Friday, November 15, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!! It's been quite a while since I've done a Friday Favorites post so decided one was  definitely in order.  Just sharing some random things that have been my favorites lately! 


My middle girlie is on a 3 day overnight field trip with her 5th grade class and having the time of her life.  She has been SO excited for this trip and although I wasn't able to chaperone, I'm getting lots of pictures and updates from her teacher.


She's having THE BEST time and I just love it seeing how much fun they are having!




For my birthday my family surprised me with a hanging bed swing that I've been eyeing for a while now and I could not love it more!  It's hanging on our screened porch and has quickly become my favorite cozy spot.  The whole family loves snuggling up on it to watch football each weekend!




One of my favorite fall accessories has to be this leopard band for my Apple watch.  I get compliments on it EVERY single time I wear it and people always want to know where I got it.


Well, the good news is if you own an apple watch it is super easy to switch out your bands and this one is under $10! This would also be a fun stocking stuffer!

leopard band for Apple Watch 


I have been wanting a pair of the Golden Goose sneakers for a while now, but Y'ALL...they are around $500!!!  I don't think I will ever live in a world where I could justify that and I know my husband would certainly never think that was a good idea so I've been looking for a good knock-off pair and found them HERE!

Star Sneakers 

These are under $40 and come in a bunch of different colors and prints. I got the gold and love them!  They are a shoe that I feel like describes my style...causal, but a little bit fancy. So perfect to wear with jeans or leggings, but make you feel a little more pulled together than a regular running shoe. There perfect "mom" shoe in my opinion when you want to feel put together, but still have to be running around, driving carpool, at ball fields, etc.


Star Sneakers 

Sizing tip... as recommended I sized up and glad I did. They fit perfect. 


OK, I know there is a big debate about when it is OK to put up your Christmas decorations. I used to always do it the day after Thanksgiving, but the past few years I have done it sooner and sooner and this year I started getting everything out right after Halloween.


I lost my momentum so didn't finish it all, but I got a good start on it and I'm excited to wrap it all up this weekend! Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday and I just love how my house looks all decorated!
 


Last, but not least for this week is this these handy dandy little tool.  I bought this after seeing someone show how they used it on Instagram Stories and I was fascinated!  It is a fabric shaver that takes pilling off of fabrics. I think it is actually meant for sweaters and clothing, but I used it on my couch and my kitchen chairs and it might be the best $12 I ever spent.


It's battery operated and worked so well. Check out this before and after.


My kitchen chairs had pilling everywhere and it was driving me nuts because they looked so worn. I didn't want to have to recover them and this little tool did the trick!

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

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Exterior Home Mini-Makeover (Update)

A few months ago I shared that we were planning to paint our house.  You can see the inspiration post HERE.  It was just a tan to start with and I never really loved it so when it was time to paint I was ready for a change. The problem was I couldn't decide between white or a darker color.


We looked at a bunch paint samples, drove around a ton of neighborhoods, and scanned Pinterest for ideas. We even had our color wheel out in a new neighborhood that was being built and trying to hold it up to compare it to paint colors on the houses.


After going back and forth for a few weeks we finally decided to go dark and just kind of picked one we both liked.

I remember still being nervous after we picked out the color and just hoping it would look good once it got on the house. When I came home after they started painting the first day I LOVED it and couldn't wait to see it completed.


I just love how it makes the trim pop and I really feel like you notice the stone more with the new color.


I'm so happy to see it every time I pull into the driveway! 





Paint color details for anyone that wants to know. 
Siding: SW Thunder Gray 
Trim: SW Canvas Tan 
Metal Roof: SW Caviar 

 

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Reindeer Crunch Trifle Recipe


Yesterday we shared our recap of the Holiday Open House with Findlay Rowe, but we decided this yummy little concoction deserved a post all on its own. This Reindeer Crunch Trifle is the recipe everyone needs in their lives this holiday season. 

When hosting events with Findlay Rowe, they always give us a challenge to do create something from within the store to present to guests. We love this because it gets our creative juices flowing. That and they have so much cute stuff in that store, it's fun to play with it all when we can't take it all home with us (lest we feared divorce). 

We whipped up this trifle recipe with Poppy Popcorn's Reindeer Crunch in mind. The recipe is right up our alley. It took less than five minutes to make and serve. Not to mention it is oh so yummy.

We've become masters of "faux-made" homemade recipes. We're pretty self-aware and know that our strong suits aren't in the kitchen. But we do like things to be pretty and have an extra special touch. So while we threw every "cheat" we possibly could think of when it came to this dessert - it didn't look or taste like it. 

It's debatable which took longer - to make it or to consume it? 



REINDEER CRUNCH TRIFLE RECIPE

Serves: 10-15
Total Time: 5 Mins


INGREDIENTS
  • 8 - 10 pre-made pudding cups
  • 1 16 oz pkg of Cool Whip
  • 2 cups of Reindeer Crunch popcorn
  • 12 pre-made store bought cupcakes

(You're intrigued now aren't you... ;) )



INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Scrape off the icing of your store purchased cupcakes. (Consuming optional.)
  2. Layer in the bottom of a trifle dish cupcakes and Reindeer Crunch popcorn. 
  3. On top of cupcake layer spread out a layer of Cool Whip. 
  4. On top of Cool Whip layer spread out a layer of pudding from pudding cups. 
  5. Repeat layers until trifle dish is full. 
  6. Top with Reindeer Crunch. 
  7. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. 


This qualifies as quite possibly the easiest holiday dessert on the planet. Everything mixes together for the perfect sweet dessert, and over time the popcorn softens to give it just enough crunch and salty to add to all that sweet. 


It was a huge hit at the event. (Thank you all for being our willing taste testers!)


With the busy holidays coming up we know we will have this in rotation again and again. Kids love it. Adults love it. And while we would love to spend all day baking yummy holiday goodies we know that isn't always possible time wise. 

Yummy five minute trifles? Totally doable!


Do you have an easy holiday dessert recipe? Share with us! 


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Monday, November 11, 2019

Holiday Open House Recap


It's official for us - the holidays are here! On Friday we rang in the start of the holiday season with our friends at Findlay Rowe. Each year they host a holiday open house and this year they asked us to help co-host a small part of it. 

We had tons of fun meeting everyone in person, chatting all things Thanksgiving/Christmas, and of course - our favorite part - shopping! 


We were asked to give two presentations. Our first was about holiday decor and entertaining. We designed a quick tablescape with items from the shop (totally swooning over all the holiday plaids this year!), and came up with a quick and easy dessert recipe to share with guests this holiday season. 


(Stay tuned! Recipe to be shared tomorrow!)


For our second presentation we focused on holiday style.


The holidays are always so crazy and rarely do we find ourselves at home having down time to even do the simplest things - like change our outfits for one event to the next. 



We shared some of our favorite key pieces to have on hand and some simple ways to take your outfit from daytime school party to evening holiday soirĂ©e.  


Findlay Rowe has so many great quality fashion pieces on hand it made our job super easy! (And our bank accounts super light...)


We also both wore holiday looks from the store to share with everyone for inspiration. Carrie Beth's won on every level.  Style plus comfort always wins. In this case both came in the form of Spanx leggings and Barefoot Dreams. 


We had a blast at the event, and are already thinking of more events to host in the future. We'd love your suggestions on how you would like to interact in person or what you would like to see. Share with us and we'll start working on that for 2020! 


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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Book Club: November

This post contains some affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are our own! 

Well we can hardly believe we are well into our first week of November.  That is just crazy to us.  We are both excited and a maybe feeling a little unprepared for Christmas that will be here before we know it.  We are going to be busy little elves all month long, but we are on a reading roll, so don't want to let that stop. 


Today is Book Club day and we have all sorts of good ones to share with you this month! Carrie Beth hopped back on the Audible train, and her reading engine was rolling down the track full force. When you rock that mom taxi life it's amazing how many books you can go through in a week. ;)

So grab your wine (or in our case - the caffeine), and come see what we read this month and what's up next. 

WHAT WE READ...

CARRIE BETH
I listened to SIX books this past month.  That might be a record for me, but I was on a roll.  I listened pretty much non-stop when I am at home doing laundry, cleaning, packing lunches, etc.  I also listen when I'm walking, exercising, and in the car from place to place.  All that time adds up.  I LOVED 3 of them, liked one and just thought the other two were OK.


The first one I listened to was The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer.  Wow.  This book stuck with me LONG after I finished it and was SO powerful.  I don't usually go for historical fiction novels, but I am so glad I decided to give this one a try. It goes back and forth between WWII and modern day so I think that is what kept me interested enough until I became so engaged and connected with the characters that I just couldn't stop listening.  It is a story about war, family, love, sacrifice, and the unthinkable things many of those people had to go through.  It was eye-opening to me to hear it from a first hand point of view and gave me such a great understanding and appreciation for the survivors and the victims of the Holocaust.  If you like powerful, moving novels, beautifully written novels, this one is for you!


I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella was a cute little story about love and supposed to be a little funny, but I just thought it was OK.  It seemed a little cheesy to me at times, but I kept going to see how the story ended. It's about a girl who randomly meets a guy in a coffee shop and ends up getting an IOU from him that they end up cashing in back and forth for months. I love sweet romantic chick-lit, but this one didn't do it for me. 


Up next was Night Road by Kristin Hannah and this was another one that just made me feel so connected to the characters.  It's about a girl who was raised in foster care before coming to live with her aunt. She ends up attends a pretty swanky high-school and becoming best friends with a girl who happens to have a twin brother.  The story follows their friendship, but from the eyes of the twins' helicopter mother.  The first half of this book I LOVED.  SO much I thought I might name it my favorite book of the year.  But, then the second half of the book had me a little annoyed with the mother and how she handled some pretty terrible things that happened to the family.  This book made me cry multiple times and it made me feel all the feels. I really did love it, but just think the second half of the book was a little let down after such a great first half. This is my second Hannah book and like The Great Alone it covers a huge period of time and often jumps years at a time to catch up with the story. I didn't love that because I felt like I was missing parts.  Overall though I would definitely recommend this book and think every mother with kids who are getting ready to be teens should read this book.



After crying in the book above, I decided I wanted a good old romance novel.  If I Only Knew by Corinne Michaels was a little rated R, but it is not overly in your face and actually has a plot! A widow decides, against her will, to let down walls and give love a second chance.  Her assistant is trying to get her job, but ends up stealing her heart.  I liked that the character was a strong woman, defending her career, raising her kids, and I guess the story just seemed pretty real to me. Like I could see it actually happening and I loved it!



I remember Jen telling me about My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan.  It was about a young lady who spent a year in England to study at Oxford.  She goes there with the expectations to learn a little, get the designation and network that comes along with being a Rhodes Scholar. She ends up getting a big lesson in life and love when she falls in love with one of her professors.  He has some secrets of his own though and she ends up choosing her love for him over everything else that comes her way.  It is a heartwarming story and I enjoyed it, but just didn't love it.



My last book of the month was City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's told from an older woman's point of view thinking back on her days working with the theater in 1940's in New York City. It is a story about glamour, sex, adventure and how showgirls lived during that day.  I had high hopes for this one after reading the great reviews, but kept waiting for something big to happen that would make me love it. That something never really showed up for me. 

JEN
A jam packed month left little room for reading. October has left me exhausted in more ways that one. November looks to be slightly calmer...and colder. So I can't wait to snuggle up in some cozy pjs and five layers of blankets with a good book from now until Spring.


First up I listed to The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. Oh my goodness, when this finished I had so many thoughts. It ended so abruptly with a big twist, and it left me all like, "What?!". (If you've read it were you so shocked?) But you find out what happens, and aren't left hanging so there's that. I remember enjoying Woman in Cabin 10, and when I read the premise behind this book I thought it was the perfect read for October. A haunted house, ghosts, a murder, a suspicious nanny...it all sounded intriguing. There were very few qualities that made you like any of the main characters at first, and as the story unfolded you are thrown new twist after new twist. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I couldn't wait to learn what happened. I for sure thought I knew who the murderer was the entire time, but I was so wrong! 

If you like a slower suspense novel with lots of psychological twists this is totally one I would put on your reading lists. If you're an Audible person, the narrator of this one did a great job deciphering between all the characters (which can make or break an Audible to me). 


For my second book of the month, I did a 180 and read a romance novel. Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren popped up on my suggested reads, and I figured after such an intense book I could use something a little lighter to read. I remember loving the authors' book The Unhoneymooners earlier in the year, and was expecting the same style of story. Twice in a Blue Moon is a little slower to me, but I still really enjoyed the story. Sheltered girl meets sheltered boy in London and they hit it off. It's instant love. Then the girl shares her darkest secret and the boy disappears and shortly after the whole world knows - she's the daughter of the world's most famous actor. She becomes an actress herself and years into her career her first love crosses her path again. The story concentrates mostly on what happens after they cross paths again. It's a fun and easy read, and some of the secondary characters are so lovable. I think I like The Unhoneymooners just a smidge more, but these are both great romance reads if that's your go-to reading choice.  

WHAT'S UP NEXT...


CARRIE BETH

My next listen is going to be Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. It's a 2019 Good Reads Choice Award nominee and has some great reviews so decided to give it a try.


I will keep you all posted next month with what I think of it!

JEN
I actually have a few Elin Hilderbrand books in my "to read" pile right now, but my friend Bethany loaned me Summer of '69 so that's what I'm going with first.


I've heard great things about this one, so I can't wait to dig in. Plus if I can't be at a warm sunny beach, at least I can read about it. ;)

What should we put on our reading lists next? 


BOOK CLUB 2019 

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October



Follow along with us on Goodreads!


HAPPY READING! 



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