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Monday Musings!

Monday, June 29, 2020


Happy Monday Friends!!

How was your weekend??

Our's was pretty great!! 
Aaron had Friday off since he was on call last weekend and on Thursday night, we decided a beach day would be an awesome way to spend his extra day off! 
We chose to go to one of our most favorite places, Cape Lookout National Seashore, which you can only get to by a ferry. 
It's definitely an adventure to get there...but it is SO worth it. The water is absolutely stunning...there are no waves- so it's perfect for kids- and there are SO MANY seashells!!
 We set up our little beach "camp" for the day and stayed for about 4 hours...we always go on lots of beach walks, search for shells and the kids just have a ball swimming and exploring in the ocean!
Saturday was a pretty chill day...the girls and Marshall and I ran a couple errands in the morning (note to self- DO NOT BRING MARSHALL TO ULTA AGAIN UNTIL HE IS AT LEAST 10 YEARS OLD-HA!)- which included going to the mall to get some Bath and Body Works hand soaps. 
I am SO cheap that instead of paying for shipping to have the soaps sent to our house- I thought it would be fine to just run into the store (with our masks on, of course) and get them.
Boy was I WRONG. The staff at B&BW was wonderful- but they were only allowing a certain amount of people in and it was very crowded and it was just NOT a fun shopping experience AT ALL. I will NOT be going back to the mall any time soon and I will be happy to pay the $5.99 shipping fee to avoid going into B&BW. 
I don't know about ya'll, but going into stores, since things have re-opened, has TOTALLY lost it's appeal to me. It's just not the same and I would just rather stay home!

ANYWAY. Enough about that :)
We spent most of Saturday afternoon in the pool...it's HOT here and I cannot put into words how thankful I am for our pool!!
Sunday, we went to church and then spent the afternoon swimming again! We had 3 of the girls' friends, who live in our neighborhood, come over to swim and it was SO nice to hear LOTS of giggles and squealing in our pool! 

And now here we are...MONDAY! The last week of June...the first week of July! 
Do ya'll have any fun plans for the 4th of July? We are laying low. The weather is looking kind of iffy- with possible thunderstorms rolling through our area.
We just plan to have a nice, easy day...and if weather allows it- spend the day in the pool and grill out for dinner. And of course, light sparklers once it gets dark! 

Not sure if you are feeling like I do- but meal planning is one of the LAST things I want to do in the summer! But people need to eat (if it were just me- I would literally eat a grilled chicken salad EVERY night for dinner. HA!)...so I pulled together a VERY simple menu plan for the week. Here's what's for dinner at our house this week!

Okay friends...that's all I have for today!!!
I sure hope you have a wonderful Monday!!!


Linking up with TanyaLindsayHeather and Johannah!

What I am Loving Wednesday!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Hey friends!!!

Happy Wednesday!!!

How is your week going???

We're just cruising right along over here! 
I will tell you- that I almost started frantically searching for day camps for ALL of my kids yesterday- until I realized there are no day camps because of dang COVID.
It was just ONE OF THOSE DAYS.
If I could have packed them all up in one giant suitcase and sent them off to my mom's house- I would have. HA!

ANYWAY. Today is a new day and I am thankful for that!

I wanted to share a few things that I am loving as of recently!!

Several of them are from small business owners, which I just love!

First up is this neutral colored, beaded cross bracelet. I have been wanting a chunkier, everyday cross bracelet and I was so excited when I found this one on Etsy! I ordered it from the shop, BeadedBlues. So here's a fun story....I ordered my bracelet and then a day later, got an email from the owner of the shop telling me that she lives in the SAME TOWN AS ME! How coincidental is that?! I was able to do a porch pick-up and save on the shipping charges- which was great- but it also made me SO happy to know I was supporting a LOCAL artisan! 
Next up are these super FUN and encouraging postcards I ordered from Crew and Co.
I have been looking for some fun cards to send to friends or to give to someone when I drop off a meal- and these are just PERFECT!
You can totally send them in the mail as a postcard or put it in an envelope with a Starbucks gift card to sent someone you love a little boost!!
And finally, I wanted to share these candles that I recently ordered from Southern Elegance Candle Company! I learned about these candles from Laura of Laura Cox Collections, when she was sharing about Black owned small businesses. When I went to the website I was SO excited to find out these candles are made right here in North Carolina! 
These candles came extremely well packed and they smell WONDERFUL. Not over powering at all...but they definitely have a good, strong scent to them. Does that make sense?! HA!
I have burned 2 of the 3 scents I have ordered and I love both of them! 
I am so excited to have found this company because I just realized in the past couple of months that I experience a really negative reaction to Bath and Body Works candles!! 
So does my husband! Our noses start running, we get super congested and it's just SO weird! Anyway...the Southern Elegance Candles burn super clean and we've just really enjoyed having them lit in our home!!
Okay- switching gears from small business goodies to something you can pick up at Ulta! :)
I have been using this conditioning mask by Wella for about 2 years now and I can't believe I have never mentioned it before!! In the winter months...I use it about once a week- but with us swimming almost every day and my hair just feeling way more dry and damaged...I use this as my primary conditioner. It smells AMAZING and a little bit goes a long way. It makes your hair feel SO healthy and soft and did I mention it smells AMAZING?!

It's definitely a little bit pricey...but I feel like it's totally worth it! I always try to get it when Ulta puts their professional hair products on sale!
This graphic, made by Lauren Winter, who has the MOST inspiring Instagram account- you can find her HERE- really struck a chord with me.
I don't know about you- but when I feel like someone is just trying to "bypass" what I am really telling them or sharing how I am feeling- with an empty "I'll pray for you" or "God doesn't give you more than you can handle" - it leaves me feeling SO unseen. I just LOVED how this graphic showed what it means to "bypass" someone and to truly VALIDATE them. 
And finally- I am LOVING these doll beds my husband made our kiddos a couple of weekends ago SO MUCH!
All of the kids (with the exception of my oldest daughter) are VERY into their American Girl Dolls. The boys even have boy dolls from Target's doll line (you can find them HERE)!
Anyway...they were all looking at the American Girl Doll catalog and decided they all NEEDED dolls beds. HA! Well...their daddy is the BEST and he agreed to make them all a bed for their dolls instead of spending a million dollars on five dolls beds from the American Girl store. HA!

Didn't they turn out so good??! 
Aaron really is so talented...we are the LUCKIEST!

Okay. That's what I am currently loving these past few weeks!

What about you??
What's ONE thing you have been loving lately??

Hope you have the BEST day!

Hello Monday: Signs of Summer!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Hey friends!!

Happy Monday!!!

How was your weekend??

Our's was good!
Aaron had to work- but the weather ended up being really beautiful and that made for some great time spent outside.
He had to go to the hospital twice on Father's Day- but we still managed to go to church as a family, spend some time in the pool and grill out a yummy steak dinner and enjoy it al fresco!

And now here we are...MONDAY! The last week of June! HOW?!?

 We are in the full swing of summer and I thought it would be fun to just show some "signs" of summer at our house!
I absolutely LOVE summer break and having my kids home. With that being said, I am extremely OCD about how I keep our house...so every summer, I REALLY have to work on relaxing and being ok with things not constantly being picked up and tidy. 

One way I have really come to surrender myself to the messes is, instead of getting cranky or grumbling under my breath about "this house is a MESS"- I take note of the disarray and tell myself- "It's a SIGN of summer!" While this doesn't always make me less cranky (HA!)- it has helped me TREMENDOUSLY in my outlook and definitely helps me SEE the good in what I typically view as a nuisance.

So here are some not great quality photos of "signs" of summer at our house!

LOTS of muffins cooling on the stove top.
I know I am not the only one who has kids that are HUNGRY ALL DAY LONG. 
In the summer, I am baking a batch of muffins or making some homemade granola/cereal every day! I am not a huge fan of making big messes in the kitchen on the regular...but when I see these muffins it makes me so happy to know that my kiddos love what I make them and are always begging for more! :) 
LEGOS. TINY LITTLE legos EVERYWHERE. HA!
Friends. I have a love/hate relationship with legos. My kids LOVE them...especially my youngest daughter and two sons. I try to keep them tucked away for rainy days...because my boys would stay inside ALL day and just play legos if I had them out all the time! Always. I can't handle all the tiny pieces. I am literally ALWAYS stepping on one of them! HA!
I was walking in from our pool, into our sunroom and all of these legos were on the floor....another SIGN of summer at our house!!
Puzzles! LOTS of puzzles! My girls have gotten into puzzles this summer and it's actually pretty cool to see them work so diligently to put together an intricate puzzle!
My not so favorite part of this new found hobby is that they have all of their puzzles on our dining room table :) It's not really a big deal since we eat outside every night as long at the weather allows it...but gone are the days my dining room looks tidy and ready for a dinner party. HA!
Just another SIGN of summer!
Trips to the grocery store with ALL FIVE kiddos in tow.
This is absolutely a MAJOR sign of summer since I always do my grocery shopping while they are in school during the school year. COVID has made grocery shopping extra interesting...and Aaron and I are trying really hard to only go by ourselves...but there have been a few times where logistically- the kids and I had to go.
Luckily, my girls are awesome helpers and if I bribe my boys with food WHILE we are shopping, I can manage to get out of the store with minimal screaming fits. HA!
RANDOM stuff EVERYWHERE. I know this "mess" probably doesn't look like much- but to me- it is. HA! A leftover plate of crackers from lunch, CUPS galore, toys, cut up pieces of paper, tape, books...you name it...you will find on top of my kitchen counters.
I have really had to work on not nit picking all day long to have my kids pick up and really stay focused on my mantra of "this is a sign of summer!"
The house is always picked up the end of the day and my kitchen is spotless when I go to bed...and I have learned that that is good enough during this season of summer and young kiddos at home!
I have to be totally honest...having the kids home an extra three months early to COVID has definitely made me feel stretched in ways I have never experienced as a mother. Summer break, while a welcome reprieve from remote learning, has brought it's challenges, just due to the fact that we've already been home together for a long period of time (I am hoping some of you are nodding your head in agreement with me?!?)

And when I read this quote...WOW. It resonated with me SO much!
Here's to all of the moments of motherhood...let us honor ALL of them and trust that no matter what our day looks like...our kiddos KNOW without a doubt we love them :)
Even if they are the messiest creatures EVER.
HA!

I'd love to know...what are some "signs" of summer in your home?

Hope you have the BEST day!

Linking up with TanyaLindsayHeather and Johannah!









Friday Favorites!!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Happy Friday friends!!!

How was your week??

Our's was pretty good! If I am being totally honest, it felt a bit long...like on Wednesday I felt like it FOR SURE should have been Friday. HA!
But now it really IS FRIDAY...and that makes me happy!

It was one of the busiest weeks we've had since quarantine started...my oldest daughter had dance camp every afternoon, she started taking "in person" piano lessons again and she had her first swim team practice. It felt SO good to do some normal things. We are still making an effort to stay home as much as possible...but having some regular things on the schedule was very refreshing.

Oh. And we had an orthodontist appointment for two of the girls....and one of them needs braces. FUN TIMES. HA!

I have a few random favorites from this past week to share with you!

First up- PUZZLES.
We've been getting SO MUCH RAIN here in Eastern North Carolina these past weeks. 
I brought out a bunch of puzzles and it's become one of our new favorite things to do! 
My girls have completed almost all of them and I told them once they have- we will go to Hobby Lobby and pick a few new ones to do!
I got a craving for chicken enchiladas earlier in the week and decided I would be making Aaron and I our FAVORITE chicken enchilada recipe for dinner. I have been making Skinnytaste Chicken Enchiladas since we lived in Ohio when Aaron was in medical school! This recipe NEVER disappoints. You must try it out if you haven't already!!
You can find the recipe HERE!
A couple days ago, I was sharing on IG stories about some mini Mexican chicken pizzas I was making my kiddos for dinner and I was wearing this cute "Good Vibes" tank that I got last year from Amazon. I had several people ask me where I got it from...so I thought I would share the link here on the blog!! It's such a FUN top to wear! It comes in a bunch of colors and has a really great length to it! My girls LOVE when I wear it...which makes me feel slightly like I am a cool mom. HA! It's definitely one of my FAVORITE summer tanks!

You can find it HERE on Amazon!!!

And in cased you missed these posts from earlier in the week- you can read more about the BEST sports bra EVER by going HERE
You can go HERE if you want to check out a fun little "re-fresh" we did to our laundry room!
What's your weekend looking like??
Any big fun plans for Father's Day??

Aaron is on call all weekend...so I am hoping that we can still squeeze in some good quality Father's Day time with him on Sunday afternoon!
Father's Day is a bit of a mixed feelings day for me...I LOVE celebrating Aaron and the amazing father he is to our five kiddos...and it's makes me miss my dad extra. I try to honor ALL of my feelings and just be gentle with myself.
Hope you have a FABULOUS Friday and a WONDERFUL weekend!!

Linking up with Andrea and Erika!


A Few Fun House Updates!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Happy Wednesday friends!!!

How is your week going so far??

It has been raining NON STOP since Monday morning and I may or may not be going slighty crazy. HA!
I am all for a cozy, lazy day spent inside...but multiple days...um no. 
I MUST GET FRESH AIR. HA!


Moving on from my complaining about the weather....let's talk about fun house improvements! 
In the last couple of months, we've (and when I say "we" I totally mean Aaron) finished a few projects we've had on our master "house list" and I thought I would share them with you today!!

First- a little laundry room "re-fresh!"

Technically speaking, we don't really have a true laundry room. 
I call it a laundry "space." Right as you walk into our house from the garage, you are in our laundry "space." It's small and cramped...and up until last month- it was also pretty lackluster.
With it being such a small space, we knew we needed to keep the improvements small- but the few things we changed- made a big impact!

Here's a "BEFORE" view of the laundry room.
Basic cabinets with a coat of spray paint on them.
And here's our laundry sink. Again- just a basic sink with white (plastic) doors.
The biggest improvement/change we made was adding a shiplap "background" behind the washer, dryer and utility sink!
Aaron came up with the most clever idea for this shiplap background. We could just add shiplap to the back wall because of the washer/dryer hookups and the lines for the sink.
So- being the super creative guy he is- he built a shiplap wall and installed it on hinges!!

He built it out a couple of inches so it would accomodate all the hoses and then installed it on hinges so that if/when a repair needs to be made- it can be lifted up!!!
The next improvement he did was build doors for the utility sink that matched the shiplap background!
Love this handy husband of mine SO much!

The final change we made was switching out the handles on the cabinets and painting them completely white. Simple changes- but they made such a big impact!

Here's the "AFTER!" 
Everything just looks so fresh and finished- which is exactly what we were going for!
Here's a view of the utility sink...see that cute little towel rack??
Aaron made the towel rack out of black iron piping that is used for gas lines!
Here's another view of our laundry space...this is coming from the garage entrance.
Didn't the utility sink doors turn out so good? 
Again- such a simple change but they just look so finished and go with the overall "look" of the space!
The other project that we completed is our gallery wall in our living room! I have been meaning to print out our family pictures since LAST FALL and get them up on our gallery wall. I finally took the time to print out some of my favorites and I ordered more picture frames.
I got all the pictures put in the frames and then Aaron and I got them all hung!

The wall is now FULL of family pictures from the last 4 years and I just LOVE it!
Here's another view...I took this picture standing in our kitchen. 

I am undecided if I want to eventually paint this wall an accent color or maybe do some sort of trim. I feel like the bottom half of the wall might be missing something?!
For now though...I am considering this a "finished" project. 
This wall of pictures makes me so happy!!

The final project we just finished was re-doing our master bathroom shower!! This was a BIG project and one that Aaron is SO happy to be done with.
I will share more about that "re-do" in a separate post!!!

I am curious to know...have you been tackling more home projects since the quarantine started?? 
I would say for us- being quarantined wasn't the reason we did these projects as Aaron has been working the whole time. We are just "project" people. HA! We always say, after we finish a project that it's going to be our LAST ONE. Then we take a break for a couple of months and then we forget about how much work it is to do home renovations with 5 young kids and then we start another one. HA! What can I say, we are gluttons for punishment!!

I can definitely say FOR NOW- especially with our shower now being done- NO MORE PROJECTS (at least for the next couple of months ;)

Hope you have the BEST day!

Weekly Walmart Find: Best Sports Bra!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Hey friends!!

Happy Monday!!

How was your weekend??

We had a good one! After a VERY fun and full week with all of the cousins on my side of the family (minus my oldest brother's baby)- we definitely needed a low key couple of days to catch up on sleep and recharge!!

I haven't done a Weekly Walmart Find in what feels like AGES and decided today would be the perfect day to share with you my FAVORITE sports bra- which is from, you guessed it, Walmart!

A few reasons why I love this sports bra: 
1) it doesn't have a racer back. I get headaches SUPER easy and I find when I wear racer back sports bras- my head and neck get achy/sore...so the fact that this bra doesn't have a racer back makes me very happy! 
2) It's CUTE. There is a little mesh detail that frames the neckline and the back has criss-cross straps! 
3) It is under $13. Enough said!
It's called the "Avia Women's Active Ladder Back Sports Bra" and you can find it HERE on Walmart's website!
Here's the back of the bra!! Isn't it just SO cute??
In my opinion, this bra runs true to size. I wear a small in it and that is my normal size. It comes with thin padding- but it's removable. 
I find that I prefer the fit of the bra without the padding- so I take it out!
As far as support goes- I would say this bra provides medium support. 
I have this bra in every color it comes in! :)
That's how much I love it. HA!
This bra is not only great for working out...but I think it would be super cute to wear as a regular bra...especially if you have one of those shirts that have a little keyhole or cutout in the back!

Speaking of working out..I have been having tons of fun connecting with so many amazing people on my health and wellness Instagram account!!
You can find me HERE! I'd love for you to follow along if you aren't already! :)
If you need to look for me on Instagram, my account name is: fullhandsfullheart_ww_fit4life

It's Monday friends. We're already HALF WAY through June. HOW??
Here's to having an AWESOME day and an AMAZING week. 

We get to decide how this week is going to look. 
We get to choose how we are going to respond to whatever is thrown our way.
 Linking up with TanyaLindsayHeather and Johannah!








Friday Favorites!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Hey friends!!!

Happy Friday!!

It's been a full week for us...we've had cousins in town and we've spent time in Raleigh earlier in the week and then we had 9 out of the 10 cousins on my side of the family at our house the past two days. 
The kids have had a BLAST and it's been so fun to have everyone together!
We've done all the "summery" things...go to the park, go out for ice cream, stay up late, spent LOTS of time in the pool- it's been WONDERFUL!!

And now it's Friday and my heart is so full from all the family time we've had and my body is TIRED. HA! Taking care of and hanging out nine kiddos all week long has made me feel like an old lady. HA!

It's been forever since I've posted some FAVORITES on a Friday. I am so happy to be getting back into the groove of blogging and to be sharing some "happy" from our past week!

/ONE/
Aaron was off last Friday (we were actually supposed to be in Charleston, SC last weekend for a course Aaron was going to be taken- but it got cancelled because of COVID- BOO!) and he took the kids out to run errands and I caught up on blogging and other things while they were gone. I had my coffee, a view of our pool and it was just LOVELY. So thankful for an hour to just do some things I had been wanting to do! :)
/TWO/
About a month or so ago, I ordered two new lip glosses from April and I am totally OBSESSED with them!! They are the PERFECT summer colors. I love Senegence lip glosses...they are smooth, they don't get gunky and the colors are just SO pretty. I am personally not a fan of Lipsense (which is their lip color) but I LOVE their lip glosses! And I love my friend April- so it's always so fun to put in an order with her!!! You can find her HERE on Instagram if you want to get some fun beauty goodies for the summer! :)
/THREE/
Another recent beauty purchase I have made that I am LOVING is this sunscreen from Beautycounter. FRIENDS. This sunscreen is amazing. Probably the best I have ever used! 
I just use it on my face and use less expensive stuff on the rest of my body (but you can definitely use this on your whole body).
It smells delightful, works REALLY WELL, is NOT greasy and I have not had a single breakout out since using it! Can't recommend it enough! I get my Beautycounter products from an amazing woman named Stephanie Weinert- you can find here HERE on Instagram or via her blog- which you can find HERE!
/FOUR/
Two weeks ago, we took a short little trip and had a picnic at Goose Creek State park and then we went to the nearby town of Washington, NC to get an ice cream treat and walk alongside the Pamlico River. It was just the perfect day....one that I totally made sure to etch in my memory and store away. 
It was a literal and figurative breath of fresh air for our family to have such a fun afternoon together and it sure made me grateful!!
P.S. How amazing is that boat?? Aaron spent a good 20 minutes on our ride home convincing me how much we NEED a boat. HA!

Ok friends! That's all I have for today!
I hope you a FABULOUS Friday and WONDERFUL weekend!!

Linking up with Andrea and Erika!



Linking up with Becky and Della!

 
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