Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Our Favorite Drug Store Beauty Buys

We love a good beauty product...from hair products to make up and everything in between.  We've been known to spend a lot money on beauty products, but a the same time some of our very favorites are items that just cost a few dollars.  We don't discriminate when it comes to the type of beauty products we use, so today we are focusing on some of our favorite drug story beauty products.  These are items you can get just about anywhere...Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Amazon.

Sheer Blonde Hair Spray - I picked up this hairspray on a total whim at the grocery store and fell in love it it. It's really light weight and holds my curls, but doesn't feel sticky or heavy at all.

Batiste Dry Shampoo - I've tried lots of brands and for the price, this is my very favorite!  It comes in a ton of different scents, but I love the bare one best. It just smells so fresh and clean!

L'Oreal Mascara - Best mascara in my opinion.  It has build-able coverage so if you just want a little on one swipe will do, but if you want more of a dramatic eye, just put on more coats.

L'Oreal eyeliner - This eyeliner goes on so easy and smooth!

Vaseline Lip Therapy - After having some serious lip allergy reactions going on with various chapsticks and lip products, this was recommended to us by a dermatologist and to this day we won't use regular chapstick.  This comes in a few varieties and we have them all!

Burts Bees Lip Shimmer - See above!  Because of the months of pain and discomfort I went through I was scared to use anything on my lips.  This is a nice mix of moisturizing and color and never dries my lips out. It is like a sheer lipstick.  It comes in a ton of colors and I have a bunch of them, but my favorite is Watermelon.

Coconut Oil - Good old fashioned coconut oil!  I buy it on the oil aisle at the grocery store.  I keep thinking I will do a post on this, but haven't gotten around to it yet. There are SO many uses for it, but I keep a jar in my bathroom and use it to take off my eye make up every single night. It is the BEST makeup remover.  It also works to get off things like eye-black (what baseball players wear under their eyes) when nothing else will work!  Sounds weird, but trust us!

Neutrogena make up wipes - When we are lazy and tired at night and don't want to wash our faces, these come in handy!

Essie Nail Polish - Our favorite nail polish because it comes in so many fun colors!  There is nothing better on a random Monday grocery shopping trip than throwing a new fun color in our buggy.

Cutex Swipe & Go Nail Polish Remover Wipes - These are the best!  It's like a gauze/felt pad soaked in nail polish remover.  One pad will take off nail polish on both hands!  They are so great for around the house, but even better for traveling when you can't bring bottles of liquid more than 3 oz. on a plane with you.

Aquaphor Advanced Healing Lotion - Good ol' Aquaphor. We use this stuff for everything!  Dry, irritated skin is the worst this time of year so we love to lather up with this.  We use it on our kids and on ourselves.

Jergen's Natural Glow Firming Lotion - We've been using this stuff for years!!!  It a moisturizing lotion that very slowly and very gradually builds color.  It is great to start using in the winter because when spring arrives, you have a nice healthy glow.

Neutrogena Tanning Spray - Reviews are mixed on this, but we love it.  It's like getting an air brush tan in the comfort and modesty of your own bathroom. The spray makes it go on evenly and the color is gradual if you follow directions and avoid ankles, elbows, and knees.  Tip - We put down an old towel before spraying ourselves and make sure it dries completely before putting on clothes.

Do you have any favorites?  Please share because we love trying out new stuff! 

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Adding Farmhouse Inspired Touches

This post is in partnership with Christmas Tree Shops andThat!. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

It's no secret that we love farmhouse-inspired decorating touches in our home.  Give us all the distressed wood, pops of green, mix of metals and casual, relaxed style.

When we learned that one of our favorites, andThat!, was launching an exclusive farmhouse inspired line called The Grainhouse we couldn't wait to check it out. We walked in and fell in farmhouse love!

There were so many affordable and stylish pieces!

| wood sign |

We both had a few home decorating projects in the works and we found so many great items to use in our spaces.

We had the best time shopping in store!  The Grainhouse collection has everything from furniture to textiles and all your entertaining essentials.

Carrie Beth
I was in the process of refreshing a room off of my master closet.  It's a space that was originally built as a craft/sewing room, but since then my needs have shifted a bit. I wanted to transform it into a space that could be a multifunctional room.  One that would serve as an office, dressing room and "blogger space."  I very blogger of me. ;-)

Seriously though, Jen and I started The Magnolia Mamas so that we could have a creative outlet and something that would help give us some of our identity back as we were both stay-at-home moms with very young children at the time.

Because the blog has grown, I wanted a place that was just mine.  Somewhere I could go to have some peace and quiet, somewhere I could go to focus and write when working on a blog post, and a fun spot for taking outfit pictures and displaying some items that are special to me.

There are so many things I love about this room.  Mostly though, I just love it because it feels so peaceful to me.

I love using items in unexpected ways. I feel like that is part of what makes the farmhouse inspired decorating style so much fun.  A basket full of rugs rolled up in not only going to be functional for me to have for different photoshoots, but it also fills that corner and softens the room.

I fell in love with this gorgeous galvanized metal platter and couldn't believe the price! Obviously it would usually be used for entertaining in a kitchen I used it to add another mix of materials and it is serving as a catchall for jewelry and accessories.


Also, this picture frame became a cork board when I added a cork sheet to it and it now displays some very special items!

The handkerchiefs, broaches, and beaded necklace are accessories that belonged to my grandmothers and I also added my wedding day earrings.  My grandmothers were the epitome of southern belle's and they were so very stylish.  From fancy scarfs, fun jewelry and never leaving the house without lipstick, I feel like they definitely played a part in my own style.  Because sharing style is so much of what we do now on the blog, I love that I can look at these pieces daily.

I'm so excited about Carrie Beth's new space I can't stand it! It makes me want to tell my kids they now need to share a bedroom so I can claim a room and decorate it all Magnolia dreamlike on my own!

I love that from bookshelves to baskets (and everything in between) it was purchased from one store! Shopping at andThat! Is always so fun, but shopping together was such an experience. You should have seen us strolling through there with multiple carts filled with Grainhouse products. The checkout girl didn't know what to think. She laughingly said in passing, "Y'all purchased one of everything! You will have to take pictures of all this when its put together and send it to the store."

Girlfriend had no idea of the snap-happy purchasers she was dealing with.

I was lucky to get a teeny tiny sneak peek of the Grainhouse line a few months ago when I was getting started on my bedroom makeover. I'll discuss more of the details on that next week, but when I was shopping with Carrie Beth I couldn't help but grab a few more items to add.

The Grainhouse bedding is swoon worthy and so inexpensive! I had purchased the striped bedding  a few months ago, but the minute I spotted (or really felt) the white Washed Pintuck Comforter Set I knew I had to have it. It feels like a cloud. And I don't know about you, but that's kind of what I'm going for when it comes to the whole sleep thing.  

One of my favorite parts about the Grainhouse line is all the throw pillows. As a not so recovering pillow addict, it was so hard to limit myself to just a "few". I wasn't about to leave the store without at least one ruffle pillow and one macrame pillow in my possession. Stumbling upon the railroad striped pillows were just an added bonus. 

And I didn't just stop at the bed. No my friends. I put those throw pillow everywhere I could. They just add the finishing touch to a room I think. You can never have enough. 

Cozy soft throw blankets come in a close second. 

I limited myself to just one. A girl has to show some restraint occasionally. 

I grabbed this cute round accent table and a few picture frames, topiaries and other little accessories to complete the space. 

I have a few more home projects on the horizon and already have a few more fun pieces from the Grainhouse line earmarked for purchase. 

Do you love farmhouse style decor? Learn more about the Grainhouse line from andThat and check out some of their other amazing decor pieces HERE

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Podcasts I Can't Stop Listening To

It's funny. I've never really been an auditory person when it comes to entertainment. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love listening to music. But sparingly. Like for short stints in the car, or during my warm up for my workout.

The back half of last year kind of changed all that though. A friend raved to me about a Podcast she was listening to and told me I had to give it a try. I'll be honest. I kind of placated her and said I would, but it was still another month or two before I gave it a try. I mean, when did I have the time to sit and listen to a Podcast?!

Right on the backside of that Carrie Beth called me one day and told me she started listening to books via Audible and loved it. She even used the words "life changing", and when she states those words I listen. She's never led me astray. I mean, me and my waist will forever be grateful to her for the "must have jegging jeans" I now own in three colors.  And I'm a few inches closer to our great maker thanks to "the most amazing root boost ever made". So when she said to give it a try and I would love it, I put it on my to do list.

In the same week I decided to give both Podcasts and Audible a try. I kept thinking I wouldn't enjoy listening, or that I wouldn't have the time to finish anything.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

I found myself instantly sucked in to both. I think it helped that I was given really great suggestions for both right off the bat. I also realized how convenient it actually was to listen to something. I found tons of little pockets in my day to listen. In my car, sitting at practices, while working out, doing laundry - just to name a few. Now I'm a huge fan and look forward to actively listening to both in my day.


The first Podcast I listened to was Serial. My friend suggested this, and based on the description I didn't think I would like it. I listened to the first episode of Season 1 and could. not. stop. listening. Before I knew it was five episodes in. 

I finished the first season pretty quickly and then asked for suggestions on social media. You guys always give great advice! I was given a pretty lengthy list, and decided to listen to the most suggested Podcast next. The overwhelming favorite seemed to be Dirty John. 

I listened to the first few minutes and wasn't too keen on it. I tabled it for a week or so and then came back to it and oh my - it was also so good! It's so crazy to me that this Podcast is based on real life. I've also since learned there is a TV show based on it. I am going to have to check that out. I still have so many questions about Dirty John, but it was definitely an interesting listen. 

On a completely different spectrum as the first two Podcasts, I've really enjoyed How I Built This. Mr. Cute suggested this one to me. It interviews some of today's top business leaders and some of the interviews are really interesting. My favorite so far is Sara Blakely, inventor of Spanx. I mean its only fitting considering she's a fellow Atlantan and makes one of my all time favorite pairs of pants. 

Other notables so far are Rise Together by Rachel and Dave Hollis (Rachel is the author of Girl Wash Your Face, the book everyone fell in love with in 2018.), Cat & Nat (The infamous moms known for their hilarious mom car chats), and This American Life (The same producers of Serial, but each episode is its own story.). 

Podcasts Suggested By You!

Here is a list of other Podcast suggestions I was given that I haven't gotten to quite yet. I thought I would share in case anyone else was looking for something new to listen to. I would also love love love some suggestions to add to my list! I'm totally hooked and can't wait to listen to more! 
  • Dr. Death
  • Younghouselove
  • S Town
  • Armchair Expert
  • The Mom Hour
  • Babes & Babies
  • Whine Down
  • Goal Digger
  • Mom Brain
  • Alone - A Love Story
  • Criminal
  • Up & Vanished
  • Don't Mom Alone

Happy listening! 

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Tips For Helping Kids Achieve Their New Year's Goals

Although we still haven't shared our New Year's goals here on the blog, I have been thinking about it a lot and also wanted to get my kids involved. I love the New Year because it is a time to reset, reevaluate, and refresh.  My kids are naturally pretty goal oriented so I talked with each of them about what they wanted to achieve in 2019.

My oldest daughter made a "vision board" by printing out images, cutting out pictures from magazines, and writing goals or things she wanted focus on this year.  She came up with this idea on her own, which I just loved!  She has it hanging in her room to serve as a reminder.

Although my younger two had no interested in a vision board, they did talk about what they wanted to achieve this year and I also interjected some things that I thought they needed to work on, too.

Towards the end of 2018 life just happened. We got busy, so I got a little lazy as a mom, and let things slide that I normally wouldn't.  But, with the new year amongst us and the kids starting back to school this past Monday I wanted to do a hard reset.  Things like the way technology is used, the way homework and studying is done, and the focus of our very precious and very little free time.

I thought I would share some of the tips I am doing to help support my kids in achieving their 2019 goals in hopes that someone else who is ready for a reset might find a little inspiration!

5 Tips for Helping Kids Achieve Their New Year's Goals

1. Take Away Technology - Yikes!  I can't believe I even wrote those words. Now I'm not taking away their devices completely, but some big changes happened.  I found that they were spending way too much time watching YouTube, scrolling Instagram and messaging with friends when they could be spending that time in a more productive way. Now, this is totally the pot calling the kettle black because I am also guilty of spending too much time on social media (Instagram Stories are my weakness).  So the new rule in our house is that their phones, iPads, etc. are off limits when we are at home unless certain things are completed (see next tip below for the details).

We have plenty of time in the car getting to sports that they can use their devices and if they finish all their other responsibilities they can use it at home, but we are cutting back big time...especially during the school week.  This wasn't a shock to the kids. I had been telling them all during the break that things were going to be changing a bit when school started back so they were ok with it.

2. Make It Visual - In order to keep up with their responsibilities and tasks that are going to be good uses of their time, I wanted to create something that would give them ownership.  Not just me nagging at them to do something or saying "no phones."  Instead, they helped me come up with things they needed to do each day in order to achieve their goals.

Obviously homework and studying will help with good grades at school, cleaning their rooms will help keep me off their backs and practicing their sports skills will help them get on the teams they are aspiring for.  The reading part is for my own sanity because although they like to read at night in bed, I can't always be sure that we can squeeze that in.  Usually we get home pretty late after sports stuff so getting it done earlier in the day makes sure that they get it done!

I just created these quick little charts and personalized them for each kid.  I saved them so I can print off a copy each week.  They are taking ownership by checking the boxes and keeping up with what they should be doing. After all the boxes are checked and they have truly completed everything without rushing through it they can use a phone or iPad, if they choose to.

3. Get Organized - I am an organized person by nature. I come by it honest because my mom is super organized so it rubbed off on me.  I love making lists and I still keep an old-school paper planner that I swear keeps my life on track and keeps us going in the right direction each day.

My girls are starting to learn a lot of these organizational tasks and love keeping up with their schedules so I got them each planners for 2019 so they can keep up with what they have each day.

4. Get Involved - This one is on me as a mom.  While my girls are both very organized and great and keeping up with homework and tests, I found they still need guidance.  I'm getting involved by making sure they not only just looked over the information for a test, but actually know it inside and out. No more just taking their word for it.

Sports goals are going to be achieved with lots of practice and me actually getting out there and helping them with practicing is going to go a lot further to help them achieve their goals.  Of course, I could always find something to do inside like laundry, cleaning or answering an email, but when they want my help, I'm going to do my best to get involved.

5. Find What Motivates Them - I am not above bribery.  It works for some kids and mine are highly motivated by that carrot dangling in front of them.  I'll never forget when my Blondie seemed to have lost her competitive drive during soccer games.  She was four years old and used to score all the time then all of the sudden she just kind of ran along with all of the other kids.  Next game I offered her a dollar if she scored a goal and she scored twice!

If there is something specific they want (within reason) we are making deals that as certain goals are achieved they will be rewarded.  It might be as simple as a treat from the concession stand after a home run, a trip to get nails done after a new tumbling skill is accomplished or something bigger after a huge goal is met.

Do your kids set goals each New Year?  What are some ways you help them achieve their goals?

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Kitchen Confessions: Simple Taco Soup

It's been quite a while since our last Kitchen Confessions post so I figured it was high time to share something we've been eating lately. Weeknights are the hardest because we are so short on time. Between practices for three kids in multiple sports, finding a night that I am home with nothing to do except cook dinner is rare!  I love quick and easy meals that are a crowd pleaser and this simple taco soup is just that.  I can put it all together in my crockpot in the morning after the kids get off to school and know that it will be ready for us to eat anytime we happen to get home that evening.

We actually had this for the first time at my good friend A's house on Halloween. She had made a big batch of it for us to eat before trick-or-treating. I got the recipe from her and altered it just a bit to fit my kids' tastes, and have made it several times since then.  Starting back to school this week I knew I needed to plan for some easy meals and this was on the top of the list!

Simple Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups water
1 can (16 ounces) mild chili beans, undrained
1 can (15 1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (10 ounces) Rotel
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until no loner pink. Drain.
2. Add taco seasoning and mix well.
3. In a crock-pot, add all ingredients including ground beef. Cook on low for about 8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.
4. Stir and serve with Fritos.
5. Garnish with sour cream and/or shredded cheddar cheese.
6. Enjoy!

If your kids are anything like mine, they will love this because they get to eat it with chips!  That makes everything taste better, right?!

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Friday, January 4, 2019

Favorite Moments of 2018

For the past few years we have shared our very favorites from the year.  These are some of our favorite posts to look back on because it sort of shows an overview of what was going on at that time in our lives and gives a little snapshot of each year.

We're back again today sharing our favorites from 2018.  It was a big, fun, exciting, and great year.  We're so excited about what 2019 holds, but first a little look back at 2018!

Our Favorite Place to Visit...

Carrie Beth 
We didn't travel as much in 2018 as we did in years past. We were just really busy with the kids activities and didn't travel during every single school break like we had in the past.  Our ski trip to Breckenridge, Colorado was probably my favorite of this past year. I have said this a ton of times, but I don't love skiing the way the rest of my family does. However, I do think it is the best family vacation.  This trip almost didn't happen because we were going to take a year off of skiing, and I'm so glad we didn't.

Oh this is tough...

We tend to travel a lot and 2018 was no exception. Thinking back we went to some pretty fun places last year. We did Disney again with the kids. I did a mommy and me vacation to St. Augustine for our Spring Break. The hubby and I snuck away to Key West. There were some other trips too, but I think my favorite trip of 2018 was my Dad's 60th Birthday trip to New York City.

This was a surprise trip years in the making and I was so glad that we were all able to pull it off. My dad grew up in the city, and it isn't new to most of us. But it was fun experiencing it all together and getting the opportunity to let me dad do all his NYC favorites with his entire family. Poor guy...61's gift will be kind of lame.

Our Favorite Thing to Read...

Carrie Beth 
My life was changed this year (see below under favorite finds), but listening to books instead of actually reading them was a total game changer for me.  I listened to a bunch of really amazing books this year and narrowed it down to these two as my favorites.

Emily Giffin - All We Ever Wanted 

Tijan - Ryan's Bed

Both were really heavy, focused on deep subjects and made me terrified of the teenage years with my kids.  But, both really stuck with me, made me emotional, and I felt connected to the characters in such a way that I was constantly thinking about them, even when I wasn't listening to the stories.

This is a tough one every year, but we just put out our Book Club Favorites of 2018 post, and it's fresh on my brain what we read. I read something like 46 books last year, but out of them all my favorite was My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan.

It was fun, funny, heartbreaking, sad, frustrating, mysterious, and happy all rolled into one. I remember finishing it and not wanting it to end.

Our Favorite Thing to Wear...

Carrie Beth 
This was a tough one because I found a lot of really amazing pieces this year.  I was going to say these distressed denim shorts because they were on repeat ALL summer long.

But then I started thinking about that moment when I discovered jeans with elastic waist bands and felt like I heard the angels singing from the Heavens!  I knew that these jeans had to be my number one.

I loved them so much I bought a pair in black...

And another pair in black that I distressed because the black distressed ones only come in ankle length and were too short of me. 

These are just SO comfortable, fit amazing, and make me truly wonder why anyone would wear normal jeans again!

Hands down my favorite find of the year was this swimsuit!

It was the first one I would grab whether we were on the boat, at the pool, or headed to the beach. I told Carrie Beth she needed it her life, and the minute she wore it she was in love too.

I got so many compliments on it and it is super flattering on. I'm tempted to get another color this year (it's on sale here in limited sizing if you are thinking of getting it. Get it!).  There's also another similar style I have my eye on by the same brand. We live in swimsuits for more than half the year here so it was by far my favorite thing to wear!

Our Favorite Finds... 

Carrie Beth 
So I mentioned this above, but my very favorite of all my finds this year was leaning about Audible.

It truly changed my life and the way I spend my days. Instead of listening to music in the car, I listen to books. Instead of listening to music while I walk my dog, I listen to music. Instead of listening to my kids fight while I fold laundry, I listen to books.  You get it...I listen every chance I get and have no plans of slowing down anytime soon!


Hmm...Audible is a really really good one. I also love love love my new dishwasher. If I could marry a dishwasher this would be the one. It's whisper quiet and so functional. But even as much as I love my dishwasher (and I get how adult that makes me sound) I think my favorite find of the year is something I use every. single. day.

My skincare routine!

We chat a little bit about it here, but I came to the realization this past year I wasn't getting any younger. And the sleepless nights were starting to take their toll. In 2018, I was a little more proactive in my skincare and makeup routines. I am so happy to have found a good skincare regimen and a great clean beauty brand I feel that I feel actually works.  My skin feels so much better, and my wrinkles and dark circles must have at least faded somewhat because at a holiday party I was asked if I was in my late 20's. Y'all 20's were a long time ago. But if you're willing to give it...I'll take it.

Honorable mention needs to go to the red lip of 2018 though. I snagged this red lip color to wear for the Taylor Swift concert and while I've never been a red lip fan for myself, it looks so good on! Not to mention so good on every skin tone (CB and I obviously have different skin tones and it "pops" so well on each of us!).

I wore it to several events and even on occasion just because and each and every time someone complimented me or asked what color it was. So long live the perfect red lip!

Our Favorite Kid Moments...

Carrie Beth 
We had a lot of amazing kid moments this year, but the top would have to be the entire season of summer all star baseball with my little guy.

His goal was to make this team and when he did we had no idea what we would be in for. We knew it would mean a lot of long days spent at ball parks, a lot of hours spent practicing, and a lot of hot, hot, hot days spent in the sun.

What we didn't prepare for was the amazing group of families that we would get to know (including some of the moms who have become some of my best friends).

We couldn't have imagined the way the girls would love spending their days at the fields as much as we would. How they would form the sweetest little friendships with some of the little sisters of the team and become the resident team babysitters, which they absolutely loved.

And I never could have guessed how close the boys on the team would become.  My little guy always says he wishes he had a brother that loved baseball as much as him and that is just what these boys became to him.  Brothers from other mothers, who loved baseball just as much as him!

I love my kids dearly, and from happy to frustrated and everywhere in between they continuously make me go through all the parental feels. My three seem to be on a level ten at all times, they don't sleep EVER, and love to live life to the fullest in any and all situations. It's hard to pick one moment out of millions from the year as most memorable, but I think maybe this small moment with Cute was my favorite.

It was his First Grade awards day. We came home and he read his awards he received from his teachers. He received a lot. And this isn't stated to be a moment to brag. It's about a moment when he, my husband and I realized how far Cute has come. Totally a different post for another day, but those who are closest to us know that for several years of Cute's life we worried everyday about his future: both academically and in everyday life. We went through year's of testing, evaluations, studies, counselors and therapy. On awards day we realized he's got this, and we have nothing to stress over about our Cute. Until the teenage years...

Our Favorite Moment of 2018...

Carrie Beth 
I really had a hard time with this one. We had a lot of great moments in 2018 and narrowing down to my favorite was really tough. I think that I would have to say that going to the Taylor Swift Reputation Tour concert had to be at the very top though.

The girls and I had been looking forward to it for months and the concert certainly lived up to its reputation.  We were so happy to be there with my mom and with Jen and her Little Cute!  We got all dolled up together, sang songs together all night long and danced the night away!

What were some of your favorite parts of 2018? What are you looking forward to most in 2019? 

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