Friday, February 27, 2015

T. G. I. F.


This week has been so hectic. I've been swimming in bunny shirt orders! It's the largest order I've ever taken and I'm so so thankful for all the orders yet very very glad that I'm done. I'm glad this week is OVER. Now to just get the piled up laundry done and my house CLEAN. I've been neglecting those things this week.....


This kid. This second child of mine. WHAT in the world am I going to do with him? I have never in my life been around a kid with so much ENERGY and so STUBBORN. He exhausts me. I love him so much, he's so much fun, but he exhausts me! And yet, I still want more children? I keep waiting for the day when Harry and I can communicate. The day that he understands what I'm telling him he can or can't do is in his best interest. Right now he is just so curious and so busy and can't understand why I can't let him out of the cart at the grocery store or why he can't play in the cabinet underneath the kitchen sink... Soon, he'll get it. Until then I'll just keep practicing patience and grace (which I'm pretty much failing at BIG TIME)!

And these two. They love BIG and they fight BIG. Most days I feel like a referee. Their age difference is a bit of a challenge right now. Elle WANTS desperately to have a playmate in Harry but he hasn't learned the art of playing yet. His deal is destroying everything in his path. He finds that thrilling right now and it makes Elle crazy. I tell her everyday that it's just his age and that's how little baby toddler boys act and that one day he'll be able to really play with her but until then she's just going to have move on and do her own thing if he's bugging her. Its a constant battle in our house right now. But, it too shall pass. And as exhausting these days ARE they are also SO MUCH FUN. I am just very thankful for Saturday and Sunday when Daddy is home and we have a 1:1 ratio :)

Happy Friday and weekend.

P.S. The winner of the giveaway is posted on Wednesday's post! Thank you to EVERYONE who entered. We'll be doing more!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spring Dreaming Giveaway

Happy Wednesday, friends! It's my first giveaway on the blog and I am so excited!


Warmer days are right around the corner (yet seem so far away) and I've teamed up with MAUDE to send some SPRING to your front door! We are giving away the MOST AMAZING smelling, Voluspa "Mokara" candle and $50 store credit to add a little spring to your closet!

Seriously THIS candle is spring in a beautiful etched glass jar! With notes of orchid, lily and spring moss it really is perfection...possibly what heaven smells like. I've been burning mine nonstop and with every whiff I have visions of sunny days and warm weather :)

Every day Maude is adding fun pieces! Here are some of my favorite new arrivals:


left to right | top to bottom
ruffled blouse [here] | cutout lace up wedge [here] | denim jogger [here] | flow top [here]
lace button up dress [here] | geo cut out crop [here] | double band sandal [here]
metallic oxford [here] | moto vest [here] | mesh back dress [here] | scallop short [here]

Pretty cute stuff, huh? Has me really excited about warmer weather!

To enter our giveaway use the Rafflecopter below (and here's to hoping I installed it right)!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through Friday and I'll announce the winner then!!




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Peanut Sauce. Homemade Pizza. Minestrone. {What We Ate}

Y'all. It is cold and it has been cold for daaaaaayyyyssss..... And along with this cold weather (and snow and ice) I'm having major blogger block and maybe a mild case of seasonal depressive disorder. I don't really know how to function normally when its below 30° and/or its snowing. Especially where meal planning is concerned. I have a menu for the week and a list ready for the grocery store but its just getting there. Elle's school was cancelled this morning because of the icy roads, and it's 11° outside so we'll be heading to the store after naps!

Here's what we ate last week:



Peanut Sauce with Chicken, Linguine, and Broccoli
recipe [here]

I found this recipe via Pinterest [my cookbook board] and thought it looked delicious and it was. My family LOVES Thai and Chinese food. Elle's favorite is eggrolls. This was a good, easy Asian dish that didn't require me having to go to the Asian market to get any ingredients :). Not that I have anything against going to an Asian market, it was just one extra stop that I didn't have to make!



Crockpot Minestrone Soup
recipe [here]

Loaded with veggies and DELICIOUS. My Elle, who has become quite the picky eater, loved this. We ate it a couple of nights in a row and both nights my kids devoured it. It was also husband approved. We ate it with cornbread both nights.


Semi-homemade Pizza

No recipe for the homemade pizza. Every once in a while I'll make homemade too (I liked Pioneer Woman's recipe [here]) but this night I needed a quick meal so premade grocery store dough it was. I like the Great Value brand dough (in the refrigerated section). Load it up with toppings you like, lots of cheese and bake it accordingly. Elle loves pepperoni, so I made one pepperoni and pesto pizza and one canadian bacon, pineapple and jalapeno pizza and a side of my favorite, kale caesar salad.

Here's to hoping it warms up, the ice melts, and I can get to the grocery store this afternoon! And here's also to hoping THAT this is the last snow/ice day we have. I am OVER. IT. :)


Friday, February 20, 2015

Five Things {my makeup bag}

I want to start by saying, I'm not a product junkie BUT my best friend IS so I rely heavily on her to tell me what to splurge and what to save on. She has always steered me in the right direction and I've never been disappointed with a pricey product purchase that she's advised me on. And most of the items I'm sharing with you today are pricey, but I don't regret buying anyone of them.


Meet Sarah. The best friend I speak of. The one with the beautiful skin and the know-all about all things beauty related :). She's agreed to share her insight with my viewers, so every once in a while you'll be seeing her Five Things.

But, today this is about my Five Things. Most of which she told me to buy!

Let's start with a good before and after....

Sad face. Nice zit.

Happy face. What zit?


Contents of my makeup bag! So, it's quite the process for me to achieve the happy face look. I don't have good complexion. My skin is very splotchy due to sun damage and pregnancy. Luckily, I don't have break outs often (just happened to this day). But, because of the splotchy skin I rarely go out of the the house without makeup, but I've got the process down to a 10-minute art.

I don't want to bore you with my routine, but I do want to share my five favorite, must-have products in my make up bag. I buy quite a bit of drugstore makeup: blush, bronzer, translucent pressed powder, lip stain, eyeshadow primer, and mascara. All these things don't really make a difference to me if they are expensive or not and I'm always buying different brands, colors, etc. They all seem to work the same. Although, I must say I really do like the NYX brand! Love their eyeshadow primer. I used the Urban Decay primer for almost a year and when I ran out I bought the NYX brand [here] and have been so pleased with it (and 1/2 of the price!). Its definitely comparable to the more expensive brands out there.

So, on to my FIVE must-have makeup items....


The Lauras: Laura Geller the real deal concealer [here] and Laura Mercier silk creme foundation [here or at Glo in Fayetteville]. Both I LOVE and have used for going on 2 years now. The concealer lasts forever because you have to use barely any and it stays on all day. And Laura Mercier is always a winner in my book. Wish I could afford a LM makeover and buy every bit of her make up.

Applicators, applicators, applicators! The foundation brush and beauty ball (both inexpensive and from TJ Maxx) are essential to my routine. I love the brush to get the foundation on smooth and evenly and I use the ball for my concealer. Sarah told me about the ball and it's one of the best $5 ever spent!


Urban Decay NAKED BASICS [here]. Ok, so little secret, I've had this eyeshadow compact for about 15 months now and I still have another good 12 months in it. It's the best eyeshadow and I love the natural palette. Money well spent!! I really want the new NAKED3 palette [here]. I think the colors would really make my green eyes POP :)

Benefit Gimme Brow [here]. I'm a tad obsessed with thick brows so to enhance mine I use, every. single. day., the gimme brow. Its a mascara-type wand that just brushes color into your eyebrows to make them look fuller! It's a quick application that makes a huge difference, in my opinion. Its pretty pricey BUT should last for awhile!

So there ya have it, folks. My must-have make up essentials! What are YOURS? Is there some miracle beauty product out there that I'm totally missing out on!

OH WAIT! One more thing. The Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray [here] is my latest and greatest purchase! A Sarah suggestion and I love it. If you are like me and hate reapplying makeup throughout the day then GET THIS SPRAY. It's amazing!

Ok, so that was kind of like five things + a bonus :)

Happy Friday and weekend!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Snow Much Drama

Finally, some normalcy starts to creep back into our lives after our winter vacation and then it has to go and snow on us. Its my fault that I wasn't prepared, but I was really thinking (wishfully thinking I suppose) that it would just be a light dusting and all would be good but no. It snowed enough to keep us home for two days!

Mondays are usually our stay-at-home-and-chill day BUT something about not being able to go anywhere really makes you WANT to go somewhere and you start to think about all the things you need or should have gotten at the store over the weekend. And then Tuesday, you can't go anywhere either and you haven't left the house and your kids start fighting more than usual and the walls are quickly starting to close in....

So you get the title now huh? Honestly, before mobile Harry, I loved to be at home and a snow day wouldn't bother me ONE BIT. But Harry is so busy and a tad exhausting and it helps to break up the day to just get out of the house for a little bit. Even if its just a car ride to the post office or to Sonic or whatever. Even if we don't get out of the car, just getting out of the HOUSE does wonders. The two snow days we had to endure were enough for me for a long time! Ha!

So yea, I've mentioned over and over how I am not a cold-weather person. I hate it, honestly. I could easily live somewhere where it didn't get below 60° and wouldn't miss snow one bit. I've told Aaron if he could find a job somewhere where its warm weather year round I wouldn't think twice about moving. I would move yesterday.

Anyway, I was hoping that on Monday Aaron would be able to get off work early to take the kids out to play but he ended up having to work his normal day and the kids really wanted to go outside. Elle wanted to build a snowman and Harry just needed a change of scenery, so I bundled us all up and we headed out...

SnowDay03 SnowDay01
One might think, after seeing these pictures that we enjoyed our snow fun :). Not so much! Harry fell face first in the snow as soon as we stepped outside and that just ruined it for him and then Elle got snow inside of her mitten and she was ruined too. That happened in about 3 minutes and we were back inside. Needless to say, my kids don't enjoy the snow about as much as I do.


I wouldn't be sad in the least bit if we didn't see anymore snow this year. Keeping my fingers crossed. But this snow was really pretty and it made for some cute pictures!


Monday, February 16, 2015

WDW {picture overload}

Honestly, I don't even know where to start. I spent my Sunday morning (kids with colds = no church) sorting through over 600 pictures from our little Walt Disney World vacation. I narrowed it down to 40 to share with you guys, but I'm hoping as I start typing I can condense it even more.

We had the VERY BEST TIME. I cannot wait to go back and right now we are planning another trip for February or March 2016. That is, if I can mind my p's and q's and save save save my money. I think I can. I think I can. It is really so worth it. I feel like after the first trip, I now know more of what to expect and have my footing. I know what to do and what not to waste our time on (for our family of course). Ways to save money and where to splurge. For example, I really wish we would have done the $170 memory maker. Photographers are EVERYWHERE: at all the parks, just there to take your picture at any time...before rides, with every character, on Main Street, on the train, at the entrance, in restaurants, and etc. I wouldn't say that the photographs are anything better than what any one of us could take ourselves but its nice for them to be able to take them and for $170 you can download any and every picture taken of your family. There is one SUPER CUTE picture of Elle on Main Street with Cinderella's castle in the background and they Photoshopped Tinkerbell into her hands. The expression on her face is PRICELESS, but since we didn't buy the package we would have to pay $15 for the file. Which we probably still will because its that cute, but anyway that is definitely one thing we'll splurge on next go around. Also, the room. We will definitely upgrade to a larger room or family suite. I had a few moments where I felt like the walls were closing in on us in our 250-sq foot room (insert bug-eyed emoji). Last minute, we decided NOT to do the meal plan and I am SOOOO glad we did. I feel like we saved SO MUCH money by not doing it. We went to Publix the night we arrived and stocked up on breakfast foods, lunch foods, snacks and water and packed a cooler everyday before we headed to the park. Out of the 3-days we were there we purchased one snack from a cart: ice cream for Elle's birthday :). I think my mom may have gotten the kids M&M's one day and then we did visit Starbucks a couple of times. We did eat at the parks in the evening but really our meals weren't too outrageously priced. We got pizza at Giordano's (off the park) one night because Elle wanted to swim at the resort and it was way more than the meals we ate at the restaurants at the park.

Okay, so moving on from the logistics to the FUN...

The kiddos favorite, hands down, was meeting the characters and princesses. Elle LOVED the princesses but was unsure of the characters. She did love Minnie, Mickey and Daisy Duck, but didn't want much to do with any of the others. Harry LOVED them ALL :)....which is not surprising as that child does not meet a stranger (he sat with a lady on the flight to Orlando for about a quarter of the flight like it was no big deal...)


Can we just talk about how sweet all the princesses are?! I mean, I had no idea that's what it was like. The kids got to spend 3-5 minutes with each princess and they never rushed them at all. Elle was in awe of them all. She said they were all her favorites but her MOST favorite was Merida and she really was wonderful, complete with her Scottish accent. It was so sweet seeing Elle and Harry with each of them. They all gave HUGE hugs and loved on the kids. It was great!

We loved the rides and attractions too...except Elle hated the Haunted Mansion and Stitch's Great Escape. She cried on both, it was pretty sad. She still is telling me that when we go back to WDW she IS. NOT. RIDING. THE. STITCH. RIDE. She says her FAVORITE rides were Peter Pan's Flight and Seven Dwarf's Mine Train. We rode both multiple times. She also loved It's a Small World and the Barnstormer. I was surprised at how many rides Harry could actually ride. Loved that our whole family could ride many rides together!


Magic Kingdom rides and attractions | top to bottom: Tomorrowland Speedway, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Jungle Cruise, and the Barnstormer.

The last picture is us waiting in line at Peter Pan's Flight. We waited in many lines, because we learned about the Fast Passes a little too late but really it wasn't bad. I think the longest we waited was 35 minutes for the Seven Dwarf's Mine Train. The last day we were there we rode rides during the parades and that was great because wait times were only around 10 minutes. That was so fun!

We spent Elle's birthday at Hollywood Studios. We rode all the rides we could fit in. Aaron and I got to ride Tower of Terror. It was awesome! We wanted to ride the Aerosmith ride but the line was so long all day and we couldn't get a fast pass for it so we skipped this time. We saw some live shows: Beauty and the Beast, Disney Junior puppetry show and a Frozen Sing-a-long. Elle loved every one of those. She sat SO still during the Beauty and the Beast live show. She was enthralled. Elle got to have her face painted and play at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, which was so wonderful for both kids to get to just go wild for a while and get some of their energy out.


Hollywood Studios attractions and entertainment | top to bottom: Streets of America, Cinderella's Carriage, Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, Ice Queen face paint, Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage, and a photo op in front of Fantasia Mickey

We loved everything we did at Hollywood Studios and it was actually a relaxing day! And since it closed at 6:00 and we didn't have park-hopper passes, Elle was able to go back to the resort and swim. Something she had wanted to do since the day we got to Orlando!

We spent two days at Magic Kingdom and one day at Hollywood Studios. Here are some more pics from our time at MK.....


Mom and Dad got Elle a beauty package at the Bippity Boppity Boutique for her birthday. Such a special treat and she LOVED every second of getting her hair and nails done! I mean LOOK AT THAT FACE. She was on Cloud Nine!

And, you know we loved the Festival of Fantasy Parade.


I could not and still can't get over all the thought and DETAIL put into every little aspect of Disney World. It was truly magnificent, wild and magical. We enjoyed our time so much and brought home so many wonderful memories from our vacation. A day has not passed since we've been back that Elle has not mentioned our time there. It definitely left an imprint on her. I don't think she'll be forgetting her 5th birthday any time soon!

It was a wonderful week. So very thankful that we were able to go and none of us can wait to go back! I'm going to really miss those sunny, warm days as we go into this week with projected snow and really cold temps.

Happy Monday!