Friday Favorites


Happy Friday! I’m so relieved this week is over. It has been ROUGH.

1. Abeka online streaming– Right now, you can buy at least $50 in online streaming and get another $50 worth (10 hours) of streaming for free! Just use the code 50for50 when you check out online. Fifty dollars will get you 10 hours of streaming, so you can get 20 hours of streaming any grade/class that you want for just $50. It’s expensive, but so worth it. I was wanting to get streaming for a couple of subjects so that it would free up some mental space for me, and was thrilled when I saw this deal going on. I’m not sure when it expires, so don’t hate me if it’s gone before you snag it.

2. This shirt. I love it.

3. Have you been watching Lily Jade’s stories on Instagram? They have been releasing lifestyle bags, which thrills me. I’m not really in the diaper bag stage anymore, but I love drooling over these new bags. A purse for mom. A weekender. I LOVE their company, and would honestly sell every bag I own just to have one Lily Jade. The quality is amazing. The heartbeat of the company is incredible. I love them.

4. Has anyone read this book? I’ve heard good things about it. This phase of parenting is so dang hard. I know some people find great joy in this phase of motherhood. Me? I’m struggling every day to find the joy in it. I’m trying REALLY hard to change my attitude, but I struggle.

5. Pizza and a movie night! Every Friday night, we make or order pizza and watch a movie as a family. I love it. It is a good way to kick off the weekend. Plus, most of the time we ORDER pizza, so it gives me the night off. HA!

6. Spring. Spring is only 4 days away. I know that winter tends to stick around like an unwanted guest, but just knowing that it is Spring makes me feel lighter.


What are you looking forward to this weekend?



Easter Basket Inspo

Easter Basket Inspo

// mini waffle maker // eco grass // Dear Bunny // sidewalk chalk // rain boots // umbrella // beeswax crayons // piggie paint // watercolor paint // Spot It //


We like to do really useful gifts in the Easter baskets for the girls. I don’t like filling them with junk that gets thrown in the garbage after a week or loads of candy. Craft supplies are always the favorite with our girls. haha! I love the mini waffle maker. My kids love waffles, and Chloe loves to cook. I’m thinking we may put that in her Easter basket because I know she would love it!

Do you do Easter baskets? What do you fill them with? I feel like I repeat things each year. New paint sets, books, more sidewalk chalk… the usual. I’m always looking for new ideas.



Hot Mess Express

Stroller // Sippy cup // blanket

What year is it? Is it 4 in the morning? Where do we petition to stop the insanity that is Daylight Savings Time? My hatred for it runs deeeeep.

I went to the doctor on Friday for a medicine refill. I left making three new appointments. Oh, the life of chronic mystery thyroid disease and epilepsy. Maybe this will be the year for answers. I am getting another ultrasound done on my Thyroid this Wednesday,Β  so please pray for answers! My doctor is also repeated the test that determines Hashimoto’s. I don’t care what the answers are at this point, as long as I get some.

Saturday, Scott had to work again. There was a business expo in town. I always looked forward to it as a kid. You walk around and get free pens and notepads. It was like Christmas. I wanted to take the girls to it, but it was pretty cool out in the morning. My mom is amazing and picked up extras of all of the fun stuff for the kids, and for me! I checked the temperature and decided that we could probably walk up there after lunch and make it with some time to spare before it closed. Most of the tables had been packed up when we got there.. 20 minutes before it was supposed to end, mind you. I was really thankful for the few tables that were still set up. Addi kept saying “This was the best day EVER” as we walked back home.

Sunday we dragged ourselves out of bed for church. We were late for Sunday school.. or extra early for service depending on how you look at it. Harper apparently had woken up in the middle of the night and Scott was asleep on her floor from 3 AM until she woke up at 6. I evidently was dead to the world, which is really rare.

After church, we headed straight for a nearby outlet mall. We still needed to get Easter dresses for the big girls. Scott needed a new zip-up hoodie since his are all covered in grease from the factory. I also discovered that the sole of my brown dress shoes was almost completely off when I was at church. HA! I wore those shoes for 10 years, so I can’t really be upset. Thankfully these shoes from Old Navy were almost half price, and SO comfy. So, we snagged them also. They are 40% off online, so if you need some new shoes I highly recommend these for comfort. We took the girls into a Justice store for the first time, and their eyeballs about popped out of their head. So many loud colors and so much glitter.

I sprained my LCL last weekend. I think all of the walking made it really angry because I was in a lot of pain last night. It hadn’t really been hurting me the past few days. It is really tight, so I limp around even without pain. So weird. Knees are weird

Harper didn’t sleep very well again last night. I slept on her floor after she woke up around 4. I feel like garbage now. Seriously, DST is cruel… Everyone is grumpy. All aboard the hot mess express.

I hope that your Monday is as great as the Monday after a time change can be. πŸ˜‰


recipes, Uncategorized

Caramel Mocha Affogato


I received a free kit from MyMagazine Sharing Network. I was given the supplies to create my own Affogato. Affogato is basically a scoop of ice cream, coffee, and any other delicious toppings that you want to add.

Coffee and ice cream? Sign me up!

Here is my recipe:

1 Large Scoop of Kroger Deluxe Churned caramel delight ice cream
1 8 ounce cup of Kroger Donut Shop Blend Coffee
A splash of Kroger Vanilla Caramel coffee creamer
A drizzle of Kroger chocolate syrup

Scoop the ice cream directly into your coffee mug. Pour the coffee and creamer over the top and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Enjoy dessert and coffee all in one!

I strongly encourage you to sign up for MyMagazine Sharing Network. You can try out a lot of really awesome products this way!

natural living, recommendations, Uncategorized

Sustainable Kitchen

I know Earth Day isn’t until next month, but we should start being responsible NOW. Plastic is a huge problem, and recycling isn’t the total solution. This video was really eye opening.Β  We absolutely should be recycling, so don’t misunderstand what I am saying. Responsible recycling is so important. But, trying to eliminate waste is the best solution.

I’m going to share some of my favorite products that we use in our kitchen to eliminate waste; since most of our waste comes from there.

sustainable kitchen

Stasher Bags– I know I’ve shared these before. They are pricey, so just buy one at a time when you can afford it. They are so thick and well made. They have the easiest zipper to use BY FAR. I’ve tried several brands, and this one is the winner. They come in three sizes, which is awesome. You can put them in the oven, freezer and dishwasher. I put them on a drying rack to make sure they are completely dry before storing it away. But, honestly, it goes from use to use.

Produce Bags– I love these. My only issue is consistently remembering to take them to the store. I prefer to pick my own produce rather than grab pre-packaged produce. I can make sure I’m not buying beat up fruit and veggies. These are really soft, and there are so many sizes. (At the time I am posting this, there is a 5% off coupon that you can clip.)

Water Bottle– Water bottles are probably the biggest culprit of plastic clogging up landfills. A stainless steel water bottle keeps your water cold. Get a cute one that you love, and you are much more likely to use it.

K-cup– This is a cheaper way to enjoy a single serve cup of coffee, and you waste a whole lot less. I also just discovered this coffee company that has a compostable k-cup. I bought some of their coffee and it is delicious!!! (Salted Caramel is the best.)

Cloth Napkins– I love using cloth napkins. I’m admittedly a messy eater. How Scott didn’t leave me sitting at the table alone on our first date, I will never know. I go through a LOT of paper napkins in one meal. Cloth napkins work so much better. Plus, there are so many cute patterns. I watched the end caps at Target, and was able to get a lot of cheap napkins that way.

Bee’s Wrap– Full disclosure- I have NOT tried this yet, but want to so badly. I’ve seen tutorials for making your own. I just need to find the right fabric. This would be great for wrapping around fresh bread.

Glass food storage– I love my pyrex food storage containers. The don’t stain like plastic does, which is a huge win for me. This set is on sale right now for a great price!!

Other tips are the obvious avoid using paper plates and paper towels as much as possible. Also, start a compost pile. It doesn’t have to be huge. Throw your food scraps in the compost bin/pile/whatever. They break down and are so good for the soil.

We have made these small steps over several years. Change isn’t always easy. It’s hard to get used to using reusable zip bags instead of grabbing a plastic baggie and throwing it away when you’re done. I’ve loved the money we have saved in the long run. Napkins aren’t super expensive, but the savings add up over 8 years!

Is there anything you would add? Do you already use any of these in your own home?


family life, Ramblings, story telling, Uncategorized, Weekending


Happy Monday!!

Scott had to work this weekend. I was really bummed because there were several fun activities going on around town on Saturday. When he works, I am without a car unless I want to wake our kids at 4 AM. Uh, nah. My brother-in-law was awesome and brought his truck over for Scott to borrow so I could have our car.

I was so excited to be able to get out of the house. Then, Friday night came. I laid down in bed and I heard it. The bark. Just one. I let it go and laid down. I have insomnia, so I toss and turn FOREVER. After an hour or so, Harper started crying and “barking” a ton. I jumped up and threw my robe on. I turned the shower on as high as it goes and rushed into her room to bundle blankets around her. Outside into the cold air I went. No slippers or socks, in my bath robe. Thank goodness it was dark. I stood outside with her for about 10 minutes while she laid her head on my chest. Then, I took her into the bathroom so she could breathe in the steam. I put some eucalyptus rub on her, filled her diffuser with some RC and a little eucalyptus, and put her bag in bed. SheΒ  was really restless and took a long time to get back to sleep. She was up and down all night. I got maybe 2 hours of sleep total. I wanted to cry.

If you don’t know what bark I am talking about, I’ll tell you. When kids get croup, their cough comes out like a seal barking. Their airways are constricted, so air coming out sounds super weird. Harper got bronchitis when she was three months old. We had to do steroids and breathing treatments. It was awful. They warned me that she was going to be susceptible to lung infections since she got that at such a young age. Thankfully, the only problem is that she gets croup frequently. I know how to treat it, and I know when I need to get her to a doctor or the ER. Only once have I told Scott we needed to call an ambulance. We lived close to the hospital and it was faster for him to drive. Most of the time, I’m able to treat it at home, and she only struggles for one night. No matter how many times you have been through it, it’s a terrifying sound.. hearing your child struggle to breathe.

I always think of the parents of medically fragile babies. That is their every day.

Anyway, I knew we shouldn’t go traipsing all over town. Harper was running a slight fever on Saturday morning. I decided that I would go for coffee, we could grab lunch and sit in the car by the lake and eat it.


Our Starbucks drive-thru is ridiculously busy every time. This was after 10 minutes of waiting..

I took the girls to the little park where Scott proposed to me. We rolled the windows down while I finished my lunch. The big girls inhaled theirs on the way, and Harper didn’t have any appetite.

I decided that since no one else was there, we would get out of the car and I would take them over the hill to see where Scott asked me to marry him. They are at an age where they love hearing these stories. I hope they remember them.


Even though we didn’t play much, it was still really nice to get some fresh air and sunshine.


I have been wanting to get my hair chopped for quite a while. I have been letting the platinum grow out for quite a while, and it was looking pretty trashy. I sent a message to a friend that cuts hair and asked what her schedule was like at the salon. She said she had some time that day! What?! She squeezed me in after Scott got off. I was able to donate my hair, and I feel so much lighter. My head doesn’t hurt. Ahh. I love a fresh cut.


That is the best picture you are getting. My skin is stressed out; adult acne is the worst. I have huge bags under my eyes. I’m working on self-love, y’all. But, I’ve self-hated for so long that its a hard thing to overcome.

Harper slept really well on Saturday night. Scott went to morning service with the big girls at church. We did some yard work while it was warm out, which was really nice. We are working on removing a lot of the rock from our back yard. It is in random places, and gets drug all over the place. When we pull that out, we’ll put some now soil down and put grass seed out. I need to go out and take some “before” pictures. After a few hours of working outside, I went to choir practice and evening service. It’s nice that we can take turns right now when a kid is sick instead of me always having to be the one home.

Unfortunately, Harper had a rough night again last night. It wasn’t as awful as Friday night. We actually got some sleep. I’m hoping it will be over soon. She’s not grumpy at least, but it’s really hard to hear your kid struggling so much at night. Croup is the pits.

I hope your weekend was full of love and family.


adult books, encouragement, recommendations, Uncategorized

Book Review- Girl, Wash Your Face

Rachel Hollis is probably the most relatable insta-famouse person. She gets frequent blow-outs and gets to go to the Oscars, but she also admits to peeing her pants. She feels like she could be my way-more-glamorous best friend. But, not the kind of friend that makes you feel inferior. She is just so real and hilarious.Β  If you don’t follow her on Instagram, you should.

When she announced that she was writing a book, I knew I had to get on it right away. I pre-ordered Girl, Wash Your Face.. and waited. I honestly didn’t fully know what to expect. I just know that I like Rachel, and she always inspires me.

I did not expect to get slapped upside the head with so many good things. The premise of this book is that Rachel breaks down 20 lies that she used to tell herself. These are lies that most women tend to believe in one way or another. She shares how she overcame these lies and has become the inspiring woman she is today. She shares the gritty and uncomfortable. She makes you laugh. She makes you cry. She makes you feel like a fire has been lit under your rear end.

“if you’re unhappy, that’s on you.”

Ouch, girl. That hurts.

How often do we spend in our lives saying “I’ll be happy when..”

If you aren’t happy now, you sure aren’t going to be happy when you lose 15 pounds, or meet the man of your dreams, or land your dream job. Your happiness is ultimately up to you.

My happiness is ultimately up to me. I always feel like I can’t get comfortable and happy because my life could be uprooted at any time.Β  It gets uprooted constantly. Then, what? I have to leave all that happiness behind to become miserable and start chasing happiness all over again. So, what have I done? I’ve allowed myself to just stay in this miserable mindset because it is so much easier than being happy to have a sudden shift again.Β  I don’t allow myself to get excited about things, because they could, and probably will change.

“Sit down and decide what’s really important to you. Not what’s important to your mother-in-law or your girlfriends… Decide what’s really important to you.”

This. Is. Key.

If I listened to what everyone else said, there are so many things that I would be doing differently. There are also times that I did listen to others, and regretted it.

You want to know my biggest regret? Changing my major from interior design after only a semester. I changed it because I worried what people would think. “That’s not a real career and I could never make it.” I LOVED my design classes. For the first time in college, I was having fun. I was super intimidated to be in classes with all of these ultra cool men and women. But, it was so fun. I let what I thought people would think change it all. Don’t let what other people think define what you do.

These were two of my biggest takeaways from the book. Almost every chapter resonated with me in some way. There is a chapter where she talks about how she reached a point of saying “I NEED a glass of wine”. I don’t drink, but I just replaced that with any other crutch I use in my life. I need to feel like I belong, so I’m going to go waste too much time on social media. *eye rolls all around*

I read this book much more slowly than the others I have read this year. I knew I needed to slow down and soak in what I was reading.

I guess what I am saying is, you need to pick up what Rachel is laying down. It doesn’t matter if you are married or single, a mom, never want to have babies..whatever. You need this message. You need a kick in the pants to know that you are enough. You are worthy. You CAN do hard things.


deals and steals, family life, Uncategorized

Spending Freeze Tips


It’s over!!!!! I’m so glad it’s over. haha! We obviously weren’t totally successful at freezing all spending, but we did pretty well all things considered.

I wanted to share some tips that helped us, or things that we would have done differently.

1. PLAN– I wrote down a skeleton meal plan for the month of February. I was able to make sure we had enough meat and beans for our protein for the month. I bought plenty of canned veggies and pasta, along with a lot of mac and cheese. Be sure to have a lot of the basics on hand. This was key for us, since most of our spending is for groceries.

2. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION– Last week, Addi spiked a fever. The next day, she laid around, said her neck hurt, and ran a fever. I thought for sure that we were about to wage war with the flu. I ran to the store and picked up more motrin, Oscillo, and the other usual sick family supplies. I was really, really relieved when her fever was gone the next day and no one else caught whatever virus she had. Had I said “no we are not spending anything”, I would have been incredibly overwhelmed with worry that my kids would be sick and miserable because I was stubborn.

3. DECIDE WHAT IS OFF LIMITS– By off limits, I mean what are you not willing to stop buying for the month? What is off limits to freeze spending on? I refuse to not have fresh produce in our house. We allowed ourselves to go to the store once a week to restock on produce, milk, and bread. This helped us be successful in the long run. It was challenging to not pick up other things, but it’s a good test in self control. We also needed to get the girls’ eyes examined again, and did that during February.

4. TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY– You don’t want to be in the middle of a spending freeze and have someone invite you out to lunch. The temptation to say yes will be too much, and you’ll end up spending money.

5. DON’T DO A FULL MONTH–Β  haha! I know I said that it would probably be fine, since February was a short month. But, it was really hard. A month is a long time. The chances of one of your kids getting sick is higher. Some kind of car emergency could come up. There’s a lot that can happen in a month. So, I recommend doing just one or two weeks. You’d be amazed at how much you still save.


Would we do it again? I think yes. I don’t think we would do a full month again, but I definitely would do a one or two week freeze again. It is fun to be challenged.

I am very glad it is over though. I would see really good sales at the store and feel bummed because I couldn’t take advantage of them. There was a one day only sale on cereal this past Saturday, and I bought some. My husband and kids are obsessed with cereal, and I was not about to pass up 99 cent boxes of cereal. #NoRegrets

Would you ever consider a spending freeze? What are your favorite ways to save money? If you have any questions about a spending freeze that I haven’t answered, please let me know!

Also, don’t forget about the giveaway! You can still enter if you haven’t already.



Sunshine and Garden Dreams

It was 60 degrees yesterday and we met up at the park with my sister for lunch. I’m obsessed with this weather. Today, it has cooled off again and is cloudy. BUT, yesterday’s sunshine and warm weather left me feeling pretty uplifted.

Scott worked in the yard yesterday when he got home from work. The people who lived in this house before us had two really big dogs that tore up the yard and fence pretty badly. We rigged it to keep Rocci in, but a lot of spots need repaired. Scott worked on fixing the gate and cleaned up sticks/branches. He was measuring while we talked through and planned out our garden.


Seed Savers Exchange

Almost 10 years of marriage later, and I still love dreaming with him.

Our house is on top of a hill, so finding a flat space in our yard for a garden is tricky. We have two areas that are flat, and both will see quite a bit of shade. Lucky for me, the man who owns the house next door was the horticulture teacher at our high school. I’m hoping to catch him one day and ask his opinion. It’s also super intimidating. What if I fail and everything dies? He will know that I’ve flunked life. (That was always his phrase when teaching.)

I really can’t wait to dig my hands in and get started. My chives from last year have already started growing again. I’ll have to bring them inside so they don’t freeze. We have a while more to wait before starting anything. the last frost of the year is still quite a ways out, and I don’t want everything to die. It gives us some time to figure out some fencing to keep the dog away from the garden.

I have a ton of wild flower seeds to plant, too.

I obviously can’t wait for spring. I’m so excited to fix up the yard and spend more time in the sunshine. I love watching everything come back to life after a long winter. It’s such an exciting time.





On Mothering School Aged Kids

I have been thinking about this for a while. Where are all of the blogs for the moms with school aged kids? There are loads of baby and toddler blogs. There are loads of teenager blogs. Where are the elementary aged blogs at? Are we all just drowning and have no idea what we are doing? I don’t know what I’m doing. Give me two under two all day every day, and I can handle it. Give me three under 4.

Seven, Six, and Three? What am I doing? What year is it? Where am I?

I know that these ages are fun and exciting. I am so thankful that I had these girls so close together. They fight like cats and dogs, but they are also best friends. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


I love the independence that we are getting to enjoy. I can take the girls for a walk without chasing down all three of them. I still put Harper in a stroller most of the time because she is safer that way. People don’t slow down in this neighborhood.

Yesterday, I was telling the girls that we’d go for a walk when Scott got home from work. We had school outside because the weather was gorgeous. We ate lunch outside. We played outside. We were pretty much outdoors from 11 until dinner at 6.

We live within walking distance of a popcorn and candy shop. It’s fun to go in there and look around. It’s also complete chaos.


We did let the girls pick out a lollipop or candy stick because life is too short to not get a cheap piece of candy during a spending freeze!




stroller // snack tray

Chloe picked the bubble gum flavor. Addi picked the bacon flavored candy stick, and I really wanted to sneak a taste. ha! I got a picture of Harper without her knowing, and she yelled “MOMMY, YOU DIDN’T TAKE A PICTURE ME!” So, I had to stop and get this adorable gem.

This age is delightful. In the middle of the huge waves that knock me down, there is a lot of joy. This age is hard, too. But, if we focus on that, we are going to miss out on so much.

We took Addi to finally spend her birthday money and she picked out this cool hat (pictured above) and a notebook. Seeing her so thoughtfully add up the cost to see if her $4 would cover what she wanted was so fun. I’m also thankful that she picked something nice, and not junk that would end up in the garbage. I love seeing them learn and grow.

We couldn’t do simple things like this a few years ago without a lot more chaos and frustration. It’s so much nicer at this age to be able to just go whenever the weather is nice without much extra thought. Although, I know I’m crazy, I do miss packing a diaper bag for a baby and toddler.

I want to encourage you to look for the good. Every season of motherhood brings hard things with it. There are days (sometimes weeks and months) when you feel like there is such thick fog you may never get through it. Try to find 10 things today that you can be thankful for. It will help shift your mindset so much when you are looking for the GOOD instead of focusing on the hard.

Happy Tuesday, friends!! Don’t forget to go enter the giveaway for a pair of earrings!