Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up...Tuesday Edition

Happy Tuesday Ladies!
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!  I can tell you that it was SO nice to not have to set any alarms for this morning, and to have all the backpacks and lunchboxes put away for a while!
I had mentioned last week that Mark and I were heading out of town over the holiday weekend for a little R&R...kid free!  It has been a while since we have gone away for the weekend and been away from the kids, and the kids were just as excited that we were leaving as we were! 
It was so nice to have the alarms shut off Thursday night!  Mark took Friday off, and since we were only going about an hour away from home, we didn't need to get up super early!  We got up Friday morning, spent some time with the kiddos and then headed out around 10:30, I had called early that morning to see about early check in and they told me the room would be ready by noon.... AWESOME!  We hit up Dunkin Donuts and headed straight to the beach!
We arrived just before noon, we were going with one of Mark's co-workers, and she was there waiting on us!  We got up into our room, dropped our bags and headed to the pool!
It was so great to just spend the day poolside, relaxing with a cold drink in our hand!
This was our little beach, and it was perfect and very private...it was AWESOME!

Inside my Yeti was the most delicious tropical drink from Seagrams...they were so yummy!

After a few hours by the pool, we came back up to our condo and had a few snacks and a glass of wine....seriously it was just the perfect first day of our little getaway!

Our views were pure perfection!
Friday night Mark and I went to dinner and went to a little bar/restaurant at the resort, and had a yummy dessert and I had the best pineapple coconut mojito...probably the best drink I have ever had! 
All week long I was battling a headache, and Saturday morning I woke up feeling miserable, I had the worst tension headache coming from my neck, so before we even attempted to do anything for the day, I found a place that offered a mini neck/shoulder massage.
It did the trick, and I felt a million times better!
I got back shortly before lunch, and we packed up our cooler and headed out for an afternoon of beach and pool.
It was so peaceful sitting on the beach, watching the dolphins jump around...LOVED it so much!
I was pretty excited when I realized my Yeti also kept my Seagrams bottles cold!

We had the BEST time!
Saturday night we had dinner at one of the hotel restaurants, and it was super yummy...and I once again had to have that delicious mojito!
After dinner we walked around the property, walked out onto the pier and just enjoyed the beauty all around us!

It was all so pretty! 
We ended the night out on our balcony, another perfect day!
No secret Mark LOVES to cook, and each morning he made a delicious breakfast...I am so lucky to be his wife...he is just the BEST!

And as I was drinking my coffee, I saw this pretty little rainbow!
We spent Sunday at the pool all day long!  The weather was PERFECT all weekend!
Sunday night we were tired...even though we didn't do much all weekend, being out in that hot sun just wipes us out!  We ordered take out, ate in our room, and watch the NASCAR race...it really was the perfect way to end our weekend away!

The sunset from our balcony was gorgeous!
Monday morning we got up, cleaned up the room, got all our stuff together and were out the door by 10!  It was so nice to only have an hour drive home!
We had the absolute best time, but it was so nice to get home to our kids!  We love our kids and love being parents, but it is so important to give yourself a break, get away, focus on your marriage, and just enjoy each other! 
We absolutely LOVED the resort we stayed at, we loved it so much that we booked it again for Labor Day weekend...and the kids and my mom will be coming too...we can't wait!
Hope you guys have a great Tuesday!  Today I am planning on catching up on all the laundry and cleaning my kitchen! 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday Friends!
Today I am linking up with Andrea , Erika and Narci and sharing my Friday Favorites.  Be sure to grab the graphic and link up too!

Yes!  This is for sure a favorite over here!
Mark and I are headed here today and we are super excited for a few days of no kids, no cooking, no refereeing kids...just relaxation, fruity drinks, sand, sun and surf! 
I started drinking these Suja juices this week, and I am loving them!  I drink the daybreak probiotic each morning when I get up, at first I wasn't sure about the strong cayenne pepper taste, but now I am really digging it!  I am not totally doing a juice cleanse, but have incorporated a few in daily, and so far am just loving it!


While swimsuit shopping is NOT a favorite for me, it is something that needed to be done with my upcoming beach trip this weekend, and I am loving this new swimsuit I picked up.  It's cute, but not too "old lady" looking, and it covers everything that needs to be covered!
So there are my favorites for the week!  Hope you all enjoy a wonderful holiday weekend.  I am very much looking forward to a weekend of relaxing with good friends, my husband, good food, and a few fruity drinks!  See you guys back here next week!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

School Is Out For The Summer

Happy Thursday Ladies!
Today we are EXCITED over here....
Today is the LAST day of school for the kiddos!  This has been a really short year for my kiddos!  We moved back in October, and the kids had only been in school a little more than a month, and back in Charlotte we always got out around the second week in June, so to be done with school before Memorial Day is definitely something new for us and has made for a very short school year for the kiddos this year!
I know I say this every year, but I swear the years just really do fly by!  I am still having a hard time accepting the fact that Jack will be starting high school in August, like how is that even possible???
It is NO secret that I am pretty darn proud of all my kids, I tend to brag on them a lot!  But this year I have been even more proud of them.  Moving is never easy, and packing up and moving to a brand new state, not knowing anyone is scary, especially for kids.  I was SO nervous back in the fall when we made this move.  The kids are were so happy where we were...they had lots of friends, were involved in activities, and loved their schools.  I was so worried about them, having to start all over...especially Jack and AJ...they are both in middle school, and that is just a tough time to have to start all over.  Jack has always been an exceptional student, and I was worried about his grades slipping, I worried about them fitting it and making friends.  As for Olivia, well it was no secret school was a struggle every single day for her since kindergarten, tears each morning, it was tough!  I was very worried about her, she wasn't a fan of school already, and now throwing her into something totally new and different...I was prepared for the worst and lots of morning struggles!
Seriously guys, my kids are awesome!  When Mark and I dropped the boys off for their first day of school, they were definitely nervous, and I spent much of that first day worried...worried if the kids would like them, worried if anyone would talk to them, worried if anyone would make fun of them, worried they were sitting alone at lunch.  They came home from school and each had a great day, and of course AJ already had approximately 64 new friends...because that is just how AJ rolls!  It took Jack a little longer to feel comfortable and fit in, he is not nearly as outgoing as AJ...but now he has his group of friends, and really is thriving and just so happy! 
The curriculum and daily schedule was very different to what they had in Charlotte, AJ struggled a little bit with that, but after about a month he got the hang of it all.  My boys are so different....AJ is super outgoing, makes friends anyplace he goes, everyone is drawn to AJ..he is so much fun to be around, but when it comes to academics he struggles a bit, and school is definitely not easy for him, he has to really work to get B's.  Jack is the complete opposite, he is a bit more reserved and shy, but an amazing student, he is in all honors classes, and he makes it look pretty darn easy bringing home a report card full of straight A's. 
Living in Charlotte, everything was BIG...it was a big city and the schools were big, here it is very different.  This is much more "small town" and the schools are so small compared to what we had been used to back in Charlotte.  The smallness had definitely helped AJ thrive, and Jack really seems to like it too. 
The boys have made some really great friends, and that just makes me so happy.  We live in a very small, very safe town, and though not being super convenient has been somewhat of an adjustment for me, there are so many benefits to it.  My boys take off on their bikes and can ride all over town, up to the little beach, to the 7-11 to grab a slurpie, down to the village to grab an ice cream, and they can do it all with their friends, and I feel 100% comfortable with them doing it.  Back in Charlotte, I would NEVER let them ride all over town unsupervised, it just wasn't safe. 
My kids were addicted to electronics, and since we have moved here, they are rarely inside.  The weather is always beautiful here, so they are always outside.  If they aren't out back fishing, they are at a friends house fishing, or swimming, or just out riding bikes, it is so nice and refreshing to see them be able to have this kind of childhood! 
Olivia has also done really well since our move.  This girl, who HATED going to school, now LOVES school, and seriously this has been HUGE for me.  There is nothing worse than sending your child to school in tears everyday...it was the WORST.  On her first day of school here, yes she did shed some tears, which is to be expected, she was 7, scared and just unsure...well the girl came SKIPPING off the bus with a smile from ear to ear, begging to go back...oh I cannot even tell you what that meant to me!  Our elementary school is year round here, so her day is a little shorter, and she is home a bit more often, and it works for her.  She loves school, loves her friends, loves everything about it.  It did not take her long at all to adjust, and she has thrived so much this year, and I have seen so much change in her, she has really grown up the past 7 months!  She is happy every morning, loves wearing a uniform, and can't wait to get to school each day!
This has definitely been a big year for all of us, especially our kids, and I am so impressed and proud of how well they handled all the change thrown their way.  We lived in Charlotte for a long time, and I was so used to living a certain way, they were too, and I was so scared about how much of a life change this move was going to be for everyone.  We struggled a lot in making our decision to make this move, and Mark and I talked it to "death", and deep down we knew, financially this was the best decision and let's face it, though money certainly can't buy happiness, it sure does make life a little easier. 
It's been no secret that I have struggled the most with all of this.  I had a really hard time making the change and the first two months I was miserable and just HATED it here.  I missed everything about Charlotte and just wanted to go back.  I still do miss Charlotte so much, but I am really starting to genuinely love where we are.  It has been 7 months, and each day I wake up and cannot believe that paradise is in my backyard, palm trees, water, dolphins, it is amazing to have all this.  We downsized our home, and was pretty nervous about that, but it is amazing how quickly you can adapt, and you realize you don't need all the things you thought you did in order to be happy.  Mark was so unhappy with his job back in Charlotte, and now he loves what he does again.  He feels appreciated at work, and that goes along way in his attitude here at home.  He comes home and is so much more relaxed then he ever was, and though he still works his butt off, he comes home happy, not stressed, and we are all able to enjoy being together at night, it is so nice.  He comes home from work, changes his clothes, and walks out back and casts his pole in the water with the boys, I cannot begin to tell you how full my heart is when I see the people I love most truly happy and content, it is enough for me. 
 So although the financial benefit has been huge for us since making this move, it doesn't even come close to all the other benefits.  Our life is so different now, and in a good way, a way I never even thought.  I have learned so much over the past 7 months, and have realized so many things.  Our life is very different here, it's not near as face paced, we live in a super small town, mainly filled with retirees, our house isn't huge or brand new, but it doesn't matter.  We are the happiest that we have ever been.  Life is so much different now, and thought it took me a really LONG time, to adjust, it is perfect...and being able to feel this happy and content, well....it truly is perfect!
Today, I am going to be packing up for our little kid-free beach trip this weekend and when the kiddos get home, I am going to happily put away all the lunchboxes and backpacks for summer!!
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Few Reviews

Happy Tuesday Ladies!
Hope you all had a great weekend!  Ours was pretty low key but it was nice, and we are all pretty excited that Thursday is the last day of school, and Mark and I are pretty excited to be heading to the beach this weekend for a little kid free getaway!
Our Sunday consisted of cleaning out the garage and the kids washing our cars!

And Chico got a bath and enjoyed some doggy ice cream!
One of the things I love most about blogging is sharing some of my favorite things with you guys.  One of my favorite things about reading other blogs is getting ideas and opinions on what y'all are using and loving.  I love being able to buy something knowing someone that already has the item and loves it.  I do not use any type of links in my blog that earn me a commission or anything like that, so the items I post about and share, are items that I actually own and use. 
Today I thought I would review a few products that I use and why I love them, and also something I shared in the past, really wanted to love, but just did not.
I got this sweeper last week, and I am OBSESSED!  A few years back I had a Shark sweeper and loved it, and sadly Harrison broke the handle and I never replaced it or got something else.  Since we have moved, our home is mainly tile floors, and with kids and now a dog, there is always something that needs to be swept up!  What I hated about using a broom and dust pan was that I felt like no matter how hard I tried, not everything would make it into the dustpan, and there was always something that just stayed on the floor....so annoying right!!!  This little thing is GREAT, and it picks up all the debris!  We have a covered lanai and I have been using it out there daily!  It just picks up all the dust and dog hair. 
I ordered mine from Amazon, because duh two day free shipping, and the price was good, in my opinion, I paid $42.00 for it. It was super easy to set up, and I just let it charge overnight, (they recommend 16 hours for the initial charge) and it works perfectly!  We leave it in the garage, plugged in, and then we just grab it for a quick clean up.  I have also used it on the carpet for a quick clean up of some cracker crumbs (thanks Olivia) and it worked great, and so much easier than lugging out the big vacuum.  And the kids don't mind sweeping up for me now...so right there that is a huge plus for me!
Its super lightweight and does an awesome job!

And after you are done, you just remove that little tray, dump it out and you are good to go for your next sweep! 
If you are looking for a sweeper, I would highly recommend this one!
I cannot say enough about my S'well water bottle.  I bought mine a few months ago, I went back and forth for a while, because it was a little pricey, in my opinion, for a water bottle, but this thing is totally worth the price tag!  I have the gold 25 oz. one and when I tell you it keeps my water ice cold, girls, it keeps my water ICE cold....FOR DAYS, literally DAYS! 
I have been trying to drink more water, and when I drink water it needs to be COLD, what I hated about water bottles was they didn't stay cold long enough, especially if I was at the ball field, at the park with Olivia, or just driving in my car.  And one of the things I hate most is when my drinks "sweat", I hate that my hands, my cup holder and everything is just wet...this water bottle solves alls those issues for me...keeps my water cold, and it doesn't sweat...WIN WIN! 
It is HOT where we live, and we can be at the park and it is every bit of 90 degrees out, and my water bottle can be sitting on a picnic table, for an hour, and that water is still ice cold and so refreshing. 
It fits perfectly in my cup holder on my new bike, and I love being able to go for a bike ride, and have a cold drink!  When I initially placed my order, they sent me the wrong size, they sent me the 17oz, and I have given that one to AJ, and he uses it every single day.  My boys play HARD, and it is HOT here, so AJ loves having cold water with him.  I am going to order one for Jack too.  He has just a plastic water bottle from Target and he complains that it is so warm by the time he drinks it. 
I ordered mine directly from S'well, but I have seen them many other places also.  I was also in Target last week, and noticed they had a S'ip by S'well, you can find them here , I haven't tried them but I would assume they are just as awesome as the original S'well.  I may snag one for Jack there. 
I love my gold S'well!
For size comparison, here they are side by side, I use the 25oz, and AJ has the 17oz size! 
If you are looking for a water bottle to keep your beverages COLD, I cannot recommend this product enough.  I have not tried them with a hot beverage, but they say it keeps your beverage hot for like 12 hours!
Clearly, I like my drinks cold!  So my next favorite product is along the same lines as my S'well bottle.  It is no secret I love me some Pepsi, to me there is nothing greater than a can of Pepsi.  I don't like it in a bottle, I don't really care for it in a glass with ice, I love drinking it straight from the can!  But again, the can would sweat, and the drink would go from cold to warm too quick for my liking!
I ordered this Yeti Colster for Harrison for Christmas and he LOVED it!  So in February I ordered one for Mark, he is a big Coke drinker, and will have a beer occasionally, and much like me, he hates a warm drink, and neither one of us are fans of the can sweating, leaving marks on the table!  He was so excited when his little colster arrived, and he couldn't believe how ice cold it kept his drink.  Again, it is HOT here, and he can sit outside and his drink stays cold and his hands stay dry!  Well it took all of about 3 minutes of him having one, that I realized I needed one too!  I ordered all of ours from Academy Sports, because I am all about FREE shipping, and their delivery is super quick! 
We use these every single day!  And they are awesome for cookouts and concerts, no more warm drinks!  We are looking to get a boat here soon, and no doubt these will come in super handy while we are out on the water!
Everything is better with a monogram right??  I ordered these super cute vinyl decals from Etsy for about $3 each!

We are a YETI family!

His and hers monograms for the win!
These would really make an awesome Father's Day or Graduation gift!
I have talked quite a bit about how much I love love love my Simplified Planner , I love technology and my iPhone and Apple Watch, but I am still very much "old school" and love writing things down.  Basically, if I don't write it down, odds are I will most likely forget! 
Two years ago I bought an Erin Condren planner, and it was OK...I wasn't totally impressed and didn't love it.  I had seen lots of people talking about the Simplified Planner and decided to give it a try...and I am glad I did.  I absolutely LOVE it.  Yes, it is a little pricey for a planner, but again to me I thought it was worth it, and the layout worked for me. 
There were LOTS of fun cover choices, and this little pineapple cover is just darling!  It looks so cute just sitting on my desk!
I love that it has the whole month at a view, so I can just jot down things and look at the entire month at once so I have an idea of what is going for that month, upcoming birthdays, etc....

I love that each day has it's own page.  There is a place where the time is for appointments, etc, and then there is a place for your "to do list" then at the bottom a place for your meal plan, and a little section for notes.  Plenty of space for everything!

Saturday and Sunday share a page, and I love that each week it has a place for you to jot down a special or happy memory for the week. I loved going through my planner from last year, looking at all my little happy memories! 
I have noticed as I have gotten older my memory just isn't what it used to be!  Years ago I could remember everything, these days, I can't seem to remember a thing.  This definitely helps keep me organized, it ensures that I am sending out birthday cards to my family out of state, it makes sure I don't miss things like football sign-ups, yearly physicals, dentist appointments, school conferences, etc....
Now I know I could probably run to Target or Walmart and get the same darn thing for half the price, but I really just love a cute planner.  If you are like me, and need to write things down, and are looking for a great planner definitely check this one out.
I have had my new Apple Watch for a little over a week now and so far I am loving it.  On Friday I shared with you guys a little bit about it and how I made 3 trips to Best Buy until I found the one I loved! I got the larger size, rose gold, aluminum sport one.  The price point was the best, and that definitely factored into my decision, I was NOT looking to spend a TON of money on it. 
I have always worn more of a "dressier" watch, so I was a little worried that I wouldn't love wearing this every day, boy was I wrong.  I love that you have the option to change out the bands, so you can make it a little more "fancy", but I am still wearing the band it came with, and honestly I really like it, and have not yet bought another band.  So many people have said you can get replacement bands super cheap on Amazon, but I have noticed that most of the replacement bands I have seen have a silver type clasp, an with the rose gold case, it kinda makes me nuts that it would not match...yes I am weird like that! 
I saw this band online at Target and am really loving it.  I have not ordered it yet, but am thinking down the road I am definitely going to get it, to kind of "dress up" my watch.
For me, the watch has definitely had me looking at my phone WAY less, which is great.  I don't take nearly as many pictures as I used to, but I definitely feel like I am more in the moment now, rather than trying to capture the perfect moment, if that makes sense. 
I love being able to see my text messages pop up, and I can respond real quickly to them if I need to respond right away.  Most of the emails I get are JUNK, but I like being notified when they come in, and if I see it is something important, like from the kids school, or a banking notification I can look at it quickly. 
Since getting my new bike last week, I am really getting back into exercise, and the fitness app is my favorite, which has surprised me, because I was least excited about that feature when I first got the watch.  I love that it has an outdoor cycle feature, so when I am out riding in the mornings, or at night with the family, it keeps track of my distance, and calories burned.  It's like I want all the circles to be filled up, so it kind of pushes me to keep going, meeting all my fitness goals for the day!  I love the animated emojis too, AJ loves when I send them to him!
Like I said I have only had the watch a little over a week, but so far I am really loving everything about it!  I put it on first thing in the morning, and by the time I go to bed at night I have about 50% left on the battery, and I just place it on the charger each night while I am sleeping. 
I bought my watch at Best Buy, because the closest Apple store is over an hour away, and at the time of purchase I did not buy the Apple Care, but a few days later I called Apple and got it.  You have 60 days from the date of purchase to add the Apple care, and I would recommend getting it. 
Those of you that have the Apple Watch, I would LOVE to hear what you love best about yours, any apps that you would recommend, or anything you can share with me about it! 
Now I am going to share with you something that I really wanted to love, something that I talked about a lot, but sadly just didn't love it, and I thought I would share my opinions with you on it!
It is NO secret that I love candles, and the Volcano scent from Anthro is hands down my absolute favorite ever!  I would always always buy this one, the $28 size one.  I burn a candle every day pretty much, and I was burning one candle a month it seemed.  The smell is just amazing, not overpowering, but you would walk into my house and it just smelled good! 
I was REALLY wanting the larger size one, but just couldn't bring myself to spend $88 on a candle...I mentioned it to Mark and he just gave me a look like "woman you are out of your damn mind"....so basically no way was me buying this candle going to be an option!  Well....for part of my birthday gift, my mom bought me the candle...and yippee I was so flippin excited! 
So big and so beautiful!  I started burning it and about a week into burning it I noticed it was not burning evenly, and quickly realized so much of this candle would be wasted.  I called Customer Service, explained the situation and they sent me out a new one...that was pretty cool. 
My first candle arrived around March 20, I burned it for about two weeks before the replacement came.  Once the replacement came I burned it every day, and it did burn evenly, so no wax wasted which was good. 
My thought process was, I was buying the $28 candle about once a month, so I thought by buying the larger one, economically, it would be a better value, as I assumed I would get a great deal of time out of it.....sadly that was NOT the case. 
I have just had the candle for about 2 months, and it is completely done burning...to say I was super disappointed is a huge understatement! 

The candle is super pretty, a great statement piece for my little table, and looks amazing when lit, but I would definitely not buy this again.  It was crazy expensive, and it is much cheaper for me to continue to just buy the $28 one each month.  I had told myself that when Anthro had 20% off and free shipping around the holidays I would really splurge and get the ginormous one for $178, but I just don't know if that will happen.  This candle lasted me roughly two months, for $88, for $112 I can buy the small ones and have four months worth of candles...so from a financial standpoint it makes the most sense for me. 
In addition to the amazing smell of this candle, the jars are just so pretty, and I reuse all the jars.  I just clean out all the leftover wax and take out the wicks and use them for other things around my house!
I am in the process of cleaning out the wax of my big one and I am going to put it on my table on our lanai and put citronella votives in it.  The jar does look so pretty when it is lit up!
Love the jars!

This one is up with our coffee mugs and has become a great little change holder.

This one is also in that same cabinet and hold tea bags.

These white ones are on my desk are the perfect little containers to hold my pens and such!
So basically, I love love love the Volcano scent, I cannot recommend it enough, but for me, the large candle definitely did NOT live up to my expectations!
So there you have it....a little review of some of my favorite things!  Hope you all have a great Tuesday!
Apple Watch