Friday, December 31, 2021

Goals for 2022

 Happy Friday and Happy New Year's Eve friends!!!! 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

2021 Book Review

 Good morning friends! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! I know so many people whose plans were changed/not what they were hoping for due to COVID and if you also fall into that category I am so sorry! I am hoping and praying this was the last Christmas that we all have to worry about this stupid virus. 


It's the end of the year, which means it's time for the end-of-year book review! I know book reviews are all over blog-world this time of year and I cannot get enough of them. I love to see what other people are reading and their honest opinions of the books.

Each year I try to break down my favorite books into different genres just in case you have a particular genre you prefer to read. This year my genres are thriller, historical fiction, fiction, and nonfiction. I tried to narrow it to down to my top 5, but there were too many that I really loved, so it ended up as a top 8 list. At the bottom of this post I will tell you my top book of the year-- and you're in for a surprise!


Monday, December 20, 2021

Disney Trip Part 2

 Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you all had a nice last weekend before Christmas. We missed a week of all the Christmas season fun when we went to Disney so I feel like we have been trying to pack everything in since we've been back. We've baked cookies, made Christmas crafts, made homemade ornaments, went to a Christmas market, went on the Polar Express, and LG went to see the Nutcracker with her grandparents. We've been keeping busy, that's for sure. 😅

Friday, December 17, 2021

Disney Trip 2021: Part 1

 Hello friends! I am back today to share a little bit of our trip to Disney. We had SO much fun on this trip and I think the kids were at such great ages for it. LG is 4 and everything was still so magical and real to her. Liam was 2, and while technically this was his second trip, this is the first time he really knew what was going on. 😆 He was only 3 months old the last time we took him! It's funny to remember a time he was that little.  

Orlando is only an 8 hour drive from Charlotte, which we felt was reasonable for our family. We thought about flying, but honestly with the amount of stuff we wanted to bring it was just easier to drive (not to mention cheaper). We left Friday afternoon and began our drive to Jacksonville, FL (roughly 6 hours). 

Monday, December 13, 2021

Not Just a Mom December: Favorite Holiday Movies

 Hello hello! We are back from our trip to Disney and while we are all exhausted, we are also all still riding the high of being in the Happiest Place on Earth for a week. I am hoping to get some blog posts up about our trip within the next few weeks but with the holidays coming up, I'm not sure how often I'll be showing up here on the blog. I still have some last minute shopping to do! Anyone else not done yet? It's crunch time! 😅 

Today I am linking up with the Not Just a Mom ladies and today we are sharing our favorite Holiday movies. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

What's Up Wednesday

 Hi there! I'm back today to chime in with the What's Up Wednesday crew. We have been busy as can be over here and I am looking forward to sharing what we've been up to. Let's have a look:

What We've Been Eating: Well this week we are off the plant-based wagon and enjoying all the turkey, ham, cheese, etc. My hope is that we get our fill of it this week and have no problems getting back into our groove post-Thanksgiving. That being said we have a trip to Disney planned for the the first week of December, so.... maybe not? I'm not planning to hold back there if I see something that looks delicious and isn't plant-based. You only live once, I have all the time in the world to get back into that groove. But when we have been sticking with plant-based, we've been eating things like this:

Monday, November 15, 2021

Taking a Step Back

 Hi there friends and happy Monday. Today I am writing to tell you that I am going to be taking a step back from blogging for a bit. I have loved this little online community of like-minded women over the past few years, but this hobby of mine is starting to take up time I no longer have. 

When I started this blog back in 2018 I was bored out of my mind. I was the first of my group of friends to have a baby, and the only one of my friends who was a stay at home mom. I was at home with Lily Grace, by myself, for 8+ hours a day. While she was cute as a button, and still is, she wasn't much for conversation back in those days of being a young toddler. My friends were busy at work, my husband was busy at work, and so was my family. I needed something to do, a way to fill my time, and blogging was the perfect fit. I used to write my blog posts during LG's nap time when I had a solid 3+ hours with nothing to do. Now our sweet girl only takes 1-2 naps a week if I'm lucky and they never seem to coincide with Liam's naps. Now I feel like I'm trying to write blog posts at the end of the day when I'm already dead tired. That's not feeding my love for this blog, but making it feel like one more "chore", which I don't want!

I have truly enjoyed writing this blog, and the thought of giving it up completely makes me sad. So I am not giving it up completely, but I am going to be taking a big step back. Rather than showing up here 3+ times a week, I'm going to be showing up more on a whim, when I'm able to, and when I have something legitimate to write about. Maybe instead of weekly Friday Favorites, I'll have one a month but it'll be longer and more in-depth? I'm not 100% sure what the future of this blog will look like, but I know that spending the time being more present in the moment with my family is something I won't regret. 

If you don't already follow me on BlogLovin', now would be a great time to do so. It'll notify you when I post something, so you won't have to keep checking back. 

THANK YOU SO MUCH for coming back here to read and follow along with our family!! I appreciate your kind comments, emails, Instagram DM's, etc. so much more than you know and genuinely consider all of you my real life friends. If only we all lived closer and could go grab a glass of wine together. 😉

See you back here someday (hopefully) soon! 



Friday, November 12, 2021

5 Things/Monthly Goals

Hi There! I had originally planned this post to be a 5 Random-Things-I-Had-On-My-Brain post, but then realized each of the 5 things I was writing about related back to my goals for the month of November. So I guess this post is a little bit of both! The things that are on my brain are also on my list of goals for the month. 😊 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Books I Read in October

Hi there and happy Wednesday! Today I am sharing the books I read in the month of October, and this time around I am going to include the synopsis of the book as well as my thoughts/grade for it. I usually shy away from telling too much about the book because I don't want to give anything away, but I figure a good copy/paste from Amazon won't have too many spoilers! Let's start with one that I'm sure many of us read this month:


Monday, November 8, 2021

Not Just a Mom: Small Shops

 Hello there and happy Monday!  I am back today after a WONDERFUL weekend in Chicago with my two best girlfriends. It was exactly what we needed: a chance to spend 3 uninterrupted days together eating, laughing, resting, etc. I came away from the weekend feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the week ahead. I need girls getaway weekends more often-- hah! Today the Not Just a Mom crew are sharing our favorite small shops! 

Friday, November 5, 2021

31 Days of Skeleton Antics

 Hello hello! Last year when we moved out of our house for the renovation, we moved about 20 minutes outside of the city to a town called Matthews. We were living there during the month of October and one of the houses down the street had skeletons outside who did something new every day. Our kids LOVED the skeletons and got so excited to drive by and see what they were doing. Even on days we didn't have anywhere to go, we still made an adventure out of going to see the skeletons. About halfway through the month Devin and I said "we should do this at our house next year. The kids/families in our neighborhood would love it." So fast forward a year and guess who the new crazy skeleton family was?? US! 

We had a blast doing this! Our house is the neighborhood bus stop and it brought me so much joy to see the bus pull up and all the kids pull down their windows to see what the skeletons were doing. We had such sweet, positive feedback from our neighbors, the mail carrier, UPS drivers, and even random people who don't live in our neighborhood but drove through just to see them. It was a lot of work but was 100% worth it to know that we brightened people's days.. even if just for a minute!

Today I am sharing with you our 31 days of skeletons! I'd love it if you left me a comment telling me which was your favorite! Maybe we will do that one again next year. 😉 Oh and for reference, their names changed a bit but we finally settled on Grace Skelly and Scary Grant. So if you see me use those names, you'll know who I'm referring to!

Day 1: We started out the month simple. A Happy Halloween banner. 

Day 2: Yoga.

Day 3 was a home football game-- so they were representing the Carolina Panthers! 
Day 4: Scary Grant is pushing Grace down the slide. The wig was a big hit with the kids!
Day 5: Climbing the tree to hide from the spider.
Day 6: Soccer
Day 7: Kayaking
Day 8: Day 8 was rainy, so they had an umbrella and rain poncho/jacket thing. Rainy days were the hardest because some of our props couldn't get wet!
Day 9: Scary Grant pushing Grace in the stroller. This was one where I didn't have a lot of time this day and felt like it was a let down... but then our UPS guy said it was one of his favorites! I guess that goes to show that everyone has different preferences!
Day 10: Camping! This was one of my favorites! LG and Dev had gone camping that weekend so we left the tent up in the backyard, then just brought it around to the front for the skeletons. It was easy sine it was already set up anyway!
Day 11: Sunbathing
Day 12: A picnic. It was Lily Grace's idea to put the orange in Scary Grant's mouth. She thought she was hilarious. 😊
Day 13: Sidewalk Chalk in the street!
Day 14: Riding bikes! Can't forget the helmet!
Day 15: Scary Grant was feeling romantic. He got Grace Skelly some flowers and got down on one knee.
Day 16: Bathrobes, slippers, and coffee.
Day 17: Raking leaves
Day 18: The romance turned sour. Scary Grant dumped Grace in the trash.
Day 19: Construction Workers 
Day 20: Reading Halloween books in the hammock
Day 21: This one was all Devin. It wasn't quite the "sweet family friendly" vibe I was going for, but the adults in the neighborhood found it hilarious. 
Day 22: Archery practice
Day 23: This one has a fun story behind it! One day I heard a knock on our door and opened it to see our sweet older neighbor Greg. He said he had an idea for the skeletons and would get the props if we wouldn't mind letting him have a turn.  I said of course! I loved that some of the neighbors were getting so into it! Well it turns out that when Greg retired from his corporate job he went to work at a local brewery in his retirement... so this was Greg's idea: 
Not at ALL what I expected Greg to have up his sleeve 😂. Even the spider is getting in on it. Devin and I could not stop laughing. It brought back more than a few college memories-- hah!
Day 24: On Day 24 Scary Grant and Grace Skelly remembered they weren't in college anymore and can't party like they used to. 😉

Day 25: It was very windy and rainy on this day so we needed something that could get wet. How about an inflatable pool and a boogie board?? We forgot to zip-tie the boogie board down though and I found it down the street later in the day-- oops!!
Day 26: My personal favorite.. school! Grace was the teacher and Scary Grant is raising his hand to answer the question. 
Day 27: A luau!
Day 28: Exercising together
Day 29: Riding the roller coaster together
Day 30: Carving Pumpkins
Day 31: Costumes! And we won the neighborhood decorating contest! Scary Grant is a mummy and Grace Skelly is a witch.
Like I said, we really did have a lot of fun with this! We are already looking forward to next year and can't wait for the fun it brings to the neighborhood. Please leave a comment below telling me your favorite skeletons!
Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

What I'm Priming: October

 Good morning friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween weekend. Ours was SUPER busy and I have to say I am incredibly grateful the kids didn't have school Monday. Everybody was wiped out from all the parties/parades/trick or treating. Now I am thankful we are headed into a relatively normal week. Praying for the peace and calm that a routine can bring!

Today I am linking up with Tanya for Prime Purchases. Here are my purchases for the month:

Friday, October 29, 2021

Fall Family Pictures 2021

 Good morning friends and happy Friday! Earlier this week I shared that we had our fall family pictures taken and received our proofs back. We were finally able to narrow down the pictures we wanted and I am happy to share them with you! 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Fall Harvest Salad

 Hello friends! Today I wanted to share the recipe I was telling you about last week. I have been making this salad for lunch on repeat the past few weeks and I just cannot seem to get enough of it. This recipe makes enough for two people, or if you're like me, enough for a salad at lunch today and a salad at lunch again tomorrow 😊. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

What's Up Wednesday

Hello hello and happy What's Up Wednesday! I am happy to see the end of this month because we know what a fun weekend we all have in store. Lily Grace started talking about Halloween back in JUNE and needless to say, we are all excited the big day is finally (almost) here! Today I am linking up with Shay and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday. I can't wait to read what you've all written too!
Monday, October 25, 2021

Weekend Highlights

 Good morning and happy Monday! Today I am recapping our busy but fun-filled weekend as I link up with Heather for Hello Monday. I hope you all have a great Monday and get your week off to a strong start!

On Friday I subbed for a 4th grade class at my old school while Devin worked from home and watched the kids. When I came home from work they were playing with their construction worker dress up clothes. Both of these kids love to play dress up, and the construction outfits are a big hit these days! 

Friday, October 22, 2021

Friday Favorites

Good morning and happy Friday! I don't know about you guys, but this week flew by for us! The kids had a teacher work day on Monday so we really only had 3 days of school this week. I am not complaining! I love it when a week flies by! Here's a look at some of our favorites from the week:

 Favorite Activities:

Earlier this week I stumbled across this online and immediately said "we have to make those!!" The kids would love them, and lets be honest.. I loved them too. 
Since I went a little crazy in the baking aisle at Walmart a few weeks ago, we still have plenty of candy eyeballs to go around. These were super simple to whip up, and the kids enjoyed them! 
They may not look exactly like the example but considering the ages of my helpers, I thought we did pretty well!
Please note Liam's full cheeks. Every time he put a spider leg on he kept trying to eat the spider, so we kept giving him leftover pretzels. He took that to mean "how many of these things can I fit in my mouth at once??"

Favorite Things We Ate:
I made this Fall Harvest Salad almost every day for lunch and it was delicious! I'll share the full recipe next week but it has kale, apples, pears, pumpkin seeds and more. It's a perfect crispy, crunchy, healthy fall salad.

Favorite Outfits:
Fall is here and I could not be happier about it! Here are a couple fall-is outfits I wore this week:
Jumpsuit/Denim Jacket/Leopard Shoes (old, but similar here)
Green Pants/Gingham Shirt/Leopard Shoes (old, but similar here)

Skeleton Adventures:
I keep forgetting to post the skeleton adventures on my Instagram but don't worry, we are still doing them! Here are a few from the last week:
These have turned out to be a big hit not only in our neighborhood, but for the FedEx drivers, Amazon. drivers, mail carrier, construction workers, etc. People keep stopping at our house every day and taking pictures, which makes me so happy!! This definitely takes a little time and effort, so it is wonderful to know it is appreciated!

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!