I am. I am not making any promises...I don't know the frequency in which I will be posting...I just know that I have missed rambling in this little space and I feel very happy to be writing this post :)

SO- with that being said- I just kind of want to pretend like it hasn't been 7 months since I wrote my last blog post and just jump right into what we were up to this past weekend! HA!

We had a great weekend!!

Saturday morning we cleaned and got the house all tidied up! Then we left for Raleigh around lunch time! One of my favorite things about living in Greenville is that it is only 90 minutes from Raleigh...which you know is really NOTHING as far as driving time! There would be times when we lived in Indianapolis where it would take us 90 minutes just to get to the airport! I love living in a smallish town but being able to be in a fun city in such a quick amount of time!  Anyway...we arrived in Raleigh and stopped off at Trader Joe's!! I needed to stock up on my Everything But the Bagel seasoning and the kids managed to sneak in several tubs of our favorite cookies!
I could have spent a good couple hours in there looking at all the things...but 5 kids + a husband following me around = not gonna happen. HA! I was able to snag a picture with these 2 cuties in my happy place though! ;) 
After our stop at Trader Joe's, we went to a visit a friend of our's who had just moved into a fun new condo!! She treated us to ice cream and it was SO fun to see where she lives! 
Her condo is literally RIGHT NEXT to a Chuy's Mexican Restaurant- which is one of our ALL time favorites places- so we are definitely going to go back and visit her again!
After our fun visit, we ended up at my brother's house for a housewarming party he was having! It was such a great time- so much so- I didn't take a single picture! HA!

We were up bright and early Sunday morning to head home so we could be at our 10:30 am service at our church! 
The rest of our day was spent swimming with some neighbor friends and it was just a nice and easy afternoon...which was very welcomed after staying up super late the night before!

And now here we are..MONDAY. How do ya'll fee about Mondays? I happen to love them.
There is something about a fresh week that makes me happy!
In case you need some inspiration- here's a quick run down of what's on our dinner menu for the week:

Monday: Crescent dogs, green beans and applesauce

Tuesday: Crunchy ground beef tacos with steamed corn (I have been paying the extra $0.50 and getting the stand up taco shells- and let me tell you- they are life changing! HA!)

Wednesday: Chicken strips, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli

Thursday: Meatball sub sandwiches, applesauce and green beans

Friday: Pizza Night!!

Saturday: Turkey Burgers on the grill + french fries

Sunday: Grilled chicken, mashed potatoes and steamed cauliflower and broccoli

Here's some Monday inspiration for you....we may not always know what the next step should be or how we are going to get through the day (or next hour for that matter! HA!)- but we can trust that God is faithful...and He will show us where to walk if we open our hearts to Him and His WAY.
Hope you have the BEST day!

Linking up with HeatherJohannahTanya and Lindsay!