Thursday, March 22, 2018

Confessions {3.22.2018}

Remember when I used to do weekly Thursday confessions?  Yeah, me neither because it’s been so long!  Ha!  I always have fun with these posts and I have been missing them, so here’s a good ol’ fashioned confessions post for you on this Thursday.

I confess…

… that I have been loving everything about being a stay at home mom these last few months, but it is really lonely sometimes.  I’ve always been the type of person who loves solitude and I really enjoy my own company (that doesn’t sound conceited at all – haha!), but goodness gracious after months on end it gets lonely.  I definitely miss the daily interaction and camaraderie with my old work peeps.  I think I might start talking to myself before long!  Haha.

… that since I haven’t been getting that daily adult interaction, I have been feeling one of two ways by the evening.  A) I say all. the. things. to B as soon as he walks in the door… I literally fill him in on every single detail of my day and talk his ear off for the rest of the night.  Or B) I’ve been quiet for so long that I become conditioned and I barely talk all evening.

… that I have talked on the actual phone more during these last few months than I have in the last ten years probably.  Lol.  I have pretty much always been a texter since texting became popular, but since I’ve been alone during the day I’ve been talking on the phone more often and when somebody calls me I end up talking forever.  Adrienne and I talked for almost an hour the other day… I can’t even tell you the last time I talked to somebody on the phone for an hour!  It’s probably been years!

… that our kids get out for the summer in just two months and I’m not remotely where I wanted to be in my cleaning out and simplifying process yet.  My goal was to have the entire house done by the time they got out for summer, but it’s taking so much longer than I expected so I’m thinking it may not quite be done by then.

… that I’m a little nervous about being home with both kids 24/7 for almost three months straight.  Yes, I realize that sounds really weird since they are my kids and all, but remember, I’ve always worked full-time, so aside from maternity leave, I’ve never spent a huge chunk of time with them without a break.  And most of my large chucks of time off with them have been for vacation so B is always with us.  My first real taste of what summer will be like was Christmas break when I was with them for almost three weeks.  It was definitely great, but I’ll admit it was nice to have a break when they went back to school.  Patience is not my strong suit and they are both at very lively ages (to put it nicely – LOL), so this summer could be interesting.  That said, I’m also really thrilled to be home with them for so long, too.  It is going to be so much fun being able to have a traditional summer!

… that the hardest thing about not working has been not being able to buy stuff that I want when I want it, and also feeling guilty when I do spend money.  I’ve made my own money since I was 12 when I started washing cars, cleaning our neighbors’ houses, and baby-sitting and then I got a “real job” as soon as I turned 16.  It’s really unsettling knowing that I’m not bringing anything to the table financially and I’m having a really hard time getting past it.  I've been holding out for so long there is a ton of stuff that I want... good thing my birthday is coming up!  

Whew, it feels so good to get all of my thoughts out!  I think I need to bring these posts back at least monthly!

Happy, happy Friday Eve!

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Perfect Tunic (and It's Under $16)

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I have become a leggings and tunics kind of girl during these last couple of years, and lately more than ever I have found myself reaching for them.  I most definitely am one of those girls who feels like your hiney should be covered if you’re wearing leggings, so a tunic is pretty much the only way to go.  Basic tunics are actually pretty hard to find, and I have only ever found good quality tunics at boutiques, which meant that they were pretty pricey. 

Some of you may remember that I found these tunics last fall and I posted all about their glory.  I just wanted to pop in today to share how they’re holding up, and I also wanted to share a couple of pictures of myself in the tunic so you can see exactly how they fit.  I had planned on doing this post a few months back and I completely forgot about it until I came across the pictures that I had taken after several readers requested to see the actual fit on a real person.  #Whoops

Overall I have been SO PLEASED with these.  I have this one in dusty pink, ivory, and mustard and they have all held up well.  The instructions state not to wash them in the washing machine so I do soak them in the sink in Woolite to clean, and then I lay them flat to dry.  Sometimes I pop them in the dryer for the last 15-20 minutes of drying to dewrinkle them and that also actually seems to help them keep their shape. 

I don’t like tunics that are so long they end up looking like dresses, and that is the main reason I love these.  They are the absolute perfect length!  I also love that the sleeves are fitted because that keeps them from looking too frumpy.  And I love the rounded edges at the bottom… it gives them a bit of “shape” instead of them just hanging there.  I am 5'5" and I ordered them in a medium, but I also think that a small would have worked as well.

They come in 42 colors and patterns so there are loads to choose from, and they are very lightweight which makes them perfect for transitioning from winter to spring.  They can be worn with leggings and flats or sandals on warmer days and they can be worn with leggings, a scarf, boots, and a sweater on colder days.  You can basically wear them year round.

They all qualify for Amazon Prime with free two-day shipping and they are normally priced at just $15.99 each, but Amazon has had them on sale recently as well so a lot of the time you can get an even better deal.  As a matter of fact, they were actually only $12.47 each last week when I typed this post!  That’s just crazy.

Load up, friends!  And while you're at it, grab some of these leggings.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Our Weekend - The One with the Disney Announcement

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Well, the cat’s out of the bag!  After months and months of keeping the big secret, B and I told the kids this weekend that we’re going to Disney World!  Let’s back up…

Friday, I spent the afternoon preparing for the big announcement.  Jacob can read now, so I thought it would be fun to do the following…

In a really small box I wrapped up the words, “We are…”

In a medium size box I wrapped up the words, “going to…”

Then in a large box I wrapped up the words, “Disney World!!” with a few Disney themed gifts for each of them – personalized shirts to wear in the park, some Mickey and Minnie ears, and autograph books for each of them to take with us. 

Once everything was ready to go, it was business as usual for the rest of the day.  I finally finished cleaning out and reorganizing my office closet.  Remember this?

Well, today it looks like this!

I purged so much stuff, y’all!  Every single thing that is now gone from my closet wasn’t moved anywhere else in the house… it was all recycled, trashed, or tossed in the yard sale pile.  That is a HEAP of stuff that’s gone and it feels SO GOOD.  Before, my closet was literally filled from floor to ceiling with old keepsakes – papers, clothes, stuffed animals, books, toys, school stuff, and other special mementos – and now all of my keepsakes fit in three of those green boxes on the left side of the closet and three of the clear boxes on the right side.  Green is for “stuff” and clear is for “papers.”  One of those clear boxes is my box of old school papers from this post.  Remember that?

Anyway, I now have plenty of room for other things like my box of gifts that I keep on hand for emergency situations that arise where we may need a gift, my card box, my photography equipment, my photo props, and a few miscellaneous office items that I had no space for like my paper cutter.  The best part is that there’s SO MUCH EMPTY SPACE!  Woo hoo!  As always, you can follow along with me in real-time on my simplifying journey on Instagram stories.  I’ve been slacking a little lately, but after Easter it’s going to be really ramping up when I start cleaning out rest of the house.  Three rooms down, a billion more to go!

So anyway, back to our weekend!  The weather was warm and cloudy on Friday and the kids requested to go to the downtown playground after school so we did just that!  We played for a good 45 minutes and then headed home to make some homemade Rice Krispy Treats.  B picked up pizza on the way home from work, we toasted with a couple of his 40th birthday beers, and then it was time to tell the kiddos the big news! 

Jacob opened the first gift and said, “We are… we are what?”  And we told him to go ahead and open the second gift.  “Going to… where?  Where are going??”  So we told him to open the third gift.  When he read it he screamed it out, “DISNEY WORLD!!!!”  and both of them went wild!!  They pulled out all of their new goodies and the look on their faces was priceless.  I got the whole thing on video and B took a few pictures.  Most of the pictures are blurry and the lighting is whack, but they are pictures I will cherish forever.  Just look at their little faces!

They pored over their new autograph books for a while after that.  I bought these character encyclopedias from Amazon so each of the characters can sign their pictures in their books, and I hope they will end up being special keepsakes for each of them to remember their first trips to the happiest place on earth. 

Once they were done looking at their books, they put on their new shirts and ran around the yard for a bit while B and I sat on the back porch.  Then we all went inside, ate some of our Rice Krispy Treats, and watched Disney World videos on YouTube for the rest of the evening to show them what they have to look forward to!  It was such a sweet evening.  

When I was cleaning out Jacob’s school folder that evening I came across this travel bucket list that he had just brought home from school:

How appropriate, right?!

Saturday was filled with cleaning, a bit of relaxing, and Jacob’s third soccer game.  They tied 4-4, which ended up being a good thing considering we were down most of the game.  Just in the last couple of minutes of the game, we managed to make a crazy comeback and score two goals to tie it up.  Whew!

Saturday evening we went to church and then headed to Longhorn for dinner with my extended family.  Two of my cousins were in town so we wanted to go out to celebrate my Mama Cass’s birthday a bit early so we had a large party.  The hostess failed to ask us if it was okay for our party to be split up and B, Me, Jacob, and Olivia ended up having to sit at a table by ourselves away from everyone else.  I was pretty peeved because we didn’t get to spend any time with my family and I had been looking forward to it all day.  Since we were on our own, we told the waitress to just treat us as a separate party (since we were anyway) and then we just ate and left.  It was a pretty disappointing experience and I don’t think I’ll be going back to Longhorn any time soon.  I'm gonna be honest, that whole situation pretty much ruined the whole evening for me, so the rest of the evening was spent getting the kids in bed and then I fell asleep on the couch while B watched some TV.

Sunday morning we got up, made some homemade chocolate chip waffles with chia seeds hidden inside (fist bump, fellow mommas) and then I spent the whole morning going through the MASSIVE mound of crap in our bedroom, sorting, pricing, and boxing and bagging things up to take to my MIL’s for our yard sale. 

She has been storing all of her yard sale stuff in their garage and she said we could bring some stuff over, so we got LOADS of stuff out of our house AND I’M SO FLIPPING EXCITED TO HAVE IT GONE.  #ByeFelicia  Whatever doesn’t sell in the yard sale will not be coming back… it will be heading straight to our church donation center.

We literally filled the back of Brian’s SUV to the tippy top and we still have more to take over there.  And that’s only from three rooms in the house – my office, Jacob’s room, and Olivia’s room.  I haven’t even cleaned out the playroom or any of our closets or other rooms yet.  EEKS.  Just look at her garage!

We celebrated my MIL’s birthday at lunch and then the kids played in the back yard.  Olivia dug in the dirt and picked up bugs and Jacob and Brian played soccer.  Olivia was excited because she got to go pick “sea lions” AKA dandelions.  Lol.  Another funny quote from her on Sunday as she was getting ready – “Since it’s gonna be warm, can I wear macaroni sleeves?”  AKA spaghetti straps.  LOLOLOLOL.  Never a dull moment with this girl, I tell ya!

Sunday evening was spent hanging with my fam at my parents’ house.  Momma made chicken tetrazzini (a long-time fave) and we all sat around the table for the rest of the evening with some wine and some good conversation.  Oh how we love Sundays!

This week is going to be bonkers and I’m going to be doing #AllTheThings to prepare for our trip so wish me luck! 

But first, TORNADOS. 

Y’all, I can’t with this weather today.  Y’all know how I feel about scary weather.  And I’m ALONE now since I don’t work.  Please keep us – mostly just me so I don’t have a heart attack, LOL – in your prayers.

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*Linking up with B Loved Boston for Weekending and HoHo Runs for Weekly Wrap.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Five on Friday - My Birthday Wish List

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Happy Friday!  My birthday just happens to be right around the corner (April 5), so today I’m sharing my birthday wish list.  Since we’re now a one income family I haven’t been shopping for myself much as of late, so there are quite a few things on the list this year! 

O N E – For the Home

Sit-to-Stand Work Station – All of you who have been reading my blog for some time now may know that I have low back/pelvic problems and the number one thing that causes pain and irritation is sitting.  I often can’t sit more than 30 minutes without my pain kicking in.  When I had my corporate job, they provided me with a stand-up work station and it worked WONDERS for my body.  My pain significantly lessened during that last year that I was there.  Now that I’m at home, I’m not at a computer as often as I was when I worked, but I do still spend a few hours on it each day and my overall pain level has definitely increased because of it.  This is the number one item on my list for my birthday and this one is PERFECT.  I love that it will cover the entire surface of my desk so I can just leave my monitor and keyboard on it and still adjust it from sitting to standing within seconds!

Dot & Bo Benzara 10 Inch Silver Metal Tray with Mirror – My mother-in-law bought a gorgeous serving tray for me for my birthday last year and I love it so much that I want one similar for my office.  The one that I have is 15 inches in diameter which is too large for the space in my office, so I put out feelers on Instagram stories since I was having trouble finding a smaller version, and my girl Jess at The Newly found exactly what I’m looking for.  I want this one so bad!!  

Portable Bluetooth Speaker with FM Radio – I love to listen to Elvis Duran and/or Bobby Bones in the morning while I work, and I need a small radio for my office.  Yes, I know I can listen to them on iHeart Radio (which is what I have been doing for the last 3 months), but I don’t like that there is such a long delay and I also don’t like hearing local commercials for New York.  Haha.  Plus, it drains my phone battery terribly.  So yes, call me old school, but I want a radio!

TV for my office – I haven’t had much luck finding exactly what I’m looking for online, but my requirements are as follows: I want it to be pretty small (like 13-19 inches), I want to be able to watch local channels, I want to be able to watch Netflix, and I would like for it to have a built-in DVD player.  :o)

Crate & Barrel Camille Champagne Flutes, Set of 4 – B and I rarely drink champagne, but every household should have some decent champagne flutes in case a special occasion arises!  I am completely obsessed with my Camille wine glasses from Crate & Barrel, so it’s only fitting that I own a set of four of these Camille champagne flutes as well!  They are just stunning.

Young Living Essential Oils Premium Starter Kit with Dew Drop Diffuser – I keep saying that I’m going to start oiling, and one of these days I will, but can somebody please tell me why oh why they are so expensive?!

T W O – Clothes

Zella Live-In Leggings Knock-Offs, Black & Blacked Pearl 2-pack, Size Medium – I’ve heard amazing things about these and they are a third of the price of the Zellas, plus I just need more leggings, so gimme all of these!

Old Navy High-Rise 7/8-Length Lattice-Hem Yoga Leggings, Blue, Size Medium – I took a random poll a while back and a lot of ladies said that Old Navy’s leggings are pretty great as well.  I love these blue leggings to change it up since most of mine are black.   

Old Navy Jersey-Knit Sleeveless Swing Dress, Robbie Red, Size Small – These are my absolute favorite dresses for summer and I love this one because it’s Georgia red!  This is perfect for the early months of football season when it’s still blazing hot!

Athleta Open Back Flexlight Top, Black Heather, Size Small – I have this top in white and it is one of my favorite tops EVER!  I always find myself reaching for this one work-out days.  I’ve gotten to where I don’t want to wear anything else!

Athleta Fully Focused Bra, White, Size Small – One thing I have always always splurged on is bras and sports bras.  I’m usually a Victoria’s Secret girl, but I’ve heard great things about this one.  Since I love my Athleta top so much it makes me want to try more of their stuff!  And I currently only have one decent sports bra, so I’m in desperate need of another one!

T H R E E – Shoes

Target Emery Espadrille Sandals – Universal Thread, Taupe, Size 7.5 – Love love love these wedges for summer! 

Hunter Original High Gloss Boot, Pink, Size 8 – Y’all, I realize this is excessive since I already have one pair of Hunter boots, but I love them so much and wear them so much (and probably will for the rest of my life) that I really, really want these pink ones, too.  They’re sold out everywhere in my size, though, (waaaahhhh) but I’m keeping them on my list for future reference in case they ever come back in stock.  And I want the PINK ones, not bright pink.

F O U R – Books

Emily Giffin – All We Ever Wanted, Hardcover – she is my favorite author of all time so I purchase every single one of her books!  I’m so excited for this one… it’s long overdue!

Sophie Kinsella – Surprise Me, Hardcover – another one of my favorite authors and she has a new book!

F I V E – Gift Cards

Happy Friday, y’all!

*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.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Girl Chat - Easter Baskets

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Easter is right around the corner so today I’m sharing a few of our favorite Easter basket ideas.  These gifts are for boys and girls, and they are fun for the kids while most are also practical at the same time!

Books – Books are the quintessential Easter basket staple.  When the kids were smaller we loved filling their baskets with fun board books about Easter like this one and this one, but now that they’re getting older, we are also adding books about the things that they love.  Jacob learned a little bit about the Titanic in school a few weeks ago and he has been talking about it nonstop since.  We bought this book all about the Titanic because it’s directed toward children just slightly older than his age group.  I know he’s going to love it.  He is also obsessed with The Magic Tree House book series, and they just so happen to have a book about the Titanic as well, so that one will be in his basket, too.  Plus it doubles as an AR book so it’s not only fun, it will come in handy at school.  #Winning

Legos – In our house you just can’t go wrong with them, and the smaller sets are perfect for Easter baskets.  Jacob is getting this set here this year, and we love it because it’s a 3 in 1 deal so you can make three things with the same set!  Olivia is just getting into Legos as well, and she’ll be receiving this set… you can’t go wrong with Anna and Elsa!

DVDs/Blurays – These always make the perfect Easter basket stuffer because they’re small, but they pack a punch!  Jacob will be receiving the Lego Ninjago Bluray in his basket this year, and we also love giving any of the Disney movies that we don’t have to add to our collection.

Leap Pad Games – The kids each have their own Leap Pad and they are definitely one of the best purchases we’ve ever made for our kids!  Jacob has had his for years and his love for it is still going strong, and Olivia is still loving hers after having it for a couple of years.  The Leap Pad games are always fun, but they’re educational so we don’t have to feel bad letting them have a little bit of screen time here and there.  Some of our kids’ favorite games are Trolls, Frozen (which is currently only $5.99!!!!), Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and so many others.

Spring/Summer Top or Dress – A good new top for summer is always a fun and practical addition.  Jacob is really in to graphic tees and superhero tees, so he always loves a new fun shirt like this one while Olivia always loves a new dress.  Last year she received a floral maxi dress in her Easter basket and that dress will forever be known as the dress that the Easter Bunny brought.  This year she’s getting this dress and this dress in her basket.

Swim Trunks/Swim Accessories – This has always been one of my favorite things to put in baskets because Easter unofficially kicks off warm weather time in my mind.  This is the perfect way to gear up for it!  These trunks are so cute for a boy, and look at this sweet little swim suit for girls!  And y'all, this one is a watermelon!  OMG!

Summer FootwearFlip flops, new sandals, or even Natives are perfect for Easter baskets.  We just got Olivia these milk pink Natives and they are going to go with everything!  And y'all, Amazon has loads of different colors for only $35!!!!  That's way cheaper than getting them at Nordstrom!  Load up!

Miscellaneous Odds and EndsSidewalk chalk, bubbles, squirt guns, water beads, and other small outdoor fun items are always perfect, as well as fun flavored chap sticks, stick-on earrings, slap bracelets, and Hot Wheels cars. 

Candy – We try to limit candy in Easter baskets because we know that they will receive candy from Easter egg hunts and grandparents, but I do usually like to pop one or two little treats in there.  It wouldn’t be an Easter basket without it, in my opinion!  We always love those gummy character lollipops from Target or some kind of traditional Easter candy like Reeses eggs or Easter Kit Kats.

And that’s that, y’all!  Almost everything for our baskets is already purchased… all I have to do is put them together when the time comes!

What was your favorite thing to receive in your Easter basket when you were little?

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