Monday, July 30, 2018

Instant Pot


Hard to believe this is our last week of Monday we head back to school!

So I had mentioned last week that we finally got an Instant Pot, and though I was a bit intimidated when I first got it, we have used it a few times and so far we are LOVING it!

We got the 8qt Instant Pot, the exact one we got can be found here.  I got ours from Kohls, and between Kohls cash, 10$ off home purchase, and an extra 30% off using our Kohls charge we definitely got a GOOD deal on it!  

I am a huge crock pot is my best friend, and I wondered if I really "needed" this Instant Pot too....but after just using it a few times I can 100% justify the purchase.  I am sure I will still use my crock pot, but I am thinking it'll be much less now that I have this!  And the crock pot is great, but if you don't have your s*%t together and don't get it going in the morning...well you won't have dinner come 6:00!

I love the whole concept of one pot...I mean lets face it, I don't know anyone who loves doing dishes after cooking dinner, so I really appreciate I can make the entire meal in just one pot...just one pot to clean....YES PLEASE!

I love how quick I can get dinner on the table, some days I have lots of time to spend in the kitchen and cook all day, and some days its a freaking miracle my family even gets this is a huge help on those days.  So many days 4 o'clock rolls around and I realize I didn't get anything prepared for dinner, and so many times I would say screw it and we would just get takeout.  We are really trying to cut back on what we spend on eating out, so I am thankful that I can still whip up a meal at the last minute.  

I was definitely skeptical of it cooking so fast and still being delicious...the first thing we made in it was pulled pork.  This is definitely one of my family's favorite things to boys DEVOUR it.  Normally I would make it in the crock pot...the recipe I used the meat had to cook 14 hours, so I would throw it in the crock pot before I went to bed, and then by afternoon I was able to shred it, add the sauce and let it simmer another 2 hours. was delicious, but definitely a lengthy process.  So we decided to try it in the Instant Pot...I found a recipe and my boys were definitely not too sure, but we tried it and about an hour later we all agreed it was the best pulled pork we ever ate!!!!!!  The recipe was super simple and it really was delicious!

A few days later we tried spaghetti and meat sauce...I was definitely not sure about this one, but I figured I would give it a try....I wouldn't say it saved any time, but again I loved that I could cook the meat, and do it all in one pot.  It was actually pretty darn good, though some of the pasta did clump a little, so I know how to tweak it for next time.

It was yummy, and I only had that one pot to clean, so it was definitely a win in my book!

We also make Korean beef and served it over rice and it was DELICIOUS!  

I am definitely going to share the recipes later this week, because those 3 dishes really were good and we all loved it!  Not one complaint during dinner...any mom will consider that a huge win!

Now......where I am struggling is with the chicken in the Instant Pot.  I tried two different recipes and both were NOT if y'all have any tips for chicken in the Instant Pot or a good, no fail chicken recipe PLEASE share it with me!

I am definitely going to compile some of my favorite recipes and start to share them over the next few weeks, and please if you guys have a MUST MAKE Instant Pot recipe please leave a comment and share it with me!

Thanks for stopping by today!  


Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday Favorites......Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Finds

Happy FRI-YAY!


So unless you have been living under a rock for the last few weeks I am sure you all have seen, heard, and had your fill of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  

I am going to share with y'all what I picked up but first I'm gonna!  I am not going to lie...I love this sale...I have always loved this sale...I have loved this sale long before every "blogger" and "influencer" shared the shit out of it.  And I still love it, but I will say the sheer amount of women "covering" this sale kinda makes me sick, kinda makes me laugh my ass off. In the weeks leading up to the sale the amount of stories and these women going on and on and on how they work so hard to cover this sale, and it is only right we shop their links so they get the commission for all their hard work had me almost vomitting!  I don't mean to come off as a hater, because I am not, I understand this is how they make their money, but there are literally thousands of these girls sharing ALL THE SAME STUFF....and sharing story after story on how to shop their links, and don't use the app because they don't get about over saturation!  I feel like my IG has been full of nothing but "try on sessions" and it is literally all the same stuff...which I think sucks because there really is so much more in the sale other than the booties and cardigans everyone and their mother is sharing!

Anyway.....I shopped the sale the first day it was open to cardholders, I didn't set my alarm and shop the wee hours of the morning, I jumped online when I woke up and was able to get the few things I new I really wanted and then a few other things that caught my eye!  I think the sale is still going on for another week or so, so there is still time to grab some things at discounted prices.  What I love most about this sale is that I can get a good deal on fall and winter pieces, what I don't love is not being able to wear them right away!  

Every year I always grab something Barefoot Dreams....I know everyone talks about them..and in my opinion they are worth all the hype!  They are definitely a little pricey, but in my opinion totally worth it.  This year I got this one in the color Almond.  I ordered it on July 12...and it is not scheduled to be delivered until July 30th...I am not thrilled about that but I am so excited to get this one.  Last year I got the Barefoot Dreams Circle Cardigan in the blue and LOVE it.  As I am writing this post I see that the ones included in the sale are sold out...but fingers crossed they will get some more...I love the Circle Cardigan..and it is the one that I wear out...with leggings or jeans.  It is super soft but definitely doesn't look like a robe!  And a few years ago I got the Barefoot Dreams Calypso Wrap Cardigan and love it...I didn't see it in the sale this year, but I use mine as a robe and 3 years later it has held up awesome!  These make great Christmas gifts!  

I got this blanket last year during the sale and a year later we are still LOVING it.  It is very soft, washes great and is like $25!  I have the grey one in my cart currently and most likely it will make its way to our house soon.  These also makes great gift...for the price I highly recommend it!

I got this Adidas tank and LOVE it!  I can wear it now and then in the fall with a cardigan or sweatshirt over it.  I got the black one last year from the sale and love the length of these...definitely long enough to wear with leggings!

These leopard mules might be my favorite purchase from the sale!  I love them...and I found them to be true to size.  Sometimes in a shoe like these I size up a half size, but I went with my normal size and they are perfect!

I ordered these joggers in grey, got them in and couldn't believe how soft they were, so I went and ordered the black pair also.  I haven't received them yet, but I am sure they are going to be just as awesome!  I am all about comfort, especially during the fall and I know I am going to wear these a ton!

I am sure you have seen or heard about these tees, they are $11, they are great for summer and to layer under cardigans in the fall and winter.  They are only $11 so they aren't going to last for years, but I always grab few each year...I love a good basic tee and these fit the bill!  If they are still available you should grab one, or two or five for yourself !

I got these Zella leggings and you just can't go wrong with these!  I love their crop leggings...not a fan of their live in full length leggings.  I am 5'5" and I find the regular leggings are long on me and I don't care for them...but the crop leggings...I love them!  I was hoping to snag the black but when I went to order they were sold out of my size!

I was hoping to find some pajamas that I loved, but I wasn't impressed with any of them that were included in the sale, so this was the first year ever that I didn't buy some pajamas and I was definitely a little disappointed.  I thought the shoe selection, especially the booties, was FABULOUS.  I really didn't need any so I refrained and didn't buy any, but if you need some new shoes I would definitely check out all the great shoes on sale!  I also was not overly impressed with the accessories that were available during the sale...I think the selection was much better in years past.  This was also the first year I didn't order anything for the kids....the boys like to shop for themselves at this point and I browsed the girls stuff but again was not really impressed, and even at the sale price, I still thought some of the pieces were priced too high for the amount of wear that Olivia would get out of them.  She is happy to shop at Target and get a few things from Justice so that works just fine for me!  

If you guys snagged anything from the sale I would love to know what you got!  Thanks for stopping by today...hope y'all have a great weekend!  See you back here Monday!


Thursday, July 26, 2018


Hello Friends....its been a hot minute since I have blogged....I just checked and the last time I put up a post was back in March!  My intentions were to blog regularly again, but sometimes life happens next thing you know you have blinked your eyes and four months have passed by!

I feel like life has just been crazy over the last few months, but the reality is we haven't really done anything too exciting, but it just feels busy all the time, and there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day!

As I sit here typing, I am in COMPLETE DENIAL that next week is my kids last week of summer break...we go back to school here August 6 and I just think that is TOO EARLY!!!  We have been out of school since May 21, which I think is also too early!  I liked it much better when I was a kid....we went back to school after Labor Day and went until mid June!  

After the kids got out of school we headed up to Michigan for a week and we had a great time.  We swam, spent time with family and just truly enjoyed hanging out with each other.  Once we got back AJ started football practice, so our summer plans weren't able to be super elaborate this year since he has had football practice 3x a week since the first week of June.  I still cannot believe he is going to be a just doesn't seem possible to me at all.

Olivia did two little camps this summer and Jack did a lot of sleeping and relaxing!  He is going to be a junior and I just cannot believe I only have two more years having him home before he is off to college!  It is no secret that I have struggled with my kids growing up, but I have to say this last year I have really gotten over being sad about them growing up, I absolutely love seeing them turn into young adults, and I am learning to love the freedom that comes along with not having little kids anymore!

Mark and I were hoping to get away for a kid free weekend this summer and it just didn't happen.  We have a trip planned for late October and we are hoping to sneak in a weekend in Nashville in September.  We did go to the Kenny Chesney concert last week and that is pretty much about all we did this summer.  LOL

If you have read here for a while you know that I wasn't a fan of Florida, especially summer in was HOT!  So when we moved back in October I was in heaven...I loved every single second of the winter and all the cold weather.....then summer rolled around...and OMG!!!!  Y'all....this summer has been AWFUL....the heat and humidity is unlike anything I have ever much worse than Florida.  For us, it has been miserable...its too hot to play outside, its too hot to even walk to the mailbox....we are NOT it is safe to say that at some point (hopefully sooner rather than later) we will not be here.  There is heat, and then there is heat in the Deep South...and it really is no joke.  LOL. So we have spent most of our days inside in the AC trying to stay cool.  We are literally counting down the days for the cold weather to start rolling in!

I am sure everyone is pretty much OVER the Nordstrom sale and all the "influencers" sharing all the same crap(I know I am)....but I did pick up a few things that I am LOVING and will be sharing them later this week.  We also recently got the Instant Pot and have used it a few times and we LOVE it...I am planning on doing a post about it and of course asking y'all for all the delicious recipes!  

I really am hoping with the kids getting ready to head back to school I can blog 3x a week...I truly love this little space and this community!

Thanks for stopping by today!


Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday Favorites

Hello Friends!

It has been FOREVER since I have done a Friday Favorites post!  I am linking up with Andrea , Erika and Narci, you should link up too!

I love candles, and my go to is always the Volcano candle from Anthro..I love's the best!  I was in Target the other day and picked up this Pineapple Splash candle...and its the perfect summer candle!  

I also grabbed this one, and it smells very similar to the Anthro volcano candle, and it is only $10.99

We celebrated St. Patricks Day last weekend, and we of course made all we could green.....we decided on my delicious cream puffs with green filling for dessert.  These are the BEST cream puffs ever...I have shared the recipe before, if you want to make some you can grab my recipe here .

I love anything comfortable and soft...and this sweatshirt fits the bill.  I picked it up at Old Navy a few weeks ago, I don't think I would pay full price for it, but if you can grab it on sale I would definitely recommend it.

Lunch is always so hard for me...and I am not one of those people to actually cook myself lunch, I love to go out to lunch, but if I am home, I usually skip lunch and eat chips all day.  I found this chicken salad at Sam's Club a few weeks ago and it is my FAVORITE to eat for lunch...y'all it is DELICIOUS!!!  Do yourself a favor and if. you like chicken salad go get some!



 The Ninja Coffee FAVORITE!  We had a Keurig for a few years and we liked it, but it can definitely get expensive buying all the KCups!  For Christmas my mom got us this coffee pot and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  I love that it came with a pot, so I can brew a full pot each morning for all of us, and then if I want a cup later in the day, I have the option to just brew a single cup.  It has a programmable timer, settings for cup, travel mug, half carafe, and full carafe.  You can also choose rich brew, classic brew or over ice, and you can also make specialty coffees.....I absolutely LOVE it.  If you have been thinking about a new coffee pot, definitely give this one a look!


Holiday decor is my favorite...I shared all our Easter decor on the blog Tuesday, you can check it out here .  


Scrolling through my phone and I stumble on probably 100 of boys love leaving me lots of their selfies.

I am not sure what we have planned for the weekend...I am hoping of the weather cooperates we can get out into the yard and do some work...other than that I plan on just enjoying some time with my crew!  Thanks for stopping by today...I'll see you back here next week!


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Easter Decor

Hello Ladies!

Hope you all had a great weekend!  We enjoyed a somewhat low key weekend, and it was GREAT.  The kids headed back to school yesterday after a glorious week off.  Mondays are hard...Mondays after break are REALLY HARD!

Today I thought I would share some of our Easter decor with you all.  I love putting out fun festive touches.  On the 18th the St. Patrick's Day Decor came down and up went our Easter stuff!

All ready to put into the totes.

Most of my holiday decorations, other than my fall and Christmas stuff has come from the dollar spot at Target over the is my favorite part of Target!

I am looking for the perfect spring wreath for our front door, so for now this little wooden bunny welcome sign will have to do.  And how cute is that sweet little pup in the window:)

This little table is in our foyer, and it is always fun to add a little holiday cheer to it.

The centerpiece on our dining room table....we hardly ever use our formal dining room...we just recently bought a new table, but we haven't bought chairs yet, so we are keeping it super classy over here and we have folding chairs set up around it!

A few bunny touches to the bar cart.

I don't put a ton of stuff in our kitchen, we don't have a ton of counter space and I don't want stuff all over the countertops!

Hope you guys have a great day!  See you back here soon!  Thanks for stopping by today!


Friday, March 16, 2018

Life Lately....The Last 5 Months

Hello Ladies!

Hope you have all had a GREAT week.  We were on spring break this week and it was FABULOUS.  The kid's dad was in town earlier in the week, and we celebrated Olivia turning 10!  I am counting down the days until school is out for summer!

Today I thought I would share what has been going on with our family over the last few months and all the changes that have happened.

If you have been reading here for a while then you know that 2 1/2 years ago Mark was offered a job in Florida, and we packed up and left Charlotte. I absolutely LOVED living in Charlotte, it will always have my heart and will always be home for me.  Making that big move was HARD for me, it was especially hard since Harrison didn't come with us, so I spent the first few months in Florida, sad all the time, missing everything and hating that my little family wasn't together.  Once Harrison moved to Florida I was definitely happy, but still just wasn't loving Florida.  Mark was adjusting to his new position, and doing very well, and even though I wasn't in love with Florida, deep down I knew that relocating to Florida was the best decision for our family.  

When our first year came to an end in Florida, things were going really well, I was SLOWLY learning to not hate Florida, the kids were doing well, and Mark was truly enjoying his job.  Life was starting to become good....and well just when things seem to start falling into place, is usually when life decides to throw you a curveball!    Last April Mark lost his job....the job we moved to Florida for.  At first when he called to tell me, I honestly thought he was kidding...I mean this really couldn't be happening!  We truly sat in shock for the next two days...and after that it was kind of like OH SHIT now what the hell are we going to do.  It was scary knowing we had kids to take care of, bills to pay and no income coming in.  Mark started looking for work, sending out countless resumes, going on interviews, and nothing came of it.  It is amazing how long it takes you to save money, but it literally takes no time to quickly watch your bank account dwindle down.  Mark didn't work for 3 months, and I cannot even begin to tell you how stressful those three months were.  Our marriage was tested almost daily, and there were plenty of times I truly felt like just walking away was the easiest and best thing to do.  We had A LOT of fights during that time, and there were days I wondered if we truly would be able to get through this together.  We had discussed cutting our losses, and just moving back to Charlotte, but the reality was it costs money, a lot of money, to move and going back there with no job, no just wasn't a good idea. 

In July he was offered a job, and he of course took it. He was excited to get back to work, and I felt such relief knowing we could at least pay our bills.  We moved to Florida for a better opportunity, and of course with that came a substantial raise in pay.  This job he took in July was $50,000 less than what he was just making, but we knew something was better than nothing, and there was potential to come pretty close to the salary he was making.  July and August were tough, we had A LOT of catch up to play, but life isn't always easy, and you do what you have to do.  

Fast forward to September, we spent a week preparing our home for Hurricane Irma, spent countless hours looking for gas and water, and making sure our house was stocked with was STRESSFUL.  I remember sitting outside with Mark two days before Irma hit and we were more worried about the aftermath than the actual hurricane.  We both looked at each other and it was like for the first time in a LONG time we were both on the same page....we just needed to leave Florida.  The hurricane came and went, and thankfully our damage was minimal, and we are so thankful for that.  Mark did miss time at work, because so much of Florida was just ruined.  We made a decision that week, that by Thanksgiving we would not be in Florida.  

In the business Mark is in, he knows a lot of people, and he started calling around to see what offers were out there for him.  We were open to pretty much going anywhere (anywhere that had seasons that  

On a whim Mark made a call to one of our friends, who he also used to work with in Charlotte.  She is in the same business as Mark, and he said if there were any open positions he would be interested and to keep him in mind....he just thought he would call put the feelers out...he wasn't expecting our dear friend to immediately offer him a position...that call was an answer to a prayer.  Not only did she offer Mark a job, she also said there was a position for Harrison, this was HUGE for us.  That night Mark and I sat with the kids and we talked and all agreed this was right for our family.  Not only did our dear friend offer Mark and Harrison a job, they offered to let our family of SEVEN plus Chico to stay with them so we could get familiar with the area and take the time to find our own home.  I was unsure about staying with them, imposing on them, but they were truly sincere in their offer and it just made the best sense to stay with them.  So we packed up our house, moved it all into a storage unit and on October 20 we loaded some suitcases full of clothes and said goodbye to Florida!  

The second we arrived here, Tracy and David made us feel welcome...and it was at that moment I knew everything had worked out the way it was supposed too. The hard times in Florida, they SUCKED, but it was because of them we got to leave Florida, and have this new opportunity.  I spent the first week getting familiar with the area, getting the kids registered at school, and Mark and Harrison got straight to work.  

Our plan was to be in our own home before the holidays, we had looked at a few once we arrived but nothing "jumped" out to us.  I am always so amazed sometimes how things just work out...well shortly after we arrived Tracy told us she had been offered a new job and may be leaving the company, Mark was bummed about not getting work with her anymore, but we were happy for her and the opportunity for her.  About a week later she sat us down and told us that her husband was offered a new position and they would moving to SC and it just made sense for us to just stay in the house...I almost felt like I was living in a dream...after months of heartache and stress, things were just all falling into place for us.  So the week before Christmas Harrison flew to Florida, unloaded our storage unit into a UHAUL and drove it to our new home.  We spent Christmas with our friends and they left two days after Christmas.  We are so grateful to them for everything they have done for us...I will never ever be able to thank them for what they have done for my family.  Their home is perfect for our family, during the time we all lived together she saw the love that fills our four walls, and she said there isn't anyone else she would rather sell her home to than was truly all meant to be.  

So now fast forward to current we are living right outside Memphis TN....and we are happier than we ever thought we could be.  Mark absolutely LOVES his job, Harrison loves his, Brooke is working, the kids are doing well in school and Chico is learning to get used to freezing cold temps!

Last year was TOUGH, it had more bad days than good, I cried more than I smiled, but I also learned a lot and realized I am a hell of a lot stronger than I thought I was.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't THRILLED to be out of Florida, but I don't regret making that decision 2 1/2 years ago to go. At the time it was the best decision for our family and for Mark's career, and had it not been for Florida I wouldn't be here a place I love almost as much as I love Charlotte.  I feel at home, which is something I hadn't felt for quite some time.  My marriage, though it was tested many times, is definitely stronger today.  

Life is hard, going through tough financial times is HARD, life is anything but perfect, but I am so thankful for the life I get to live, even on the bad days I am grateful and feel blessed.  

Thank you to all of you who have reached out to me over the last 6 months checking in on me and my family, it really does mean so much to me.  

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  We are celebrating St. Patricks Day tomorrow night at our house with some friends, and then Sunday I am planning on putting out my Easter decor and getting the kiddos all set to head back to school Monday!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Happy Birthday Olivia

Hello Girls!

March 13, sweet Olivia Grace was born...and I have literally blinked and it is 10 years later.

If you have read here for a while than you know I struggle with my kids getting older, and it is super hard with Olivia since she is my last, my baby.   Today I am just going to share a ridiculous amount of pictures of my little girl......just a bunch of random pictures not in chronological order!

Happy 10th Birthday Olivia Grace...we love you BIG!!!