Friday, May 17, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday y'all! Okay I am going to keep this Friday Favorites pretty short and sweet today because it's May and apparently in May we like to make sure at least 20 hours out of the day are consumed with as many activities as possible. 

We've had a crazy fun week full of field days, end of school year programs, sports tryouts, dance rehearsals, a random stomach bug, PTA meetings and post deadlines. On tap tonight is swim lessons and soccer practice/party and around 10p.m. I will crash in my bed before tomorrow's 5:45a.m. wake up call for a soccer tournament. 

Yay for May!!!

Carrie Beth shared this video on Facebook this week and its 100% accurate. 

Now for a little Friday Favorites action. Even though we have been crazy busy, I've still managed to find a little goodie or two here and there that must be shared. Shopping can be a wonderful stress relief sometimes. 

Sorry husband. 

I shared this pic on Instagram stories a few weeks ago, but it bares repeating...THESE SHORTS ARE AMAZING! 

| Top | Shorts | Shoes | Gingham Rug | Doormat

I mean once you have elastic waistbands in your life its really hard to go back. The moment I tried on these shorts I bought them in all the colors. 

They are super soft, have a cute little double cut off hem thing going on and most importantly - elastic!! I know I said that already, but listen, I spent approximately three years of my life pregnant and I spend 90% of my days wearing yoga pants. I gave up on the button a long time ago. 

This white tank top also deserves honorable mention. It is so comfy! It is also super cute with its shoulder tie accent and it rings in under $10. I went back to purchase another color, and grabbed Carrie Beth one as well because it is that good. Its the perfect summer staple to add to your wardrobe. 

I'm a huge fan of rompers. I used to wear dresses a lot because they are so comfortable, but one or two incidences with toddlers and showing my goodies to unsuspecting patrons of various public places, I decided to be a little more strategic in my wardrobe choices. 

The moment I saw this little black romper, I knew I had to have it. I loved the slimming tie waist, the slight ruffle sleeve, and the back has a fun key hole opening that you can still wear a regular bra with. I've worn it to daytime functions and to a fun double date night out. 

It's super versatile, and feels like a dream. If it came in other colors I would scoop them up. 

Fit note: I'm a shorty, coming in at 5'1". I would say if you have a longer torso size up in this one. Otherwise it runs true to size. I'm in a 2R here. 

Not that there is a ton of free time this month for reading, but if there is I already have my next Book Club selection all picked out and ready to go! Kristy sent us her latest novel, The Southern Side of Paradise, and I can't wait to dig in! I also now want to head to the beach. 

And when I shared this on Instagram a ton of you asked about my outfit details. Here is a closer look at this super cute floral top. 

| Top | Jeans | Earrings | Sandals |

Willow Park Boutique always has the best little finds, and this tie shoulder tank has been a favorite find. It comes in a few other patterns and I want them all! 

Today marks the girls last day of school! They have a few more mornings snuggling together before their big brother infiltrates their routine. 

And while I love seeing them actually get along (for at least part of the day), I love my new rug and pillows just a smidge too. 

I did a poll on Instagram about this pillows and the only one to say "no" out of hundreds of votes was my husband. Clearly the good people of Instagram have swaying power because...swooning! 

I'll share more on this room later, but for now you get a sneak peek at the new rug and pillow set up

Temps went from cool to sweltering pretty quickly. And if I can't wear my beloved elastic waistband shorts, cut-offs come in a close second. 

These white cut-off shorts have been on repeat since I found them in February. I sized up one for a looser fit (these are a 26), and they are a great length. The distressing keeps them more casual, but that's how I roll in summer. 

This tee is also a quick favorite. I own in it like five colors and its currently on sale for under $5! I own similar tees from J.Crew and Madewell that I love, but for $5 its a no brainer and you can't tell the difference in any way in quality. The only difference I noticed is the neckline is slightly less revealing. Three years of nursing, and well...I'm okay with showing less of what's left. 

| Jewelry

I throw on some fun jewelry if need be to dress it up, but from now until October this is pretty much the outfit you will see me in... cut-offs, basic tee, and flip flops. 

And if I didn't stress my love for that wardrobe trifecta, here's another example to really drive it home. 

| Shorts | Tee | Sandals | Clutch (similar) |
I snagged these shorts when doing a little stress-relief shopping last week and they are a quick favorite! We both loved the hem instantly! They have the slightest amount of stretch to them. I bought them one size up and they don't stretch out too much. Definitely a fast favorite and they are currently on sale for less than $40! 

This graphic tee is so so soft! It comes in a ton of fun patterns! We really want the flamingo one next! 

Last on my favorites list lately is this fun lobster bracelet! 

We did a fun event with Keep Collective a few weeks ago, and when the coordinator showed us the new summer pieces added to their lines, I couldn't resist! They have so many cute charms, but the moment I saw this lobster with it's adorable little tassel tail I knew I had to have it! Plus those who know me, know anything red, white, and blue is my jam.

That wraps up my favorites for the week (month?!)! Here's hoping we all survive the back half of May together! 

Happy weekend friends! 

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

DIY Smart Home Security System {Arlo Ultra}

This post is sponsored by Arlo Home Security, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. 

Growing up my dad ran a home security company and the Mr. worked for the company during a few college summers.  I guess that really stuck with him because he had been wanting to add security cameras to our home for some time now. He actually had researched them a ton before Christmas and he had pretty much settled on getting the Arlo Ultra 4K Home Security System for himself.

They are America's #1 Internet-connected camera brand and has super advanced technology with a simple DIY homeowner product that is easy to use.  That totally had him sold. Anything he can do himself, he's all about.  Then I mentioned wanting to upgrade our Wifi for Christmas and he did what he always does and put his wants on the back burner for mine.

Fast forward a few months and The Magnolia Mamas was asked if we wanted to give the Arlo Ultra camera a try. I mentioned it to him and he was SO excited!  I get excited about cute new shoes for the blog and he gets excited about security cameras.  Go figure!

I'll be honest...I wasn't sure that we really needed a security camera and didn't think that we would use it, but now that I have it, I don't know how I lived without it!  If we are on vacation or even just away for the day it give us piece of mind.  We can double check that the garage doors are closed, we can see when packages arrive, and and because we don't live in a traditional neighborhood, it just helps us keep an eye on things at home when we aren't there.

There are many days my oldest comes home from school when I'm off with the other two kids so now we can see that she gets home safely.  We often have babysitters pick up the kids from sports when I can't get to three places at once so I now know when they arrive home with the kids. Also, if someone is coming to pick up something from my house I know when they arrive and when items have been picked up.

The Arlo Ultra camera came with everything we needed to get started.  Because the Mr. had watched approximately 87 YouTube videos leading up to Christmas about this system he was a wealth of information.  I was most impressed with the fact that rechargeable battery would last for MONTHS and the installation and set-up was a breeze!

We ended up putting our on the corner of our porch and because of the 180 degree view we are able to see our driveway, garage doors and front porch all in one view.

We're able to see the live video stream by using the free Arlo App on our phones and we can also log in on our desktop to view or monitor via an Apple Watch, Google Home Hub or Amazon's Alexa. I love that it send me alerts on my phone and I can also go back and see all of the activity for each day.

Some other things he told me that kind of set Arlo Ultra apart was:

*The 4K image quality is so great that it provides a high-res tracking and zooming so you can see even tiny details like words, logos or license plates. 
*There is a spotlight on the camera that creates enhanced night vision that allows you to see video in color instead of the traditional black and white. 
*It has a 180 degree view without the typical fish eye distortion of some other popular cameras. 
*You can listen and speak to anyone within range of your Arlo Ultra with a clear, full 2-way audio.  The kids love this feature.  The other day I was out pitching to my son and all of the sudden we heard the Mr. say, "Great Hit!" 
*The fact that it came with a 1 year Arlo Smart Premier which is video and audio recordings for up to 30 days stored in the cloud and customized alerts for spotting people, packages, vehicles and animals. 

We have been so impressed with the quality and ease of installation of these wire-free cameras that the Mr. actually hoped online the same weekend we installed our first one to order more! I had planned on getting more to add to our system for him for Father's Day, but he beat me to it!  I do think this would be a great Father's Day gift though for anyone looking for ideas! (They are available in store and online from Best Buy or Amazon.) He got the Arlo Ultra home security system offered with 4 cameras to add on to our current system.  He's got diagrams drawn and plans for all of the other cameras.  Some will go outside, one in the basement and one on our screened porch.  One thing is for sure...we will be well monitored and will certainly have peace of mind.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Baseball Bedroom

I've been on a roll recently with some house projects and refreshing a few rooms here and there.  I was happy to knock out the girls' rooms (HERE and HERE) and recently updated my patio which I will share soon, too!  

One room that has been hanging over my head is my son's baseball room.  I redid his room a while back and he's been loving it.  

He had navy bedding, so I just switched out some of the accessories to go with the baseball theme.  

There were still a few things I wanted to accomplish including a gallery wall.  I went to Board and Brush with some baseball mamas last month and made a customized sign to include in his room.  This forced me to sort through photos, collect some other items and finally get it all hung!  

I got the large star and the H at Hobby Lobby, the baseball sign was a Facebook Marketplace find and the pictures I got printed from CVS.  Super easy and I feel like I can add to it with more photos or memorabilia. He's so happy with it and told me when this wall gets filled up we should move to covering the other walls!  

I do have another picture ready to add to it though.  A few weeks ago we were at the Braves game we happened to be at the right place at the right time and he was asked to give the official "play ball" announcement on the field. He was SO excited and as soon as he came off the field he asked if we could add that picture to his baseball wall. :-) 

We made a few other updates over the past couple months including his shelves that are getting overloaded with trophies, bobble heads and game balls!  

He proudly displayed his bobble head collection here!  

My dad gave him the glove that was his as a kid and he picked out a special baseball from his basket to put in the glove. 

 We also moved this small table and chairs to his room when we redid the playroom. He loves to draw so this is the perfect spot for that! 

I'd like to think this room is "done" and although I'm sure there will continue to be some little chances here and there, I feel like I can finally check this one off my list!  

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Friday, May 10, 2019

Mix & Mingle: Southeast Swimwear

To say we are excited about today's blog post would be a major understatement. Swimsuit season is upon us and it's a season we all simultaneously cheer for and dread. We spend the majority of our year in weather warm enough for swimming, and live in swimsuits and flip flops for most of that. However, we wouldn't go as far as to say we love wearing our swimsuits. 

Motherhood and the lack of free time has taken its toll on many of the parts that become on display the minute we take off our swim cover-ups. You know the ones we're talking about. The ones below our necks and above our feet. Those parts. 

Thanks to the good makers of Spanx, the jeggings trend, and the invention of the push-up bra we are able to conceal some of our bodily imperfections with great ease most of the time. But then comes judgment day. It's usually occurs somewhere between Easter and the first week of May. The day you need to swim suit shop.

But what if that task wasn't something to dread? What if when that day came each year, you were excited? Thrilled? Dare we even go as far as to say looking forward to it?

What if when looking in the mirror while swim suit shopping you thought, "I look amazing!" rather than, "Ugh!!! Look at my love handles/stomach/thighs/chest/back/arms!" ? 

That's why we are excited about today. Because today we are sharing how that can happen!

Today we are going to introduce you to Gail. Gail is a magical swimsuit fairy godmother who wants you to throw out all that unnecessary self-hate during swimsuit shopping (because really it is unnecessary), and learn to embrace, and - here's the kicker - love how you look in your swimwear.  

Gail and her team of fellow fairies at Southeast Swimwear reach deep down into their magical beach bags to pull out all the tricks to make sure you leave their presence feeling like the swimsuit super model that you were always meant to be. 

Correction: are.

Gail is the owner of Southeast Swimwear located in Woodstock, GA. We were introduced to Gail and her store via friends who went in feeling a little dismal about the thought of having to get a new swimsuit, and came out saying, "It was the most enjoyable swimsuit shopping experience I've ever had in my life!"

The minute we stepped into Southeast Swimwear we could see why. Gail and her team are beyond helpful and extremely enthusiastic about each and every person who comes through their doors. They know they have their work cut out for them, and that most people dread looking in the mirror at themselves in a swimsuit. Even if you don't make a purchase they want you to leave their store feeling beautiful and understand that your body is unique and amazing. They want you to feel like in their hands they've shown you how to enhance what you like, and make you love what you see reflecting back at you.

Gail opened Southeast Swimwear with the goal of being able to give women the chance to enjoy swimsuit shopping again. She saw that most stores only catered to a select group of women and body types, and decided women deserve more! She wanted to offer great quality swimsuits to women of all shapes and sizes. 

And ladies, she has delivered! She and her team are swimsuit experts! She puts her entire heart into her business and it shows. Speaking with Gail you can't help to feel inspired by her commitment, her positive outlook, and her drive to champion women and their image of themselves. 

She and her team are also super fun. And you know we love a good time. 

Before we give you a little tour of Southeast Swimwear, and all the amazing items Gail carries in store we had a little fun and asked her a few questions...

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
Rice Krispy treats!!!! And coffee, does that count as food?!

What are the top 5 things in your beach bag? 
Sunglasses, hat, plenty of sunscreen, my phone(mostly for pics) water, I am pretty boring! It is really about having my daughter and sometimes daughters with me, and just being together in a happy place!

What is your favorite beach read?  Or favorite genre to read at the beach? 
Always a murder mystery for me!

What is one message you would like everyone who comes in your store to leave with? 
To not refer to themselves in any negative way, feel confident. As women, our bodies have been through a lot, and your kids just want you in the pool with them! When ladies "hate" themselves, it truly is heartbreaking for us as well. 

What is your favorite thing about working with your family and friends? 
We can laugh together (we do lot of that) and because it is a small business, I try to give all holidays off for them to be with their families.

(We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Gail's daughter Madison works in store with her, and also owns a super cute bridal shop. Bridals by Madison is located just a few doors down from Southeast Swimwear, and we can only imagine how beautiful and loved every bride feels walking in and out of those doors.)

Now let's mingle around Southeast Swimwear! 

Southeast Swimwear plays host to many of the top swimwear brands for women - Sunset Separates, Tara Grinna, Fantasie, and so many more!  

Everything you will find in her store are brands you will not find at the mall.  We love that she has different stuff and the quality of everything is amazing! 

They also carry a ton of cute accessories like beach hats, totes, bags, jewelry and flip-flops.  Seriously everything you need for a day at the pool, beach, or lake.

And we can't forget about the coverups.  She has some of the cutest coverups we have seen and so many darling styles! 


So this part is really what sets her Southeast Swimwear apart from all the other places.  You don't walk in and just start picking out things you want to try.  It's more of a personalized shopping experience and trust'll be better off if you let the experts do their thing!

We walked around the store, talked about our sizing, what we liked, didn't like, and what our goals for a swimsuit were. 

Gail grabbed a bunch of different things in a variety of styles for us to start with just to get an idea of what would look good on our bodies and what we would feel comfortable in. 

After putting different pieces on she would evaluate how it fit, bring us other options, and listen to what we liked and didn't like to help find the perfect suit for us! 


We loved most of what we tried on, but not everything was perfect. You have to trust the process and know that even if you don't think it is something you would normally pick out, just to give it a try because that might be something you end up loving or it will tell Gail and her team more about you sizing and likes/dislikes. 

There were some things we liked, some that were OK, and some that we loved the instant we put on. One fun thing is that Southeast Swimwear have a wide selection of options in each pattern. If you don't like something about one piece you have on, but love the pattern, they can bring you a different option. Even a small tweak can make a huge difference in fit.

We also loved seeing the different ways that items could be worn. So many of their pieces could be worn multiple ways to give you different looks (and different tan lines!). 

What we loved most is that the Southeast Swimwear team instantly made us feel comfortable, listened to us, gave us lots of different options and were honest with us. 

If something didn't look good, they admitted it and worked to make adjustments so we would look and feel our best. 

We really can't say enough great things about them.  You'll be amazed by the huge selection of suits for every single body size and will leave feeling excited about summer and swimsuit season! 

If you go, be sure to tell them we sent you and say hi to them for us!  

If you have an questions at all feel free to message them on Facebook (they respond extremely fast!), and if you aren't local, but are interested in a suit or product you saw, send them a message. They have ways to be able to ensure you are shipped a correct fitting swimsuit.

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