Monday, June 25, 2018

Summer 2018 (Week 4) - VBS & Swimming Lessons

Another busy week has just flown by and I’m really looking forward to more downtime this week as we don’t have much scheduled for the upcoming week.

Monday, June 18

Monday we were up bright and early to get the kids ready for their first day of Vacation Bible School!  This was Jacob’s second year attending and Olivia’s first.  VBS was from 9 AM – 12 PM, so that also meant three spare hours for me to get some stuff done!  Both of the kids did well at drop-off.  A lot of Jacob’s school friends were there so he eased right on in, but Olivia was a little shy since she didn’t know anyone.  I was able to leave without her crying or putting up a fight, though, so that made me happy!  I know at least a few of the kids who were at VBS with her this week will be in her class in the fall at school, so hopefully that will make the transition to her new school a little easier.

After I dropped the kids at VBS I could not get to the gym fast enough… I was SO EXCITED!  I do work out at home a good bit, but I hadn’t been to the gym since the third week of May and it was long overdue.  I was worried I was going to struggle with my workout, but I easily rocked my 3.6 mph on an 11 incline for 30 minutes with a 5 minute cool-down.  I think I burned more calories this time than ever!  For the remainder of VBS I dropped the last of the yard sale leftovers at the donations center, did some laundry, and worked on some blog catch-up, and before I knew it, it was time to go get the kids.  Three hours flies fast when you’re on “me” time!

After VBS, we rushed home and the kids had a lunch of leftover pizza and strawberries, and then it was time to get dressed and head to swimming lessons.  Swimming lessons lasts for two weeks, and this was week two.  Both of the kids did well.  Olivia finally stopped crying, but she still wasn’t remembering to kick her legs so Mrs. Joni worked extra hard with her that day.

The kids are always pretty exhausted after swimming lessons, so when they came home, they changed out of their wet suits and I let them watch TV for a bit while they rested on the couch.



Tuesday, June 19

Tuesday was almost identical to Monday – up early for VBS, me at the gym, doing laundry, and doing some blog work, pick up from VBS, and then home for lunch.  The kids had sandwiches, cheese puffs, and blackberries for lunch, and then we headed to swimming lessons.  It was so HOT Tuesday that I thought I was going to have to jump in the pool myself.  Whew!  The kids watched TV again after lessons while I worked a little bit, and that was our Tuesday.






Wednesday, June 20

VBS for the kids first thing, but I skipped the gym because I had to go get my allergy shot and pick up some more medicine for my stupid allergies.  I was still feeling pretty bad Wednesday so I had to get something to help alleviate some of the symptoms.  B took a half day at work Wednesday so he could take the kids to swimming lessons because I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon that I couldn’t miss, so he met us at home for lunch.  The kids had hot dogs and bananas, and then they all headed off to swimming lessons while I headed to the doctor.  It was another hot day so I was a little thankful to get a reprieve from the heat for a day!  :o)

Thursday, June 21

Thursday while the kids were at VBS, I took my car for a much-needed oil change.  I’m supposed to get it changed when the light comes on at 15% for the oil life, and my car was already down to 5%.  Sheesh.  The kids were extra excited when I picked them up from VBS on this day and they were all a chatter about what they learned.  We went home and had chicken nuggets, sweet potatoes, and blueberries for lunch and then it was off for more swimming lessons.  Jacob was so comfortable in the water at this point that he was pretty much just wanting to do his own thing… he was only interested in diving for the little toy truck that they had.  Haha.  And Olivia finally made lots of progress and she finally started kicking those legs really well! 

When swimming lessons were over, I took them for a little treat.  We went to Chick-Fil-A (through the drive-thru since the kids were wet) and got milkshakes!  Jacob opted for strawberry (which I thought was an odd choice for him), Olivia grabbed chocolate (typical), and I grabbed vanilla (also typical), and Jacob ended up not loving his strawberry shake.  I felt so bad that he didn’t like it!  Next time he’ll be getting the cookies and cream one, I’m sure!





Friday, June 22

Friday was the last day of VBS so after I dropped the kids I went home to try to accomplish #ALLTHETHINGS, but three hours is just not a lot of time when your to-do list is a mile long, so I ended up heading to pick them up still feeling behind.  Oh well!  There’s always tomorrow!

Friday afternoon the kids had turkey rolls, cheese, strawberries, Goldfish, graham crackers, and Greek yogurt for lunch (a little bit of everything), and then it was our last day of swimming lessons.  Jacob was super comfortable and swimming the entire length of the pool by the time it was over, and Olivia was way more comfortable and swimming the entire width of the pool by the time it was over.  She still doesn’t kick her legs as much as she should but she made some serious progress!  All in all, swimming lessons 2018 was a success!

The rest of the day was spent relaxing at home.  The kids watched a couple of shows when we got home and I finished reading my book, and then when B got home from work we all headed out for Mexican for dinner.  We came straight home afterward because the kids were pretty whooped and we watched The Incredibles.  The kids had never seen it, so we had to get them primed and ready for Incredibles 2!  I hope to take them to see it at the theater soon! 


During the movie we had a MASSIVE storm blow through.  It poured and thundered and lighteninged (is that a word?) so much I was worried the power was going to go out.  It did flicker once, but fortunately ours stayed on.  A quick check of our local news station’s coverage showed that the storm was packing hail (although we didn’t see any at our house) and 60 mph winds.  Yikes.  We were fortunate not to have any damage, but lots of people around town did.  The top of my parents’ tree fell on their driveway where their car is normally parked, but fortunately they weren’t home at the time.  They were without power until 3:30 AM, so I was thankful we weren’t in their boat!

After the storm was over we put the kids to bed and when I walked out of Jacob’s room, the inside of our entire house was bathed in hot pink.  It looked so odd that I went downstairs and stepped outside, and I saw one of the most gorgeous sunsets I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  The storm clouds were in the process of moving out so half of the sky was bright hot pink and orange like this:




And then when I turned to the east, it looked like this:


Dark and ominous where the end of the storm was heading away.  And I didn't edit those pictures not one bit.  Those colors were really that vibrant!

I stayed outside and took it all in for a few more minutes, and then B and I spent the rest of the evening catching up on some TV from the week – like Dave Matthews Band on Jimmy Fallon.  I had already watched it, but it was so funny I had to watch it again.  Dave and Jimmy are two of my favorite people and I love when they come together to do hilarious skits.



Saturday, June 23

Saturday morning I was feeling ambitious, so I made some homemade chocolate chip waffles for breakfast, and then after nine years in our home I finally decided to paint my master closet!  When we first built and moved in all those years ago I had every intention of painting the closet pretty quickly because I knew I didn’t want it to be that same color as the rest of the house.  I wanted it to be white.  Well, through the years I painted my office, the front sitting room, the dining room, Jacob’s bedroom (twice), Olivia’s bedroom, the play room, and the downstairs half bath, but never my closet. 

This weekend it was finally time, though!  While I don’t typically love white walls, I always knew I wanted a white closet because it looks so nice and bright and clean behind the colors upon colors of clothes and shoes and handbags.  I started at 9 AM and I finished up just before 4 PM.  I did stop to take a lunch break so it took about six hours to get the whole job done.  I think it took an hour just to get everything out because there was so much stuff!  It took two coats (which I expected), but man oh man was it a pain in the butt trying to paint around and behind all of the shelves on the walls!  We weren’t able to remove them before painting because I was worried it would weaken them, so I just did the best I could working around them.  One of these days I’d love to have custom wood shelves built, but that’s another project for another day!

Anyway, here are the before pictures:



Here is during:



And here is the finished product! 


I FREAKING LOVE IT!!!!

We rushed off to church after I finished, and our priest gave one of the best homilies ever.  He’s leaving soon to go to another church and I’m so sad because he’s a really great guy and he always delivers a really great message. 


During church Jacob was complaining of a headache which I thought was really weird as that’s never happened before, and then toward the end he started saying his tummy hurt.  I was worried he was coming down with something, but he rallied shortly after and we ended up going to my grandmother’s for a family get together as planned. 

Everyone brought their own food – we grabbed a pizza – and everyone brought their own drinks – we grabbed some craft beers – and our whole family spent the evening hanging out together at my grandmother’s house.  She and my grandfather have lived in that same house since before my momma was born so I have been going to that house my whole life.  When I was little our entire family used to go over there nearly every Saturday night after church and I have the fondest memories playing with my cousins in the back room and popping out every now and then to eat some Wheat Thins with cream cheese or Bugles that my grandmother had left out.  We don’t go over there nearly as much as we used to, but I always love when we do.  <3  I also love that my babies love going over there as much as I did/do. 


Jacob didn’t eat very much at dinner and shortly after he was complaining that his tummy was hurting again, so B ran out to grab some childrens’ Pepto and that seemed to alleviate his pain for a bit.  He started going downhill shortly thereafter, and he pretty much just laid around all evening.  Just as we were leaving for the evening, he turned white as a sheet and he started crying and I thought for sure he was either going to be sick or pass out, but he didn’t.  We hightailed it outta there with a quickness after that to get him home because I was just sure he was coming down with a stomach virus, but when we got home he fell asleep in about ten seconds flat (literally) and he slept all night without a peep.  The only conclusion I could come to was that maybe he was mildly dehydrated.  I have no clue, but I was relieved that he didn’t have a tummy bug.  UGH.  Those are like death.

Sunday, June 24

Sunday morning Jacob was as good as new so we went about business as usual.  I spent the morning getting everything back in my closet and I started working on a new project for the closet that involved gold spray paint.  Then we all got ready and headed to my MIL and step-FIL’s for lunch.  They had fresh green beans, okra, carrots, blueberries, and cucumbers from the garden, and they made my favorite cheesy bites with jalapenos from the garden as well, along with some pork tenderloin and cheesy potatoes.  Man oh man, it was all fresh and delicious! 



After lunch we went out to the garden to eat some more blueberries off the bush, and we also picked a couple of cucumbers and green peppers for me to bring home for my salads!  Yum!  The kids bounced on the mini trampoline for a bit, and then we headed to Lowe’s to pick up a couple of hooks for our outdoor storage closet as well as a couple of new house plants.  I read that Pothos plants are easygoing and really hard to kill so I thought I would try my hand at a couple more live plants since I’ve kept my grandmother’s old plant alive for over a year now.

Sunday evening was spent at my parents’ house and it was the first time in a while that the whole gang was there together.  We’ve had someone missing (my uncle or his girlfriend) each week for the last couple of months, so it was nice to have everyone back together.  Momma and Daddy recently did a few kitchen updates – new counter tops and new paint, so I was really excited to see it.  It looks so nice!  Aaaand it REALLY has me itching to have white cabinets in the kitchen. 

When we built our house I wanted white cabinets, but I let the builder convince me to do the “trendy” thing and get the dark merlot stained cabinets instead.  I have regretted that decision every day for the last, ohhhh, 5-6 years.  I loved the trendy cabinets for several years in the beginning, but my love for them died pretty quickly.  Then when we added on across the back of our house in 2015, that took away a lot of the natural light from the back of the house, so now it’s SUPER dark in the kitchen and I can’t stand it.  SOMEBODY COME PAINT MY CABINETS WHITE!  PLEEEEASE? 

I’m just not doing it.  Been there done that.  And it ain’t fun!

Happy Monday, y’all!

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Five on Friday - Watermelon Dress, Books, Loose Tooth, & Coloring

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

Hello, Friday!  We’ve had yet another busy week!  The kids have been going to Vacation Bible School every morning and swimming lessons every afternoon so we have been on the road nonstop.  I used each morning of VBS to go the gym (PRAISE!), run errands, get my oil changed, and get my allergy shot… AKA all of the boring stuff I didn’t want to have to drag the kids to.  I’m really looking forward to a lighter calendar next week.  Now for some favorites from this week…

O N E – Cutest Summer Dress

Nothing says summer like watermelons!  I was at Target the other day with the kids and there was no way I could pass up this cute little dress!  Watermelons and pompoms?  Well, I think that makes it quite possibly the cutest little girl summer dress ever!  I love that we can dress it up for church or down for every day wear.  And it’s only $14.99!



T W O – This Book

I am on a reading kick since it’s summer, and I was able to read an entire book and a half at the beach.  I loved one of them so much I wanted to share it with you in case you’re looking for some recommendations for the summer.  I have only read two books by Mary Kay Andrews, and I thought the first one (Save the Date) was pretty good, but this second one that I just read (Ladies Night) was GREAT!  I was so into this book and I found myself not wanting to put it down.  It definitely turned me into an official Mary Kay Andrews fan and I can’t wait to read more!  Grab this one if you’re looking for a fun summer read!  It takes place in a beach town, too, so that was quite appropriate for our beach trip.

The book I’m reading right now is Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel, and I’m just not loving it.  I’m almost finished with it, but I’ve really had to dig deep to get through these last few chapters.  To me, the character development is not up to par so in the beginning I found myself flipping back to the beginning numerous times to see who was who.  The writing is also kind of blah as well, and worst of all, there are a few little excerpts between chapters (typed in italic) and sometimes I can’t even tell who is telling the story at that point.  It’s confusing.  I don’t enjoy having to put that much effort into something that I’m supposed to be reading for lighthearted summer fun, so I wouldn’t recommend this book.  It has pretty good reviews on Amazon, so maybe it's just me?



T H R E E – Jacob’s Second Visit from the Tooth Fairy

Jacob lost his first tooth a couple of weeks ago, and we knew a second one would be right behind it.  Sure enough, all last week it was pretty wiggly so last Sunday evening I had my grandmother look at it because I do not pull teeth.  She said that it was definitely ready to come out but Jacob declined her offer to pull it.  I think he was a little scared.  Well, Tuesday morning I was cleaning up after breakfast when Jacob shouted, “MOMMY, I JUST PULLED MY TOOTH!”  I was shocked and so was he.  Haha.  I asked him what prompted him to pull it and he said that he could feel one of the roots so he just lightly pulled to see what would happen and it just came right out.  If he hadn’t done that, we probably would have had another one go missing.  The tooth fairy visited that evening and I’m sure she was really excited to see an actual tooth (since he lost his first one and had nothing to put under his pillow).


F O U R – Olivia’s Coloring Method

I have actually been meaning to mention this on the blog for months, but I somehow always manage to forget.  For the 6-8 months (maybe longer) Olivia has been coloring everything in rainbow stripes.  She invented this method herself and she colors almost everything this way.  This picture that she colored below was her kids menu at Carrabba’s a few weeks ago.  She only had access to blue, green, and orange crayons, but she made it work!  I just think it is so creative of her and I’ve never seen a four-year old color like this before!  I don’t know how long this will last, so I had to document it just in case.  :o)


F I V E – Birthday Present Shopping for Jacob

*This section of the post is sponsored by Wikibuy. 

Jacob’s birthday is right around the corner so it’s about that time to start shopping.  He already has a list of things that he wants, so I am about to start looking around to find the best prices.  Have y’all ever heard of Wikibuy?  I just discovered them recently and they are perfect to use for situations like these.  You can search for products right on their website and they find the best deals and coupons on the internet right there in one place for you.  Since we are now a one-income family we are always looking for ways to save money, and using Wikibuy is one more way that we can do that!

Happy weekend, y’all!


*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday FavoritesMeet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday.




Thursday, June 21, 2018

Girl Chat - Favorite Hair Products

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

Welcome to another edition of Girl Chat!  Today we’re discussing our favorite hair products and we hope you’ll join us!

As I’ve mentioned here on the blog before, beauty products are not something that I typically splurge on, so my list of hair products are pretty basic.

Shampoo

My hair is extremely fine, so I’m constantly looking for products to boost volume.  I stumbled upon this Loreal Shampoo a few years ago and I could not love it more!  It truly does make my hair feel thicker!


The older I get, the dryer my scalp has gotten, so I have also recently started using the Dove Dermacare line and I love it so much as well!



Hair Spray

Even though my hair is long, I do still use hair spray every day.  It gives my hair some extra texture and protects it from the horrible humidity that we have here in the south.  I have been using this Pantene volumizing hair spray for years and it’s my favorite!!  It holds well, but it doesn’t make my hair stiff, and it still allows my hair to move naturally.



Brush

Y’all, if you don’t have a Wet Brush, drop what you’re doing and buy one this instant!!  It is a complete game changer, and I will never ever use another brush again as long as this one is in existence.  It’s pretty much magical and it just glides right through my long hair no matter how tangled it is.  I love mine so much that I bought one for Olivia.  And I actually prefer the paddlebrush to the standard brush because it even feels better than the standard brush.

The cheapest I’ve ever found it is right on Amazon!  They come in lots of different colors and they even have mini Wet Brushes that you can take in your purse!  Love love love!




Curling Iron

My hair gets curled every single day.  I use a 1.5-2 inch barrel curling iron to do a few big fat curls in my hair every morning just to give my hair some extra body.  My hair doesn’t actually look curly when I’m done, but without the curling iron it looks flat and downright gross.  I only buy a curling iron once every few years, so I don’t really have a loyalty to any particular brand, but this one right here is the one I have my eye on the next time I need one.



Hair Dryer

Because my hair is so fine, it needs all the help it can get, so I also have to blow dry my hair every day.  Since I have to dry it every single day, I like a hair dryer that works quickly, so I’m a big fan of the quick-dry hair dryers like this one.


See?  I’m a no-frills kind of gal!  One of these days I’d like to try a good hair texturizer since my hair is so fine and doesn’t hold a style, so if anybody has any suggestions, send them my way!

What are your must-haves for hair care?

And fine haired girls, what are your favorite hair products to thicken and volumize?? 


*Linking up with Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday.



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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

30A Beach Trip 2018 - Day 1

Earlier this month we spent five glorious days at the beach and I think it may have been my favorite of our family beach trips ever!  We take a family beach trip every single summer and we’ve always stayed in Panama City Beach, FL.  Back when the kids were smaller, we always went in late April during the off-season and it was always so lovely, but now that they’re in school our days of going in the off-season are over. 

For the last two years since Jacob has been on a structured school schedule, we went to the beach in June right when school let out for the summer.  However, we found that it was super crowded in PCB which meant that the kids never had ample room to play on the beach since we were always packed in like sardines with hundreds of other people.  This year, we decided to try to avoid the crowded areas so we stayed on the outskirts of Panama City Beach in Carillon Beach just across the bridge from 30A.  It could not have been a more perfect decision.

Our trip started Wednesday, June 6.  B worked a half-day and came home at lunch.  We all scarfed down some sandwiches really quickly when he arrived and then we hit the road since I had already packed the car that morning. 


The drive was easy and we arrived that afternoon just around check-in time.  The condo that we rented was in the cutest little neighborhood with brightly painted pastel houses and people were riding bicycles everywhere.  It was a quintessential beach town!  Our condo was ready by the time we arrived, so B grabbed the keys from the office and we went straight to unload the car. 


We rented a one bedroom condo right on the beach and we brought the kids’ sleeping bags along like we did last year.  B and I slept in the bedroom and the kids slept in their sleeping bags on the living room floor.  There was a sleeper sofa, but our kids love any chance to sleep in their sleeping bags, so that was fine with me!




Once the car was unloaded we walked out to the beach just behind our condo because the kids were begging to put their toes in the water.  The water looked a little browner than its typical gorgeous emerald green so I was a little bit worried that it would be like that for the whole trip, but fortunately it was a one-time thing.  There’s a lake just down from our condo that feeds into the ocean and apparently sometimes the lake water drifts down-shore toward our condo.  Fortunately that was the only day we had to worry about it and it was gorgeous as always for the remainder of the trip!


After the kids got their little toesies wet and sandy we loaded up in the car again to head into Panama City to eat at our favorite – Pineapple Willy’s!  We have eaten there every single trip since Jacob was 10 months old, and it’s one of our favorite traditions. 

Pineapple Willy’s is HUGE, but even though it was only 5 PM there was already a 20 minute wait, so the kiddos relaxed on a bench for a bit and then we toured around their gift shop as well while we waited.  Our table became available quickly and we were seated on the pier… no other way to eat there!  It was a gorgeous day and there was a wonderful breeze coming in from the ocean, so it was dinner perfection as always.  I was sad to see that they had changed their menu because they had done away with one of my favorite specialty drinks that I get there.  Since they no longer offered those, I had a Hurricane instead and it was delicious!





After dinner we stepped off of the pier onto that sugary white sand yet again for a sunset beach stroll.  The kids were dying to put their feet in the ocean again, and we ended up staying down there for a good hour or so just enjoying the breeze and watching the sun start to set.  While we were down there we saw two guys on motorized parasails.  Normally when you go parasailing you’re pulled behind a boat, but these parasails had jetpacks.  It was so crazy and a little scary.  Haha.












The very first year that we went to the beach after Jacob was born, I snapped this picture of Brian and him at this very spot, and we could not get Jacob to smile for anything. 

Since he wouldn’t smile, B made a serious face for the camera, too, and that has always been one of our favorite pictures.  Every now and then when we’re in that same spot B and Jacob like to recreate the picture.  Lol.


By then the sun had dipped lower in the sky so we knew it was about time to get going because we still wanted to take the kids for ice cream and we also had to stop by Publix to load up on groceries for the condo.  We let the kids play for a little longer and then it was time to go.







We had warned the kids not to get too wet since they were in their clothes and we still had places to go, but one of the two kids never listens and instead just does what she wants… I won’t mention any names.  Haha.  But this was her face when we started walking back toward the car and she realized that her dress was soaked up to her chest.



Life is just so tough sometimes.  Lol.

The next stop was at Pink Pelican Ice Cream Bar for dessert.  They make all kinds of delicious gourmet flavors so it’s always hard to choose what to get when we go.  B and I ended up going for the Carrot Cake ice cream and the kids both had Cotton Candy.  The Carrot Cake was divine, but it kind of reminded me of fall and Christmas so that was a little weird since we were on a summer beach trip.  Haha.  I tasted the kids’ cotton candy as well and I surprisingly loved it, too!



At the ice cream shop we sat outside, and we were treated to the most beautiful sky as the sun finally set.  It was streaked with pinks and peaches and purples and it was just spectacular.  God sure is the ultimate artist.


After our ice cream stop, we swung by Publix and I ran in to buy some essentials for the condo, and then it was back to our room to get unpacked and hit the hay… we had a big day of beaching the next day!! 

Day 2 will be coming in a few days so stay tuned…


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