Friday, August 14, 2020

Amazon Lately: July and August

I have been loving the Amazon Lately posts each month and July sort of got away from me so I decided to combine July with the beginning of August for today's post.  Some of the things in my orders this past month were simply too boring to share like a new grill brush the Mr. ordered or a replacement air mattress for our hanging bed on the porch.  However, I did have some really great items this month so I decided those would be more fun to share! 




1. Glow in the dark dip nail set - I shared about these on stories after we first got it, but I am literally obsessed!!!  Since quarantining started I have been doing my own DIY Dip Manicures at home.  You can read all about it HERE. The girls wanted some fun new colors for summer so I let them pick out a set and they chose this glow in the dark set. Y'all!!!  I am just like a little kid because every night when I get in bed I can't stop staring at my nails glowing.  It's also fun when I'm putting my son to bed because he gets a kick out of them glowing! 

2. Dip manicure polishes - In order to do a dip manicure you need 3 different polishes (a base, an activator and the special top coat). The original set I bought came with the polishes, but they were running low and I needed some more and ordered this set.  So far it's worked great for me! 

3. 100 pack of stickers - Our county is starting school next week 100% virtual and none of us are very happy about it.  However, we are trying to make the most of it so to get the kids excited I let them decorate their laptops with stickers.  This pack was 100 stickers for $4.99 and some of them are really cute! These stickers are waterproof so they are also great for decorating their water bottles.  

4. Facemasks - A friend told me about this brand of facemarks that her kids liked so I ordered a few for my son.  He loves them because they are really soft and the ear loops are comfortable and adjustable.  They come in a TON of cute prints so I'm tempted to get some for the girls too...especially if we end up heading back to school anytime soon. 

5. Pitching trainer baseball - My son has this and loves it so we bought one for his friend's birthday gift who is also starting kid-pitch baseball. It shows them how and where to grab the ball for different types of pitches. 

6. Pitching speed sensor ball - My son also has had fun with it so we ordered this to go with the same birthday gift mentioned above.  It is a baseball that you can pitch and it tells you how fast you are pitching. I'm not sure that it is 100% accurate, but it is still fun for him to use with friends. 

7. Silver Dollar sneakers - These sneakers from Amazon are a great Golden Goose dupe. They are made with real leather, are perfectly distressed and are much cheaper.  They come in a bunch of different colors and I was trying to decide between the blush and these with the gold accent, but love the ones I got!  I know I will wear them a bunch this fall and winter. 

8. Drawer organizer - I have a super shallow drawer in my bathroom that for 6 years has been unorganized and I decided this week to do something about it. I searched and found this two-pack that seems like it will fit and work great to keep all of my make up and other things like that organized. It is set to arrive today so I'll keep y'all posted! 

9. Urgent repair shampoo - My hairdresser suggested this to me several years ago for dealing with my daughter's super blonde hair.  Swimming in some of our friend's pools makes her hair turn green and dry from all the chemicals.  She uses this after swimming and we've found it really does help.  We were all out so I was happy to find it on Amazon!  

10. Flashcards - My son is starting 3rd grade...the year to learn multiplication facts!  I already started working with him a little in the spring and over the summer to learn some of his facts with a set we had. His teacher also recommended a pack of division flashcards for their virtual learning. 

11. Mascara - Someone told me about this amazing mascara available on Amazon. It has over 7,000 5 star reviews so I decided to give it a try.  It's only $5 and SO good!!!  I've been wearing it all summer and also have the waterproof version that I wear when we are going to the lake or the pool. 

The very last thing I ordered on Amazon was THIS for my son.  His teacher said they needed it for a book study so Amazon to the rescue!  

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Teen Gift Idea {Favorite Color Gift Basket}

 Last weekend my daughter was headed to a birthday party for one of her friends so that was a good excuse for us to go shopping! When I asked her what she wanted to get her friend she told me about the cutest idea she had seen online for a favorite color gift basket. After finding out what her friend's favorite color was (Aqua) we made our way to Target and went on the hunt for all things Aqua.  

We hit up the accessories section, make up, nail polish, snacks, candy, school supplies and more!  This gift was so much fun to shop for and even my son had fun looking for items that would match.  

We took it all home, styled it cute in the basket with shredded paper filler on the bottom and then wrapped it up with clear wrapping paper and a big matching bow.  It was the cutest and easiest thing to put together and I'm pretty sure we'll be giving this gift to all of my girls' friends in the near future!  


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Friday, August 7, 2020

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!!  I hope you have all had a great week. My PTA responsibilities have kept me super busy this week as we prepare for back-to-school. Even though our county is starting digitally, there is still a lot of behind the scenes work being done so it made my week seem to fly by! I wanted to share some of my Friday Favorites with all of you as we head into the weekend. :-) 

 
Speaking of back to school, back to school shopping is something my kids and I look forward to every  single year! 


It usually helps get them excited about going back to school and even though we are starting online, our schools still had a list of supplies that the kids would need.  Back to school shopping just looked a little different this year and kind of made me sad. 



Last Friday night we started our supper club back up for the first time since quarantine began and it felt SO good to have some adult only plans.  It's been a lot of together time with the kids over the past 5 months. I loved getting dressed up, having dinner with friends, and enjoying each other's company!  

dress//earrings//bracelets//bag (similar) 

It didn't matter that we were just at someone's house, it was the perfect night!  I wore this new rainbow dress and it just made me so happy! 

 
A little known fact about me is that I have always wanted to open a shaved ice/snow cone stand.  I remember going to one as a kid on summer evenings and it is one of my favorite summer treats.  


There hasn't been one near us...until just recently!  I took the kids HERE a few weeks ago and then we went back again last weekend and took our dog, Walker, for a Pup Cone!  


He was more distracted by all of the people and new smells to care too much about it at first, but he did end up eating most of his peanut butter flavored treat. 


We've thought about buying a machine to have at home and I'm tempted to pull the trigger after reading all the great reviews for this one!! 



I shared about our Keeping Room HERE a while back, but we recently took the TV down from over the fire place and moved it to the basement. We were debating putting another TV back up there, but ultimately I decided not to.  I knew I wanted some sort of mirror, but bought and returned a bunch of them until I found the right one.  


This is from Target and I loved the shape and size of it!  I found the shutters from And That and everything else is just stuff I already owned.  


Last but not least are my beautiful hydrangea plants!!!  I'm so proud of myself for keeping them alive (I don't have the best record with plants) and I just love enjoying all of the blooms each day.  As you can see, Walker enjoys them, too! 


I'm in awe of how there are so many different colors on each plant.  My plan is to plant these somewhere in our yard this fall so I can continue to enjoy them year after year! 




I hope everyone has a great weekend and we will see you back here next week! 

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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Kitchen Confessions: Crockpot Zesty BBQ Chicken

Earlier this summer I was watching some Instagram stories and came across a recipe that one of my favorite influencers shared.  It sounded really good, really easy, and used my favorite kitchen appliance...the crockpot!  I was sold and decided to give it a try.  This zesty BBQ chicken recipe was perfect for my family.


I loved that I could prep everything ahead of time and let it just cook all day.  The mix of the zesty dressing and BBQ sauce makes the chicken so good.  We ate it how she suggested, over sweet potatoes which is something I never would have thought of on my own, but it is SO good! The next day I make sliders with the left over chicken or I've even used it to make tacos and/or quesadillas.

(I don't usually use the thin sliced breasts, but this was all my store had on that day!)

Zesty BBQ Chicken 

Ingredients: 
4-6 chicken breast
1 bottle Zesty Italian Dressing (we like Kraft)
1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray BBQ sauce

Directions: 
Place chicken breasts in bottom of crockpot sprayed with Pam.
Cover with dressing and BBQ sauce.
Cook on low for about 6 hours or until chicken falls apart easily.
Remove chicken and shred with two forks.
Strain remaining sauce to use as topping.

Like I mentioned above, we eat this chicken over baked sweet potatoes and for that I generally use 4 sweet potatoes.  I wash and dry them first. Then pierce them with a fork all over, spread olive oil on the skin and sprinkle with a little salt. Place them on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour based on the size of your sweet potatoes.  When they are done the skin should wrinkle a bit, the caramelized juice will start to ooze out and a fork should slide in easily when they are fully cooked.  When you are ready to serve simply slice the sweet potatoes in half, smoosh the sides to make room for the chicken. After topping with chicken you can drizzle some of the extra sauce on top and even add a little shredded cheese (not pictured).

The chicken is also delicious as a BBQ sandwich or you can make little mini sliders on Hawaiian Rolls, which my kids love! It's a simple, no fuss dinner recipe that my family loves!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Book Club: July

We never thought we would say this about Book Club - but it's been a few months since we've chatted! We can't believe it because reading/listening to books is one of our favorite things. These last few months have offered up little free time for reading, but we've sneak it in where we can. Even if it's a few minutes here or a few minutes there. 

Honestly, we are craving a routine. Any routine. It doesn't have to be our old routine. We just need something to keep us anchored so that we know when we can have a few minutes to ourselves. To exercise, to read a book, to chat with friends - just tell us when

These last few months are full of memories with our families that we will cherish forever. But they are also severely lacking in the "mommy gets a free minute" department. 



Even our reading time has been severely limited, we've still read something. And some good somethings. So today we are popping in for Book Club to share with you what we've been reading these last few months and what you need to put on your reading lists ASAP. 



WHAT WE READ...



We've mentioned our love for Kristy Woodson Harvey books multiple times on this blog. She write fun, heartfelt novels that just make you smile while reading them. She sent us a copy of Feels Like Falling and I couldn't wait to read it. I brought it to the beach with me, and it was the perfect beach read! The story follows Grey, and entrepreneur who seems like she has the perfect life. Until she doesn't. Following the loss of her mother to cancer and her husband to his secretary, she turns to the North Carolina Coast to regroup. With a witty cast of friends, a sweet son, and an unlikely romance all wrapped into one - I couldn't put it down. 


Mary Kay Andrews is another one of those I look forward to reading each Summer. Hello, Summer gave me the same beachy book vibes that I love from her, but with a twist. It was beach read with a mystery twist. Conley is an unemployed journalist who returns to her beachside hometown in Florida to regroup. She runs into her old best friend/crush and somehow stumbles upon a car wreck. The wreck contains a beloved local congressman. As the story escalates lots of secrets are uncovered and the "bad guy" was one I never really figured out until the end so it kept me reading. I loved the whodunit feel and the end wrapped up everything nicely. It's a thicker read, but a perfect story to throw in your beach bag.


Oh my goodness - I remember loving the Crazy Rich Asians series! So when I saw the same author released a new book I couldn't wait to read it too. Sex and Vanity was just as fun! There are hints of past characters through this book, but the story is based on new ones. The setting goes back and forth between Capri and New York. There are a ton of over the top elaborate references to fashion, homes, and vacations like there were in the Crazy Rich Asians series. The story opens up at a wedding where Lucy meets George. At first glance they hate each other, but that quickly changes. However, it's a forbidden romance and they are forced to go their separate ways. Until they meet again in The Hamptons. I don't want to give any spoilers, but it is just what you expect with eccentric characters, lavish details, and lots of humor. I loved it and would recommend it if you like the first series and just want to read something fun. 



Big Summer was recommended to me by a friend with the preface that it wasn't the typical story line from this author. Once I got into it I realized what she meant - instead of just heartfelt romance, Jennifer Weiner threw in a murder mystery twist to this novel. The story follows the friendship of Daphne and Drue. Friends that became frenemies are thrown back together when Drue asks Daphne out of desperation to be in her wedding. Daphne is an up and coming influencer and agrees for the exposure. As she's lured back into Drue's world she realizes while her friend has changed some, somethings will never change. The wedding is an over the top lavish affair that ends with tragedy. So many things were unexpected about this book, and it was one of my favorite stories out of everything I've read the last few months (maybe even the year?). It has a beachy cover and some beach references, but I think it is one of those that you can read anywhere/anytime and still love. 


Forever Is the Worst Long Time might be one of my favorite books this year. This is one I listened to on Audible, but after discovering Camille Pag├ín a few months ago I knew I would love it just as much as reading it. I started this waaaaay back in March and only in the last few days finished it. 

How to sum up this book??

James meets what he thinks is the love of his life. Lou is seemingly the perfect girl for him in every way. The only problem: she's engaged to his best friend in the whole wide world. The story follows James over the course of his life and different choices he makes because of his love. There is tons of humor, romance, heartbreak, and tragedy all wrapped up in this story. The last few chapters had me in tears and the ending was a lovely surprise. 

So far I'm loving anything by this author and would recommend them all! 


WHAT'S UP NEXT...


We have a few things from our Summer Reading List in our pile to still read, but we're switching things up from our typical light, fun beach read to something a little darker. The Guest List sounded so intriguing when I read the back cover - so it's up next! 




BOOK CLUB 2020

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HAPPY READING! 



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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Mango Slaw Recipe


Last week we shared the Blue Hawaiian Cocktail from our Summer Recipe Series, and this week we're breaking out one of our favorite Summer side dishes. This Mango Slaw recipe was new to us for the magazine shoot, but quickly became a Summer BBQ go-to moving forward. 


The Mango Slaw is everything you want in a Summer side dish. It's light, crisp, and refreshing all in one. It's a traditional favorite with a tropical twist and we can't get seem to get enough. 


MANGO SLAW RECIPE

Ingredients
- 2 cups of chopped slaw
- 1 cup of mango, chopped
- 3 green onions
- 1 tbsp of ginger
- 3 tbsp of red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp of sesame oil
- 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 tsp of sesame seeds

Instructions
1: In a small bowl mix together ginger, vinegars, oil, garlic powder, lime juice and sesame seeds.
2: Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins. 
3: In a large bowl, add chopped mango and green onions to slaw mixture. Lightly toss together. 
4: Serve cold and enjoy! 



Check back soon for another tropical delight from our Summer Recipe Series


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Monday, July 27, 2020

Home Sweet New Home: We've Moved In!


Hi friends! It's been a few months since I've given an update on our Home Renovation Project. I laugh and laugh and laugh at the thought that when we originally bought this house back in September we thought we were going to move in February. 

And were nervous about the kids being forced to transfer schools mid-year. 

And what would happen if we sold our house too quickly. 

Just goes to show you God has other plans sometimes. 

School? Well, y'all know what happened there (#pandemic2020). In the end moving schools was the least of our worries. 

Our other house? Still own it. 

New house? WE OFFICIALLY MOVED IN! 

| Cup | Bracelets | Pool Details

We actually moved at the end of May. With Summer approaching, the kids done with "school", and renovation at a point that was livable we decided to just go ahead and move in. Mostly because it was becoming tough to manage the renovations from a far. It was also tough keeping our home show ready at all times with three kids and a furry shedding dog, when there really isn't any where to go. 

| Beaded Light

The kids were troopers through it all, and since the pandemic is still going strong, we didn't really get to say goodbye to our old neighborhood like we wanted to. We are still close enough to visit, but it still wasn't the way we wanted to leave. 

| Beaded Flushmount Light | Outdoor light | Large Outdoor Light |


To speed up the process we did a lot of the finishing details ourselves. It helps to be married to a super handy husband. 


In the end, when we moved renovations were about 85% done. The Master Bath and the basement were still under construction. And if I'm being honest didn't really finish up until last week. 


Last minute we decided to gut and renovate our Master Bath.  The sub contractor we used said what we wanted to do was relatively easy and would take him under two weeks with his full team. We were on track for that, but The Rona got us. Logistically at least. 



| Lighting

The garage renovation started last week and it's the last thing on our list. For now. We've already determined that in the next few months we are going to have to replace all the windows on this house. But that's a quick project. Once the garage is finished - we done. 




Slowly, but surely we've been unpacking and making this house our home. While I am super sad to be leaving my old neighborhood and the memories we created in our old home, this has been a fun process for us. 




It's been fun turning something into our own. It's been amazing playing in the pool daily, and we've had a blast entertaining people. Having a large yard and quiet streets has been a huge positive for our family. I can see what kind of childhood they will grow up with, and it's more than made the decision worth it. 


| Wall hook | Mirrors (sold out - round version) | Cabinet | Faucets


I'll share more details soon. It's amazing to see some of the before and afters of each room. 



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