Monday, February 27, 2017

Nuggets Link Up....Me Time

Hello Ladies!

Hope you all had a great weekend!  Mark and I are headed back home to reality and our kiddos this morning!  it is always nice to get away, but there truly is no place like home with your kiddos!!!

Today I am linking up with The Blended Blog , for their "Nuggets Link Up" we are talking about ME TIME!  You should link up too!

Today we are talking about "me time"....and I am sure lots of mamas out there love their "me time".  I can remember when the kids were younger, and home with me during the day, I really craved and looked so forward to any little bit of time I could have to myself.  Some days I would literally count down the hours until my husband got home so I could just go to the bathroom in peace!  

I love my kids, but having a little time away from them just makes me a better mom.  It doesn't have to be a day or whole weekend away, sometimes just a solo trip to the grocery store or a quick manicure is all I need to just recharge!  

Now that my kids are older and all in school full time, it is definitely easier finding "me time", because I am home during the day, while everyone else is gone.  I really try and make sure I do all the things I need to do for me while everyone is at school and work.  That being said, some nights are just tough and leave me feeling like I want to pull my hair out, and sometimes I will just sneak into my room, lock the door, fill up my bathtub, grab my book and just have a little me time.  

As mothers and wives we spend so much of our time worrying about and taking care of our kids, our husbands, our homes, etc....and we can't forget to take care of ourselves!  Let's face it...we are the glue that holds it all together at home, so it is so important that we take of ourselves...and we should never feel guilty about taking time for us!  

This picture is from last year, but I clearly remember this day...I had remembered I had a pastry in my purse from Panera, and my kids were making me nuts, and I knew if I ate it front of them they would ask me for some, and I wasn't wanting to I went into the laundry room, shut the door and ate my cheese danish....and it was just those few minutes of "me time", that let me breathe for a minute!  

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  


Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Favorites

Hello ladies!

I don't know about you guys, but I am super excited it is Friday!  Short weeks are always my favorite, and Mark and I are heading out this morning for a little getaway and I am super excited!

Today I am linking up with Andrea , Erika , and Narci and sharing my "Friday Favorites", be sure you grab the graphic and link up too!

I was at Starbucks the other day, and decided instead of ordering coffee, I would try something different....I ordered a London Fog Latte.....and it was AMAZING!  It is my new favorite!  You guys need to try it! 

I mean that Cat & Jack line at Target is just the cutest and our favorite!  Finding adorable, affordable clothes for my sweet girl is a favorite for sure!

We have had our eye on a YETI cooler bag for a while now, but they are definitely NOT cheap!  Dicks had them on sale for $100 off and we thought it was the perfect time to grab one!  We got the medium size one and it's HUGE!  This is definitely Mark's favorite this week!

Wednesday was a super happy mail day when my new Lush bath bombs arrived....I LOVE them!  I really wish they weren't so darn expensive, and I really wish they offered free shipping!!!

The weather has been warm, and Olivia is loving being able to enjoy the pool...being in the water is her favorite!

AJ and his craziness is always our favorite!  This boy keeps life super interesting at our house...ALL THE TIME!  I mean is there any other way to eat cool whip other than by the heaping tablespoon full?

Hope you all have a great weekend!  See you back here next week!


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tasty Tuesday....Friendship Bread

Hello Ladies!

Hope your week is off to a great start!  

Today I am sharing with you a fun recipe!  Friendship bread....have you heard of it?  Have you done it before?  Years ago, like 15, my grandmother gave me a ziplock bag with some ingredients in it, and I had to mush the bag every day, and then after about a week, and a few more ingredients, it made a yummy bread.  I haven't made it since then.  Well, a few weeks ago, my girlfriend Heather was making it, and she told me what I needed to make the "starter bag", and well, ever since then, every 10 days I have been making some bread!  My kids, LOVE it!  It isn't too difficult, and I love that you can give it out to 3 friends, and keep it going!


1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar

Put it in a gallon sized ziplock bag and mush it all together.

Do NOT use a metal spoon or bowl for mixing.  Do not refrigerate.  If air gets into the bag, let it out.  It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment.

DAY ONE:  this is the day you receive the bread start.  You do nothing.

DAY TWO:  Mush the bag

DAY THREE:  Mush the bag

DAY FOUR:  Mush the bag

DAY FIVE:  Mush the bag

DAY SIX:  Mix 1 cup flour, I cup milk, and 1 cup sugar in bowl.  Add to the bag.

DAY SEVEN:  Mush the bag

DAY EIGHT:  Mush the bag.

DAY NINE:  Mush the bag.

This bag just sits on the counter, and I just mush it all around each day.

DAY TEN:  Combine in large bowl the batter, 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar.  Stir and put 1 cup starter in four gallon sized bags.  Keep one for yourself and give this recipe and a starter bag to three friends.

To the remaining batter in the bowl; combine the following ingredients:

1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
5.1 oz of instant pudding, any flavor (NOT sugar free)
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Mix 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar.  Spray two smaller bread pans with cooking spray.  Sprinkle the pans with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Pour batter into pans.  Bake at 325 for 45-60 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

I went to take a picture of the two loaves, and one was already gone, and the other was about half kids cannot get enough!!!



Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Favorites

Hello Ladies!

I am always excited when Friday rolls around, however I am extra excited this week, because we have a four day weekend!!!  

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

This is definitely my favorite!  

I have been using Aveda hand cream for is hands down the BEST hand cream out there.  If you are wanting soft, smooth hands, you need to grab yourself this.  

AJ has been working very hard in school lately, and his last report card was AWESOME.  Mark had given him a $25 gift card, and can see from the photo above how AJ decided to spend it.  That my friends is what $24.67 worth of candy looks like.  Watching AJ work so hard and seeing the results from his hard work and dedication is my FAVORITE!  (also....those sour patch watermelons are my favorite too)

We celebrated Valentine's Day at home with a yummy steak dinner, and these chocolate covered strawberries that were everyone's FAVORITE!


I am loving my new Tieks !  I ordered my first pair a few weeks ago, and struggled a bit with the sizing (everyone should offer shoes in half sizes), but after trying on a few pairs and a few different sizes, I am super happy with my purchase!  I absolutely adore the packaging, and their shipping and customer service is AMAZING!  These are a little pricey, but so far they are super comfy, and I know I am going to reach for these cute flats all the time!  I am loving the mint color, I wear lots of denim and just white or black shirts, so these will add a fun pop of color!  If you have been on the fence about them, get them!  Shoes...always a favorite!

Mark is working this weekend, and I am planning on getting some yard work done.  Hope you all have a great weekend.  See you back here next week!


Monday, February 13, 2017

Nuggets Link Up...Nurturing Relationships

Happy Monday Ladies!  

I hope y'all had a great weekend and are ready to have an awesome week!

Today I am linking up with The Blended Blog for their "Nuggets" Link up!  Be sure to link up too!

Today we are talking about nurturing relationships.  Having a good, healthy relationship takes work, but like anything else in life, the more you put into something, the more you get out of it.  I wrote a little last week how we keep our marriage strong, you can read it here .

The most important relationships in my life are the relationships I have with my husband, my children, and my ex-husband.  I am sure that last one has some people scratching their  

Going through a divorce sucks, and it for sure is never easy, but I see all too often that people let their anger towards their ex just consume them, and I just wasn't going to let that happen.  I have worked VERY hard to keep a healthy relationship with my ex-husband, it hasn't always been easy, but I can tell you 100% that it has totally been worth it.  I have talked many times before about my divorce and the relationship that I have with my ex-husband, and I am very proud of it.  I don't want to go through my life with anger and resentment, so getting to the point of having a healthy relationship with my ex has been wonderful.  We are able to come together, spend time together, with no animosity or anything, and just be parents to our children.  Even though we are no longer married, we spent 20 years of our life together, and that relationship will always mean something to me and be special to me, so it is important for not only my children, but for me to keep it good.

Having a great relationship with my children is very important.  And as most of you know, being parent comes with lots of highs and LOTS of lows.  Lots of doses of tough love are given out, and we all go through those times, when our kids "hate" us, because we are the worst parents EVER!  I have learned in my almost 25 years of being a mom, that tough love is absolutely some of the best love you can give.  I am a firm believer that you don't need to be your child's friend as you're raising them, you just need to be their parent.  And I have found that by being their parent, and sometimes being the mean, strict, bad guy, when they are adults it is very easy to have a friendship with them.  I have now raised two children, and I treasure so much the relationship and friendship I have with both of them.  

The most important relationship is the one I have with my husband.  Being married can be hard sometimes, and making that relationship as strong and good as it can be is very important to both Mark and I.  When we focus on our marriage and put it first, we are satisfied and happy, and it just makes us better at everything else.  We work every single day to make our marriage work.

Nurturing relationships isn't always easy, and sometimes it takes time, but having healthy, fulfilling relationships is the best part of life.  

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  See you guys back here tomorrow for Show and Tell Tuesday!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday Ladies!

Hope you all had a great week!  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!

I always watch the Super Bowl for the game, I really could care less about the commercials, and the halftime show was never a big deal to me...I just love the actual game!  Well....this year the halftime show was my favorite part of the game!  I can't say I am a huge Lady Gaga fan, but I thought her performance was AMAZING....hands down the BEST halftime show I have ever seen!  Definitely a favorite of mine this week!

Another one of my favorites this week was also from the Super much as I love the game, I love the food just as much!  Super Bowl Sunday is one day that my kids really look forward to.  I am going to be very sad when the day comes that they have plans and aren't home to watch it with us.  Mark and I spent most of the day last Sunday cooking, and then most of the night was FABULOUS!  I have been really trying to watch what I have been eating, and this day was a complete splurge for me from start to finish...lots of yummy food, a glass of wine, and some yummy angel food cake with strawberries and whip cream....YES PLEASE!  Eating delicious food, watching football and being with my family...all my favorites!

Lazy mornings are a big favorite around here!  

My favorite part of grocery shopping is picking up fresh flowers...Publix has such a great selection, and you just can't beat the price!  And I love that carnations seem to last for WEEKS!  Pretty, fresh flowers is a definite favorite!

Seeing this turtle pretty much everyday in my yard is a favorite!  

Not sure what the weekend has in store for us, and I am fine with a low key weekend at home getting some stuff down around the house!  Hope you all have a great weekend!  


Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Little Valentine's Day Decor

Hello Ladies!

Hard to believe we are already a week into February....the time just continues to fly by!

I feel like Christmas was FOREVER ago, yet I haven't even had my Christmas decorations down for a month yet.  I have such a love/hate feeling about taking them all down.  I love having my house put back together, and everything looking clean and organized, but at the same time I hate taking it all down and saying goodbye to the holidays.  This past year I put my tree up earlier than I ever did before, and left it up almost a week later than normal, and I really never got tired of it.

Since Valentines Day is just around the corner, I thought I would share some of our Valentine's Day Decor with you guys.

I love to put out decorations for Valentine's Day, St. Patricks Day, Easter, etc...but don't want to spend a ton on that kind of stuff, and I don't want a ton of it either, just a little here and there.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Dollar Spot section in Target, they always have the CUTEST seasonal stuff!  Cute things and all under $5...yes please!

A cute sparkly heart on the front door!

I always like to add a few little holiday touches to our bar cart!

Love these little heart lights I snagged from the dollar spot!

Obviously I really love those little heart lights!

A cute pink blanket and a heart pillow for the win!

My favorite table!

The kids really love seeing all the little touches around the house for the not so big holidays!  

Thanks for stopping by today!  Make it a GREAT day!


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Workin' It Wednesday...Keeping Your Marriage Strong

Hello Ladies!

Hope you are all having a GREAT week!

Today I am linking up with Shay and Erika for "Workin' It Wednesday"...and today we are talking about how we keep our marriages strong!

Be sure you guys link up too!

...and below you can find what topics are coming up...

Being married is simply the best...but being married is not always is HARD, and having a good, strong marriage takes a lot of hard work, but like anything else, the more you put into it the more you get out of it!

I wake up each day feeling so extremely grateful....when I got divorced I never imagined I would find a man who would be so accepting of not only me, but my 5 kids.  I have said this before many times, Mark seriously never even blinked about the fact that I had 5 kids, it didn't scare him off, he just walked right into our lives and embraced the crazy...he is such a good man, and we are so lucky that he is ours.  

Everyone has what works for them and their marriage, and I know all too well that just because something works for someone else, it won't necessarily work for you, today I am just sharing what works for us, and helps to keep our marriage good for us.

Since this is a second marriage for both Mark and I, we didn't get all that quality alone time like most couples do before they have kids...when Mark and I met, the kids were already here, so finding time for just the two of us was tough.  I was pretty involved with my kids, and my life pretty much revolved around them.  I was a class mom, volunteered for any and everything, and everywhere I went, the kids came with me.  Since I had become a mother, my kids always came first, every other thing was second, even my marriage....and Mark was just not OK with that.  I spent my days taking care of kids, volunteering at school, dropping off and picking up kids.  At night, after dinner I would do homework with the kids, watch tv with the kids, put the kids to bed, and then put myself to bed....time that I could devote to just my husband was non-esixtent, I devoted every waking hour to my kids, and by the time they went to bed, I myself was ready to crash, or I would just enjoy the "me time".  My system and way of doing things did NOT work at all for Mark.  

I clearly remember that "ah ha" moment in our relationship when I realized just what was going to make our marriage strong and work!  Mark and I had decided to go away to for 5 days, without the kids....mind you I was married for 15 years before this, and never ONCE went away without my kids, seriously never once, so this was all very foreign to me:). We had Kenny come and stay with the kids, so I was comfortable they were in good hands, but I was so nervous and just so sad to be leaving them...tears were flowing for sure!  Mark was so excited for us to have this time alone together, and I spent the first two days attached to my phone, texting and calling every 5 minutes, checking in on the kids, talking to the kids, and I would burst out into tears, and was just sad.  Mark...was not sympathetic...he was PISSED!  He was angry, and was definitely a little "tough" with me, but he made me realize that no way in hell should I be feeling guilty or bad about leaving the kids for a few days and focusing just on us.  For so long I had always put being a mom first, not being a wife.  I realized that time away from the kids was not only good for my relationship with my husband, but it was also good for them.  

Ever since that little trip, Mark and I make it a point to carve out time for just us, and that truly keeps us connected and our marriage strong.  We usually try and take a handful of long weekend getaways each year, and we truly treasure that time we have together.  We don't get near as many date nights as we would like, but that is just the season of our life now with kids who are involved in activities and have blooming social lives and need to be dropped off and picked up on Friday and Saturday nights.  For me, I always loved my time at night, when everyone was asleep and I would just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet, or sometimes I would finish up on laundry or housework that didn't get done during the day, and next thing I knew it was after midnight and I was rolling into bed...that was Mark's biggest pet peeve.  A successful marriage is all about compromise and sacrifice, and knowing how important it was to Mark that we went to bed together every single night, I made it a point each night to just stop at 9...we spend every night for an hour on the couch watching a show and we always go to bed together at 10. Sure there are some nights, where I could be getting something done,  catching up on something, or just enjoying some quiet time, but the truth is it will all be there for me to do in the morning, and knowing how important it is to my husband that we go to bed together makes it important to me.  

Mark has always made it a point and priority to make me feel special and loved every single day, he is busy during the day at work, but he always finds the time to send a sweet text or a quick phone call to just say "I love you", it is those little things that remind me that even in this crazy life, he always finds the time to make me and our marriage his first priority.  I think that many of us take it all for granted, and I simply don't.  I am so thankful for our marriage and the strong relationship that we have, and it truly is the little things that mean the most, being sure every single day, no matter what, your partner knows they are loved, appreciated and a priority.  

We truly enjoy the stage of life we are in now, raising kids, but we know that we must keep our marriage a priority, because one day all too soon, our kids will be grown and gone, and it will just be the two of us.  Mark and I put each other first, we put each other above our children, our families, everything...and I know to some that may sound crazy or selfish or whatever, but we put our marriage first, and by doing that, by being a strong couple, we are just better at everything else we do.  

So for us....our marriage stays strong by simply putting it first....ALWAYS.  

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Have a great Wednesday!


Monday, February 6, 2017

Meal Planning

Hello Ladies!

Mondays are always rough, but Monday after the Super Bowl is especially rough....they really need to start the game earlier!  Anyway, hope you all had a great weekend!  Today I am linking up with The Blended Blog for their Nuggets Link Up...and today it is all about Meal Planning, which is one of my favorite things!

Years ago I was a boss at meal planning.  I would sit every week, without fail, and have our entire week planned out, all the grocery shopping done, and every night we had exactly what I had planned for that night, I was organized, and dinner time was always smooth.  It also helped that I only had 2 kids, who weren't in school, and had no activities, and I was able to stay home all day and make awesome nightly meals...HA!  As I had more kids, and life got hectic with activities and homework, I found our nights to be crazy, I wasn't meal planning, and most nights I was scrambling at 4:30 wondering what the heck I was going to cook for dinner, and I found my self running to the grocery store multiple times a week, and I found that we were spending way too much money eating and ordering out.  I realized that on super busy nights with the kids having activities, that the crockpot would be our best friend.  I am a huge fan of the crock pot...I love being able to throw everything in there in the morning, and having dinner ready at night, and I don't have to think about it all day.  I also love the crockpot, because it will keep the food warm and everyone can eat when it's convenient for them, before practice, after practice, after work, whatever the case may be, and it's all in one pot so clean up is a breeze.

If I am not using the crockpot, I try and get as much of the meal as I can prepared during the day while the kids are at a school.  After school time is so hectic, and I like being able to sit with Olivia and help with homework and not have to worry about cooking dinner.  I also prefer cooking in a quiet  and calm kitchen, so doing it while they are all at school is best for me.  Most days I am able to have dinner prepared, and have the dishes done, and the kitchen cleaned up prior to dinnertime, which is a huge help.  So after dinner, the clean up is minimal!  

Being organized is key for me.  Every Sunday morning I sit at my desk, have my cookbooks out, and I plan out our meals Monday-Friday, and as I plan each meal, I write out my shopping list, then Mark and I hit up the grocery store and get everything we need for the week.  During the holidays, I ordered this weekly meal planner with shopping list, and it has been awesome!

I love that it has a detachable shopping list, so it makes it so easy to write out my list as I plan out the week's meals.  It also has magnets on the back, so I leave it on the fridge during the week, and I no longer get that dreaded question....."Mom...what's for dinner?" my kids know to just look on the pad.  

Meal planning is definitely a game changer.  If you are organized, and have everything you need on hand, making dinner is no longer the dreaded task of the day.  

I usually only meal plan Monday-Friday.  Usually on the weekends we will grill out.  We don't grill out much during the week, so we look forward to doing it on the weekends.  And during football season on Sundays, we don't really eat a meal, rather just kind of snack all day!  

So for me, meal planning is a MUST.  When I meal plan, the stress of "what's for dinner" is gone.  I am not a fan of the grocery store, so just going once each week makes me happy, and it is so much more economical planning out meals and eating home!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday Favorites

Hello Ladies!

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!

This week has been rough!  I had a touch of the stomach bug earlier in the week, and felt just awful most of the week.  I didn't get too much accomplished this week, but sometimes you just need rest!  I had some great recipes I had planned on sharing this week for the upcoming game this weekend, however I will be sharing them next week!  


Cooking and baking is one of my favorite things to do, looking through cookbooks trying to find the recipe I need is NOT.  I have a lot of cookbooks, but there are a few things that I make often, and was wanting to have all my "go-to" recipes in one place.  I was going to get a recipe box, but knew in no time the index cards would look like I found this awesome recipe book.  What I love is that it isn't too big, it fits right up in my cabinet, and my FAVORITE part .....

...the index cards are all in plastic protectors so I don't have to worry about the cards getting all icky.  I have my ingredients on the front, and I just flip over the page and the recipe is all written out on the back, and anything spills on them, I can just wipe it off!

I also love that it is divided, so it makes recipe look up super easy!  If you are looking for a great place to house all your favorite recipes, go check it out.  

These booties have been on major repeat over here!  These are hands down my favorite booties I have ever worn.  They are a little on the pricey side, but they are super comfortable and they are perfect for those places where winters are mild!   The first two pairs I ordered of these I wound up sending back because the lining in the right shoe kept coming up, but low and behold the third time was the charm with these!  They did require some breaking in for me, the first two times I wore them my feet hurt, but now they are crazy comfortable, I can wear them all day long and my feet don't hurt a bit.  No doubt these will continue to be my favorites for many years to come!

My favorite this week was booking a little long weekend getaway for the end of February!  Mark's schedule at work is crazy during this time of year...long days and every other Saturday, so our time together is far and few we are both so looking forward to a few days without our kiddos to just enjoy each other, and not be Mom and Dad for a few days:)

Years ago I was a soap watcher, I recorded All My Children every day and watched it every night before bed...I was so bummed when it went off the air.  Well about a month ago I was eating lunch and The Young and the Restless came on, followed by The Bold and the Beautiful, I was sucked in quick.  You can not watch these shows for years, and just so quickly pick back up!  I am now addicted, and it is one of my favorite parts of my day!  I usually sit and eat lunch during the start of Y&R and then start prepping dinner, so I can kill two birds with one stone...get dinner ready and get my soap fix!

I received these shirts in the mail this week, and happy mail is always my favorite!  I have told you guys before that I am fan of Samantha Busch and she opened an online boutique, and you guys should totally go and check it out!  All of the things are super cute, and what I love is all SO AFFORDABLE!  

I have gotten to meet her a few times, and she is genuinely sweet!  If you guys are looking for some cute new pieces to add to your wardrobe, go and check out Murph Boutique .  Fun, affordable fashion is always a favorite!

My list is short and sweet this week, a touch of the flu kicked my butt, and most of my time was spent on the couch resting!  

Mark is working on Saturday, and I am planning on just catching up on all the things I neglected this week, and then Sunday we are all super pumped about watching the big game and eating all the good food!  Hope you guys have a great weekend!   See you back here Monday!