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Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Favorites! September 30th

It has been a crazy week for me because I was preparing for my Back to School night, but I am back and excited to share some of my favorites!

Trina's Friday favorite #1 is the Benefit Brow Bar at Ulta!  It is AMAZING!  Sara and I both got our brows done when we met up on Sunday.  My eyebrows are quite thick and not easy to manage on my own, so when I get my brows done I always go to Ulta.  They really take their time and do a great job.  I really wish that I had a before and after picture to show you!  Give them a try...you will not be disappointed!

Image result for brow bar ulta

Favorite #2
Speaking of Benefit...their mascara (They're Real) has been a favorite of mine for a while.  Thanks to Sara for introducing me to it! It makes my lashes appear longer and fuller.  I love it!  I will say that you definitely need eye makeup remover to take it off because it truly lasts forever.

Image result for benefit mascara they're real

Favorite #3
My girls and I love to watch "Dancing with the Stars" together.  It is great, mindless tv that I can enjoy with them.  I look forward to watching it with them every week curled up on the couch.  It is hard to find a show that both parents and kids can equally enjoy. We love to laugh at the "stars" and my dancer girls love to critique their technique.  More than anything, I love spending this time with my 2 favorite girls!







Favorite #4
Here is another favorite recipe that my family loves...hashbrown casserole!  It is delicious!  It does contain cheddar cheese, sour cream, and butter, so it is not diet-friendly. I only make it about once a month.  It is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  It also heats up well.  My oldest daughter (who is EXTREMELY picky) truly eats it for every meal!  I made it this week since I knew it was going to be a busy week.  Enjoy!





My Favorites this week, are mostly products I have been dying to share with you! I have never been able to think of a way to share them with you, until I discovered Friday Favorites! Thank you to ErikaNarciAndrea for hosting this linkup!

Favorite #1


My latest shipment

Ok, guys. This family owned and operated business is AWESOME. They are a sweet family with a sweet backstory. I say that like I know them. I don't. Ha! BUT they send out monthly email newsletters and their website conveys their awesomeness. It makes me want to support them even more. In addition to what great people they are, I LOVE THEIR PRODUCTS!!!

I started using them by trying their soaps more than 4 years ago. They smell great and are gentle on skin. Once I fell in love with their soap, I decided to try another product.

So next, I tried their Lip Balm. I freaking LOVE their lip balm. It is everything you want from a lip balm. It is smooth, lasts a long time, and I love to give it as gifts and as stocking stuffers.

I know I have mentioned that I am into natural products. I have been trying to use products without all harmful chemicals since the big BPA scare of 2008. Will, my youngest son, was using bottles at the time, and it opened my eyes to the types of things I allow into our home and into our bodies.  I started looking at all of the things my family uses and trying to find replacements that are less chemical-laden. I don't ALWAYS use completely chemical free things, but I do really try to minimize our exposure.

As a way to move away from chemicals, I have, over the years, gone through every body product we use and try to find something to replace it. One of the things I wanted to do was switch to a deodorant that was not an anti-perspirant. Boy, was that a challenge! Goat Milk Stuff has, HANDS DOWN, after trying many different products, the BEST deodorant (I use the Citrus Tea!) without anti-perspirant I have found.  (I won't bore you with the details of my research, but definitely check out how the aluminum in anti-perspirant can effect you if you are interested, and decide for yourself.)

And finally, this time I am trying their Bath Fizzy (like a bath bomb but you can decide how much you want to use) and Sugar Scrub cubes. 

I hope my soapbox speech didn't scare you away! I just wanted you guys to know how great their products are whether you are trying to go natural or not!

Favorite #2

I got to see Trina this weekend!!

That is ALWAYS a favorite! She is seriously the best. I hope you are all enjoying getting to know her.  We had a great day, shopping, going to the Brow Bar (as she mentioned above) at Ulta, getting Starbucks and enjoying on our bench, and eating lunch together! It is always great to enjoy time with her on our extended Moms' Coffee Date!

This was one of my favorites this week too!  -T

Favorite #3

While on our date, one of the places we went was Barnes & Noble. I am a member there, so I was able to get a fantastic 20% off of these Lego Advent Calendars. Those of you who buy Legos know this is crazy good, because it seems like they never go on sale!

Every Thanksgiving, after we eat dinner, I give each of my kids a gift to kick off the Christmas season! It contains things they can use for the season like these Lego Advent calendars, Christmas pajamas, hot chocolate mix, candy canes or anything that is Christmas themed like that. It isn't anything huge or overblown, but just a few fun items to start the season and they can enjoy in the weeks to come! 

This year, I have already collected a few things. These Lego City Advent Calendars for the boys, and a Lego Friends Advent Calendar for Elliot. I will post later all the things I have collected so you can see!  This is a really fun tradition that the kids (and I!) enjoy every year.

Favorite #4

Sam's Club

We have not been members of Sam's Club for probably 4 years. We went this past weekend and rejoined. We always enjoy walking around and seeing all they have to offer. And the samples! Love those on a weekend! 

 In addition, my husband, Eddie, is into preparing for emergency situations lately, it is like his latest hobby. So, we went in search of food that can be stored, flashlights, batteries, paper products, etc.

Here's why: living on the East Coast, hurricanes can pose serious issues for several days with power loss and flooding, etc. And in the winter months to come, we could face winter weather issues. We have always tried to keep supplies around in an effort to be prepared so that we are never caught off guard. It has always sort of been my job to keep us prepared, so I appreciate his recent attention to it. I know what you're thinking...this is a Mom's blog, why in the world are you talking about emergency preparations?? 

I was a Girl Scout briefly, and I really believe everyone should be prepared for unexpected emergency situations. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, right? As a family of 5, plus my mom, and my niece and nephew, necessary supplies for 8 people in an emergency might be hard to come by. Preparedness is key, and Sam's Club was a big help this weekend to help us refresh and replenish our supply box! 

Favorite #5


Maybe not natural, but it might help in an emergency! Kidding, not kidding! 

This tastes so much like root beer! It is THE BEST Hard Root Beer I have tried. Sometimes, when we have pizza, this satisfies my desire for a beer with pizza and my love of soda! I don't really drink soda anymore. I do miss it, but I try not to drink it often, so this is a great compromise! Seriously, SO GOOD!

I LOVE this drink too!  I was a skeptic, but once I tried it I was hooked. -T

Happy Friday! And Hope You Enjoy Your Weekend!

-Sara

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What's Up Wednesday {9/28}


What We're Eating This Week... 

S- I made a Crockpot Cheesy Chicken and Rice meal on Sunday because Trina and I got to have a Mom's Coffee Date IRL!!!!! I thought it would be perfect to come home to a mostly cooked dinner after having a fabulous day with her! I am not sharing the recipe, because it was not as good as it sounded. Bummer! #dinnerfail!

This week Pioneer Woman's Stuffed Shells were requested along with Homemade Pizza with Lemony Arugula (a staple in our house!) And something else including chicken...lately I have been LOVING a Chicken Caesar Salad.  Mmmm, so good and easy!




Chicken Caesar Salad

What I'm Reminiscing About... 


S-I am reminiscing a bit about my family memories in our old family Farmhouse. We are in the midst of a renovation to turn it into a brewery. My husband just showed me a picture (because I can't bring myself to go see the changes for myself yet!) of the first stages of demo and I started crying like an idiot. I have so many wonderful memories of my grandparents and my Dad and my Brother (all who are deceased now) in that house. It is so exciting to watch it become something wonderful for others to enjoy, but I am having a hard time watching it evolve into something different from the way it has been all my life! 
Before


After

Who knew those beautiful floors were under the office carpet?

What I'm Loving... 

S- 1)The Fall temperatures!! Where I live in Virginia the last several days have been in the 70s!! 
2) I have said before I am a Packers fan, so I have been enjoying watching those games. 
3) I am loving that Trina and I got to see each other this weekend! 
4) Loving my new LOFT finds from their big sale! #loveLOFT
5) Loving the love we have been getting from you guys! We have more and more of you liking us on Instagram and Facebook every day! Thank you!!

What We've Been Up To... 

S-We have been making almost daily trips to see the progress of our pool at our lot. We are supposed to be starting the foundation next week!! #finally! We are sort of boring, I take the kids to school every day and while they are away, I am blogging, meal planning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. Then I pick them up and we do snacks, down time, homework, dinner and bed. 

What I'm Dreading... 

S- As much as I love Fall, I absolutely loathe that it gets dark so early!! So, I dread the time when it starts to get dark at 5PM.

What I'm Working On... 

S- It bears repeating, I am working on getting my physical house in order. We have just recently decided to hire a cleaning company to come biweekly to clean the floors, kitchen and bathrooms. It has been a long while since we had someone other than me to help out like that! And the clutter has taken over! I am attempting to get it decluttered to the point, where these sweet people can clean efficiently. Yes, I know, first world problems. I am also trying to pare it down for our impending move!

What I'm Excited About... 

S-Everything that is to come! I am excited for Fall! I am excited about the Holidays! I am excited about watching our dream home come to fruition, finally!

What I'm Watching/Reading... 


S- I am loving the new Fall TV! Always excited to see the latest Modern Family episodes. I think everyone is buzzing about This Is Us, and for good reason. The very first episode knocked it out of the park for me. It was great. I loved how all the characters were interconnected. I would tell you more, but I don't want to ruin it for you! Just please, check it out! 

What I'm Listening To... 

S- I am still in love with Zac Brown Band. I am listening to them a lot. I have also been slightly obsessed with listening on satellite radio to the election coverage. I know, I know...don't talk politics! I won't get all into who is better than who and so on, but just the theatrics and positioning to me is fascinating. That's all! I'm done! 

What I'm Wearing... 

S- I am wearing:




Top from LOFT store...can't find it online!

Tweed Jacket/Lush Tunic/Jeans (different wash)

And finally...my latest favorite! It is so soft and cozy!! I have not been a big robe fan in the past, but this thing is like a dream!!

What I'm Doing This Weekend... 

S-We are celebrating my mom's 70th birthday! And attending a wedding of a long time friend! And going to Elliot's friend's birthday party! What a weekend! It should be exciting! Maybe not relaxing, but fun!

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month... 

S-I am looking forward to our school's Fall Festival and Will''s birthday! And apple picking! And Halloween! Lots of fun things going on. 

What Else Is New...

S-We are still checking things off of our Fall Bucket List!  Hoping to find time this weekend to go pick out some pumpkins! 

I also take the opportunity before the weather turns cold, to check in with my kids' winter wear and see what fits and what needs to be replaced. 
Isn't that adorable? It is so cute on! It has a bit of a peplum shape to it, and is a bit longer than a regular coat, which I like. I was able to pick this up for her during a pretty good sale. I thought I would share. Lands' End is always a favorite for kids clothes and outerwear. They have good quality products, that last even with the wear and tear of kids! (P.S. I am in no way involved with Lands End or benefit from writing this in any way! I just like their stuff!)

***NOTE: Trina normally chimes in with me, but this month's What's Up Wednesday, she is still working to find her "groove" with getting back to school and shuttling her girls all over the place. I promise she will be back!! Fear not! This month you only get little old me! ;) Hope you enjoy the post!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall Decorate #FallBucketListMCD


Let's check another item off of our Fall Bucket List!

I Fall Decorated! Actually, I've BEEN Fall decorated. So early, that people were making fun of me, but no matter. My family and I enjoy it!

Hope you like it and get some ideas if you haven't taken the Fall decorating plunge yet!

This is out on my kitchen counter. I love this sign! You can both the sign and the glass container at Hobby Lobby!



I love a festive soap container! This one is cute and glittery from Kirkland's. I couldn't find a link on the site. I bought it at their store.
 Simple leaf garland going up the stairs. And the pink sparkly trick or treating pumpkin Elliot picked out!

Football Pumpkin on our bookshelf behind the couch with a pumpkin filled basket.

 Love this sign! Also from Kirkland's bought at the store a couple of months ago.

Now, where have I seen this before? I printed a copy on Shutterfly, and affixed it to my laundry room door, so I could make sure to stay on top of checking the items off! This is the first thing like this I have created on my own, and I am really proud of it!


Our mantle

Almost everything you see came from Kirkland's, one of my go-to places for decorating. You can click HERE, to see one of our very early posts about how I enhanced a Hobby Lobby garland when I couldn't find one glittery enough to suit me!

 Pillow from Kirkland's/ Throw is from Target a couple of years ago

A DIY pumpkin I made a few years ago with a Cricut, Scrapbook Paper, Foam Pumpkin and Mod Podge

Pretty touch in our entryway
 Obligatory close up!

Powder Room



I hope you enjoyed our Fall decorations! Thanks for stopping by!!
-Sara

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Favorites! September 23rd

I've been reading these Friday Favorites posts on my favorite bloggers sites, and this Friday, I decided we should join in!

Sara's Favorite #1 and Fall Bucket List Item!

Let's kick it off with Fall TV Premiere Week! That is absolutely a favorite! I have been waiting all summer to get some episodes of some of my favorite shows and check out some new ones!

I am most excited for Modern Family, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Middle to begin again. Except The  Middle isn't coming back until October 11th?!? Ugh! The waiting continues!
I also was excited to check out some new shows! I watched Kevin Can Wait and The Good Place and This Is Us.
Kevin Can Wait makes it on my maybe list. The Good Place was cute! But somehow missing something. I am up for waiting to see how that one turns out. This Is Us is seriously amazing. Not to overstate it, but I was blown away. Please watch this if you can. GREAT show.

#FallBucketListMCD

Sara's Favorite #2

Clothes for me!


I was so in love with some shirts I got from Loft this summer, I decided to try this super cute dress. It is flattering, and the fabric is thick enough that is skims over any lumps/bumps. This color is called Midnight Slate only available online, but the do also have a pretty lighter color blue version, also.

And these shoes! I LOVE them!! Ok, TMI time...I have bunions. It's embarrassing and there really should be a better name for them, because it just sounds disgusting. If you don't have them...lucky you! But they are just bones sticking out of the side of your feet that make it next to impossible to find shoes that fit. Forget the cheap ones, because they will not accommodate my wide, bony feet. 

These Rockports I got from Zappos, are AMAZING. Right out of the box, they were comfortable! They fit actually true to size! I almost always have to size up to accommodate the width. These are offered in wide, so that helped. I have bought black and these "warm taupe" ones. I may have to get more. Before these shoes, I basically totally gave up on wearing heels.  you suffer from this too, please commiserate with me in the comments! And any shoes you have found to be comfortable!

It has pockets!! Any dress with pockets is a winner in my book! 

This weekend, I had the rare opportunity to go to a physical Loft store!! Insert shocked face here. The super cute salesgirl, Katie, totally talked me into trying on these cool steel grey (the color, not my description!) leggings. I normally do not buy pants from Loft, because in the past, they have just not quite fit me correctly. I begrudgingly tried them on, and I love them! They are comfortable and flattering. I am considering getting another color.  I did go one size up.

I also got this tee in the cream and gray! It was very soft and comfortable. I believe that every girl needs fresh basic tees every year. These will be great to layer with other things, and of course, scarves!


I #loveloft !

Sara's Favorite #3

Blogging! I think of my life in a different way since Trina and I started this blog in May.  I think of myself as a "realist" where I balance some pessimism with optimism.  This new venture of ours, is helping me to put the emphasis on being and thinking more positively. I can see things in a better light, because that is the way I want to share things with you! I am feeling more grateful these days!

Also, I feel like blogging has helped me to be closer to Trina! I get to talk to her more about it and I get to see what she is up to regularly! We get to see each other so infrequently, I am really loving seeing her and her family more!

And, I am so glad to be part of the blogging community! I have found some of the nicest people already! And there are so many things I have learned. I can't wait to see what the future holds for us!

-Sara


I have been "off the grid" lately because I have been trying to get used to my new schedule!  My daughter's both dance (A LOT!) and my youngest daughter is taking a theater class again.  Running them to these activities after teaching 5 year olds is EXHAUSTING!  I am slowly adjusting to all of it!  I know that a lot of you are in the same boat as me.  Being a working mom and trying to get kids to after school activities can be overwhelming and tiring.  This long tangent leads me to one of my favorites...chocolate covered espresso beans!  I found some that I love at The Fresh Market.  I have always been a caffeine addict, but I love the taste and the quick energy that they seem to give me.  I don't know if it is all in my head, but I do feel more energetic when I eat a few.  

My second favorite is also one of Sara's...the show This is Us!  It was AMAZING!  I was a huge Parenthood fan, so I was excited to see another show that would pull at the heartstrings and entertain as well.  If you have not seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it.  I am already hooked after 1 episode!  I can't wait for more!


Image result for this is us tv show
Another favorite is a chicken noodle soup recipe that I tried last weekend.  My girls and I both love chicken noodle soup, so I looked online for an easy slow cooker recipe.  It has been a little hot for soup, but I wanted to make something that we could eat for a few days with our crazy schedule.  I will definitely make it again!  My kids are picky and they both liked it a lot.  It is not easy to find something that everyone will eat, so once I find a recipe that my family will eat without fuss I am excited!  See the recipe below or check out this link Chicken Noodle Soup.



Finally, blogging is definitely one of my favorites!  I enjoyed working on it so much this summer, and I am determined to do a better job this fall.  I love sharing ideas and blogging with my best friend who is miles away.  I need to take more time for myself and spend more time doing things that I enjoy, like blogging. 

-Trina









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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bake Pumpkin Anything #FallBucketListMCD


Hi, everyone! As you saw, if you follow us on FaceBook, Instagram or Twitter, (and if you don't, please do!) you will have noticed that I enjoyed a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks on the first day they were available earlier this month! It felt like such an accomplishment to mark the first item off of my Fall Bucket List! 

In case you missed it...
Here I am! I was trying to let you see the label, me and the Starbucks sign. I think I need to work on my selfie game!

My next Fall Bucket List item to complete was thanks in part to something I found at Williams-Sonoma! 

I had stopped in their store to look around one morning and I saw this mix.  I generally like to make things from scratch, but this mix just spoke to me. And it was on SALE! AND chocolate?!?! Can you go wrong?

Elliot and I made this together one afternoon. And we could NOT. STOP. EATING. IT!

I made it into 4 smaller loaves so we could freeze a few to last a little longer. Here are a few pictures of that. I also added my own chocolate chips to the tops of them to make them pretty and add just a little extra chocolate. 



Next, we baked them and they came out so beautiful and tiny!


Doesn't that make you just want to grab a slice? We ate it warm, but it is also good a room temperature. My mom, who generally dislikes things like this, ate some too! Win! It is a good mix that has the right amount of spice. Not too overwhelming as sometimes Pumpkin Spice things can be.  If this doesn't make you feel like Fall, I don't know what will! I hope you try it! If you do, let me know what you think in the comments!

Don't forget! If you would like to join us in checking off your Fall Bucket List items, we'd love to see what you are up to! 
#FallBucketListMCD

Happy Fall!

-Sara

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