Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Get Better Sleep with Cadia Pillow

Best pillow for sleep 

Oh my gosh y'all! If ever there was a post to read - this is the one! So, a few weeks ago I had had it. My neck was killing me. I was waking up in so much pain looking left would make me cringe every single time. I just knew the cause had to be my pillow. 

When we moved last year, my husband talked me into a new mattress with extra firm support. Listen, I like to sleep on what feels like a fluffy cloud of goodness. What's not firm? Clouds. The mattress salesperson assured me that it would get less firm over the course a few months and I would be in sleep heaven. Oh and here are some firm pillows to throw in for good measure just to make the angels sing. 

That salesperson sits on a mattress throne full of hard, neck pain filled lies. 

When Cadia Sleep asked us to do a review for their luxury adjustable pillows, I jumped at the chance to give them a try. 

Best. Decision. Ever. 


WHY I LOVE MY CADIA PILLOW

Cadia pillows come in three different levels of firmness - soft/plush, medium & firm. I am a side and stomach sleeper and ordered the plush one for me. My husband is a side and back sleeper, and I ordered the medium for him. The best part about each pillow is that it is adjustable! 

Being able to customize our pillows to our needs has been sleep changing! Each pillow comes with a series of inserts that can be removed or added to ensure that you get the ultimate comfort and support that YOU need. 

The pillows are hypoallergenic (Which is great for those nights when my allergy prone daughter comes into my bed and steals my pillow. Spoiler alert: it's every night.), and built with materials that (to quote the website), "make you feel like you are sleeping on a cloud"

They had me at "cloud"

The inserts and pillow cover are also washer friendly! Such a bonus! I wash my pillows every few weeks to make sure all the dust mites and dead-skin cells are removed, and love knowing I'm not ruining its fluffy cloud-like features while I'm doing so. 


CADIA GIVES BACK

Another great thing I love about Cadia is that they recycle your old pillows. If your old pillows are  polyester or down alternative filled Cadia will recycle them. And it's totally headache free to do so! They send the packaging and labels with your pillow purchase so all you have to do is pop your old pillow into the mail and done! I wish other companies would think of recycling programs like this! Think of how much good they can do. 




FINAL PILLOW TALK

Both my husband and I agree that Cadia pillows are life changing. We both are sleeping better, and my neck now can move any which way pain free. I also feel like I don't get up as often through the night. Now that I am more comfortable I think I am able to sleep more soundly. I didn't even realize how much my old pillow was affecting me and my health on a daily basis. I wish I had done the research and made the change sooner! 

To learn more about Cadia Sleep and which pillow is right for you: 




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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Teen Media & Game Room {Part 1}

If you read the blog yesterday, you learned that my 2021 goal is house projects and our first one is already underway! A little back story first.  When we were renovating/building our house I knew I wanted a big playroom on the main floor because at the time my kids were young.  It was the perfect spot to house all of the big toys like the train table, play kitchen, dress-up clothes, art station and more!


When the kids got a little older and weren't playing with those types of toys anymore we transition it more to a homework/hangout space which they liked, but rarely used. 



My son will play in there if he has a friend over and still likes some toys, but for the most part they are sort of past that phase which brings a tear to my eye. If given the chance to time travel, I would turn back the clock to the day my oldest was born in a heartbeat.  But, since that isn't going to happen, I'm embracing the stage we are at and making this room functional for our family.  We've been debating what to do for some time now and finally decided to transform it into a Teen Media & Game Room.  

I did what I always do when I'm looking for ideas for my house and logged into Pinterest to start searching!  I found so many great ideas and got some really good inspiration.  




After all of my pinning and "research" I knew that I wanted to do some sort of dark accent wall, have comfortable seating for the kids, and that the Mr. wanted a big TV in there.  I'm super pumped about the cool accent wall and all the kids care about is when we're getting the new TV. 

Because the room is really big and the lounging/TV section is only going to take up part of the room, we've also decided to move the air hokey and foosball table from the basement up here, too.  I honestly think they will get used more being right off our main living space.  We'll still have some toys in the closet in there (because I'm just too sentimental and for the VERY occasional time they get used) and I've got to come up with something to do with all of the the giant Nerf guns we own.  Besides that, the playroom part of the room is going to be gone. I had a really hard time taking down the children's artwork gallery wall. 


Once we decided what we wanted for the wall I was in camp hire "let's someone to do the work" and the Mr. was in camp "I can do that." I let him have at it and last weekend he worked nonstop! 


He moved electrical outlets, tore off baseboards, patched drywall, and did all of the trim work himself.  I was just the assistant holding things in place when asked, so this was really all him.  


I helped paint on Saturday night (this is 40), and was really happy with the color I'd picked. We went with Sherwin Williams Urban Bronze which I have now learned is the 2021 color of the year. How fitting. 


I love this wall.  It makes such a statement when you walk in the room and all of the other walls are now freshly painted and free of random crayon marks. 


All of the trim work and drywall patching done, the painting completed, and the room is mostly cleared out except for some random furniture we are going to donate. Next up is new carpet and then the fun stuff like curtains, moving furniture in and yes, the big TV! 

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

My 2021 Goal: House Projects

I  don't know that I have ever been happier to welcome in a New Year like I did this year.  I don't usually make a resolution for the New Year, but I do like to make some general goals for each year.  My goal for 2020 was to travel more and we all see where that got me.  We cancelled trips to the Bahamas, Napa, and London. Sigh. This year I'm keeping my goals closer to home and in fact house projects is actually my number one goal this year.  I posted about that on Instagram Stories and had several people ask if I didn't get all my home projects done in 2020 when we were stuck at home. We actually didn't really do much in the way of our house indoors last year, but we did add the fence that I still love to come home to everyday.  


We built our house about 7 years ago and when it was finally finished I was full speed ahead getting things decorated.  I bought furniture, made curtains, found rugs, picked pillows and then I just sort of "set it and forget it." (Anyone remember that infomercial?!) 

We did finish our basement a few years ago, but besides that we have just been enjoying things like they are.  I also think that you can kind of get complacent about your home...or at least I can. I see it day in, day out and usually just see things like shoes my family can't seem to pick up and endless cleaning chores that need to be done.  


However, after recently visiting a few friends' homes that had just been remodeled and checking out some amazing Instagram accounts I got the decorating bug.  That combined with the fact that we are spending more time at home these days, I made house projects my 2021 goal.  


When I started thinking of all the things I wanted to do I got giddy with excitement.  I forgot how much I love Pinterest, how much I love a good DIY. It's so fun to see how things come together.  I've got a long list of projects and cannot wait to start tackling some of them. Some projects will be small (like making new curtains for my master), some will be DIY (for me that means painting furniture and for the Mr. that means power tools), some will involve new furniture (still on the hunt), and a lot will involve using our current furniture in different parts of my house.  


One final project will be something MAJOR and I couldn't be more excited about it! I can't wait to take you all along with me this year to share everything I'm doing, both big and small, as I mark things off my decorating to-do list!  

What is your goal for 2021? 

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Monday, January 11, 2021

Valentine's Day Decor from Target

Down came the holiday decor, and up goes the Valentine's Day goodies. Usually we late a little longer, but this year we are getting a jump start on it early. One because it makes us happy. And two, the world could use a lot more reminders about love right now. 

Strolling through Target the week of Christmas (as one does), we noticed that they had already done a complete holiday change over to Valentine's Day. Normally we like one holiday to finish before the next one starts, but when you have items this cute in stock we understand why the good people of Target just couldn't wait. 

So it might have been Christmas Eve, but there were definitely an item (or ten) of Target Valentine's Day decor gracing our carts during check out. #noregrets



VALENTINE'S DAY DECOR FROM TARGET

  1. Melamine Heart Bowl
  2. Opalhouse Heart and Pom Filler 
  3. Valentine's Candles (would make for a great teacher's gift!)
  4. Love Banner 
  5. XO Tassel Wall Hanger 
  6. Linen Heart Dish Towel  (cute enough to use in bathrooms too!)
  7. Blush Beaded Heart Pillow 
  8. Blush Love Notes Lumbar Pillow 
  9. Stemless Valentine's Wine Glasses (perfect for a Galentine's Day celebration!)
  10. Heart Shape Waffle Maker (available in red too!)
  11. Heart Mugs (comes in a two pack!)
  12. Red Heart Sherpa Lumbar Pillow
  13. Red Pom Throw Pillow 


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Friday, January 8, 2021

Book Club: Best Books of 2020

 

Happy first Book Club post of 2021 friends! For our book loving readers - get ready because this is a jam packed post. We're wrapping up all things 2020 and sharing our favorites of the year! 

For those of you who aren't into reading, grab a glass of wine, click Bridgerton on your Netflix and enjoy! It's book to screen, so it totally counts. And you'll thank us later. We promise! ;) 


WHAT WE READ...

CARRIE BETH

I wasn't able to get through quite as many books as I had hoped this past month because I felt like I was running a marathon just trying to get ready for Christmas, but I was able to finish three!  


First up for me was The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes.  I really wasn't sure what to expect from this story, but I almost always love the Reese Witherspoon picks, so figured I would give it a try.  It was a little slow for me to get into and took a while to develop the characters, but I did enjoy it.  It's about an English woman, Alice, that finds herself married to a handsome man in small-town Kentucky during the depression era.  The story follows her as she begins to make friends in the town, grow more unhappy with her marriage, and finally build up the courage to leave the overpowering rule of her father-in-law's home. The friendship between the small group of women who run a mobile library service give them all the strength and courage to stand up for themselves against the conventional rule of men who think it is their place to tell the women what they can and can't do.  I loved the way it ended and was happy to learn Alice was happy in the end. 

To put me in the Christmas spirit I read In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren.  It was a very cute story that had a sort of Groundhog Day feel to it.  The main character, Maelyn, finds herself living the same holiday vacation over and over. During this she starts making decisions and takes actions to help herself get what she wants and ultimately is able to break the repeated pattern and end up with all she ever hoped for.  It was a quick, easy, and cute holiday read! 


My book loving friend, J, texted me about this book and told me I should listen to it. Her suggestions never fail me! The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid had actually been on my Audible Wish-List for a while so I finally decided to give it a go.  It's a story about the rise of fame in Hollywood, and the heartbreaking things that some will do to get (and stay) there. It's told through several different points of view as Evelyn, an iconic movie star, hand picks her interviewer to write a book about her life story.  Without giving too much away, I wasn't expecting the forbidden love plot that became the main focus of the story.  I really enjoyed this novel, but felt that towards the end I was ready for it to wrap up. Then WHAM, I was hit with the unexpected twist and learned the reason that Evelyn chose her interviewer.  I didn't see it coming AT ALL and it really makes you think about what you would do in that position. 

JEN

Saddle up because I finished the 2020 with a reading frenzy! As I sat down to type this post I realized I read/listened to seven books over the course of the busiest month of the year. After a lackluster November on my part for Book Club, December proved to be much more exciting. 

Covid rearing it's nasty germy self again cancelled most of our plans and activities for the month. So even though we were still busy, it wasn't the normal level of busy we are used to experiencing during the holidays. 

And I can't say I'm mad about it. 

Especially when it allotted for more free time to read...with an extra glass of wine or two. 




Feeling the holiday the spirit, first up for the month was In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren. I've come to really enjoy books by this best friend author duo, and In a Holidaze was a fun surprise to kick off a month of reading. The concept of the story was farfetched, but super fun. As Carrie Beth mentioned, it was a quick, enjoyable read that had me sucked in from the first chapter. Lots of romance (PG for those wondering), lots of humor, and lots of little life lessons.  Even though the book has a holiday feel to it, I think it is a background part of the story. You most definitely could pick this up and read it anytime of the year. 



Second on the list for the month was The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. I had this on Audible and had been trying to finish it for months now. I'm so glad I did because it was such a fun one! The story follows Nina who works in a bookstore and is more than content with her well routined life - especially her solitude. Until one day a lawyer walks into work and informs her she has received an inheritance from her long lost mystery father. The kicker? The family she never knew existed lives in the same town she does. There's family drama, there's a love interest, and there is a TON of humor. I loved this book and it has me earmarking more by Abbi Waxman for future reads. 



This next book might be one of my favorites for the entire year. This Time Next Year was another Audible listen for me, but speaking to a few friends who read it, they enjoyed it just as much. Okay there is a lot packed into this book, but the gist of it is two people (Minnie & Quinn) meet at a New Year's Eve party. Turns out they had actually met before - on the day of their birth thirty years before. They were the first babies born of the new year and there was a big deal about their births. But their lives took two completely different directions. Minnie comes from a financially challenging background and believes she has the worst luck in the world. Quinn on the other hand has lead a seemingly charmed wealthy life. But things aren't always as they seem - for either of them. The story flips back and forth between past birthdays and instances where both Quinn and Minnie's paths crossed, but they had no idea. This was a slow burning love story that came together perfectly for me at the end. I enjoyed it and if you like "chic lit" with a little more depth - put this one on your radar. 



Audible number three for the month was The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I saw this won the Goodreads vote for Book of the Year, and was intrigued. It follows the story of Nora Seed and her visit to The Midnight Library - the space between life and death. Nora gets a kind of "butterfly effect" look at her life's regrets and what would have happened if she made different decisions. 

I have two major thoughts about this book...
 1: I should have saved this book for a later date. 
2: Trigger warning: It deals with suicide. 

The Midnight Library is a really good book. But at times it deals with pretty depressing content, and nothing screams holiday joy like reading a book about life's regrets and searching for a better life, am I right? 

I wish I had read it at a different time, but the concept and the way Haig wraps up the story is refreshing. It's very well written, and at times I felt like it was a little too philosophical. But again - that's on me and my mindset at the time. Now that we are beyond the holidays, I give it my full endorsement. 


After reading such a deep novel, I decided to really lighten things up for the back half of my reading pile. I loved the Simple Wild series I read earlier in the year. So, when I saw there was a new book released in December, I couldn't wait to dig in. Forever Wild is the third book in the series and wraps up the love story of Calla and Jonah and all of their Alaskan adventures. It picks up where the last books leaves off. Calla and Jonah are working on their charter business, building their home together, and planning a wedding. This book was a little lighter to me than the previous two, but still packs a lot in with wedding antics, a missing person, and the same lovable characters. Their story gives some great closure on their story, but I see where doors are open for the author to do a few more sequels or spin offs with other characters. (Fingers crossed!)


Reese Witherspoon never does me wrong. Not when it comes to her movies (Can I get a bend and snap?), and definitely not when it comes to her book recommendations. So when I spotted The Chicken Sisters in the grocery store - and saw her seal of approval - I threw it in the cart with out a second thought. This story was so fun! It's Marie Kondo meets Food Network meets The Real Housewives of Kansas all rolled into one. Two sisters end up competing on a reality television show for $100,000. Winner gets the cash and the claim of best chicken restaurant in their small town. The family rivalry dates back generations and for each sister this would be the ultimate win. It was a super cute story, with some fun characters, and light hearted family drama. I smiled throughout the story and it was a great read to sit down with during the holidays. Good choice Reese! 



To finish off the month I dug into one of my favorite series I stumbled upon earlier in the year. I love the parts of the Virgin River Series that I've read so far. Not to mention the show on Netflix was one of my favorites last year too. A friend asked if I had seen the latest season and I got so excited. I didn't have time to watch it, but still wanted my Virgin River fix. I downloaded the fourth book in the series on my Kindle and it just happened to be a Christmas story. 

In a A Virgin River Christmas, we meet Marcie who is a marine widow. It's been a year and she's determined to find her deceased husband's best friend to give him something special. She finds herself in a remote part of the outskirts of Virgin River and of course the town's favorite characters are welcoming. In true Virgin River fashion there is a town emergency (or three), and a romantic relationship that blossoms in the remote tundra of winter wilderness. They are frivolous fun romances novels that are easy to get into. The Christmas story wasn't my favorite one I've read so far, but it's fun to get a peek at some of the other characters in the town. 


WHAT'S UP NEXT...

CARRIE BETH

It's no secret that I love young adult fiction and back in the day the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer is where it all started.  A story about vampires and love?  I know...not my normal cup of tea, but oh how I remember being literally OBSESSED with the books.  I had babies at the time I read them, was still up nursing during the night and should have been trying to get every second of sleep I could, but I would stay up into the wee hours of the night reading.  I remember it was one of the first book series that left me thinking about the characters LONG after I was finished reading them.  


I am so excited to finally read Midnight Sun, the story of Twilight told from Edward's point of view!  

JEN

My first book for 2021 is When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle. I loved In Five Years (so much so it's a contender for my Best of 2020 - spoiler alert for below!). When You Were Mine popped up as a suggestion on my Kindle. Once I read what the plot was based on a modern day Romeo and Juliet, I became intrigued and hit download.  



Now to announce our favorite reads of 2020!!! There were a lot of great contenders for our favorite books this year and it was hard to narrow it down, but here are both of our thoughts for the books that ranked at the top of the list for us...




BEST OF 2020

CARRIE BETH

I read/listened to a lot of books this year and when I think back over some of my very favorites a few stuck out in my mind.  I'm going to name my top three and an honorable mention because I couldn't pick just 3.  They are all VERY different, but ones that I hope you all will enjoy, too! 

Honorable Mention: 

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate probably would have made it into the top three except that it was very disturbing to me at times and honestly when I am consumed by a book I want to feel happy.  You can see my full review HERE, but it's based on a true story about an adoption agency that is just heartbreaking.  The woman running the agency would steal or trick poor families into signing over their rights to their own children and sell the children to well-off families.  It told stories of the orphanages, pulled at your heartstrings, and made my heart ache for the children and families that actually went through this.  If you like deep and thought provoking novels, this one is for you. 

THIRD FAVORITE: 

My third favorite book of the year was Paper Princess (and actually all of the books in the Royals series) by Erin Watt.  Going back to me liking mindless, young adult, trashy romance novels, this one fits the bill.  It was the first book series that I have not been able to get enough of and listening to it every second possible in a very long time so I'm not saying that it is anything over the top that is going to knock your sox off, but it's what I love so it was my #3!  You can see my full review HERE

SECOND FAVORITE: 

My second favorite book of the year was On The Bright Side by Melanie Shankle.  If you need a pick-me-up, especially in light of all that is happening in our world today, this is the book for you.  I have read all of Shankle's books and have LOVED them all.  Sparkly Green Earrings (about motherhood), The Antelope in the Living Room (about marriage) and Nobody's Cuter Than You (about friendship) are some of her other books I would highly recommend. They are each made up of short stories about her life, lessons she has learned along the way, and each one of them makes you smile, laugh, and cry.  On the Bright Side was a combination of all topics and the way Shankle tells the stories it makes you think she could be one of your best friends. It was such a great reminder to always look in the bright side of things and I loved the lessons she wove into each story.   


FAVORITE BOOK OF 2020:


I wasn't shocked to look back and pick Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid as my VERY favorite book of 2020.  I listened to it last January and right after I finished it I remember thinking it was going to be hard to top as my #1 of the year.  It was about about the rise and fame of a 70's rock band on their way to worldwide fame.  It had everything you would imagine in a sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll lifestyle until the band mysteriously broke up. This story just felt SO real to me and at the way it was written, interview style and very conversational, attributed to that. If you are an audible fan I HIGHLY suggest listening to this one. There are a lot of characters and it is narrated by a lot of different people so that just made it for me! 


JEN

I looked back and realized I read 54 books last year! As I was reflecting on everything a few stand out across the year and my top one still makes me think about it long after I read it. There were some that I thought would make the cut, and even though they didn't they still deserve some mention. 

The Lost Girls of Paris 
This historical fiction novel is based on a true story and I was riveted. It was interesting and captivating from start to finish. It was also fun to Google and learn the facts behind what the story is based on. Great read! (read my full review)

The Inheritance Games
This is YA novel, but it sucked me in right from the start. It's a rags to riches story with a huge twist. I love the challenge of it, the hints of a love triangle, and the unique angle of the story. It has a sequel planned and I already can't wait to read it. (read my full review)


THIRD FAVORITE:


In Five Years  by Rebecca Serle
I could not put this one down. In Five Years is similar to my top pick, but the concept of it is so fun. There's a huge twist in the story that makes it unique. It's a story of friendship more than romance and I can't recommend it enough. (see my full review here)


SECOND FAVORITE:


Life and Other Near Death Experiences by Camille Págan

I found Camille Págan books on me Kindle as a suggestion and never looked back. Each and every one that I read was really really good. The stand out for me though was Life and Other Near Death Experiences. I highly recommend grabbing a blanket, a good glass of wine, and digging into this one. (see my full review here)


FAVORITE BOOK OF 2020:



You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley
You Were There Too was the book I couldn't stop thinking about all year. I benchmarked everything else against it. It sucked me in from the start, and at first I thought it was just a love story (and there is that), but there is a HUGE twist in the last few chapters that make you just say "wow!". The way the characters are all tied together and how the story moves along was different than anything else I had read the last few years. That might be why it stuck out more than others, but its a really well written plot, and I already am looking forward to reading more by Oakley. (read my full review)

What was your favorite book of 2020? Share with us!!


BOOK CLUB 2020





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HAPPY READING! 


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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Holiday Fun at Barnsley Resort

Happy New Year friends! 2021...we made it! Can we get a hallelujah

We took a little bit a of a blogging/social media break this past week. Not intentionally. But I think subconsciously we just both wanted to soak up the last little bit of our Winter Break. 

Even though the 2020 holiday season looked a little different this year, I think we can both say it was one we enjoyed immensely. It might even be our favorite one in recent years. I can't speak for Carrie Beth, but I think having a more simple holiday let me really concentrate on just the special people in front of me. I won't get all sappy...but it will be a holiday season that will be hard to top in my mind. 

We had a quieter than normal Christmas, and then we made our way to the Barnsley Resort for the week of New Years for a little social distance birthday/NYE celebration.

A little back story: Carrie Beth, her husband, and my husband all turned 40 in 2020. My husband being the "baby" of the crew with a birthday on New Year's Eve. We had BIG plans to celebrate them this past Fall, but unfortunately all plans got 2020'd (see how we celebrated CB last month!). Not to be deterred, we decided as a group during the Thanksgiving Break to do something locally. Last year, we did a quick stay at Barnsley Resort with my family. With how magical it looks this time of year, as well as having a lot of family friendly outdoor activities, we decided to do a last minute booking to stay for the week. It was such a fun and relaxing way to celebrate turning 40 and the New Year! 

Once you arrive you feel like you are in your own Hallmark holiday post card worthy bubble. The resort is decorated to the nines with holiday decor - both to enjoy during the day and at night. 

There is no shortage of activities to entertain guests of all ages. 


Some are free: hiking trails, fishing, biking trails, outdoor games, visiting the farm animals, swimming (during season), touring the ruins, campfires, s'mores, etc. 


And some are paid activities: golf, off road trail adventures, hunting, shooting, archery lessons, spa, axe throwing lessons, animal adventures, canoeing, etc. A few of the littles did horse back riding this go around, and the boys did Advanced Skeet Shooting. 

There are so many activities we didn't get the chance to do, but that just means we need to go back and visit Barnsley Resort again soon. It's only an hour north of Atlanta - such a convenient little staycation spot!

Here's a quick peek at some of our other favorite moments celebrating the new year. 


























We have lots of goals and lots of plans for this little space this year. We hope you look forward to this little slice of the Internet each day just as much as we do. Thank you sweet friends for all of your support, and we hope you have had a fabulous start to your new year as well! 





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