Monday, November 30, 2020

What I Ordered from Amazon in November 2020

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

When I first started prepping this post in mid-November, I glanced at my Amazon orders for the month and realized I hadn’t ordered a single thing.  What?!  Well, I managed to remedy that starting on November 16, and then I ended up buying a whole bunch of stuff.  Haha.  It is almost Christmas!  Here’s what I bought in November…

Gold Alphabet Beads

I’ve always loved wearing mantras and names of loved ones on jewelry, especially bracelets.  Plastic letter beaded bracelets have become all the rage here recently, and I’ve had my eye on several different designs from Etsy shops for months.  The problem is, there are so many different words/initials/mantras that I want, that it would cost a fortune to buy them from a small shop.  I looked into pricing for making my own, and I found that I can make them all myself for less than the cost of one bracelet on Etsy.  Haha.  Soooo, I bought these beads from Amazon because I love the round shape and the gold color!


Gold Heart Beads

At just $2.99 per pack, I couldn’t resist these gold heart beads to add to my bracelets.


Ballet Tights

Olivia had a hole in the knee of her ballet tights, so it was time for some new ones!  This two-pack on Amazon is a best seller with 4.7 out of 5 stars and over 5,000 reviews.  They are sturdy, they’re super stretchy, and they are the true ballet pink, and not just light pink like so many other tights are.  We love these!


CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

I’ve always had very dry skin, especially on my face, so I’ve tried lots of creams throughout the years.  I’ve been using and loving Cetaphil for years, but my dermatologist has been telling me to make the switch to CeraVe for a couple of years now.  I finally decided to do that after my appointment last week, and of course, I ordered from Amazon as it’s less expensive there than anywhere else.  I’ll have to let y’all know how I like it, but with 4.8 out of 5 stars and nearly 28,000 reviews, I have a feeling it’s going to be great.  The reviews make it sound too good to be true!  It’s fragrance-free, paraben-free, allergy-tested, and non-comedogenic, and it also contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides which are found naturally in the skin.  Those help maintain the skin’s natural barrier, which in turn, keeps skin more supple.  I’ll be using this on my whole body every morning after my shower, and on my face at night.  In the morning, I’m still using and loving my Neutrogena Hydro Boost under my makeup. 


CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen SPF 30

My dermatologist has also been telling me for years to wear a daily sunscreen (at least SPF 30) under my makeup and I’ve never taken the time to find one.  Since I recently decided to start taking skin care more seriously, I finally found one to try.  This one is made by CeraVe, so it has all of the same benefits as the other moisturizer.  The thought of wearing sunscreen every single day has always made me wary because I worry about it being too greasy and breaking out my skin, but this one is oil-free, and it’s formulated specifically for daily use.  It is also fragrance-free.  I’ll be applying this all over my face, neck, and chest every single morning underneath my Neutrogena moisturizer and makeup, and hopefully it’ll help keep the sun damage away.


Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

I’ve been wanting to try these collagen peptides for years, but I’ve just never gotten around to it.  After seeing more fine lines and wrinkles pop up this year than ever, I decided to make it a part of my daily routine since I’m ramping up my skin care this year.  Everyone raves about this stuff, saying that they’ve noticed a huge difference in their skin elasticity, hair growth, and nail strength, and that is exactly what I need.  My hair was falling out at an alarming rate last year, and I later realized it was because my anxiety was at peak.  Ever since I’ve gotten my anxiety under control, I have noticed my hair has started to grow back thicker and it’s falling out less.  However, it still doesn’t seem like it’s back to its original thickness, and supposedly these collagen peptides will help with that.  I’ll have to let you guys know if I notice a difference after using this for a while.  I bought the smallest container just in case I find that I don’t like it.  On a side note, did y’all see that Jennifer Anniston just signed on to work with this brand since she swears by it?  Definitely makes me want to try it even more… I mean, look at her!  Haha.


FurReal Friends My Poopin Pup Plush Toy

Y’all.  This is a pretend dog that pretend poops.  I repeat.  This is a toy dog that poops.  And my child has been wanting it for months.  Lol.  Olivia has been begging for one of these ever since she saw it in a catalog, and she talks about it constantly.  You feed this thing, you take it for a walk, and then it poops out the food.  Lol.  There are several different versions, including another dog and two cats, but she wants a dog, and I thought this one was the cuter of the two.  I have a feeling it’s going to be her favorite gift this Christmas.  It has been selling out here and there, and they’ve been restocking, so if your child wants one of these this year, I highly advise you to order it ASAP.  This one is an Amazon Exclusive, too, so you can’t find it anywhere else.


Smarty Pants Vitamins

Best vitamins ever!  I’ve been taking them for months now and I love them.  Most importantly, they have 2,000 IU of Vitamin D, which experts say play a key role in helping your immune system fight off Covid-19!!


Sorry! Board game

Our Outreach center at church organizes a big Christmas gift drive each year to help out needy families in our area.  We typically pull tags off of the Christmas tree in our commons area after mass, and shop for the people we pull the tags for, but this year due to Covid, they moved everything to a Sign-Up Genius online.  We signed up for a board game for 6+ and this was the one I chose.  Our family LOVES this game, and I hope the family who receives it loves it as much as we do.


Matching Game

We also signed up for a board game for ages 2-4, and I chose this Matching Game.  Our kids had several different matching games when they were little and they always loved them, so I thought this would be a winner. 


Mega Bloks

We also signed up for building blocks for 2-4 year olds, and I figured these Mega Bloks would be a hit.  Our kids loved these when they were little, and they still love to play with the set my parents keep at their house.  Well, they did love to play with them back when we used to actually go to their house.  Ya know, before Covid.  Sigh.


Wooden Puzzles

I also signed up for puzzles for 2-4 year olds, and I thought these were just precious.


Window Art

And the final item I signed up for was a craft for an 8-10 year old.  I thought this Window Art looked like a fun idea! 


Set of Two Dog Shirts

Maui’s birthday is December 2, so she usually gets a small gift for that, as well as a couple more for Christmas.  We usually get a couple of new shirts or sweaters for her each year since she loves them so much, and I thought these were adorable.


Pink Dog Sweater

I also bought this sweater to replace her old pink sweater that’s falling apart.  She’s going to love it! 



These Pumpkin & Blueberry Fruitables are a favorite of hers, and they’ll be in her stocking on Christmas morning.  We love these because they’re a great healthy choice for dogs.  They’re packed with superfoods and each treat only has eight calories, making them a guilt-free choice for dogs of all sizes.  These are so yummy they actually smell good enough for a human to eat.  Haha.  They come in lots of different flavors, too!



We keep these on hand at all times for Maui as well, and she gets one as an evening treat after the kids go to bed.  They are clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar on dogs’ teeth, and they help freshen bad breath.  


That’s everything, y’all!

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Friday, November 27, 2020

Five on Friday - Black Friday Holiday Gift Guide Round-Up

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

Happy Black Friday, y’all!  How is everybody feeling this year?  Were you out and about bright and early this morning like always, or are you currently curled up on the couch and shopping from your computer?  I’ve never been one to get out much on Black Friday… I can only remember doing that a couple of times with my mom when I was a teenager.  Other than that, I’ve always slept in on Black Friday and stayed at home all day as that’s the day we put up our live Christmas tree in the living room. 

For the last decade, online deals have been almost as good as the ones in the store, so that’s reason enough for me to just shop from home.  This year, since so many people aren’t getting out and about, most retailers are offering the same deals online as they would in-store.  Here are a few of the places I’ll be stalking this weekend…







Today, I wanted to share a roundup of my gift guides for 2020 just in case you missed any of them.  There’s a little something for everyone here, so I hope you find this helpful!

O N E – For the Ladies

I rounded up a whole bunch of goodness for the ladies in your life in this post.  Prices range from $5 and up, so you can find something for everyone on your list. 


T W O – For the Guys

My gift guide for the guys can be found in this post here.  Again, I rounded up lots of goodness, many items of which are unique, so you can (hopefully) find something for your guys who have everything.  Prices range from $7 and up, so there’s something for every price range.


T H R E E – For Kids Under Age 3

My gift guide for babies is in this post here.  It was probably my favorite guide to do this year as I found some of the most precious things.  Items range from $5 and up.


F O U R – For Kids Ages 4-12

My gift guide for kids is split into two separate guides – one for the girls, and one for the boys (although, everything is obviously interchangeable), and they can both be found in this post here.

F I V E – For Teens

And finally, my gift guide for teenagers is also split into two different guides… one for the girls and one for the boys.  You can see both of them in this post here.


Friday Funnies

Happy shopping, ladies!

My aunt sent this to me and I about died.  Is it okay to be in the Christmas spirit now that Thanksgiving is over?!  Hahahaha.

On the Blog This Week

 Our Week – The One with Quarantine, Week 36 (Thanksgiving Prep)

The Best Christmas Books for Kids

Happy Thanksgiving!  There's Always Something to Be Thankful For...

Happy Friday and happy shopping, y’all!!

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

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving! There's Always Something to Be Thankful For...

Thanksgiving may not look exactly how I want it to this year, but that isn’t going to stop me from being grateful.  Since things are so different this year, I thought it was more important than ever to focus on the good things rather than the bad, so each day this month, I wrote down one thing I was grateful for…

And just so y’all know, I’m always thankful for God, my family, our health, and this wonderful life we live, so I wanted to list some of the little everyday things making me happy this month...

1 – Kickball + end-of-season pizza party/awards ceremony with our baseball family, and an awesome coach who had nothing but kind things to say about our sweet boy

2 – An excellent report from the orthopedist about Olivia’s elbow

3 – One last C-ball baseball game with our baseball family, and being able to spend time with all of our parents at the game

4 – Magical, twinkly Christmas lights!

5 – Wine (because a winner still hasn’t been declared in the election)

6 – A favorite Christmas movie (Home Alone 2)

7 – A new beginning for our nation (and the fact that the election is finally over)

8 – Family walks around the neighborhood

9 – Snuggle time with Maui

10 – A wonderful therapist who helps keep my anxiety in check

11 – All of the veterans who have served our country, including my late grandfather, my father-in-law, my uncle, my cousin, my great uncle, and countless friends

12 – Target… especially Target at Christmastime… eye candy everywhere!!

13 – Moscow Mules!

14 – A clean and organized playroom for the first time in at least 8-9 months

15 – Technology to livestream Sunday morning mass and be with our church family virtually, since we can’t be there in person

16 – My heated blanket… it was coooold this morning.

17 – Some mommy/daughter reading time with Olivia on this cozy evening

18 – Good conversation with my Boo at bedtime this evening

19 – Takeout from our favorite place with B for lunch… it’s so nice having him working from home so we can eat together every day.

20 – Hot Sunset Cinnamon Tea… my absolute favorite treat on a cold morning

21 – A Georgia football win… even with a third string quarterback

22 – Sidewalk chalk with my girl this morning

23 – One on one time with my Boo today + getting our Christmas tree!!

24 – One on one time with my girl today + beautiful weather for our first family golfing trip

25 – The best hubs ever for doing all the things to prep for Thanksgiving – putting up Christmas decorations outside, picking up donuts for Thanksgiving morning, picking up last-minute items from Walmart, and baking homemade chocolate chip cookies for Thanksgiving  while I did a whole bunch of other things

26 – ALL OF YOU who keep coming back to this space day after day… I’m truly grateful for your love and support.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all… I pray you can find joy today even though it may be a little more difficult this year. 


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Best Christmas Books for Kids

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

I posted about our favorite Halloween and fall books for kids here and here, so I thought it was only fitting to dedicate an entire post about books for my very favorite holiday… Christmas!  There are so many children’s Christmas books to choose from, and today I’m sharing some of our favorites as well as a few that are on our wish list... 






Books are always great to give as birthday and Christmas gifts, and they also make sweet little “just because” gifts to welcome the best season of all! 

Happy reading!  :o)

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Monday, November 23, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 36 (Thanksgiving Prep)

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

We had a relatively low-key week which is pretty much unheard of this time of year, but I suppose when you’re in a pandemic and most stuff is canceled, that’s just the way it is.  I almost decided not to recap this past week as it was about as mundane as it gets, but as you all know, I’m preserving memories over here, so I just can’t quit the recaps no matter how boring they may be!

Monday, November 16 (Day 248 of Quarantine)

Monday morning, I had a follow-up appointment with my dermatologist, and then I swung by Target to return a few things.  The rest of the day was spent working, cooking, hanging with the kiddos, and watching TV after they went to bed.

Tuesday, November 17 (Day 249 of Quarantine)

Tuesday after I dropped the kids, I made a quick stop by Fresh Market to grab some chicken… gotta get that Tuesday sale!  When I got home, I did a dance workout, and then I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon wrapped up in my heated blanket, sipping on cinnamon tea, and listening to Christmas music while I knocked out more work.  I’m so far ahead on blog posts as I type this, and it feels great!  After this week, though, with the kids being out for Thanksgiving, I’ll be behind again by Monday.  Haha.

It was chilly all this week with lows in the 30s and highs in the 60s, so I made a huge pot of white chicken chili for dinner Tuesday evening, and B and I enjoyed that with a rare weekday glass of wine.  The kids won’t touch the white chicken chili, so they dined on freezer chicken nuggets, sweet potatoes, and some fruit. 

The rest of the evening was spent folding and putting away all of the laundry, reading with Olivia, and watching The Bachelorette.

Wednesday, November 18 (Day 250 of Quarantine)

Wednesday was another day of work, and then Olivia had dance class after school.  I got Jacob home and whizzed Olivia over there, and while she was in dance, I put gas in the car and then caught up on emails in the parking lot.  Parents aren’t allowed in the building at this time because of Covid, and I miss chatting with all of my dance mom friends so much.   

Speaking of Covid, thank you for all of your prayers for my family these last couple of weeks… my cousin and his family are all on the mend after suffering from Covid for several weeks.  My cousin is now out of the hospital, although still on oxygen at home, but things are looking up for all of them, praise the Lord.  Brian’s cousin, however, just found out she’s Covid positive, so please keep her in your prayers, too.  I feel like our Covid prayer list is never-ending these days.

As for another Covid update, that positive case in our afterschool program ended up being another isolated case as no other students or teachers who came in contact with her have tested positive that we know of.  Woo hoo!  Our school is doing the best job of preventing the spread so far… we’ve made it 15 weeks with only two positive cases in the entire school – babies through high school  and those positive cases didn’t seem to infect anyone else. 

That said, the return to school after Thanksgiving Break has me a bit worried, as I’m sure there will be people who will travel and get together in big groups and not follow best practices during the holidays… we are praying that there’s not a huge outbreak when students return.  Our school sent out an email asking parents to strongly consider keeping their kids home to learn virtually for a week after the break if they choose to travel or be in big groups, so I’m hoping everyone will make good choices and do their part to keep everyone safe at our school. 

Our family is forfeiting our large gatherings in favor of smaller gatherings, outdoors, with masks and social distancing, so we will be doing our part for sure.  That said, the weather is looking a little iffy here Thanksgiving weekend, and as of now, there are several chances for rain, including Thanksgiving Day and the days after which is when we’re doing all of our get-togethers.  Sigh.  If that happens, we’ll likely be giving up our plans altogether, so fingers crossed everything turns out okay.

Wednesday evening was breakfast for dinner, followed by hanging with the kids, followed by hanging with B.  Olivia has been begging for Christmas earrings since last year when she got her ears pierced, but I wasn’t able to find any nice ones last year that she could wear.  Her piercings were brand new at Christmastime last year, so her ears were sensitive, and I wasn’t able to find any that would work. 

Well, her ear piercings are now one year old, and they have healed nicely, so I decided to grab this adorable set from Target for her to try this year.  They were only $6 for all nine pairs, and y’all, she was ECSTATIC when she saw them.  We’ve been changing them out every single evening so she can wear a new pair to school each day and she’s pretty much in heaven.  So far, her ears seem to be tolerating them well, so it’s good to know that she can now probably get away with wearing “cheapie” earrings on occasion. 

Thursday, November 19 (Day 251 of Quarantine)

Thursday morning, I had to do my follow-up ultrasound for my mammogram.  My mammogram came back normal, but my tissue is very dense (yes, TMI) so they always require me to get an ultrasound in addition to the mammogram each year.  It’s a pain to have to go twice back-to-back each year, but it’s nice knowing that they get that extra look to ensure everything is normal in there!

And the good thing about the ultrasound is that the doc comes in and gives the results right then and there, so there’s no waiting around.  Sure enough, he said everything looked great, and I don’t have to go back for a whole year.  Woo hoo!

The rest of the day Thursday was spent catching up on some life stuff – room mom things, paying bills, Christmas shopping, personal emails, etc. – and then I worked on securing some more blog sponsorships.  Knowing the kids would be out of school for this entire week kicked my butt into high gear last week!  Haha.

B and I grabbed some lunch from our favorite Greek place, and the day just flew by!  Why is it that my favorite time of year is going by in the blink of an eye and the first eight months of the year felt like three whole years?!  

Thursday afternoon, the kids spent lots of time outside after they finished their homework.  They always come home from school wired and ready to run around after being in the classroom all day, so we’re trying to get them outside whenever we can.  Now that the time has changed, it gets dark here around 6, so we’re unable to do our family walks after dinner. 

We had leftover baked ziti for dinner, and then the kids did some crafting.  B and I watched a couple of more episodes of Emily in Paris, as well as one episode of Magic for Humans, and then we went to bed.

I've been indulging in the Publix seasonal ice creams these last couple of months, and oh my word, their peppermint ice cream is the best!

Friday, November 20 (Day 252 of Quarantine)

Friday after I dropped the kids at school, I spent the entire day working up a storm to tie up all the loose ends before Thanksgiving break.  I don’t want to have to work that much this week, so I wanted to get as much done as possible, and there were several important tasks that need to be completed for the collabs I’m doing.

Maui discovered the joys of my heated blanket, so I had the pleasure of her company pretty much all day.  She would NOT get out of my lap.  Lol.

Friday evening B had to work late, so I picked up takeout from Five Guys, and then we watched The Grinch (the newer animated one).  After the kids went to bed, B and I watched the season premiere of A Million Little Things and it was just so good.  That show is just the best, y’all.  We followed that with the newest episode of The Mandalorian, and then it was bedtime.

Saturday, November 21 (Day 253 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, I ended up sleeping until 9 AM.  I had trouble falling asleep Friday night and ended up lying awake in bed until sometime after 1:30 AM, so I guess my body needed the extra rest.  I probably would have slept longer, but Olivia came in our bedroom at 9 to tell us she was hungry.  Lol.  Bless it. 

I made pancakes for breakfast and we watched ESPN College GameDay, and then I got in a cardio workout after breakfast.  I spent the whole rest of the morning and early afternoon tidying the house and doing laundry to get all of school germs out of the house.  I washed the kids’ bookbags and lunchboxes, all of their uniforms, all of our masks, and everyone’s sheets.  And I may have added some oily goodness to the dryer balls to make the sheets smell like The North Pole.  ;o) 

After lunch, we all went out in the back yard, and B and I spent some time prepping the porch for Thanksgiving since we’ll be having my parents over to eat outside.  We cleaned out the herb pots and stacked them up in the outdoor storage closet, gave the porch a good sweeping, and put a few other things away to make room so we can all spread out on Thursday.  The whole porch needs to be clear in case that rain chance turns out to be true.

B and the kids set up the soccer goals afterward and ran around for a bit while I finished tidying.  I received my Target shipment of peppermint Mrs. Meyers soap and I was soooo excited!  The peppermint scent is only sold online, and it sells out quickly every year, so I was excited to have finally gotten my hands on some.  Last year, I couldn’t get it at all.  :o(

After a nice long time outdoors, the kids came in to play video games in the late afternoon, and I got our bedrooms photographed for my Christmas home tour next week here on the blog.  I always like to photograph everything just before dusk so I can capture the house in natural light, as well as after dark so I can capture the warm glow of the twinkle lights after the sun goes down.

B picked up takeout from our favorite Mexican place, and we dined on tacos and queso and margs for dinner.  The UGA football game was on at 7:30, so B and I settled in for that after dinner, while the kids watched a movie upstairs in the playroom.  We ended up winning – with our third string quarterback (who may end up actually being good) – but it definitely wasn’t the prettiest game.  Ugh.

Sunday, November 22 (Day 254 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning was church and cinnamon rolls, and then the kids watched some TV.  We went outside mid-morning so the kids could play… Brian and Jacob hit some golf balls in the back yard, and Olivia and I did some sidewalk chalk… something we hadn’t done since the peak of quarantine back during the late spring/early summer.  Olivia and I played a few games of Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, and then we all got ready for the day.  Side note, Maui has started sleeping with her tongue hanging out lately, and it's the funniest thing!

B picked up Panera and brought it home for lunch, and then we walked to our neighborhood playground again.  We’ve done lunch and neighborhood playground three Sundays in a row now, so I guess you could say it’s our new tradition.  It’s nice to be able to take a walk in the afternoon and not melt into a puddle from the heat and humidity.

The kids played at the playground for an hour or so, while B and I walked laps, and then we all headed home to tidy up and settle in for the evening.  More video games for the kids and work for me was followed by white chicken chili and a glass of wine for dinner, and then we all watched the new Lego Star Wars Christmas special on Disney+ followed by the American Music Awards and The Undoing.

Mundane, but good. 

Now for a few current things…

Currently Reading


Just trying to finish up Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts.  I’d like to just give it up altogether, but there are some great nuggets here and there, and I don’t want to miss any of them.  I’ll have this one completed within the next couple of days for sure.


Currently Watching


We’re working our way through all of the network TV - The Bachelorette, Shark Tank, This is Us, Supermarket Sweep, A Million Little Things!!!!, and Saturday Night Live.   We’re also working our way through The Mandalorian as the new episodes are released, Magic for Humans (a show that we watch on occasion when there’s nothing else on), as well as Emily in Paris.  We also just started The Undoing on HBO, and y’all, it is SO good.  It’s suspenseful from the first episode and it always ends on a cliffhanger to keep you coming back for more.  I just adore Hugh Grant.  Where has he been these last 15 years?!


We’ve also started working our way through all of our favorite Christmas movies, as well as some new ones.  So far, we’ve watched Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Noelle, The Grinch (new animated one), and Holidate.  Four down, so many to go!


College football has also been on our TV a lot, but not as much as it should… there have been several games postponed due to positive Covid cases, so we’ve been missing it!  UGA missed one game due to the other team having positive cases, but thankfully, our team seems to be avoiding it so far.  Knock on wood!


Currently Listening To


Christmas music, all day, every day.  Literally.  Lol.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

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