New Year’s Resolutions!

By on December 30, 2016

Can you believe 2016 is almost over? This year truly flew by. I can’t believe Ace is halfway through his first year of elementary school and the girls are half way through their first year of preschool. It has been nice seeing them grow and learn so much these past few months. 

With the new year right around the corner I want to make resolutions that matter. Not ones that are the typical lose 10lbs, go to the gym for a week and forget about it after that. 
After my parents passed away 4 years ago I decided I wasn’t going to let the little things bother me. I wasn’t going to allow minor annoyances get the better of me. I have done pretty well with that. I hate when people complain about things that are truly minor in the grand scheme of things. A car cut you off? Great, move on, you can’t change that person but you can change your reaction to it. 
That being said I want to continue to better myself and help my children continue to be positive little people. I was talking to Branden one day about bringing PB&J sandwiches to the homeless. I am not sure where to go exactly but we do see some off the main highway near our new house. It breaks my heart. I know many homeless people are mentally ill or have fallen on hard times and majority of the time it is out of their control. I sometimes give them a dollar if I have one but I want my children to also appreciate their lives and be people who want to help others. I don’t want them to just ignore the problems of the world.
I have noticed over the past 2 years how sensitive Ace is to others’ feelings. He has a very compassionate heart and I want to make sure I encourage that kindness in him. I also love this about him because it reminds me a lot of my Mom. She felt others pain and hurt so strongly that she always wanted to help others. I have that too and sometimes I think it can be a bit of a blessing and a curse. I want to teach Ace that it is ok to feel for others and empathize with them and help them. I want him to know boundaries with it too. My Mom gave a lot and sometimes I think it was too much for her own good. She wanted to help those who needed to help themselves first.
With all that being said my New Year’s Resolution is for myself and children to give back and help. This world seems to be going through a very scary time and I want my children to be the good in it. I don’t want them to be jaded by all that bad that is happening. I want them to know that they can make a difference. So here is hoping I can help these precious little people give back to those less fortunate than them. 

What is your New Years Resolution?

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Holdays | life

Christmas Eve Recap

By on December 28, 2016

First I am happy to announce the winner of the Blue Frog Apparel $100 Gift Card giveaway, Jamie B! 
Check your email for more information.

It is winter break and it has been wonderful. I am seriously loving this time off. We had a really nice Christmas with family and now the kids have been playing with all their new toys and we have been busy getting the house in order. We still have so much to do since the move so I really needed this break. 

It was kind of a cluster having the last day of work being the 23rd since we were having a party on Christmas Eve. I left work super early to go to the girls’ Christmas party then had a hair appointment. I spent the rest of the night getting the house ready for the party.

Christmas Eve was actually a really fun day. Since we had done most of the cleaning and decorating done prior to that day I was able to really enjoy doing things with the kids. We did some baking, since I am not a great baker we went with the bagged stuff, I’m super classy like that. I used this recipe to make some Sugar Cookie M&M bars. We also made some chocolate chip cookies. It was really fun watching the kids get excited about helping. They are seriously so sweet. 
I also made ziti like my Mom always did for her Christmas Eve parties. I actually got really sad while making it. I just kept thinking about how much she would have loved helping me get ready for the party and if I needed her to help she would have been right there. This year was the first year where it hit me hard on Christmas Eve that my parents were gone. The past 4 years since they passed away have been so crazy and now things have really calmed down enough to make me see the void in a lot of what we do. I try to use that to make these moments more meaningful but it can still be really hard. Ever since they died I have tried to look at how good things are for me despite losing them 9 days apart 4 years ago. I know that there are so many little things in life that aren’t worth getting upset about or complaining about because in the end they don’t matter. What matters are these precious moments with my kids and my husband. The moments with the people who matter most. I just always want holidays to be meaningful to my kids and memorable like they were for me when my parents were here. I always remember helping my Mom get ready for our Christmas Eve party and she would be cooking like crazy and going overboard. She would stress herself out so much but in the end everything turned out perfect. So all this to say that a simple moment of making ziti really brought me back to my parents and for whatever reason those moments make me feel like they are with me. 

So after getting my ziti prepared for later and the kitchen cleaned up I got the kids bathed and I got ready. Ashlyn wanted to wear make up like mommy which I thought was so cute so I put a little eye shadow and lip stick on her. After her and Everly go to play in their room they come back in with lotion all over their faces. Little stinkers said they were putting more make up on. At least I could just rub it in. 

Once it hit 5:30 we were all ready for our guests to arrive. My cousins from Ohio came with their adorably bald toddler Carter. I love seeing her because she reminds me of Everly with her bald little head. His parents, my Aunt Lillie and Uncle Dave, came too. Then the rest of the family came in. It was so nice seeing all the little cousins together. Ace was excited to see his cousin Colton who moved away last year. They are only about 6 months apart so they love when they get to play together. They were inseparable all night. 
Most of the night Ashlyn wasn’t feeling well (which is why she doesn’t have a shirt on, I wasn’t fighting that battle). She laid on the couch watching a movie and was very tired. I felt so bad for her. After my niece Valentina came over all the girls decided it was time to throw tantrums. That was super fun. We had reindeer food from the girls Christmas party at school so I got all the kids to go outside to throw that in the grass. It was a nice distraction for the moment but then the whining began so I had the kids decorate ugly sweater cookies from Trader Joes. They were pretty ugly and no one ate them but after that the night went much better. The kids opened presents and played the rest of the night.  I love having family over for holidays so it was definitely a success.

After everyone left Branden and I got to work on putting the presents under the tree. It was a fun Christmas to buy for because they are each really into their own things. Everly is obsessed with baby dolls, Ashlyn loves Barbies and Ace is into Lego Dimensions. We also got Ace a bike and scooter since he outgrew his old bike. Ashlyn got a doll house and Everly a wooden baby carriage which she decided to carry all around the house. 
Overall Christmas Eve was a really nice night. I will recap Christmas day later since this post is a lot longer than I expected. 

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friday favorites | life

Friday Favorites on Saturday

By on December 17, 2016

Of course I wrote this yesterday and had to finish it today. Whatever I have is no joke. Being sick stinks…

It’s Friday! Not so exciting for me though because I was up all night with Everly while she cried and coughed and I had chills and a sore throat. Seriously I am exhausted and miserable. I just want to go to sleep but Miss Everly is home with me today and even though she is sick she is the energizer bunny. I don’t get it. I am hoping we can both take a nap in an hour or two. 
Now back to some of my favorite things. Since it is so close to Christmas I can’t help but talk about some of my favorite items for the holidays. I got this adorable dress from Target before Thanksgiving and plan to wear it on Christmas Eve. It’s super comfy and flowy so if you plan on going to town on some yummy dessert you are good to go. Speaking of yumminess I am dying to try this Christmas cookie dough dip recipe from Dinner at the Zoo.
This beautiful gold silverware set. I would love to get these for our new house. They are to die for.  They also come in Rose Gold as well.
I am also a little obsessed with this gold bar cart. I really want one for our new dining room. I would love to decorate it for holidays. Loving this look from Garvin & Co. Seriously her home is my dream house. 
So I didn’t get to finish my post yesterday because I just felt too awful. I still feel horrible today but I got to sleep in till 9:30am, thanks Branden, because last night I had a rough night of sleep as did Everly. Her fever final broke though. 
Last night we ended up going to a live nativity with my cousins with the kids. Poor Everly wanted to be held the whole time and I was really tired but we couldn’t break tradition of a night of Christmas fun then Chick-fil-A peppermint shakes. We tried to get a picture of all the kids together and this truly shows how Everly felt the entire night.

But a peppermint shake always helps…

Today she is still feeling terrible and now Ashlyn is coughing which is how Everly and mine started. Branden is stuffy so Ace is so far the only one who isn’t showing signs of being sick. I hope he doesn’t catch it. 
Hope everyone has a great weekend. I am hoping everyone around here starts feeling better by Monday so we can get ready for Christmas! 

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Giveaway | life | style

Blue Frog Apparel $100 Gift Card Giveaway!

By on December 13, 2016
A big thank you to Beth from Blue Frog Apparel for gifting me these adorable clothes. I am seriously obsessed!

  Not sure if you saw this post on Instagram but can we talk about how cute this taco shirt is? It is seriously my favorite shirt Ace has right now. First of all the fabric is super soft and I mean tacos are da bomb! 
I was fortunate enough to get some fabulous clothes from Blue Frog Apparel and I am in love with the clothes. Can we talk about the detail on the back of this Chambray Maxi dress? 

Blue Frog Apparel is also a small boutique run by a local Mom, shoutout to Beth, hey girl! I love being able to support Moms who are running their own businesses. I know how hard it can be to get a boutique up and running so please go check out her beautiful clothing. They aren’t your typical boutique style clothes either. They are fun and functional. Kids can wear these clothes to school or the playground and be comfortable. They are high quality so you don’t have to worry about them falling apart after washing them a bunch of times. 
Then there is this sweet Indigo Heidi dress I put on Ashlyn. I had a similar dress for the girls when they were younger but it shrank up on them so I was really bummed out when they couldn’t wear it again. When I got this one I was so excited to put it on them. Ashlyn instantly loved it so she claimed it. 
So who wants to win their own Blue Frog Apparel gift card?! Beth is giving away a $100 gift card to one of my fabulous readers and the entries are super easy so hurry and enter! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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life | savings | shopping

How to Maximize Your Savings While Shopping Online

By on December 7, 2016


So I am probably the last person to discover Swagbucks but I am obsessed. I didn’t realize you could get money back for shopping online. All these years I spent shopping online and getting nothing back really annoys me, ha! 
After discovering Swagbucks I also discovered Cardpool, a place to buy discounted store gift cards. Combine this with Swagbucks and store’s discount codes you can get serious savings from the stores you are shopping at online. Here is how I saved and earned over $60 at Old Navy.
Swagbucks gives you a certain percent back when you shop online through their site. You just open up 
and click shop then pick the store you want to go to. Super easy. It can vary depending on the season. When I went shopping you could earn 5% cash back. I also had a 30% off coupon for signing up for their email list. 
Next I went to Cardpool to see what type of savings they had on Old Navy gift cards. They had an 11% discount on the gift cards, combined that with the 30% off and 5% cash back I was saving and earning a nice little chunk of money I wouldn’t have had without these nice little options.  I ended up buying three $25 gift cards. I got $75 worth of gift cards for $66.75. I then used my 30% off coupon for my order.


Here is how it broke down.
 Total cost (before taxes):  $93.00
 30% Discount:                  $27.90
Shipping Promo:               FREE
Taxes:                              $3.91
Order Total:                      $69.01
Order earned me $30 in Old Navy Cash 
Savings/ Earnings
Savings from Cardpool Gift Card (11%): $7.59
 Savings from Old Navy Promo (30%):     $27.90
Swagbucks 5% back:                                $3.25 
Old Navy Cash:                                    $30
Total Saved/Earned:                                 $68.74
Total Savings: $35.49
Total Earnings: $33.25
You can earn Old Navy cash up until January 26, 2017.
Free shipping is on orders over $50 and they have a lot of sales going on right now so take full advantage of this. The Swagbucks percentage is also high since it is the holidays so take advantage of that as well. And of course check out Cardpool for any stores you plan on shopping at. You will seriously save so much if you can combine it with other promotions. And honestly even if there isn’t a promotion going on it is still worth it to save money at a place you know you will be shopping or dining at. 
Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at



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Christmas | life | shopping

Christmas Shopping (almost) Done!

By on December 4, 2016

We are slowly but surely getting ready for Christmas. We bought our tree last week and decorated it on Friday. It was so sweet watching the kids get excited and put the ornaments up. There is nothing better than seeing Christmas from your child’s eyes. 
This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a small % off the sale of an item. This in no way affects you. 

 Of course with Christmas comes Christmas shopping. I really hate putting things off to the last minute when it comes to holidays so I did a lot of my shopping online. I knew I wanted to just get it done as simple as possible.

This year I feel like Christmas shopping was a lot easier than years past. I didn’t want to buy a bunch of stuff just to have a bunch of things for my kids to unwrap. I don’t want that to be the main focus of Christmas for them. I wanted to get them items they were going to really love and use. I have noticed that some toys they love for a hot minute and after that they are over it and they just collect in a basket and come out randomly but aren’t really played with. Super fun when we need to clean up. 
With each child there was something we knew they specifically needed or wanted. With Ace we knew he needed a bike. He is too tall for his Thomas bike he got when he was 3 so that was going to be his main “big” present. Branden actually found a bike someone was getting rid of and painted it, got new grips and put his old seat on it so that ended up being close to free. Score! Everly has now taken over Ace’s old bike so it was just in time. He also is very into LEGO Dimensions. Branden got him a bunch of those since I know nothing about them. Although I did find an ET one I had to get him. I mean how cute is he?
For Ashlyn I found this KidKraft Savannah Dollhouse with Furniture on Offer Up for $50 originally $150. Again a total score for us, if you are interested it is on sale right now for only $89. She has been into Barbies so I knew that was going to be my focus for her. We also got her and Everly the Holiday barbies. I loved that they had a blonde and brunette one. Last year Branden found the Disney Princess pack for super cheap on like a 50% off day at Target so we have that but will probably only take 2 dolls from it and save the rest for birthdays. 
Everly is still obsessed with baby dolls so I wanted to get her a doll diaper bag and crib. Last year we had gotten them the Step2 Love and Care Deluxe Nursery but it didn’t really have a crib area more of a changing table, so I wanted one for her to have for bedtime. She is such a little mommy. She is always putting her baby dolls on pillows and covering them up to go to sleep. She also carries them around on her hip. It’s so sweet. I felt like I was a grandma buying for my grandbabies because I wanted to find a nice doll diaper bag so it would last. This one was seriously so precious to me so I snatch it up. It also has a matching highchair set that I might get her for her birthday. 
We got them some little extras like these Strawberry Shortcake dolls (I just had to!). They actually smell like the ones from when I was a kid. They each got a small lego set since they like to play legos before bed and a lot of outdoor art stuff. These cute LEGO Friends Party Cakes ones were only $3.99. I love these sidewalk chalk paint. I had some for the longest time and we finally used them a couple weeks ago and it kept them busy for the longest time. I also got regular sidewalk chalk as well. We go through them like crazy.  
I did go to Target’s “dollar” section and get some cute things for their stalkings so overall I think we are pretty much finished with them. I still need to get a couple things for my nieces and nephews but they are pretty easy. 
Are you done with your shopping yet? 

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So Thankful

By on December 1, 2016

I was compensated for this post. All opinions and content is my own.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This might have been one of my favorites so far. We hosted it this year and everyone brought a side dish or dessert so it was fun to see what everyone made. It was also our first holiday in our new house which was so nice. 

I did realize, though, that hosting Thanksgiving is not always an easy task. I always spent Thanksgivings at my Grandma’s as a child and the past couple of years at my Aunt’s. These women were incredible at making beautiful Thanksgiving meals and I knew I wanted to have something close to that. The only problem is running around after 3 little ones can make it a bit crazy. Branden, thankfully, was a huge help. He took on the turkey and I did the green bean casserole and stuffing and the rest of our guests brought the rest of the sides. We had a last minute cancelation so I had to rush to the store to get the sides and thankfully WalMart now has a service where you can order your groceries online and pick them up. They bring them right to your car. And the best part? The service is free and there are no mark ups on the items you are buying. 

They were not fit for public, look at those hot messes!

I was a little worried since it was so close to Thanksgiving that I wouldn’t be able to get what I needed or there would be chaos waiting for the person to come out to my car but it was literally the best shopping experience ever. Going online and ordering makes it easy to see what they have on hand and any sales they have going on. You then book your time and they call to confirm your pick up time and once you arrive you call the number that is listed on their pick up parking spots. They bring out your groceries and you are done! So easy! And the guy, Ryan, who brought out my groceries was one of the sweetest people ever. I even tried to tip the person bringing out my groceries and he said he could not accept a tip but would love for me to fill out the survey. He was seriously the sweetest! 
You can get $10 off your order by using this link. 


Now back to Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day Branden started the turkey and we cleaned up a bit, got the kids bathed and ready for the day. When it was about 1pm I started my sides and everyone started coming over. It was fun having a bunch of kids in the house. I think that is one of my favorite things is watching my kids playing and enjoying their friends and family.
We ended up feeding the kids before the adults to try to hold off any tantrums or craziness but they were all so focused on playing I think only Everly really ended up eating. The adults all sat down to eat together around 4pm and it was just so nice. We were able to talk and focus on being together. We got a new dining room table in September that holds 10 people so it was fun seeing everyone together. I think we actually ended up with 12 people. Can you tell I love having everyone together? ha! 
After dinner we cleaned up and headed outside. The guys played basketball and the little kids played with their bikes and sidewalk chalk. At around 8pm my best friend drove in with her family to stay for the weekend. I was so excited. I love being able to spend holidays with them. It was seriously such a great weekend. 

How was your Thanksgiving? Have any big plans for the upcoming holidays? 
We will be hosting Christmas Eve at our house so you can bet I will be using WalMart’s grocery pick up service again! 

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