March Favorites

I can’t believe we’re already over a week into April! Honestly, March is usually one of my least favorite months because it is so cold and I’m always just SO ready for spring. It always seems to drag on but between planning a bridal shower for my sister and Jake’s 30th birthday, it flew by this year. Here are some of my favorite things from March! 

First up- this Living Proof Dry Shampoo. This dry shampoo is a game changer for me! I can go about 3-4 days without washing my hair when I’m using this. I have been trying to stretch it out longer and my hair has really become more accustomed to going 3-4 days between washes and I owe it all to this stuff. It has really helped me “train” my hair. I could go on but it’s hands down the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used! It’s a little on the pricey side but their website runs specials frequently so I snag a bottle every time it’s on sale. Trust me – it’s worth it!

Next are these Contigo kids cups for the boys! I don’t know about you guys, but I HATE sippy cups. Haha that sounds dramatic, but seriously! Why is it so hard to find a good one that doesn’t leak or spill, is easy to wash, easy to transport? My best girl Jen told me I needed to grab these cups so she really gets all the credit for these! We have loved them. Easy to clean, easy to drink out of and do not leak.

The Goaldigger Podcast – y’all. I love listening to Jenna Kutcher. Even if you don’t have a “side hustle” or could not care less about running a business, Jenna is honestly so encouraging and inspiring. I feel like we are friends in real life because she is just so relatable and down to earth. I usually listen to her podcast every week and she always brings a little motivation into my life. 

These hair bands are a lifesaver for me. I’ve actually been using them for awhile but I wanted to share them with you all now. I get headaches so easily – if my hat is too tight, if I wear glasses for too long, or if my hair tie is too tight. It may just be that I have a big head- haha- but these hair ties are awesome! They never give me headaches and hold my hair up so well. They don’t slide out and the best part- they don’t leave horrible creases in my hair. I use these to put my hair on top of my head at night (with my dry shampoo) and shake my hair out in the morning and restyle it… or just put it back up into a messy bun HAHA. (#momlife) These hair ties and Living Proof dry shampoo have really been game changers for my hair!

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Lastly- this lego mat is amazing!! My mother-in-law got this for Easton for Christmas and it is so perfect for legos! You could use it for any kind of toy, really. It is so convenient and makes clean up so easy. Just pull the string and you have a bag of legos (instead of a floor full of legos just waiting to be stepped on.😬)

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found some helpful things! Have a great week!

 

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How To Style Bookshelves

We recently added some bookshelves in our living room and I have loved moving things around and decorating them! I probably spend way too much time on them, to be honest (you can ask Jake). But once I move one thing, I end up rearranging the whole shelf! Haha! It’s kind of like a fun puzzle to put together. I have had several people ask some questions about the shelves so I thought I’d write a little post about them to show how I do them.

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These shelves are actually just IKEA Billy bookcases that we mounted to the wall and then trimmed out ourselves to make them look “built in.” And when I say “ourselves” I actually mean my AMAZING sister-in-law who loves a good DIY project. She headed this whole project up for me and roped Jake and our cousin Joseph into helping her and they did an amazing job! I still need to paint the trim and fill the nail holes but I am amazed at how well they turned out. They really look like real built-in shelves! 

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To style bookshelves, there are a couple of things I do:

  1. Use a good mix of photos and words. Personally, I don’t like to use too many photos on my shelves. I usually choose my very favorite photos to frame and display and put the rest in a photobook. I also have several framed prints or signs on my shelves.  I like to use quotes, words, or scripture that really means something to me and or is encouraging or uplifting in some way.
  2. Use a combination of finishes and textures. I like to use neutral wood tones, baskets, chippy older pieces, glass bottles, and different metals such as galvanized trays, brushed gold pots or candles, and iron pieces. 
  3. Add some green plants (faux or real) to your shelves to give them some life and color. I’m not the best at keeping plants alive… haha.. so I like to use faux plants here and there on my shelves. My favorite faux plants are the little plants from Ikea. These are really cute and inexpensive! I don’t think that you can order them online but if you live near an Ikea, they are usually in the marketplace area at the end.
  4. Mix old and new items. I love the vintage, old farmhouse look but I really like mixing my favorite old things with newer, clean neutrals. Think outside the box! You don’t have to fill your shelves up with books only. You can use candles, frames, old boxes, things you have collected over the years, etc. In the words of Marie Kondo- “anything that sparks joy”! Haha!
  5. This last one is a big one and not everyone is a fan of doing this, but I really think it makes a big impact. Place your books on the shelves with the binding against the shelves and the pages facing outward. Some people really do not love this idea, and yes it does make books much harder to find haha! But for the sake of keeping it neutral, I love the look of the neutral beige and whites pages as opposed to the many different colors of the bindings on my books. This is a personal preference, but I really believes that it changes the entire look of your shelves! This really wouldn’t be ideal for shelves in an office or place where you need to use the books on your shelves regularly, but if your shelves are mainly for storage and decoration- this is a great way to keep them neutral.

 

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These are just things that I do! Never feel like you have to go buy items to decorate. Use the things that you have around your house that you already love and make them work. I hope this was helpful!  If you all have any other tips or ideas for styling shelves, leave them down below. I’d love to hear them! Happy weekend friends!fullsizeoutput_4d56

February Favorites

So a couple months ago, I said that I was going to do monthly favorites posts.. and I’ve done exactly ONE. So I’m getting back to it! I love “monthly favorites” posts and seeing what everyone is loving or things that help make life easier so I’m sharing my February faves with you guys. Here are a couple things that I really loved in February!

First up- these plaid pillow covers from Amazon! I’ve had several people ask me how I keep throw pillows clean with toddlers and the answer is- I don’t lol. No but really, I use pillow inserts and change out the covers! Most of the covers I have are washable so I can throw them in the washing machine. The price on these covers is amazing- two covers for $14! I’m not sure how these will hold up in the wash, but for that price, I will get great use out of them! They have zipper closure and there are several different sizes for different pillow inserts. I’m so impressed with Amazon’s home selection lately!

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Next is this beautiful Rachel Allene mug! I have been following her on Instagram for awhile now and she is such a genuine and kind person. Everything she carries in her shop is so encouraging and beautiful. Even though life can get so crazy sometimes, I really do believe these ARE the days that I’m going to remember. I love this reminder to soak it all in.

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Ok and you guys know I love Arbonne products- so it’s no surprise that I am loving these new eye shadow pallettes! There are so many fun colors and some great neutrals for every day. They go on so smoothy and wear so well throughout the day! There are some beautiful matte colors but also some shimmery ones too. I love them both but I think the Volume Two (pictured) is my favorite-especially Quartz, Opal, Prism, and Pebble together. I love Volume One too and that one has more neutral, earth tones. Vegan and paraben free, no mineral oil or harsh chemicals and they stay all day. So that’s definitely a win for me! If you want one, send me a message so I can get you a discount!

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Nutpods Creamer– Ok I have seen this creamer recommended so many times but finally tried it this month! It is dairy free and so creamy and good! Definitely my favorite dairy free coffee creamer that I have tried. I like the original version but they have a hazelnut and a french vanilla that are both great! I linked it through Amazon but you can find it at Kroger and other local grocery stores.

Lastly, I grabbed this Simplified Planner from Amazon and I have really been loving it! I have been using a bullet journal as a planner for the past 3 years. While I really enjoyed the freedom and creativity of bullet journaling, I needed something that was easy and simple and that I wouldn’t have to draw out every month because honestly, I just don’t have time to do that right now. I love this planner though! It’s not Emily Ley’s large version of this planner but I think it’s more of a scaled down Simplified Planner with weekly and monthly pages. Since I bought it in February, they were a little picked over but I love this one! I’m a big fan of Emily Ley and I’m definitely going to be more on top of it and grab one of these for next year whenever she releases them!

Hope you guys enjoyed this little round up! Have a happy Monday and a great week!

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone! I have been thinking that it would be kind of fun to do a monthly “favorites” post at the end of every month. October was pretty busy for us with lots of birthdays, a weekend out of town and adjusting to new schedules and routines- but here are some of my favorite things from the last several weeks. Since we are halfway through November, we’ll go with “Friday Faves” and I’ll do better this month! Haha!

These shoes are hands down one of my favorite things I have purchased this year. I had been eyeing these babies for almost a year! Haha! I have no idea why I waited this long to try them because they are so comfortable and so cheap. They are very similar to the Free People Royale shoes but they are about 1/6 of the cost! I think I held out on these because I just assumed they wouldn’t be comfortable because they are so affordable, but it’s a win-win because they are both! They are perfect for those cool fall days that aren’t quite chilly enough for boots and also great for the summer to fall transition. I got the color tan but they have three other colors and most sizes are in stock.

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Another favorite – this denim. I got these jeans on major sale for $24 at the end of the summer and then grabbed a second pair the next time I saw them on sale because I like them so much! With two pregnancies back to back and the whole postpartum time period, you guys know how much your body goes through so it has been awhile since I have purchased a pair of jeans! I have pretty much lived in leggings and athletic shorts for like… four years… so, I decided I should update my pants situation a little. Haha! These jeans checked all of my boxes- high waisted, stretchy but not too stretchy (so they don’t sag), and they come in tall and short sizes! Praise! I am a big fan of Abercrombie jeans now, especially if they are on sale! They put this style on sale often and right now they are $39. I got this distressed pair and then another pair in a darker wash.

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I have been loving this candle for the fall season. My SIL got me one of these a couple of years ago and I think this might be my third one since because I use it all through the fall and winter! I usually don’t burn candles often but I can’t help it during the holidays because it just makes the house feel so cozy!

My last one is the Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith (“The Nester”). I got this book at the annual “Nest Fest” that Myquillyn hosts at her home in North Carolina. My friends and fam surprised me with tickets to go this year and it was SO much fun! She hosted around 50+ vendors and small shops at her house along with several other authors that did book signings as well. She just released her new book and we received signed copies with our tickets! I could go on so I will just tell you that this book is a great read for those of you who are trying to figure out what your “style” is for your home. I feel like “cozy minimalism” really describes what I have in mind for my house and there are so many good tips for achieving the look you want for your space, big or small! I have really tried to simplify our home this year and it’s a goal of mine to keep it simple whenever possible. Even though I am drawn to a little bit of a different style than Myquillyn, she does such a great job explaining how you can love your home and use it to the fullest, while not being overwhelmed and bogged down with extra stuff.

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I hope you guys liked this little group of favorites that I put together and I’m excited to do this again at the end of November!

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Resolutions and Reading Lists

Now that fall is here, I felt like it would be fun to do a mini book review post! It will be the perfect weather to cozy up with a good book (hopefully soon!) so this is a little round up of a couple of books I have enjoyed this year. I have always loved to read, but these past several years (like past 10 years, actually haha!) I have not been able to make it a priority like I would have liked. Between studying in college, acclimating to a night shift nursing job and then becoming a mom several years later, it was so hard to make myself sit down and really get into a book. I found myself collapsing on the couch at the end of the day, binge watching some Netflix shows or watching movies with Jake (which are not bad things at all, still love to do that haha). This year, one of my 2018 New Year’s resolutions was to read two books a month. My “to be read” list was ridiculously long and I decided I had to start chipping away at it and finding joy in curling up with a good book again. I have probably read around two books a YEAR since the boys were born so this seemed like a pretty lofty goal, but I was determined to get back into reading. 

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I made my reading list in my bullet journal and got started. If you haven’t heard of bullet journaling, it is a way of organizing and planning in a blank notebook. My sister-in-law and mother-in-law got me into this several years ago. They are both much more creative and artistic on paper than I am, but I still really enjoy keeping track of our lives in a journal style like this. I use it as a planner, journal, place to keep lists and important dates, write down recipes, etc. You name it, you can bullet journal about it! I love the freedom in it and that I can keep all of my lists, plans, and things I want to remember in one place. There have been seasons where I have only used it to keep track of appointments and plans, but other times I like to get a little creative. If you have some time, look up bullet journaling on Pinterest! I may write a more detailed post about it later to explain it a little more. Here is a picture of my bullet journal reading list. I may or may not have stolen this idea from my SIL (and hers is amazing) but it’s been such a cool way of keeping track of the books I’ve read and want to read. I have read some of these books in the past, but loved them so much I put them back on the list to read again eventually!

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One of the first books I read at the beginning of the year was A Simplified Life by Emily Ley. It was the perfect read in January since it’s usually an organize/get-your-life-together type of month. Haha! After reading and loving that one, I had to get my hands on her first book, Grace, Not Perfection. I loved this one even more! Emily is so encouraging and so motivating. I tend to be a little perfectionistic and this book gave me a new perspective on how I do every day life.

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I found Love Unending by Becky Thompson on accident while I was scrolling Amazon a couple months ago. I’m so glad I did! This book is sort of like a 30 day marriage challenge for moms with young children. It’s really about making and keeping your marriage a priority. With babies and toddlers, it can be difficult to make marriage your priority but it is so important and SO worth it. It is honestly such an easy, light read that gives you a little homework challenge and something to think on every day! It’s short and sweet and easy to fit into a busy schedule. 

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Glory in the Ordinary by Courtney Reissig is a quick read about discovering how the mundane, everyday work done in the home really is so important to our families, to ourselves, and to God. The author gives a fresh, new perspective on the purpose of housework and everyday tasks. Honestly, I really needed to hear this (especially in this season of my life) and I will probably reread this one several times! Haha. It is short and easy and a great reminder that even when you feel like what you do is unseen or doesn’t matter, there truly is glory in that work.  

Last but not least and probably my favorite of this little round up- Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic. This book is about living in the chaos that is having small children and actually enjoying even the most wild, chaotic moments. She has a dry sense of humor and tells it like it is, but at the same time, gives so much encouragement for living, really LIVING, in these years. Guys, if you are a mom, you need to read this book! I cannot say enough how much I loved it. I soaked it up and I will probably need to read it again soon too, haha! Both this one and Glory in the Ordinary were recommendations from my friend Lindsay and they did not disappoint!

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I hope you guys liked this mini book review type post. I wrote mostly about motherhood related books so I may do another one soon with some non-parenthood related books that I have loved this year- haha! I still have so much on my TBR list but please let me know if you have any great suggestions that I can add! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you can enjoy these books as much as I did!

P.S. I’ve been reading the Outlander series by Diana Galbadon this year! I started the series in January and I am on book five now. These books are pretty lengthy and they’re pretty much the only fiction I’ve been able to read this year, but I don’t even mind because they are my FAVORITE ever. If you love a good love story, adventure, and history all in one, you have to read this series!

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So Long, Sweet Summer

Well guys, I have been thinking of starting a blog for so long now and after several friends encouraged me to go for it, I decided to give it a shot. I have always thought it would be such a fun way to journal about our life and I can’t wait to look back on this someday! I plan on sharing about anything and everything that I love with you all on here. I’m hoping to post several times a week!

I’m going do a little bit of an update on our fam for my first post. We had the best summer and I honestly can’t believe it’s over! Normally by August, I am so ready for fall. Fall is probably my favorite season. Changing leaves, pumpkins, big sweaters, bonfires, football- I know, #basic. Haha! For some reason this year though, I’m just having a hard time letting go of summer. This summer was a full and fun one and it makes me so excited for all of the summers to come with the boys! We enjoyed being outside often and lots of time with friends and family. We spent a lot of time at the pool and both of the boys just loved being in the water. Easton learned to swim on his own and it was so fun watching him become more and more confident! Boone is fearless in the pool too, and it’s a little bit terrifying! 

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We celebrated Boone’s birthday in August. I still can’t believe he is TWO years old! His current favorite activities include playing with legos and rummaging through the cabinets, haha! He is such a snuggler and he gives the best hugs and kisses. He keeps us on our toes daily! Easton started preschool a couple of weeks ago and he is loving it! He is going a couple of days a week. We love hearing all about what he does at school and the new friends he has made. He talks non-stop when he is at home so I would love to be a fly on the wall to see how that goes at school, haha. It has been nice to have some one-on-one time with Boone too! He has been loving running errands and hanging out with just me, and enjoying some treats too.

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Easton’s first day of preschool

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We recently started going camping and the boys LOVE it. For our first real camping trip, we went to a campground in Lexington. We went to Natural Bridge and to the safari park, made s’mores, explored, and slept (a little, lol). It was a really fun first trip and went over pretty smoothly with the exception of me locking us out of the camper for a couple of hours, haha. If any of you have any great camping tips or great places to go with little kids, let me know! We are looking forward to becoming more seasoned campers. Haha!

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Eating breakfast after their first night camping!
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The Safari Park was a huge hit!
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Hiking at Natural Bridge

Since the first day of fall was yesterday, I’m finally starting to feel some fall vibes coming on! It’s a little dreary and 60 degrees today so I’m planning on lighting a candle and decorating a little. Thanks for stopping by and reading! I’m really looking forward to this blogging journey with you guys!

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