Friday, March 29, 2019

Five on Friday - Chalkboard, School Happenings, Cardiologist, and an Announcement

*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.

Happy Friday, y’all!  We’re living it up in Atlanta for Spring Break this weekend, so be sure to follow along in my Instagram stories!

Now for some favorites from the last couple of weeks!

O N E – New Chalkboard

Since our year clearly started on the wrong foot, I decided to invite some good vibes into our home with a new chalkboard drawing.  I think I may just leave it up all year.   

T W O – Paper Straws

Two things I have loved since I was a little girl – the color pink (it has literally been my favorite since I was old enough to have a favorite color and I’ve never once strayed from it) and black polka dots on a white background.  I have been a sucker for both of these things my entire life… hence my branding here on the blog. 

Anyway, I found these paper straws on Amazon a while back and never shared them with you.  I finally got around to decorating with them this month, and I now have them in three different spots around my kitchen.  They’re cute, cheap, they add a fun little pop to any corner, and they’re functional, too.  And better for the environment than the dreaded plastic straws. 

T H R E E – Outdoor Time

After months of rain (literally) we’ve finally had a stretch of beautiful weather.  I’ve avoided the outdoors like the plague lately (because it literally is plaguing me with the ridiculous amounts of pollen) but we have been stepping out in the evenings a little bit more lately.  The kids have had several chances to ride their bikes, which is one of the things that I wanted to focus on this year.  They rarely ride, and everyone needs to learn how to ride a bike, so here we are!

F O U R – Themed Out of Uniform Days

The kids have had a couple of out of uniform days here in recent weeks.  They had book character day at school back on March 8.  Jacob decided to be Clark Kent, and he truly made the best Clark Kent ever!  And Olivia wanted to be Fancy Nancy.  She just so happened to have a costume already, so it worked out perfectly.

They were also out of uniform the Friday before St. Paddy’s Day and they were able to wear green.  Any excuse to be out of uniform, right?  I know I always loved those days!

F I V E – Third Quarter Awards

Both kids had their third quarter awards ceremonies last week!

Jacob was awarded with:

The Religion Award
The All Day Every Day Award (never missed any school)
The AR Award (for meeting his AR Goal)
Principal’s List (All A’s)
Top 5 AR student in his class

Olivia was awarded with:

The Religion Award
The All Day Every Day Award (never missed any school)

Since she’s only in Pre-K4 she doesn’t have the option to get any of the other awards quite yet.  :o)

S I X – Reader’s Theater

Jacob and Olivia both performed in plays last week for Read Across America.  Jacob’s class performed the book “I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More” by Karen Beaumont and he had a short speaking part by himself which he rocked.

Olivia’s class performed “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” and she was the bath tub.  Lol. 

Both skits were absolutely darling and I’m so thankful I was able to stay for all of it and see them both!

S E V E N – Sick Snuggles and a Day with My Girl

Last week, Olivia ran a fever on and off and we ended up having to keep her home on Thursday.  As much as I hated seeing her sick, I did enjoy getting to spend some time with her one on one.  We snuggled and watched TV when her fever was spiking and when she was feeling better we played several games, did a little bit of drawing (look at her house and cat down below!  The cutest!), painted her toenails, and played together.  She’s all better now for Spring Break, thankfully!

E I G H T – Cardiologist Appointment

Last Thursday, I had my appointment with the cardiologist.  If you’re new around here, it would be beneficial to go back and read this post to see why I had to meet with one in the first place.

The appointment was long.  I first met with a triage nurse who asked lots of questions, and then I met with a PA who grilled me for almost an hour about every single aspect of my health, my family’s health, and my lifestyle. 

Once she left, the cardiologist finally came in.  He asked me what had been going on, I told him about my episode from a couple of Fridays ago, and then he looked at me and said, “I know exactly what happened to you.  You had an esophageal spasm.”  He went on to say that his daughter suffers tremendously from spring and fall allergies and her two main symptoms are asthma and reflux.  Why reflux?  Because just as I thought, he said the two go hand-in-hand and they both exacerbate each other.  He said that she often had asthma and reflux issues and that her reflux has resulted in esophageal spasms on more than one occasion.  He said that the only thing she could do to alleviate her asthma and reflux was to move away to Denver to get away from the allergens here in Georgia.  He said ever since she moved away several years ago, she hasn't had one bit of trouble with asthma OR reflux.  Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but good to know it’s not my heart!

He said that he is going to do a stress test on my heart as a precautionary measure, but he said that he is certain everything is going to look totally normal.  I’m scheduled for April 15 and it’s going to take 4-6 hours and then we’ll go from there!

Now apparently I need to move to Denver where the air is cleaner!

N I N E – I Drank the Kool-aide

Now for the announcement…

Okay, y’all… I’ve been saying for years that I was going to do this and that day finally came earlier this month… I bought an essential oils starter kit from Young Living.  AND I FREAKING LOVE IT.

I have to say, I was so incredibly skeptical about oils and that’s why I waited two whole years before trying them.  During those two years I did lots of research and took lots of notes, and stalked some oils Instagram accounts so I was fully educated before taking the leap. 

Well, so far they are everything everyone says they are and more.  I’ve already had three amazing oils moments – one for TMJ, one for asthma, and one for reflux and I can’t even believe how impressed I am so far.  And I don’t just love them for fixing my ailments… they smell incredible, too.  Some of the scents are just instant pick-me-ups.

I love them so much that I have decided to try my hand at being a Young Living Distributor.  I know.  I honestly can’t believe it either.  But anyhoo, I’m currently in the earliest stages, so if you’re interested in delving in with me, just follow the instructions below.  There is serious money to be made if you're willing to put in the work.  You get $50 for every new member who purchases a starter kit from you plus many other commissions as well.  I mean, hello!!  

And if you’re not interested in selling, but you’re interested in trying the oils, we’d love to have you, too!  You can use the same instructions below to purchase. 

To enroll with our team, ORDER HERE, and make sure that the number 18293886 appears in both the "Enroller" and "Sponsor ID" fields.  Sign up as a member - this does not mean that you have to sell the oils, it just means that you are getting a starter kit and will therefore get 24% off retail prices.

Next you can choose to set up your Essential Rewards monthly autoship, we highly recommend this as a way to order those things you wish to have outside the kit and begin to cut toxins from your home with YL cleaning products & makeup.  If you are going to sell you will have to sign up for this anyway to secure all of your commissions.  
When you sign up as a wholesale member, you have the option of joining our private wellness group on Facebook, which is where you can learn everything you need to know about using your oils & connect with an amazing, inspiring community.  We have monthly business bootcamps & provide mentorship to everyone who joins our tribe!
The Premium Starter Kit comes with 12 oils: Stress Away, Raven, Digize, Valor, Thieves, Peace & Calming, Lemon, Frankincense, Peppermint, Lavender, Citrus Fresh and Panaway. It also comes with a diffuser (of your choice), Thieves Hand Purifier, Thieves Cleaner (my favorite!), 2 Ningxia Red drinks, and you'll also receive some oil swag in the mail from me!  :o)  The cost for the Premium Starter Kit is $165 (plus shipping), but is worth over $440!  

I promise not to spam y’all a ton on the blog with this because I know many of you aren't interested, but since it’s likely going to be a part of my life, I couldn’t not mention it here!  If you are interested, I'd love to have you along for the ride!

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 By BMG for High Five for Friday.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Planning and Organizing Blog Content

*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.

I don’t typically blog about blogging very much, but I’ve had several requests from readers to share how I plan my blog content.  Y’all know I love a good planning/organizing post, so I wasn’t going to turn that one down! 

Putting it simply, I use two tools to organize my blog content:

1. An Excel spreadsheet with different worksheets by category for all of my ideas
2. An Emily Ley Mini Notebook that holds my actual content calendar for the year 

The Excel Spreadsheet

The spreadsheet is stored on my laptop in my “Blog” folder and it is titled “Post Ideas.”  Simple, right? 

The spreadsheet is divided into 9 worksheets, and each worksheet is for a different category.  The categories are as follows:


Now to elaborate on each of the categories!


This worksheet is for the posts that I do every single week and every single month of the year.  For example:

Our Weekend – every Monday
Five on Friday – every Friday

Monthly Goals – first Friday of every month
What I Wore – first Wednesday of every month
What’s Up Wednesday – last Wednesday of every month (although I’ve kind of fallen off the wagon with those lately)

I just like to keep a list of these somewhere because it makes planning my actual content calendar a breeze!  I like to be able to see all of them in a list and not have to actually remember them all off the top of my head.  Lists make everything better!  And easier!  ;o)


This worksheet is for the posts that I do once a year every year.  This worksheet is divided into months January – December, and under each month, I have all of the posts listed that I do every year during that month.  For example:

New Year’s Goals – How I Did the Previous Year
New Year’s Goals for the Year Ahead

Valentine’s Day Home Tour
Olivia’s Birthday Interview
Olivia’s Birthday Letter

Lindsay’s Sweet World Anniversary
Easter Home Tour
My Birthday Wish List

My birthday post – “37 Things for Age 37 (I use the appropriate age for that year)

Summer Bucket List

Fourth of July Home Tour 

Jacob’s Birthday Interview
Jacob’s Birthday Letter

Summer Bucket List – What We Accomplished

Fall Bucket List
Fall Home Tour

National Infant Loss Awareness Day

Black Friday Gift Guide
Fall Bucket List – What We Accomplished
Christmas Bucket List
Fall Family Pictures

My Christmas Wish List
Christmas Home Tour
Our Annual Christmas Card
Christmas Bucket List – What We Accomplished (sometimes this posts in January)
An Ode to 2019 (the year in review)


This worksheet is for ideas that I want to put on the blog soon, but I haven’t yet started on them or worked them into my content calendar.  These are typically posts that I know I could crank out with ease because I’m feeling inspired.  A few examples of ideas on this worksheet are:

The Ultimate Guide to Planning Blog Content (this post – ha!)
Home Office Refresh
Olivia’s Big Girl Bedroom Reveal


This worksheet is for different project ideas that I have for around our home that would also be good to turn into a blog post… read Pinterest-worthy projects!  A couple of examples that used to be on this worksheet that are now done are as follows:


This worksheet is for all of my fashion post ideas.  A couple of examples that used to be on this worksheet that are now done are as follows:


This one is pretty straightforward… this is for all of the recipes that I want to put on the blog.  I do have this worksheet divided into five categories:

Main Dishes
One Dish Meals
Apps & Sides

A couple of examples that used to be on this worksheet that are now done are as follows:


This worksheet is for all blog posts that are kid related.  A couple of examples that used to be on this worksheet that are now done are as follows:


This worksheet is for all blog posts that I want to do about organizing.  A couple of examples that used to be on this worksheet that are now done are as follows:


These are for all ideas that don’t fit into any of those other categories.  Things like:

So that’s my spreadsheet of ideas.  And let me say that I have oodles and oodles of them.  I think I have enough ideas right now to blog for the next five years.  Haha.  As much as I would love to share a peek at the spreadsheet with you, I'm not ready to share all of my ideas for future posts, so that's why I mostly shared past ideas with you.  :o)

Now for the information on the content calendar itself and how I actual do the planning.

The Content Calendar

For my content calendar, I keep a Mini Notebook in my Emily Ley Simplified Planner and I have it divided into three categories, the last category being my Blog Content Calendar.  Every December, I go to to get some free blank calendars for the upcoming year.  I copy each calendar for the upcoming year, paste them in a Word Doc, resize them to fit my mini notebook, and then I cut them out and tape them into the notebook with washi tape.  It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s not at all… overall I would say it takes about 20 minutes.  The only reason I use this method is because I like to keep my blog content calendar inside my Simplified Planner and I haven’t been able to find any calendars that are the right size that I like.  Plus this is free!  You could easily use a pocket calendar or any other kind of monthly calendar if you wanted.  Just do whatever makes the most sense for you!

So now that you have a spreadsheet brimming with ideas and a blank calendar, it’s time to plan!  I typically sit down at the end of each year to loosely plan the year ahead. 

First, I cross out all days that I know I will not post… for example, certain holidays, Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer when I’m off with the kids, and a few random days throughout the rest of the year (usually a Tuesday or Thursday here and there) just to give myself little breaks. 

Second, I fill in all of the content from the “Recurring” Excel worksheet.  These are the posts that I do every week and every month like my weekend posts, Five on Friday posts, and Monthly Goals posts.

Third, I fill in all of the content from the “Yearly” Excel worksheet.  These are the posts that I do once a year every year during a specific time of the year. 

Fourth, I fill in all of the content from the “Soon” Excel worksheet.  These are the posts that I want to do soon. 

Finally, I try to fill in all of the gaps for the first two months of the year using the ideas from my Excel Spreadsheet.  That way I know exactly how much time I have to plan for each post for the next two months – completing projects, photography for the post, copy writing, editing, etc. – and I can go ahead and incorporate those tasks into my Simplified Planner. 

At that point, planning is done until February when I sit down once more to plan March and April.  And then in April I sit down to plan May and June.  And so on.

Here's a peek at January and February of this year:

Now, I will say this – life happens and THINGS CHANGE!  My content is always, always changing so I only use pencil when writing in my content calendar because plenty of erasing does happen!

Once posts are completed and scheduled in Blogger, I cross the date off in pink highlighter on my content calendar.  That way I can see what’s done at a glance.

Sometimes I work well in advance when I know I have a vacation coming up or summer break.  When working ahead, I just go ahead and write down the idea on the appropriate date and then once I have the post completed and scheduled, I cross off the date in pink highlighter to let me know that’s done.  For example, this July I’m going to recap Jacob’s third birthday since I didn’t blog back then.  I chose a day during his birth month (July) to post that.  It’s already completed and scheduled in Blogger so it is already crossed off on my content calendar.  Done!

So there you go!  Easy peasy!  Having the Excel spreadsheet and the physical content calendar is the perfect combination for me!  How do you plan your content?

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*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, The Blended Blog and Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Our Weekend - The One with Olivia's Big Girl Bedroom

It was a nice, normal weekend with gorgeous weather, aside from the crazy amounts of pollen in the air.

Friday evening we ended up staying home.  Olivia ran some kind of weird fever all week from Tuesday until Friday and it was up and down constantly.  A lot of the time it was very low-grade, but it spiked a few times throughout the week making her feel cranky and tired.  Friday morning she woke up fever free so we sent her to school (she had missed Thursday), but just as we got home from school her fever spiked again and she snuggled up on the couch and went to sleep.  While she slept, Jacob and I had some fun!  He’d been requesting to take a picture like Olivia did with her princesses a while back, but he wanted to take his with his superheroes.  :o)

B brought home Cracker Barrel veggies for dinner and then we spent the rest of the evening watching Mulan together since we wanted Olivia to rest.  After the kiddos went to bed, B and I watched a couple of episodes of Season 2 of The OA that was released on Friday. 

Saturday morning I made some homemade waffles for breakfast (our Saturday tradition), and then I spent the rest of the day in Olivia’s bedroom painting.  I was torn between Agreeable Gray and Repose Gray, and I ended up going with Repose because it’s slightly cooler.  It’s absolutely perfect and I’m dying to paint our entire first level of our house in Repose now.  I think it might just be the perfect paint color for any and every room of any house!

My allergies have been horrid all week so I have been avoiding the outdoors at all costs, so I literally didn’t set foot outside until 5 PM when it was time to leave for church.  Got halfway down our street and had an asthma attack.  That’s how bad the pollen is here right now.  I don’t think it’s ever been this bad before, and it makes me so sad that I’m wasting away our beautiful spring weather indoors.  Gotta do what you gotta do, though, I suppose. 

After church, we met my parents, uncle, brother and SIL and the kids at one of our favorite pubs for dinner, and then Saturday evening was spent watching more of The OA.  Y’all, that show is just so freaking weird and I’m totally confused and don’t even really know what’s going on, but I can’t. stop. watching.  There’s just something about it!

Sunday morning I started putting some of the finishing touches on Olivia’s big girl room.  It’s not quite done yet still, but I made so much progress.  I got her little princess dress holder hung back on the wall, got all of her dress-up clothes in her new basket, hung her new canopy over the head of the bed (she is obsessed and I am, too!), and we hung her new mirror over her dresser.  I still have to paint her book case, paint her lamp, hang a garland or two, and find something to hang on the wall next to her window, but then it will be all done!  Her room is quickly becoming my favorite room in the house and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

Sunday afternoon we had lunch at my MIL and step-FIL’s after a three week hiatus, so it was good to see everyone and be back in the swing of things.  The weather was perfection despite the thick pollen, so I braved it and spent a good hour on the back deck.  I managed to keep it all in check thanks to my rescue inhaler, and it was good to get some outdoor air and sunshine after being cooped up inside for so long.

Side note, I don't think I've ever seen a more perfect outfit combo for me ever - black polka dots on a white background, blush pink, and gold.  All of my favorite things that I've loved since I was a little girl!

Sunday evening my brother and sister-in-law had us over for dinner since my Momma wasn’t cooking, and it was a great ending to the weekend.  Our Sunday dinner has been disrupted for the last couple of weeks, too, so it was just what I needed after our weird weekend last weekend.  I just love my people and our Sunday tradition.

This week the kiddos are on Spring Break, and we’re hoping to make the most of the week and end March on a good note!  We’ll be heading to Atlanta later this week for a fun little getaway, and I’m so excited for all of the fun things on deck! 

I’ll be back here Wednesday with a post that many of you have requested!  See you then!

Happy Monday, y’all!

Don't forget to link up with HeatherJohannahTanya, and myself... just grab our new graphic for 2019 and link up below!

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

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Five on Friday - New Bedding, Fairy Lights, and Something That Could Save Your Life

*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.

Happy Friday, y’all!  I’m looking forward to a nice, normal weekend after our tumultuous weekend last weekend.  We don’t have anything going on other than church and our normal Sunday family time, and I could not be more excited about just getting a few things done around the house and spending some much needed downtime with my lovies. 

Now for some favorites for the week!

O N E – Olivia’s New Bedding

We finally got a mattress for Olivia’s big girl bed this past weekend so her room refresh is officially underway.  I had hoped to have the room painted before we changed the bed over, but after last weekend’s hospital stay, I wasn’t able to paint on Saturday as I had originally hoped. 

Anyway, now that the bed is in place, I was finally able to put her new bedding on and I am so in love.  As I’ve said before, I’m incredibly picky about bedding and there’s just not much that I like.  I saw this set on Amazon first and then discovered that they also had it on and had the best price at the time, so we went with that one but has it on SUPER sale right now, so if you're interested, now is the time to get it!

The set comes with a comforter, two euro shams, two pillow shams, and two decorative pillows.  SUCH a great price for all that you get.  I was a little worried about the quality, but I figured I could order it and just return it if it wasn’t nice enough.  No need to have worried, though, because it is fantastic!! 

I cannot wait to get the rest of her room put together now.  All of the wall décor and other items I have been slowly purchasing these last few months for the refresh have just been sitting in a pile on the floor outside of my office, so it’ll be nice to finally get them in place.  I cannot wait to share the rest of her room with y’all when it’s done!  It’s going to be dreamy.

T W O – Fairy Lights

I just recently found one of the best things I’ve ever come across on Amazon.  These fairy lights are MAGICAL, y’all.  The box I bought came with six small strands of lights.  The lights are on teeny tiny silvery wire and they are battery operated so you can put them anywhere. 

I strung some all around the bulletin board in my office and they look SO COOL.  When the lights aren’t on you hardly notice the wires since they’re so thin, but when they are on they look so magical!  I’m hoping to find a neat way to use the leftover strands in Olivia’s bedroom. 

I can think of loads of different ways to use these and I’m thinking I might incorporate them into our Christmas décor this year somehow.  They would look awesome in mason jars or wrapped around various pieces of furniture or even strung behind light, airy white curtains.  And they would be perfect for wedding or baby shower décor.  I wish they’d had something like this when we got married!

I cannot recommend these enough if you are looking to add a little bit of whimsy to a room!  Also, I'll share more of my office when it's totally done!

T H R E E – Aspirin

After my heart attack scare on Friday (read all about it here if you missed it) I can promise you one thing – I will NEVER EVER not have aspirin in my medicine cabinet!! 

The very first thing the paramedics asked when they got there was did we have any aspirin.  Sadly, we did not.  Then one of the very first things the nurse did at the hospital was to give me four chewable baby aspirin.  She told me that if I was having a heart attack it would stop it and it would also prevent me from having another one.

If you do not have any in your medicine cabinet I urge you to get some immediately and keep it on hand.  It’s cheap so even if you never use it before it expires and you have to throw it out, you won’t feel like you’re wasting a lot of money.  Besides, it’s a small price to pay for something that could save your life. 

Do note that the hospital provided me with the chewable kind because if you’re having a heart attack it may be too hard to swallow pills whole with liquid. 

Just please, please don’t ever be without it... especially you, ladies.  We are more susceptible to heart issues than the guys.  And, yes, I know the whole aspirin for a heart attack is old news… I’ve known this forever, but I always thought, “I’m young and healthy, I shouldn’t need that.”  WRONG!  Get you some!

F O U R – An Old Picture

One of my friends tagged me in an old photo on Facebook this past weekend and I love it so much!  It was taken by the photographer at her wedding back in 2010 and I had never even seen it before.  I was one of her bridesmaids and we were sitting at our table at the reception in the picture.  I don’t even remember the photographer coming over and taking the picture and neither did B.  Just look at us… we look like babies!

Her wedding brings back bittersweet memories for me because it took place just a few days before my ultrasound where we learned that I had miscarried our first baby.  During those last few weeks of that pregnancy I had a feeling in my gut and heart that something was wrong and it was confirmed at my twelve week appointment just five days after the wedding. 

I remember a wave of fear washing over me when I put on my bridesmaid dress for the wedding that day because the dress still fit just as perfectly as it did the day I’d bought it a few months prior.  It should have been too tight around a growing belly but it wasn’t and that was when I pretty much knew our baby wasn’t growing anymore.  I don’t even know if I ever told anybody about that moment either... I was too scared to say it out loud for fear that it might make it true.

I think about our first baby every single day, and even though I still ache for him or her, I am so thankful for the way things turned out.  We have our two healthy babies now and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Sometimes you just have to get through the bumps in the road so you can pave the way for smoother ground for the long-term, right?

But anyway, this picture is extra special because it’s one of the few that we have of Brian and me together with our first little baby in my tummy.  <3

F I V E – Poshmark

Finally, before I go, I just wanted to let everyone know that I created a Poshmark account and I'll be selling a bunch of our gently used/never used clothing and accessories soon!  I've listed a few items so far, but I'm hoping to really dig into it over the next few days because we have SO MUCH STUFF.  I'll eventually be listing:

- Women's clothing (tops, shorts, pants, dresses, accessories, shoes)
- Maternity clothing (summer and winter)
- Boy clothing (infant and toddler - all sizes)
- Girl clothing (infant and toddler - all sizes)

You can follow me here!

And finally, let’s end with some light funnies, shall we?


Olivia all last week.  Sigh.

This might be one of the funniest things I've ever seen.  I laughed way too hard at this.

How though?!  So true!  Tell me your money secrets, people on HGTV.


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 By BMG for High Five for Friday.