Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Easiest Way to Label, Wash, and Organize Face Masks + the Best Face Masks

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Well, you can go ahead and file this under Posts I Never Thought I’d Write.  Sigh.  However, it’s 2020 and face masks are now the norm (but not forever, people!), and since they’re probably here to stay for at least a few more months, I thought it would be worth my time and effort to come up with a way to label ours and get them organized.

We have been huge mask advocates from the very beginning, and our kids, who have been back in school in-person for seven weeks now, are required to wear face masks all day every day.  This means that we have accumulated quite the family collection of masks these last six months.

The Best Face Masks + the Easiest Way to Wash Them

We’ve tried several different brands for our kids, and their very favorites are these from Gap.  The masks fit their faces perfectly, they are breathable, they’re comfortable for long-term wear (the ear bands are super soft and stretchy), they come in tons of cute colors and patterns, and they’re so durable… seriously, we’ve washed and dried all of ours in the machines dozens of times already and they’re all like new.  I highly recommend them!

Yes, you read that right, we just throw all of our masks in the washing machine and the dryer with our regular laundry and they’ve all held up beautifully.  No hand washing, no air drying… just the washing machine and dryer like everything else!  Easy peasy!

The Easiest Way to Label Face Masks

All items that our kids take to school have to be labeled, so that means their masks must be labeled, too.  It’s pretty easy to label a lunchbox or a jacket, but when it comes to face masks, they’re a little bit trickier… 

Where on earth do you put the label since the masks are so small? 

Do you stick the label on the inside where it could potentially rub up against their little faces or do you stick it on the outside? 

If you stick it on the outside, isn’t it a little weird to have their name right there for everyone to see? 

If you use a Sharpie to label the kids’ names, will the kids smell the Sharpie fumes all day?

Those were just a few of the questions swirling around in my head when I was prepping to send them back to school.  And to answer your question, yes, yes I do overanalyze everything.  ;o)

Well friends, I’m here to tell you how to do this today, and it’s much easier than you think.  All you need is the following and you’ll be ready to go:

These washable fabric labels

Sharpie marker

Simply write your child’s name on the labels using your Sharpie marker, stick the label to the bottom corner of the inside of the mask (up against the edge), and voila, you’re done. 

By putting the labels inside the masks, your child’s name won’t be on display, and as long as you stick them near the edge of the mask, the labels don’t come in direct contact with their skin. 

As for the worry about them breathing the Sharpie fumes, all you have to do is wash and dry the masks once before they wear them, and the fumes completely disappear.  Just be sure to wait 24 hours before you wash them after you’ve applied the labels because the labels have to “set” before they can get wet.    

These labels are specifically made for fabric, so they won’t come off in the washing machine or the dryer, and the Sharpie won’t wear off of the label either.  I’m telling you, we have washed all of our kids’ masks numerous times and the labels are still perfectly in tact. 

The Easiest Way to Organize Face Masks

Okay, so, what’s a family of four to do with 20+ masks laying around?  Ugggghhhh.  In the beginning, we had masks everywhere – in my purse, in the car, in the kids’ book bags, on the kitchen counter, hanging on door knobs, scattered on the floor – I couldn’t take it – so I came up with the simplest solution ever.

All you need is the following:

One Command Hook for each member of your family

A strip of wall nearest the door you use when exiting your house each day

We have a very narrow strip of wall between our kitchen counter and the door that leads to our garage, so I thought it made the most sense to hang ours there.  I hung one Command hook for Brian, one for myself, one for Jacob, and one for Olivia.  All clean masks are hung on those hooks, and everyone has their own designated mask spot, so masks don’t get mixed up.  The mask spot is right by the door, so we never forget to grab them as we walk out of the house. 

And since wearing face masks is only a temporary thing, as soon as this pandemic is over and we don’t have to wear them anymore, all I have to do is take the Command hooks down.  No holes, no marks, no chipped paint, and no damage done to the walls in any way… it’ll be like they were never even there!

I think we can all agree that we’re all looking forward to that day!

Happy Wednesday!

Don't forget to link up with us below!  We will continue to have the link party every Wednesday, and for the first Wednesday of each month, we will be offering a prompt if you'd like to join in... if not, just link up your regular Wednesday posts.  :o)  Prompts for September, October, November, and December are on the graphic below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, September 28, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 28 (House Projects and SEC Football)

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Happy Monday!  I’m recapping our week last week so let’s get down to it!

Monday, September 21 (Day 192 of Quarantine)

Monday morning, I had to go back to the Kia dealership to finish up the paperwork on my new Telluride since their power had gone out when we were there Friday.  We were able to complete everything this time, and the SUV is officially mine!!

I ran a couple of errands afterward, and then went back home to work for the rest of the day.  Jacob had a baseball game Monday evening, and the weather was absolutely perfect for it… in fact, it was so perfect, that it was chilly enough for me to wear a sweater.  Yes, yes, YES.

Jacob’s team ended up losing in a close one, 8-7, but considering this was the same team who had whooped us the week prior, it was actually an improvement.  Jacob ended up with one single and he threw two people out at first, so it wasn’t his best game, but it wasn’t too bad either.

We grabbed Chick-Fil-A on the way home, and the rest of the evening was spent doing the usual evening routine and watching some Schitt’s Creek before bed… did y’all see all of the Emmys they won last weekend?!

Tuesday, September 22 (Day 193 of Quarantine)

Tuesday morning, we woke up to 55 degree temps, so after I dropped the kids at school I went for a run.  It’s amazing how much easier it is to run when it’s cool outside!!  All of my other runs have been done in the yucky heat and/or humidity, so it was nice to have some natural air conditioning this time.  ;o)

I spent the rest of the day holed up under my twinkle lights in my cozy office working, sipping on cinnamon tea, breathing in my fall essential oils, and watching movies that make me happy.  Gosh, I just love this time of year.

We had nowhere to be Tuesday evening, so I made slow cooker beef stroganoff, and we spent the evening in catching up on homework and America’s Got Talent.

Wednesday, September 23 (Day 194 of Quarantine)

Wednesday, I spent the whole day working on blog posts and trying to get ahead since we’ll be going to the mountains in a couple of weeks.  Ever since the pandemic started, I’ve been feeling like I’m drowning in blog work because I got so behind while facilitating distance learning.  I’ve been playing catchup ever since.

I also got caught up on a bunch of miscellaneous things that I’ve been needing to do – taking a refresher training course that’s required to volunteer at the kids’ school (not that we can volunteer at this time anyway), adding some new music and syncing my phone, downloading the new version of iOS (so many great new features!!), shredding some old files, etc.  Several of those tasks have been on my to-do list for a while, so it was nice to finally get them knocked out.

Wednesday evening, Jacob had his makeup game that was canceled the prior week due to the hurricane.  They lost 12-6 (yikes!) but he had a pretty good game, personally.  He ended up with one double/RBI, one single, and he scored a run.    

Thursday, September 24 (Day 195 of Quarantine)

Thursday it was cloudy most of the morning and rainy all afternoon and evening, so I spent the entire day in my office working.  I turned on my string lights and lamps, made a glass of hot cinnamon tea, grabbed a pumpkin cookie, wrapped up in my cozy blanket, and listened to my favorite morning show followed by some Michael Buble and Steve Tyrell. 

So much happiness right there in that sentence. :o)  I feel like I’m totally in my element now that fall is here.  September through December have always – and will always – be my favorite months of the year.  I’d choose cozy vibes over sunny summery vibes pretty much any day of the week.

Jacob’s game was canceled Thursday evening due to the rain, so we spent another evening in… I made breakfast for dinner and then we watched a little more of America’s Got Talent.  We’re almost caught up to the finale! 

Friday, September 25 (Day 196 of Quarantine)

Friday morning, I stopped by Walmart after I dropped the kids off at school.  I’m working on one last project for my office and I needed some neutral fabric.  In case you didn’t know, Walmart has an extensive fabric department (or at least all of our Walmarts do), and their prices are a tiny fraction of the cost of places like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Joann.  I was able to get two yards of a thick, sturdy fabric for just over $2.  That same amount of fabric would cost, probably, $10-$12 at Hobby Lobby.

We received our weekly Covid update from the kids’ school Friday afternoon, and y’all, we are celebrating SEVEN HEALTHY WEEKS at our school!!!!  We have had zero Covid cases among faculty, staff, and students for all grades (daycare starting at age 1 all the way through high school seniors) in the seven weeks we’ve been back.  It’s truly a miracle, and we’re praying it continues.

Friday evening, we grabbed takeout from one of our favorite Mexican places, and then after dinner, Olivia had a virtual slumber party with all of her friends.  Her friend’s mom arranged the whole thing, and she even sent goodie bags to school with her daughter to hand out to the girls for the party. 

The bags included fingernail stickers, a face mask, lotion, glow sticks, and ingredients to make s’mores, so the girls were able to do their nails and face masks together and eat their s’mores together, too.  They spent the rest of their time chatting and showing each other their dolls and other toys and it was seriously the sweetest thing.  We can’t wait until Covid is over so we can get them together for a real sleepover.  ;o)

Her virtual slumber party ended around 8:30, and then we all watched some more of America’s Got Talent, before sending the kids off to bed so B and I could watch the new Father of the Bride 3 special that was just released!!!!  FOB 1 and 2 are some of my favorite movies of all-time, so I was ecstatic when I saw that they were doing this special.  It’s only about 30 minutes, so it’s not a full movie, but it does have the full cast and some of the same music, and it was just really cute.  A little cheesy, but cute.  I just adore Steve Martin and Diane Keaton.

Saturday, September 26 (Day 197 of Quarantine)

Saturday was GAME DAY!!!!  Our first game of the season!  Woo hoooo!  (Our season was delayed because of Covid, of course.)  We started the day with some Halloween waffles and then I got in a good cardio workout while watching Game Day.  I got some laundry done, and B put my Georgia plate on the front of my new Telluride, and that was the extent of our productivity.  Haha. 

The rest of the day was spent in front of the TV watching all the SEC football we could possibly watch.  Our Dawgs struggled the first half of our game, but we ended up blowing them out the second half, so all ended well.  Our QB1 opted out and left us high and dry a few weeks ago due to Covid, so I have a feeling this entire season is going to be a struggle.  So very 2020.  I’ve already made my peace with it, though, and I’m just grateful to be able to watch them play.

Sunday, September 27 (Day 198 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning was church, cinnamon rolls, and planning the week ahead, and then I worked on a few projects around the house for the rest of the morning.  B helped me hang my new bulletin board behind the door in my office, and now my office is officially done.  Prior to this, I had a collage wall behind the door, but it was only there temporarily until I decided what I wanted to put there permanently.  I ultimately decided to hang a bulletin board so I can change things out as I’d like to.  For now, I’m just going to use it to hang my all-time favorite pictures from our travels, pictures with old friends, pictures with famous people I’ve met, and old concert, sports, and show tickets… kind of an ode to life’s adventures…

I updated my iPhone to the new iOS recently, and I was ecstatic to see that the update fixed a year-long issue I’ve been having with transferring my pictures and videos from my phone to my computer.  For the last year, I haven’t been able to transfer videos off of my phone at all… whether doing it manually or using the program that transfers them automatically.  They error out every single time, and it has been a nightmare every single week when I try to transfer my pictures off of my phone to use for the blog.  Seriously, a nightmare.  Because of that, I haven’t been able to delete anything from my phone, and I also haven’t been able to transfer any of my photos and videos to my external hard drives or to Amazon. 

That means that I’ve had thousands upon thousands of pictures clogging up my phone and my computer this past year, and it’s been a major pain in the ass (excuse my language but that is how strongly I have felt about this issue, lol).  I discovered this weekend that the iOS update resolved my problem completely, so I was finally able to go and pull all of the missing videos from my phone and get them archived appropriately. 

Now I’ll be spending the next couple of weeks transferring everything from my computer to my external hard drives and my backup cloud on Amazon and cleaning everything off of my computer and phone.  FINALLY.  I am seriously so happy about this that I could just cry. 

Sunday afternoon, we got Panera takeout for lunch, and then we spent the afternoon inside, tidying up, playing video games, and working.  It was a dreary/rainy day, so we didn’t spend much time outside early on.

Fortunately, things cleared up a bit by dinner time, and after our Sunday charcuterie, we were able to go for a walk around our neighb.  We finally let the kids play on our neighborhood playground and we were all so excited about that!!!!  Seriously, we’ve lived in this house for eleven years next month, and we’ve never once taken the kids to our neighborhood playground.  They ended up loving it, and I’m sure we’ll be back!

Now for a few current things since it’s the end of the month...

Currently Reading


Well, I’ve officially lost my reading mojo.  Once fall comes around, I start to feel inspired and invigorated after months of endless heat, so that means I mentally make the switch from wanting to lay around and read all the time to working on doing all the things… house projects and blog stuff, decorating, creating, organizing, and prepping for the holiday season ahead.  We’re also really busy in the fall with back-to-school stuff, baseball, and dance, plus aaaallll the festive fall activities, so I just never make time to read during the day.  The only reading I actually do is right before bed, but I’m always so exhausted by the end of the night that I fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow.


With that said, I only read one fiction book this month, and I’m not even done with it yet.  Majesty is the one I’m reading and I’m absolutely loving it.  I really do just need to make the time to finish it because I’m dying to see how it ends.


I’m also just finishing up White Fragility which has been excellent.  I know I’ve mentioned it several times here on the blog, and I believe more than ever now that all white people should read this book.  It will truly make you think about things differently, and it will help you understand exactly what systemic racism is, and why something needs to be done about it.


I’m also still sloooowly working my way through Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts.  So far this one has just been okay for me.  I had really high hopes for it, but it hasn’t been quite what I expected, and therefore, I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I thought I would.  Hence, the reason I haven’t made it a priority.


Currently Watching


Oh let’s see… on TV, we’re just finishing up America’s Got Talent and we’ve also been watching a bit of Dancing with the Stars.  We’ve never been huge fans of that show, but we have been known to pop in here and there to watch certain people.  This season, I have been loving watching AJ from Backstreet Boys, Nelly, and of course, the hot mess that is Carole Baskin.  Lol.


We’re also rolling through Schitt’s Creek and I’m so glad we decided to give it another try.  It took me a long time to get into it, but am loving it now… it’s absolutely hysterical.  I was so glad to see that it swept the Emmy’s because they deserve it.  The cast is just incredible, and each character plays their roles perfectly!!!!  I just can’t even pick a favorite character because they’re all so unique and funny in their own ways.  David and Alexis just trip me out, though.  “Ew, David.”


You may remember that last month we had started watching West World, and I just realized this very second that we haven’t watched a single episode all month.  It went downhill quickly after the first episode and I didn’t love it, but B hasn’t been watching it lately either. 


In addition to all of that, I’m watching 90’s and early 2000’s romantic comedies like it’s my job.  Seriously, I’ve watched The Wedding Planner a dozen times, My Best Friend’s Wedding a handful of times, The Big Wedding twice, Sleepless in Seattle, What a Girl Wants, and a few others.  Father of the Bride 1 and 2 will be on my list soon… thankfully, I have the DVDs since they’re not streaming anywhere right now.


And we also watched a few movies with the kids this month – Night at the Museum 1 and 2 and… Hocus Pocus...  because ‘tis the season.


B and I have also watched a couple of movies here recently, one being the new Father of the Bride 3-ish short as I mentioned earlier in this post.


Oh yeah, and college football.  Lots and lots of college football.  Amen.


Typically by now we would have started watching all of our favorite prime time shows again, but sadly, they’ve all been delayed because of, yep, you guessed it, Covid.  Sigh.


Currently Listening To


If you thought this would finally be the month that I didn’t mention Taylor’s Folklore album, then you would be wrong.  Yep, it’s still going strong.  Haha.  I’m also listening to my favorite morning show (Elvis Duran) every weekday morning like I always do, and I’ve had jazz and old standards on repeat, too, because they give me all the cozy fall vibes. 


I also recently discovered that Usher has a new single – Bad Habits – and it’s soooo good, and I also downloaded Jealous by Labrinth… if you haven’t listened to that one then you must stop what you’re doing and listen to it right this instant.  My goodness, it’s beautiful. 

Happy Monday, y’all!

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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, September 25, 2020

Five on Friday - String Lights Indoors, New Artwork, and Fall Leaves

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Happy Friday, y’all!!  SEC football is finally back this weekend, so we’re euphoric over here!!  Today I’m sharing some favorites from the week, and may I say that these are some wonderful favorites…

O N E – String Lights in My Office

Remember how I hinted last week that I was working on a project in my office?  Well, today is reveal day!  I hung twinkle lights in my office!!!!

I’ve had this task on my list of things to do for years, and I even went so far as to buy this box of string lights over a year ago, but I never took the time to get them up.  I wanted to hang them in a way that didn’t detract too much from that gorgeous chandelier, and they needed to be hung in a way that the cords were able to be hidden, so it was a daunting task. 

Since I didn’t really know exactly how or where to start, I just, well, never started, so the lights have just been sitting in my office closet, boxed up, waiting to be used.  I finally got the courage to start mapping things out a couple of weekends ago, and once my plan was in place, I couldn’t get them hung fast enough.  It did end up taking a couple of hours to plan it all out, but once the plan was in place, it only took about 30 minutes to get them hung. 

B couldn’t help since he’s still recovering from back surgery, but as I always tell him, “I don’t need no man” (lol) and I got them right up all by myself.

Y’all, it’s incredible what a single $15 string of twinkle lights can do for a room… it has completely transformed the space!  I seriously thought I couldn’t love my office any more than I already do, but these lights have made it completely magical.  I never ever want to leave this space.  I also want to hang these all over the house!  But I won’t.  Haha.

I’m sure most people never even think to hang string lights indoors, but don’t even question it… just do it!  It’s magic, I tell you. 

Be sure to check my Instagram stories as I plan to do a little tour of my office with the lights on, hopefully today.

T W O – New Artwork

Since I moved my travel gallery wall out of my office a few months ago, my wall has been bare, and I’ve looked high and low for something to hang in there.  I did come across these paintings from Minted, and while they fit my aesthetic, they didn’t fit right in the space since they are comprised of two separate paintings instead of one.

While I’m not nearly as talented as my dad (he’s an artist… he does it for a living), I have been known to draw and paint every once in a while, so I thought I’d just whip up something myself.  The result is this rainbow dot piece, and it turned out perfect for what I was looking for in my office.  It's acrylic on paper.  My dad gave me a couple of sheets of his heavy sketch pad paper and it was exactly what I needed.

I originally hung the painting in this black frame (and I actually like the painting in the black frame better), but the black frame didn’t look right in my office, so I put it in a gold frame that I already had on hand.

I intended to hang it where the travel gallery was, but I didn’t like the colors there, so I swapped it out with the other floral piece of art that hangs next to my desk, and it ended up being perfect. 

When I planned my office makeover a couple of years ago, I selected pale pink, white, and gold for the primary colors, along with rainbow accents, and I think this painting adds the perfect pop of rainbow to this side of the room.  Love love love!

And in case y'all were wondering, there are over 20 different colors in the painting.  I really enjoyed mixing the paints to transition from color to color!

T H R E E – Fall Leaves

In addition to the rainbow pumpkins in my office, I really wanted some faux fall leaves since fall leaves are my favorite.  The only ones I had on hand were multi-colored (red, orange, yellow, green, and brown), but I wanted to find some that were a golden yellow to bring out the gold accents in my office.

I found these beauties at Hobby Lobby this year and they are my favorite faux fall leaves ever!  They’re the same ones that I have on my bar cart downstairs.  You can see those here in my fall home tour if you missed it.

F O U R – The Wedding Planner/Marry Me

I know I’ve already mentioned this in my weekly recaps, but The Wedding Planner is now on Netflix and I’ve been watching it on repeat lately while I work.  It’s definitely in my top five favorite movies of all-time and it just gives me all. the. happy. vibes.  I’ve probably watched it seven or eight times in the last couple of weeks and I have zero shame in admitting that.  It is just the best.  They really need to start making more movies like that again.

Which brings me to… did y’all see that Jennifer Lopez has a new movie coming out on Valentine’s Day next year and it appears to be a romantic comedy?!  It’s called Marry Me and the synopsis sounds promising.  There’s no trailer yet, but you can read about it on the website here. 

It also stars Owen Wilson (whom I love) and it sounds like it could end up being a true romantic comedy… you know, like all of the good ones from the 90’s that they don’t make anymore?  Please oh please let it be!

F I V E – Working in My Office

Combine my new string lights with my new artwork, my pretty fall leaves, and The Wedding Planner on repeat with my cozy blanket and my fall scented oils in the diffuser and… I never ever want to leave my office.  Like, ever.  It is truly my happy place and it’s been my absolute favorite thing this past week.  I mean, just look at that cozy little space... and the second picture is my view when I look to the right.  Those fall leaves!

Friday Funnies

Amen, sister!

It's worth a try!!

But seriously, this hurricane season, though

Thanks!  Don't forget to fill it up for me while you're out.  ;o)

Literally me ALL DAY tomorrow because the SEC is finally playing.  Amen.

On the Blog This Week

 Our Week – The One with Quarantine, Week 27 (Hurricane and My New SUV)

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings Styled FiveDifferent Ways


Happy Friday, y’all! 

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites.