Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Favorites

I love me a Friday!!

Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite things from the week and linking up with Narci, Andrea and Erika too!  Happy Friday friends!

I'm going to start with hair.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned how I have been using apple cider vinegar in my hair before I shampoo and condition once a week or so to get the gunk out (you know...all of that product build up like dry shampoo that gets on your roots).  Well, well, well, several people mentioned that baking soda mixed into your shampoo does the same job.  The other night, I added about a 1/2 a tablespoon of baking soda to my quarter sized amount of shampoo and made a paste in the shower (yes, I took a ramekin of baking soda into the shower with me...) before shampooing.  And ladies, this worked so well!  Dare I say, it worked better than the vinegar???  I think I liked it for two reasons, one it really made my hair feel super clean (especially on the roots!) and two, I only had to wash out two things (the shampoo paste and then my conditioner) instead of three (vinegar, shampoo and conditioner).  Try it!  It really worked!!

Speaking of hair...I found us a new hair product!!  I was at Sephora last week buying me a new bottle of Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray (remember me talking about it when I shared my favorite hair products?) when the nice girl working there said I should try their new formula instead because it's not as drying and crunchy (which even though I love the regular Surf Spray, I can see how it might be a little of both).  This new Surf Infusion is kind of like the regular Surf Spray mixed with a hydrating oil, so it's very moisturizing, smells so good and totally  gives you the same beachy waves texture.  Love, love, love, love!  If you normally buy the Surf Spray, you should go out on a limb and try the Surf Infusion next time!

One of my favorite things this week was to read through your comments on names!  I love reading about how you got your names and why you picked the names you did for your kiddos.  If you're a pregnant mama out there needing ideas for baby names, you should read through these comments.  This makes me want to have 10 more kids just so I can name them :).

Sheaffer, Mel and I are excited to share with you our new link up beginning next Wednesday!  The last Wednesday of every month we will have a What's Up Wednesday link up!  Mel and I have already done two of these over the last two months.  You can see mine here.

Here's what you do...on the last Wednesday of each month, you do a What's Up Wednesday post and answer these questions...

Each month, we'll also have an extra seasonal question.  This month, the question is...

What are you getting your mom (or what do you want) for Mother's Day this year?

Add this question to the end of your post after you answer the other questions.  Then link up with us on Wednesday morning.

We want to know what's up with you!

Our Mother of All Giveaways Week continues on Monday with a HUGE prize for one lucky winner and her mama!!  Next week is going to be all about Mother's Day Gift Guides, Mother's Day Giveaways and other mama related stuff.   

The winner of our Barrington Bag giveaway is...


Congratulations Kristen!  You and your favorite mama each win one St. Anne tote from Barrington that you can customize any way you like!  I'm emailing you right now for you to claim your prize.

Don't forget, you still have time to order your bag and have it delivered by Mother's Day!  

All orders received by April 27 will be shipped in time for Mother's Day.

Speaking of Mother's Day...
My very favorite Kate Spade studs are 30% off right now!  They come in 16 fun colors and I want them all :).

And dinner tonight is a Quick Chicken Stir-Fry.  It's a Friday Fry!

Have the best weekend!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Life Lately.

Happy Thursday!

This week, Andrew has been in Africa doing mission work.  In the last 8 months, Andrew has been in the Middle East and now in Africa feeding the hungry, working in schools and most importantly, sharing the message of Jesus.  On Monday, my dad returned from his fourth trip to Bangladesh doing the exact same thing.  Needless to say, I'm very proud of the men in my life and their willingness to go the distance to share the Gospel of Christ.

Life lately has been really funny :).  These two sisters (and the dog) keep me in stitches all day long!

Kensington's class had a parent participation research project where we got to go to school and be a part of their final project.  Kensington loved this!

She's filling me in on all of the details of her terrarium.

Smith built a tent and all I saw were feet sticking out.  When I lifted the blankets, he was sound asleep on the floor.  And isn't Andrew's blanket cool?  We had it made from all of his old college football t-shirts (Because oh my heavens!  That boy had a ton of shirts from his time at K-State!).

Walking to school pick up, Smith picked me flowers :).

Walking home with my crew.

 On Saturday, we loved going to Griffin's 2nd Birthday Party!  It was at a cupcake place where my girls were able to decorate their own cupcakes.

Sweet girls at the cupcake place!

Early Sunday morning, we had patio time and enjoyed the chilly weather.

He made this for daddy :).

She made this for Daddy.  She said it's Andrew with his kids :).

Later that afternoon, these crazies wanted to swim.  It was only 70 degrees outside but they swam in the cold water for over an hour.  Then, they snuggled and dried off.

 After their baths, they asked if they could play "dots".  I'm totally on board with any game that's not Chutes and Ladders (because that game lasts forever!).

 I didn't think I would be able to go with Kensington on her field trip this week since Andrew is out of town and someone needed to stay with Smith and Ashby.  Well, when they sent out their field trip destination is was at an aquarium that is 45 minutes away from us...which is only 10 minutes from my parents' house (my parents live an hour from me), so my mom was able to meet me at the aquarium and take the younger two to her house, so I could attend the field trip.  We had so much fun!!

Kensington loved this aquarium!

We were both thankful for sturdy glass...there were sharks under our feet!

On Tuesday, I got me an assistant :).  Typically, Ashby rides in the little car part of the shopping cart but on this day, she asked to push a small cart and it worked out so well!  She was so sweet and followed right behind me the entire time.  She also filled her little cart to the brim.  We had the best time!

And then by Tuesday afternoon, everything went kind of crazy.  As soon as I walked up to Smith's class at school pick up, I knew he was sick.  He just looked sick.  I called my nurse friend Sarah and she said she thought he had strep, so I took him to the doctor and yup...strep.  Poppy was supposed to have been groomed on this day, but when we took her in, they had accidentally moved her appointment to another in the randomness that was my Tuesday afternoon, I drove sleeping Smith around (he fell asleep in the car) and the dog while we waited the 30 minutes for the pharmacy to fill his prescription. 

A sweet reader named Justine sent me this quote this week...

Children born to another woman call me Mom.  The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me. -Jody Landers heart in one quote.

That's our life lately!  We're looking forward to a baseball filled weekend and then for daddy to be home next week!

On my foodie blog today...

A yummy spring breakfast or little slice of dessert.  (Or for me, a mid-afternoon snack with coffee!)


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

May Goals & A GIVEAWAY!!

Happy May wait er I mean April 22.

I am doing my May Goals today because Sheaffer and I are kicking off our Mother of All Giveaways Week RIGHT NOW.  


We're starting our fun week with a Barrington Bag giveaway for you and one for your favorite mama (it can be your mama, your best girlfriend, your sister...just any mama!).

Enter the Rafflecopter below and a winner will be selected and announced THIS FRIDAY morning!  One winner will receive a St. Anne tote for her and one for her favorite mama.  

You can personalize these fun bags any way you like!  I have two St. Anne totes that I carry with me all the time.  These bags are great to use instead of a purse, as diaper bags, as gym bags, as office bags...they're really great!  I've been using one as a gym bag  lately and it works like a charm.  And I'm going to use my other one as a pool bag this summer too!  

Sheaffer and I had been busy working on our giveaway when the sweet people at Barrington sent us each a new tote for, I reached out and asked if they would give one to a reader of ours and they said no...they would give two :).  Thank you Barrington!

If you're thinking about Mother's Day gifts, right now Barrington is offering a 10% off code for our readers.  

The code is MAMA10.  

All orders received before April 27 will be shipped out in time for Mother's Day.  This would make such a special gift for the mamas in your life :).

We just love celebrating mamas around here!  Just wait...more fun coming your way as we celebrate THE MOTHER OF ALL GIVEAWAYS WEEK!  (HUGE prizes ahead!!)

Okay, time for May Goals...but before we get to's a recap with April...

1. Spring Clean: Well, I think I've purged everything but our dreaded play room.  I've kind of resigned myself to the fact that as long as I have young children, my house will be overrun with little plastic toys.  I went through and cleaned out the kids' closets and drawers along with mine...but I still need to tackle that darn play room.  I don't know about you, but my kids are like this...

...this makes me laugh because it's so true :).

2. Clean up yard and patio: Done!  I'm going to give Andrew like 99% of the credit for this...but it's done, so that's all that matters, right?  We pulled our patio furniture and pillows back out, we added more mulch, we cleaned up the tables and washed our's ready for outdoor living!

3. Buy swimsuits: This has been harder than usual this year!  My kiddos start swim lessons on Tuesday, so they need some swimsuits but for some reason, it hasn't been as easy this year as in years past.  Smith is all taken care of but the girls still need a few.  Let's all stop and say a prayer for Ashby next week...she loves the tub...but who knows what she's going to think about the swimming pool...

4. Run outside: Instead of going to the gym on Fridays this month, I've been running outside instead.  Our weather in the mornings has been perfect for outdoor exercising.  I've been walking Kensington to school and then running has been so nice to be outside!

5. Watch baseball: The Red Sox are back in business....and I haven't missed a game!  I love, love, love baseball season!!

That's is May...

I stuck them on my computer screen this month so that I don't forget any :).

1. Plant a Veggie Garden: I really want to grow some veggies in our backyard.  I bought a book on vegetable growing and asked some of my gardener friends, but I would LOVE any tips you have too!  I've grown vegetables in pots before but never in an actual there is a lot of room for error here, tips appreciated!!  (And just so you know...I live in a very dry and hot, I need to be able to grow things that thrive in the sun and without a ton of water.)

2. Find a great sunscreen: I need a great waterproof sunscreen for myself and the kiddos this time of year when we're hanging around the pool all day, every day.  Any suggestions?  Last year, I bought a brand that even after a good shower, still wouldn't come, this year, I need a better one.  If you prefer a separate one for the face, I'd like to know what that is too!  Help!

3. Get pool bag and summer toys and stuff out: I keep a great big pool bag loaded and ready to go in the closet by the back door all summer long.  This way, when we're walking out the door, I just grab it and go.  (I've posted about my pool bag here.)  At the end of each summer, I empty it out, clean it out and pack it away.  So now, I need to get it out and stock it for summer.  I also need to get the summer yard toys and such down and out for the kids to use outside.

4. Enjoy my last month with Smith: My boy is registered for kindergarten now (insert me sobbing here).  Next month, Kensington will be out for summer break, so I really need to soak up my Smith time.  It's so hard to believe that my baby boy is about to go to school.  I'm going to sneak in as many hugs, cuddles and kisses as I can this month (and I'm going to try and do some activities during the day that he really enjoys!).

5. Get all camps scheduled: My kiddos love tennis camp and this year, basketball camp.  We've done Vacation Bible School in the past too, so I need to figure out if we're going to do that again or not.  I don't like them to be too busy but they enjoy a little activity throughout their summer, so I need to get all of that on the calendar and booked.

6. Have fun in Boston: This isn't really a's just something that makes me happy.  This month, I'm heading to Boston to see my Sox play two games...I am so excited!!

There you have it!  A little May on April 22nd!

Dinner on the foodie blog tonight is something so simple and easy that your family should eat tonight!

It's my Crispy Potatoes and Sausage.  My kiddos could eat this every night for dinner!


And good luck with the giveaway!

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