Monday, May 22, 2017

Our Weekend - A Birthday Party and Lots of Relaxation

Aside from a birthday party this weekend we kept it pretty low-key.  Friday evening we stopped at our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner and margs (B and I both needed them after the weeks we had a work!) and then we went to the new At Home store that opened here to browse and look for a bar cart.  The kids have a way of being totally cray cray if we try to do any shopping on a Friday night… I think the long week at school catches up with them and they act positively naughty most of the time.  So we stopped by Rite Aid on the way and grabbed a couple of Ring Pops to bribe them to be good.  #GottaDoWhatYouGottaDo

They weren’t exactly angels, but they weren’t wild and crazy either, so we’ll call the night a win!  Especially because I finally had success finding a bar cart!!  The size and details of the cart itself are absolute perfection, but I’m still on the fence about the finish.  I’m currently trying to decide whether to keep it as is, try to paint it, or return it and try to find something else altogether.  Other than the finish it is truly perfect and the price was great, so I just can’t imagine returning it, but I’ll keep you guys posted.  I want to put it in its spot and play around with it a little and then I’ll probably post some pics for you guys to ask your opinions.  I’m so torn!

The rest of our Friday evening was spent watching and falling asleep during a couple of episodes of Gilmore Girls because let’s face it: we’re getting old.

Saturday morning we were up and out of the house bright and early to attend my dear friend Katie’s daughter’s first birthday party!  They had it at a little party venue complete with a playground, a swimming pool, and a splash pad.  The kids ran around on the playground for a bit when we got there, and then we snacked on fresh fruit, a delicious cheeseboard, donut holes, and homemade cupcakes.  The theme of the party was watermelons, and I was pleased as punch as watermelons are one of my favorite things in the whole world!  My friend Jeannine (who was also in attendance) and I were completely obsessed with watermelons in high school.  We used to draw them on all of our notes that we would send back and forth to each other in class.  So she was just as excited as I was to see the theme!  Haha.

Everybody sang to sweet Madeline and then she tore into her cake and she ate and ate and ate.  After cake it was time for gifts and then all the babies got suited up for the splash pad.

The splash pad was fenced in which was soooo nice because we were able to turn the kids loose and all of us moms and dads were able to chat peacefully for a good hour while all of the kiddos ran and splashed and had the time of their little lives.  All we had to do was guard the gate to watch for escapees.

After the party we hauled the wet and happy kids home, made a quick lunch, and then everyone retreated to their rooms for naps and quiet time while I got caught up on some picture organizing and worked a little more on the kids’ baby books.  Jacob’s is almost done.  All.  The.  Tears.

Late in the afternoon we had a huge storm blow through and lightning struck in our back yard three times in a row really fast.  The booms of thunder happened at the exact same time since it was right there in our yard and it scared the living crap out of me.  I literally jumped out of my chair.  Brian saw the lightning so that’s how we knew it was so close, and he even said that the trees behind our house looked like they were smoking.  We aren’t 100% sure if that’s what he saw or not, but I’m just thankful that the lightning didn’t strike about 300 feet further north because it would have gotten our house.  Yeesh.

After the storm blew through it was time to leave for church.  The kiddos were both really great.  Jacob was super excited to go to the children’s liturgy.  Sometimes he wants to go and sometimes he wants to stay with us in the big church, so I was excited that he was excited to go this time.

After church we met my parents, aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandmother at our favorite pub just down the street from the church and we had a great evening eating, drinking, and chatting.

Night two of Gilmore Girls binge watching failed miserably again as B and I both dosed on and off – dude, what is wrong with us?!?! – and now we’re going to have to rewatch the last episode again.  Lol.

I was awakened at 4 AM Sunday morning to the power going out.  I could hear that it was raining but there was no thunder, lightning, or wind that I could tell, so I wasn’t quite sure why the power had gone out.  I waited a few minutes to see if it was going to come back on but it never did, and then a few minutes later our house alarm started chirping (that’s what the battery does when it knows that the power is out) so B had to get up with the flash light and go disconnect the battery.  The power stayed out forever so the air and ceiling fan had obviously stopped and it got soooo hot in our room, which resulted in me laying there awake forever.  #FirstWorldProbs  A bit later, our house phone battery started making a weird noise so I had to disconnect it, and then a bit later, my stomach started hurting so I never had the chance to go back to sleep.  I finally started dozing again sometime around 7-ish and then Jacob came in and he and Olivia were ready to get up and play.  Needless to say, I awoke at 4 AM and never fully went back to sleep.  Sigh.

We got out of the bed around 8 and the power finally came back on around 8:30.  Apparently a drunk driver had hit a power pole nearby and the electric company had to cut the power off to fix the pole.  From what I hear everyone is okay, but that was just another little reminder – DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, PEOPLE!

B went out and got donuts which, of course, made everything better, and then I curled up on the couch with Olivia while the kids watched cartoons.

Sunday afternoon was spent at my MIL’s.  B was not able to see her last weekend for Mother’s Day since he was at tennis, so I’m sure she was happy to finally get to see him.  They made Butter-Basted Rosemary Steaks for lunch and they were soooo good.  I got the recipe, so if I ever get brave enough to try it, I’ll share it with y’all sometime.  ;o)

We spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the back yard.  Jacob is now big enough to keep up with his older cousins who are almost 12 and 9 and he had a blast running wild with them.  He was drenched by the time we got in the car to go home.  Just look at that sweet little thang!

Sunday evening was dinner at my parents’ house (finally!) after a whole month of not going over there due to other things going on – dinner at my house one week, a surprise party one week, dinner at my uncle’s girlfriend’s one week.  It was so good to be back at our usual Sunday evening hangout!  We opened a bottle of wine, dined on Rosemary Wine Chicken, rice, broccolli, and squash made by my Momma, and soaked up every last ounce of the weekend before it was time to say goodbye.

Well, it’s graduation week for my baby, y’all!  I can hardly believe it.  If you need me, I’ll be in the bathroom hiding my face from crying all the tears.  It’s going to be ugly, friends… I heard the graduation song the other day when the kids were watching Fantastia and I went to pieces.  I’m telling you, ugly.

*Linking up with B Loved Boston for WeekendingMy Glittery Heart for Hello Monday,  More Pieces of Me for Hello Monday Linkup, and HoHo Runs for Weekly Wrap.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Five on Friday - Favorites

It’s Fridaaaay, everybodaaaay get craaaazaaaay!

After this busy week that’s exactly how I feel.  Time to break out the wine and celebrate that it’s finally over!  Ha!

Now a few random faves for you on this lovely day…

O N E – Moscow Mules

When the weather starts to warm up I like to trade my red wine for something a little colder and a little more refreshing.  Our favorite for the last couple of years has been Moscow Mules.  Last year I even made B a Moscow Mules gift basket for Father’s Day and he loved it… I think it was one of my favorite gifts that I ever gave him.  Ever since, we have been enjoying these delicious drinks at home and last week was no exception.  It’s so nice to kick back on our back porch and drink one of these yummy concoctions!  You can find the gift basket idea as well as the recipe that we use here and the exact copper mugs that we use are here.  They are on major sale right now!

T W O – A New Shutter for the Back Door

Our back yard backs up to woods so we have complete privacy.  Because of this, we never covered our back door because it’s just not really necessary.  However, I’m a super paranoid person and for the last seven years it’s always bothered me at night because I always feel like somebody is watching us.  Lol.  It doesn’t bother me that much when B is home with me, but when he’s out of town for work I can’t even stay downstairs alone after it gets dark because it makes me so uncomfortable. 

At the beginning of the year, I knew that B would be going out of town in February, so I finally contacted someone about installing a shutter for the back door.  They had to build a custom shutter which had an ETA of 6-8 weeks, but they ended up forgetting to place the order, so the shutter didn’t end up being ready until April.  Sigh.  I ended up being without a shutter when B was out of town that week, but a couple of weeks ago they finally came and installed it. 

After they left, I opened the shutter and realized that they had installed it backwards.  Instead of the shutter opening the same way as the door, it opens the opposite way which means that it covers the doorknob when you open it.  Sigh.  So they are now ordering another one and we have to wait several more weeks for them to come and fix it.

While I’m over the fact that we had such a rough time with them, I am LOVING having a cover over the back door at night.  When B was out of town this past weekend, I happily enjoyed a glass of wine and How to Lost a Guy in Ten Days alone on the couch downstairs, and I wasn’t the least bit skittish about being alone.  Not to mention the shutter makes the house look so much more elegant!  It’s gonna be great once it’s installed correctly!

T H R E E – A Funny Text From a Friend

The other morning at work I got the most hilarious text from my friend Jeannine.  Her son who is Olivia’s age, had been asked to make a picture of his family at school.  Well, in his picture he included his mom, his dad, his brother, his dog, and… Jacob.  My Jacob.  Haha. 

Jeannine said that he talks about Jacob all the time and is constantly asking about him, so I guess in his mind he’s family.  It cracked me up but it was also the sweetest little thing!

F O U R – Shopping for a Bar Cart

My Mother’s Day gift from Brian and the kids was a printed certificate telling me that I can pick out a bar cart!  I have been wanting one for about a year now so I am thrilled to my little toes. 

However, I am having trouble finding one that I absolutely love.  Back at Christmas I had added this one to my Christmas wish list, but it is no longer on sale and there is no way I will be spending that kind of money on a bar cart.  Aside from that one, I kinda like this one from Target and this one from Amazon is okay, but none of them are screaming BUY ME!  YOU NEED ME!  So if anyone just so happens to know where to find the perfect one, please do let me know!  And please let it be one that does not break the bank.  ;o)

F I V E – Countdown to the BEEEEAAAACH!!!!

We are just weeks away from our trip, and I could not be more excited to have my toes in the sand and my skin in that saltwater air!  I rounded up all of my faves for the beach in this post last week.  Did you catch it?  I ordered this hat from my own wish list and it should be arriving any day now!  It also comes in ten other sayings.  I was torn between this one and Always on Vacay.

I also bought two of this beach coverup to put in the beach-themed gift basket that Jacob’s class is giving the teachers as an end-of-the-year gift.  I hope they love them!

If you want to see the complete post for my favorite beach picks, click here.  Here's a little peek at what's over there!

Well everybody, do enjoy your weekend!  It’s going to be beautiful here, so I know we’ll be enjoying ours!

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites,  September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday, Meet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Confessions {5.18.2017}

I confess…

… that life is completely crazy right now.  Is it just me or is end of the school year almost as crazy and busy as Christmas time?  Between end-of-the-year class parties and breakfasts with parents and summer birthdays celebrations and teacher appreciation gifts and end-of-the-year teacher gifts and preparing for assessments and preparing for graduation, Y’ALL.  It’s just insane!  And then throw in planning for Mother’s Day, planning for Father’s Day, B being out of town for a long weekend, scheduling people to keep Jacob for the week and a half after school gets out, booking our summer vacay, planning what to pack for said summer vacay, scheduling Maui for her shots so she can be boarded, booking her boarding, getting my hair done, and all of the other bazillion things that I have to do… GEESH.  I’m spent.  #CanIPleaseJustBeASAHM  I’m so ready to be lying on a beach chair by the ocean wearing this hat, which I finally ordered.  I couldn’t resist and I cannot wait to wear it! 

… that I had another post planned for today, but I just couldn’t get it done yet again.  #SeemsLikeISayThatEveryTimeIDoAConfessionsPost

… that I almost decided not to do a post at all, but I just love this little space (and y’all, too) so much, that I just couldn’t bring myself to having dead air here on the blog even if for one day.  Every time I do, I miss the interaction!  #BlogBlogBlogBlogBlog

… that I don’t like unicorns.  I’m pretty sure from what I’ve seen in the blogging world that I’m the only one, but I have never liked them, not even when I was little.  They are kind of… cheesy, maybe?  This wall hanging has been everywhere in the blogging world lately and I just do not get it.  If I woke in the middle of the night to that thing hanging over my head, I think I would hightail it outta there, screaming my head off all the way.  I am just not interested in having an animal head hanging on my wall.  If I had wanted that, I would have married a hunter.  #NoThankYou

… that Instagram is driving me insane even more than ever.  They have changed their algorithm yet again and for a couple of days, I think I fell into a black hole.  My numbers didn’t move at all and for a minute there I was thinking I had been shadow-banned.  I haven’t, and things are starting to pick back up, but I am quickly losing interest in IG because it’s just so darn unstable.  #ChronologicalForLyfe

… that due to the algorithm change, I’m seeing less than ever of the posts I actually want to see.  As a matter of fact, there have been loads of people popping up in my feed who I have never even heard of.  Apparently I’m not the only one.  One of my favorite bloggers posted yesterday about how the same thing was happening to her, so she did a spring cleaning of who she was following and now she’s always seeing what she wants to see and she’s spending less time on there.  #Amen #IThinkIFeelASpringCleaningComingOn

… that I know I sound like a broken record mentioning Instagram in every post and I apologize.  Growing IG was one of my goals for 2017, so it has been a primary focus for my blog this year.  Apparently, IG is going to make me work really hard for it.  #Werk

… that I’ve already started planning what to pack for the beach and we’re still a few weeks away from our trip.  I mean, can you ever really pack too early? #InCaseYouWereWonderingNoYouCannot

… that when I was ten my family went on a two week road trip across the United States and I started packing two full months before we left.  #YouCanNeverBeTooPrepared #MyBestFriendStillMakesFunOfMeForThatToThisDay

Well, that’s a wrap! 

Happy Friday Eve, y’all!  I hope you enjoyed these random musings instead of the dead air that almost was.

*Linking up with Sparkles and Lattes for Confessional Thursday and Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday Wish List - Tassels

I shared my love for all things pom poms a few weeks ago, but there is another trend that I am loving even more than pom poms right now… tassels.  They are every bit as fun as pom poms but slightly more sophisticated.  Or at least I think so!


I still have a couple of Amazon gift cards leftover from my birthday and I think that pink swimsuit coverup is calling my name… it’s such a steal!  I have been looking for one like that ever since one of my favorite fashion bloggers posted about this one a few weeks ago.  It is the perfect knockoff, isn’t it?  And for only a tenth of the price?  Sign me up.

Happy shopping!  

*Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I What I Wore, Pumps & Push Ups for Oh, Hey Girl! Link-Up, The Mummy ChroniclesTucker UpShopping My Closet for Style Me Wednesday, Classy Yet Trendy for Trendy Wednesday Link-Up, Shay for Workin' It Wednesday, Shelly for Royally Waiting, The Blended Blog and Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Y’all know me… when it comes to dinner, I like quick and easy!  I actually got this recipe from Brian’s momma many years ago and I have been making it ever since.  It’s one of the few recipes that the entire family loves, picky Jacob and Olivia included! 

If you’re a person who doesn’t like spicy foods, don’t let the word Cajun scare you away!  This dish can be served as spicy or as mild as you like it… all you have to do is use more or less of the Cajun seasoning.  Our kids do not like anything spicy so I stick to the non-spicy version even though I love a bit of heat!  

Buy It

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, washed
Cajun seasoning
Olive oil
16 oz. box Rotini noodles (I used the tri-color rotini, hence the multiple colors)
Water to boil noodles
1 jar alfredo sauce (I love Newman's Own Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce)
1 tomato, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Make It

1.    Sprinkle chicken on both sides with garlic, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning and slice into bite sized pieces.

2.    Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil to a skillet and heat to medium-high heat.

3.    Once the skillet is hot, add all chicken pieces, and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  Be sure to stir often so the chicken doesn’t burn.  Once completely cooked, remove from the burner and set aside.

4.    In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook noodles according to the box instructions.

5.    When noodles are done, drain and pour in a large baking dish.

6.    Pour alfredo sauce over the noodles and stir until noodles are completely covered.

7.    Stir bite-sized chicken pieces in with the noodle and sauce mixture.

8.    Sprinkle diced tomatoes over the top of the dish.

9.    Sprinkle green onions over the top of the dish.

10. Top with parmesan cheese.

11. Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes or until cheese is bubbly and brown.

I like to serve this with a side, preferably a green.  On this evening we enjoyed ours with fresh steamed green beans and it was delish!

This one is always a real crowd pleaser!

Let me know what you think!

*This post may contain affiliate links.

And now it's time for the Tuesday Talk Link Up!

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day Weekend

We had such a great weekend and there’s a lot to recap, so I’ll just get straight down to business!

We kicked off Mother’s Day weekend with Muffins with Mom at Olivia’s school.  She was thrilled that I got to drop her off (usually Brian takes her) and she was even more thrilled that I got to stay for a little bit.  We ate a yummy breakfast of strawberry muffins and fruit, and then each of the moms was presented with a yellow rose and a bag full of handmade goodies – a pot holder with Olivia’s handprint, a card with another handprint, and a sweet little picture of her with a little Mother’s Day quote.  My heart was just bursting by the time I left and got to work!  And I even had time to swing by Starbucks and grab a little early Mother’s Day treat on the way.  Not too shabby for a Friday morning!

B was out of town for the state tennis tournament all weekend so I was flying solo Friday evening with the kiddos.  I picked them both up from school, grabbed some CFA to go (so we could beat the rain), and headed home for a low-key evening in.  When I walked in the house, the first thing that I saw was a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers on the kitchen table in place of our regular fake bouquet.  B had left those for me as well as an Oreo candy bar to try since he wasn’t going to be around all weekend.  And he also left me a sweet note on our board that we have in the kitchen. 

Jacob had also made me a sweet little Mother’s Day gift in his extended day class Friday… how cute is this?  We are celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with him this morning at school and I surely can’t wait!

The rest of the evening consisted of tidying up, cleaning out book bags – just look down below at the picture of school work that Jacob brought home – and lazing around on the couch with the babies.  Jacob scrolled through Netflix forever trying to find something to watch, and he and Olivia ended up settling on Fantasia.  Honestly, I was never a big Fantasia fan growing up, and I didn’t think that it would hold their attention either, but guys, they were hooked immediately! 

Once they were in the bed, I curled up on the couch with a glass of wine and turned on an old girly movie favorite – How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days!  I had to take advantage since Hubs was gone.  Not that he minds watching girly movies… sssshhhh.  You didn’t hear that from me.  ;o)

Saturday we had a storm roll through at about 5:30 so I was awakened by the kids at 6:40.  I finally dragged myself out of bed a little after 7 and decided to go ahead and take full advantage of the early morning.  I did aaaallll the laundry (literally), and the kids and I got the entire house tidy. 

The weather had turned positively gorgeous by the evening which was nice, because we headed over to my aunt and uncle’s house for my uncle’s 50th birthday and my cousin’s 24th birthday.  The kids spent the entire evening attached to my cousin, Shelby.  They splashed their little tootsies in the water practically all evening while all of the adults sat around on the back porch. 

My cousin brought his girlfriend home to meet the family, and Olivia took to her immediately.  She has been a gymnast her entire life.  She competed at UGA when she was at school there, and now she works for the athletic department at UGA.  Olivia was so excited when she found out because she has been begging us to put her in “nastics” so when she found out that Cat was a gymnast, she went crazy!  Cat did a few handstands and cartwheels for them in the grass, and then the kids wanted her to help them learn to do them, too. 

We ended up staying out way past the kids’ bedtimes, so by the time we got home they were both exhausted which resulted in a bit of whining on Jacob’s part, but thankfully the routine was quick and easy and they both passed out within minutes.  I watched a couple of episodes of Friends and then called it a night myself.

Sunday morning the kiddos were up at 6:50 again.  Sigh.  So I took advantage of another early morning and I got the last load of laundry washed, a cake baked for Sunday evening dinner, and I got a couple of projects out of the way that I had been wanting to finish (hello, kids’ baby books!)

During breakfast I mentioned that we were going to Nana and Poppie’s to celebrate Mother’s Day and all of a sudden Jacob had a deer in the headlights look and he shouted, “MOMMY!  CAN YOU PLEASE OPEN THE GATE??  I HAVE TO GO GET SOMETHING FROM UPSTAIRS!”

He then came back down holding two Mother’s Day cards – one from B and one from he and Olivia.  And he had written his own little message all by himself.  B had hidden them somewhere upstairs and told Jacob where to find them and to remember to give them to me on Sunday.  Such a sweet little surprise!

We headed to my MIL’s for lunch, but B was still out of town so he wasn’t able to make it.  After lunch, we went out to the garden to see a turtle that my MIL had caught just a little bit before we had arrived.  She wanted the kiddos to be able to see it, so she had put him in a big bucket with a little bit of water.  We walked down to the lake behind her house to let him go, and the kids loved it.  I wrangled them right before we left to make them take some Mother’s Day pictures with me and this was the best we got.  My sister-in-law had to yell out, “TURTLE POOP!” to get them to smile for the picture.  Worked like a charm.  Lol.

Friday afternoon I made a new letter board… this one might be my favorite one yet!  Lol.

And my Mom also sent me this.

Hahahaha.  Classic!

Sunday evening my uncle’s girlfriend (who always eats with us on Sundays at my parents’ house) grilled out hot dogs and burgers and all the fixins for dinner so my Mom wouldn’t have to cook on Mother’s Day.  So sweet! 

We then drove to my parents’ house because my uncle and she had gotten Jacob and Olivia a new toy to play with.  It was this thing that you shoot up in the air and it lights up, so we wanted to be able to play with it in the huge field behind my parents’ house so it didn’t get stuck in a tree or on somebody’s roof. 

The kids had a BLAST!

And we couldn't let the day go by without taking a few pictures of the mothers... I'm so blessed to be a part of this family!  Four generations here!

That rounded out our weekend and now today its back to reality.  I was so sad that B wasn’t here all weekend, but he made it back late Sunday afternoon and was able to spend the last half of the day with us so that was nice.

All in all, another fantabulous Mother’s Day!  I couldn’t ask for more.  I really couldn’t.  I’m so thankful for my people.

*Linking up with B Loved Boston for WeekendingMy Glittery Heart for Hello Monday,  More Pieces of Me for Hello Monday Linkup, and HoHo Runs for Weekly Wrap.