Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday Favorites: Fall is Coming Edition

Happy Friday y'all! We hope all you lovelies had a great week! 

We've kept things light around here this week just because it's been our Fall Break and we have been on the road the last few weeks. (If interested you can keep up with all of our travels on Instagram.) That doesn't mean we haven't stumbled on a favorite or two!

Linking up for Friday Favorites, and then heading into the weekend because it's finally supposed to be sunny and I've heard there might be apple orchards in our future. 

And where there are apple orchards there are apple treats. 

And I'm so here for it. 

One of my favorite moments of the week, and quite possibly the year, was spent taking L.C. to see Aladdin at the Fox Theater with one of my sisters. 

We were in New York the whole week before, but we didn't take in a show on Broadway. We just didn't have the time to squeeze it in, but I think we didn't stress about it because we knew we had this little date planned. 

Y'all, it was SO GOOD! It might be one of my favorite shows I've seen ever!

I loved watching L.C.'s face throughout the whole show. At one point she turned to me and asked, "How can I get on stage and wear the costumes?". 

Sweet girl might need to work on her singing abilities, but I have no doubt with her personality and spunk she could be on that stage one day. 

It's already left Atlanta, but if you get a chance to see it I highly recommend. It was a super kid friendly show too. 

So Fall has officially arrived. But in true Southern fashion, it probably won't arrive until sometime in November. And I'm actually okay with that. #longlivesummer

This made me laugh though...

For the south, that's about as accurate a depiction of fall as it gets. 

Because it's be in the 90's, and only occasionally dipping down to a brisk 85, I've opted to keep all those pants and cozy sweaters in my air conditioned closet. A fall piece will sneak in here and there, and this sweatshirt has been on repeat lately. 

Every time I wear this palm sweatshirt I get tons of compliments! 

I even wore it in New York on our travel day home and at least five people stopped me and asked where it was from. It's nothing fancy, and it's the perfect weight for still warm days. I love that I can just throw it on with my cut-offs and some sneakers and still look put together. 

Comfy and cute - just the way I like my style. 

Speaking of fashion favorites, those sneakers I was wearing with my palm sweatshirt have also been on repeat lately. I purchased this ivory perforated pair a few weeks before I left and they are SO COMFORTABLE!

I immediately packed them in my bag for NYC, and ordered a second pair. I knew we would be doing a ton of walking, and considering how comfortable they were I knew they would be the perfect shoe to pack. If they can survive mom life, surely the streets of NYC were nothing. 

The second pair I ordered was this black leather weaved pair. Seriously, just as comfortable. I have a similar shoe in blush that I purchased last year that a ton of bloggers recommended, but these hands down are way more comfortable. 

I have a feeling they will be my go to shoe from now until it's flip flop season again. 

Okay, it's no secret that I'm not really a chef. But baking? I can do some baking.

A few weeks ago we were asked bake a go-to recipe to test out the new Oyster Hand Mixer.  I'm not even kidding when I say this is my new favorite kitchen tool!

I chose to make my favorite chocolate no-bake cookie bites just to see how well the heat technology worked, and you guys!!! It made this already easy recipe SO MUCH easier! 

The hand mixer melts chocolate, butter, etc. right in the mixing bowl rather than having to pre-heat it in the microwave or over the stove. Life changing! It will be a huge time saver with the holidays just around the corner! 

Since it still feels like Summer, I really haven't done too much to decorate for Fall just yet.  I did do a little updating to my dough bowl though. Last year, I opted to fill it with various decor and real pumpkins (see it here). This year I wanted to do something a little less busy. 

How cute are these little plush pumpkins?! I have been eyeing plush pumpkins forever. I had seen a plush pumkin set at T.J. Maxx that was adorable, and a few velvet options on Etsy there were just what I had in mind too. But the price of these couldn't be beat! 

Wait for it...

$1! Yes, each pumpkin was only a dollar! 

Target's Dollar Spot will never do you wrong. 

They had tons of colors in warm and cool tones. I wish I had taken a picture of them all to share.

I haven't finished putting it all together, but you get the idea. I used most of my cotton stems on another project, and I ran out of pinecone filler. This dough bowl is huge so it needs a little more. 

Until then though, at least it's starting to look a teeny tiny bit like Fall...somewhere. 

And that wraps up my favorites for the week! Happy weekend y'all, and stay tuned because next week we have a TON of fun things going on and we can't wait to share!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Have A Slammin' School Year with Slammers Snacks

We've been chatting about the start of the school year a lot lately. We've covered everything from back-to-school style to how to stay organized to how to keep from burning out before the year is over.

We are in the throws of Fall Break, and all the travels that we've packed into this quick little break, but we know it's right back to the grind come Monday. While we love getting a break every six weeks, sometimes it's a little tough trying to readjust back to our normal schedule. It's like the first week of school all over again. Especially Fall Break for some reason. It still feels like Summer, so we end up treating it like Summer. Those late nights and lazy mornings will all come to a head on Monday. 

To help ease us back in to real life and to help everyone officially kick off their school year on the right foot, we are doing a fun little giveaway with Slammers Snacks. We love these little organic pouches filled with fruit and veggie goodness. With school and sports starting back up in full swing, they are the perfect grab and go snack to have on hand. Our kids love packing them in their lunch box or having them for a quick post practice snack!

You can grab them at most major grocery retailers (check to see if they are in your area here), but you can also order them online. And now you can win a case with us! 

It's super easy to win! Just leave a comment letting us know...


And you will be entered to win! 

Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Sunday, September 30th. Additional chances to win will be posted on Instagram today (both on our feed and the Slammers Snacks feed). Winner must be 18 or over and a resident of the United States or Canada. Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck everyone! 

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Twist Travel Magazine {Fall}

We're so excited to once again be contributors for the Twist Travel Magazine and join the company of some amazing writers, photographers and just incredible talent.  We've said this before, but when we started this blog 4 years ago we had no idea where it would go and what it would turn into.  We really love being able to share all of our fun food, fashion and travel ideas with our readers and are honored to be doing it on a larger scale now with Twist Travel Magazine

This Fall issue focuses on all sorts of goodies including Travel for Wellness, Fashion for Good, Best Flight Deals and some delicious Healthy Fall Recipes and our favorite Whiskey Cocktails.

We had lots of fun creating, taste testing, and photographing our contribution to the magazine and we hope you will all check it out!

You can purchase your own print copy HERE and find the free digital copy HERE.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Kitchen Confessions: The BEST Baked Ziti Recipe

You guys...I made a dinner that the WHOLE family enjoyed. Every single member. And asked for seconds! Do you even know how rare that is?!

It's like seeing a unicorn. Or winning the lottery. Or the Braves making it to the World Series. All rolled into one.

I mean, I've been making the same five meals each week for the last few months. The fact that it was something new in rotation could have been part of the excitement. However, if I have to say so myself it was pretty tasty. 

This Baked Ziti recipe is a play off of the Pioneer Woman's recipe. I just made mine a little easier and a little spicer. (I like a small kick to my pasta.)

I also used jar sauce. Because, as I've said before, there are professional people out there who make a living off doing this. Who am I to recreate the wheel? 

Or spend nine hours attempting? 

In fact, way back in the day a blog/real life friend shared this sauce and it's been my go-to ever since.

The recipe was so easy, and obviously tasty. It will definitely be put into rotation again soon! The only hard part is seeing which recipe I have to boot out. Because mama doesn't cook more than five nights a week.

Really three.


Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 35 mins

-1 lb of ground beef 
-1 lb of ground sausage -1 can of diced tomatoes w/chili peppers 
-2 jars of Raos Marinara Sauce 
-1 16oz box of Ziti -2 tsp ofItalian Seasoning 
-1 16oz bag of shredded Mozzarella 
-1 16oz bag of shredded Italian cheese 

1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2: Boil Ziti according to instructions. 
3: Brown both beef and sausage. 
4:Mix meat with tomatoes, seasoning, and 1 1/2  jars of marinara. 
5: Mix remaining marinara with noodles. 
6: In a 9x12 baking dish, place a layer of ziti noodles. Cover with a layer of the meat mixture. Then place layer of Italian cheese on top. Repeat until baking dish is full. 
7: Bake for approximately 20 mins. 
8: Remove and place a thin layer of Mozzarella cheese on top. 
9: Heat for approximately 2 mins and then remove. 
10: Let sit to settle for 5 mins before serving. 
11: Serve and enjoy!

Do you have a recipe that your whole family just loves?? Share with us! 

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Battle the Burnout

Happy Monday sweet friends! We just wrapped up another fun filled weekend full of sports and kids activities. It's so much fun to watch our kids compete and come home each night with huge smiles on their sweaty faces. But, we would be lying if we didn't say it was a little exhausting.

Long gone are the lazy Sundays sleeping in late. Now we pop up almost earlier than we do for school, each grab a kid and rush out the door. Sometimes we meet in the middle to cheer all of them on before heading to the next game time location, but most times weekends require an act of logistics the Pentagon would be proud of.

Our kids are none the wiser of our exhaustion though. They are happy, thriving, and soaking up each moment of this part of their childhood. Sure there are down moments, or moments of frustration and stress, but overall, they love their activities with such a passion that it's all worth it in the end. 

We get asked all the time how we balance it all. How do we manage three kids, all in different activities, and stay sane? How do they balance it all? How are they not over tired? Stressed?

The answer...we don't really have one. The demands in school are high and increasing each year. Throwing in extracurriculars can be a lot. Throw in multiple extracurriculars, or elite level sports, and you are talking a whole different level of challenge. 

We ultimately let our kids guide us. We check in with them often, monitor their emotions and school grades routinely, and never have a problem tuning into the backseat carpool conversations they don't think we hear over Taylor Swift blasting on our speakers. 

Sometimes we get life wrong. As moms we question ourselves often if we are making the right decisions for our tiny little humans, but we've founds some tips and tricks along the way to make this stage of life as stress-free as possible for our kids.

Here's a few tips we have for battling the sports burnout, but we'd love to hear your thoughts too!


Let them choose. First and foremost, let you kids choose what sports and activities interests them.
Speaking with other parents, and from personal experience, kids all naturally gravitate towards certain activities.

Let them choose what they want to participate in rather than what you enjoyed as a kid/have an interest in now/had dreams of. The more interested in the activity, the more confident they will be as well as more invested. They will naturally set their own goals, and it's so rewarding to see when they accomplish them on their own accord.

Play one on one. Nothing is more fun to a kid than getting to getting to show off their skills one on one. Let them choose the activity (promise they will choose something in their wheel house!), and work with them one on one with no pressure. They will think it so much fun beating mommy at a personal home run derby or a goal kicking shootout. It also gives you a chance to have an open conversation about their activity. You can chat one on one about their goals, anything that's bothering them, or monitor if something is hurting them you might not have seen before.

Fuel the fun, and their bodies. Give them good fuel - not just during halftime or before the game, but all the time! Let their bodies build the energy it needs by give them great meals and snacks as often as you can. We try to keep quality filling snacks on hand all the time. Let's be honest, kids eat non-stop, and they can kill a bag of Goldfish faster than you can blink. But, we found protein packed snacks or ones with a little more substance go a longer way.

These Slammers pouches top our list. They are packed with tons of protein, contain organic ingredients, and have full servings of fruit and veggies. Our kids love their yogurt-like texture, and they are so easy to have on hand for grab and go snacking. You can find them at most major grocery retailers or snag them here.

Slammers are by far one of our favorite pouch snacks. Other favorite snacks to have on hand include peanut butter to-go cups, cheese/pretzel/apple snack packs you can find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, and smoothies.

Encourage off the field play. One thing about being part of the team is that you instantly have a handful or more of children who have at least one thing in common (and so do the parents!). Encourage off the field socializing. Even if that is as something as small as an after game ice cream stop, or as big as hosting the team for a random weekend pool party. Take the time to facilitate the relationships with teammates outside of the game. It's amazing how excited your little athlete will be to know they always have a friend they can chat with about their same interests. Some of our little one's teammates are some of their closest friends, even if they don't go to the same school.

Night, night. Sleep tight. You've heard it a million times before, but getting good sleep is way important. Nothing is worse than a tired, cranky child. And we can guarantee that if your little athlete is over tired, they are not going to want to do much of anything, let alone continuously do something that is burning all the remainder of their energy. So tuck them in early and often!

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Fashion Fix {Ways to Wear it - Transitioning to Fall}

This time of year is so hard to dress for.  All around me I'm seeing boots, sweaters, jeans and all things fall, but if I were to actually tried to wear those things right now I'd probably pass out. It's still hovering around 90 degrees here in Atlanta so unless you sit in air conditioning all day (which I don't...hello kids' sports), then dressing in all of the fall trends isn't a reality just yet.

However, I still love to look the part and taylor my outfit choices to the season we are approaching.  One of the biggest things I love about fall are the colors!

I love them all...beautiful oranges, yellows, browns, deep purples, greens and every other pretty shade that fall brings us.

So, when I saw this cute plaid peplum top the other day it just screamed fall to me and I started think about how it would be perfect to wear it now and into true fall when the weather does cool off.

jeans//plaid top//cardigan//booties

I wore the first look the other day and was chatting with a friend at the baseball fields when she told me I looked just like fall. I laughed and told her that was the look I was going for. It's really all about the fall colors!

plaid top//cardigan//denim shorts//sandals//jeans//booties

So many ways you can wear it! 

Look 1: I wore the top with my favorite denim shorts and sandals. I threw this rust colored cardigan for when I was indoors and chilly with the air conditioning and it was perfect for when the sun went down and it cooled off a bit, but it was just as easy to slip the cardigan off and wear the top alone when it was sitting out in the sun at soccer practice that day.

Look 2: As it cools a little bit and I want to wear jeans. This top looks cute with skinny jeans and sandals or even neutral flats.

Look 3: When it really is officially fall weather the top will be great with jeans, the cardigan and booties.

I've pretty much been doing this little trick all week long and will probably be continuing for the next couple of weeks.  A fun fall colored top in a print, stripe or floral with shorts (and maybe a cardigan, if I'm lucky) for now and then wear the same top with jeans and a cardigan for later.  I found some other fun tanks that would be great for now and later!

I shared this picture on Instagram the other day and so many people messaged me about my top. It was a TJ Maxx clearance find at the end of last summer, but again, it fits into my philosophy of wearing tops with fall colors.

Plus, my new James Avery turquoise post earrings have been getting lots of wear so far this fall. They are super light weight, very versatile and a fun pop of color with just about anything I wear. I've been wearing them a bunch with my workout clothes and then with nice outfits, too!  They have a lot of new releases that can help transition outfits into fall! Click HERE to see them all.

My other tip for transitioning to fall is to change up your nail colors from light and bright to darker and more muted colors. I shared some of my favorite shades HERE, but this one I'm currently wearing is called For The Twill Of It and definitely one of my top pics for fall and winter.  It changes color depending on what angle you look at it from green to burgundy to purple and just about everything in between!

We hope everyone has a great weekend.  We'll be glued to the TV watching the updates about Hurricane Florence. So many of my family members are in Wilmington, NC and we are just praying that the damage isn't as bad as they were predicting.

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