Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Today is the last Wednesday of March, can you believe it?
I'm linking up with Mel, Shay and Sheaffer again to share what we've been up to this month.


 What we're eating this week

Steak & potatoes
Chicken Tortilla soup
Chicken enchiladas

What I'm reminiscing about

The kids are in their last quarter of the school year, and I keep thinking about how summer is going to be here before we know it.  I've been reminiscing about all things summer, and thinking of all that I want to get done so we're ready to play.

What I'm loving

We bought a Roku, and what a life changer that was.  Who knew having a Roku could be this much fun.  I was telling my parents how much I love having one, and asked if they had one.  They said they've had theirs for a couple of years.  Where have I been, and why didn't I know about these?

I'm also loving that most of the snow in our yard is gone!  Spring time is definitely here and I'm doing all the happy dances.

What we've been up to

Gracie went to her first Prom.

Jesse started Track through the Junior High program.

Emma and Jesse have been practicing for their basketball tournament that takes place this weekend.

We seriously have no life right now outside of our kids' activities.  Which is fine... we're having fun.  :)

What I'm dreading

I went up to see my brother in law for my first chiropractic appointment.  He's been recommending I get adjusted for the last 16 years or so.  Well, I finally went, and I'm glad I did because I'm a mess.  We took xrays and there are all sorts of things that need adjusted.  I'm dreading trying to figure out how to make the 2 hour drive up 2 or 3 times a week.  How is that even possible?

What I'm working on

Spring Cleaning.

I always talk about trying to get my spring cleaning done during the winter, but it just didn't happen.  I have a long list of things that I want to get done... hopefully sooner than later, because once it warms up even more, I won't want to be inside cleaning.

What I'm excited about

I've been on Pinterest looking for more camping ideas and organizational tips to make our trips even easier.  I'm excited to be on the river relaxing and enjoying our weekends.  If you are a fellow camper and want more camping ideas as well, be sure and follow my board here.

What I'm watching/reading

 I've been watching Downton Abbey, and I love it!  I know this is old news, but if you haven't watched it... you should.

I just finished reading Treasured Grace a couple days ago, and wrote a review on it.  You can find that here, if you are looking for a good book to read.

I'm also in the last couple weeks of my David bible study.  We've done quite a few Beth Moore studies, and I think in the Fall we'll branch out and try something else.  Do you have any that you recommend?

What I'm listening to

Right now I'm listening to the quiet of my house.  It's so peaceful at the moment, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

What I'm wearing

I splurged and picked up a pair of white converse.  I love the shoreline slip on version, and nothing looks more Spring like to me, than these.  I just have to be really careful while wearing them.

What I'm doing this weekend

Jesse has a track meet on Friday that I'm driving up to watch, and then we'll be watching Jesse and Emma's basketball tournament on Saturday and Sunday.  I'm excited to watch them both play.  I'm not excited however that the first game starts at 7:00 am.  I'm already tired just thinking about it.  We'll have to leave the house by 5:30 to get there in time.  Yuck!

What I'm looking forward to next month

Jamaica Man!
Sooo excited!  By the time we leave, our kids' sports should pretty much be wrapped up.  I can't think of a better way for Dan and I to relax after a long year of running around.

What else is new

Mostly just the change in weather.  :)

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that we are only a couple days away from April.  Anyone else?


Monday, March 27, 2017

Treasured Grace

I really enjoyed reading Treasured Grace.  It's different than anything I've read in quite a while.  The characters are fun, and I loved the setting.  The story is set back in the mid 1800's when conflict starts to arise between the Indians and the settlers out west.

This book is one that I could sit back and relax while reading, and then be on the edge of my seat the next minute.  It has a few twists and turns that kept me wondering what was going to happen next and I think it also has just the right amount of conflict and romance. 

I've read quite a few Tracie Peterson books, and I have to say that this one, was one of my favorites.  I'm anxiously awaiting the next book in this series.  If you're looking for a good book to read, I would highly recommend Treasured Grace. 

* I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publisher, in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

What are you currently reading?


Friday, March 24, 2017

Happy Friday

Happy Friday, friends!

 This week flew by so fast!  It's hard for me to comprehend that it's already Friday, but you'll hear no complaints from me.  ;) Today I'm back sharing my favorites from the week.  The fact that it's already Friday, is a huge favorite!


Prom was last weekend, and it was a major favorite.  Such a big moment for this girl, and her Mama.  If you missed that post, you can check it out here.


I have little over a month until we leave on vacation, and I've been trying to exercise and eat healthier.  Plus lose a few inches around my middle and tone up a bit.  I'm not looking for miracles, just a more trimmed up beach body.
Youtube has tons of Blogilates videos, that I've been watching.  I've been working on my muffin top, booty, legs and abs.  I just try and pick a different one each time, to mix it up.  It must be working, because I am sore!!!  I didn't even know your muffin top could be sore.  It seriously feels like a giant bruise.


Speaking of swimsuits...

I bought this swimsuit and one just like it in navy.  I can't decide which one to keep.  Darn Athleta and their cute clothes.  ;)


On Wednesday, Erin wrote a great post called, 'If Only: Envy and How To Overcome It.'  If you have a few minutes, I suggest you check it out. 


This has got to be the funniest and truest thing ever!  Who knew that Moms of teens and Target shoppers have so much in common.  ;)

Today I've liked up with Andrea, Erika & Narci.
Christina, April & Natasha with Five On Friday.

Have the best weekend!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Gracie's First Prom

Gracie's first Prom was on Saturday, and I'm happy to say, we all survived it.
 It was a busy day, and one that I wouldn't have missed for the world.  And... it was just as much fun as I always hoped it would be.

Gracie and Belle are cousins, and they're only 8 months apart.  It's been so fun seeing them grow up together over the years.

It was a fun day watching these 4 get ready together.
At one point as the girls were curling their hair and trying to get ready, most of our area lost power.  It was only out for an hour or so... but long enough for us to scramble a bit.  Thankfully, my brother in law got the curling irons hooked up to a generator, so we were able to power through.  Nothing like getting girls ready for prom without any lights or electricity.

I feel so blessed to watch this girl of mine grow up into a beautiful and kind young lady.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I love her.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Hello Friday!

Hello Friday!

This is a big weekend for us!  The kids don't have school today, so we're soaking up that goodness.   Tomorrow Jesse has a home basketball game, Emma has a birthday/sleepover at a friends house and then we'll spend the rest of the day getting Gracie ready to go to PROM!  Eeek!  I'm so excited to get her all dolled up.  My sister is helping do nails tonight, so tomorrow, we'll focus on makeup and hair.  She's going to look so gorgeous in her dress, and I can't wait to take a gazillion pictures of her.

I would think that last paragraph should have covered enough of my favorites for the week, but in case you want a few more...

How about these dresses?!
I was looking for a couple of dresses that I could take on our upcoming vacation.  I think this first dress is so fun and classy.  It's only available in a small, so I'm hoping it fits.

And, I went ahead and ordered this second one as well.  I think it's super cute, but I'm worried that it might be too short for me.  I have a long torso and long legs, plus I'm a 34 year old Mom... Nobody wants to see me wearing a dress that hits right below my booty.  I ordered a medium in this, since the small was out of stock, and I'm crossing my fingers that it fits perfectly, and isn't too short.

A friend of mine is coming out to help me paint my bedroom this afternoon, and I can't wait.  I painted one of the walls to make sure that we'd like the color okay, and I think we're going to like it.  I keep reminding myself that this doesn't have to be permanent.  If we change our minds later on, we can always repaint. Does anyone else have a hard time committing to a color?

Dan and I attended a benefit where we were able to buy a painting of my brother's.  This is only the second painting of his that I own.  So I'm excited to find just the right place in my house to display it.  Whats better than having a painting that you love, painted by someone you love.  My favorite kind of art.

And because we all need more laughter and humor in our lives, I give you my last 2 favorites for the week.

My sister sent me this meme, and I love it.  If you are a book sniffer, you'll totally relate.  If you don't, just be aware that there are book sniffers out there.  Haha!  :) 

I'm sure I've posted this before, but every time I see this, I laugh.

Okay, so that's it for today...
  I've liked up with Andrea, Erika & Narci.
Christina, April & Natasha with Five On Friday.

Have a great weekend you guys.  I'll be back next week with lots of pictures!  Wish us luck with this whole prom experience.  :)


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

3 Tips That Every Blogger Needs To Know

Today, I wanna talk about blogging.

I think blogging is like most anything, where we're continually learning and trying to better ourselves.  There is a whole list of things that I want to learn how to do, that I see so many bloggers doing, and doing well.  There's also a couple of things, that I really want to make sure other bloggers know, because if someone doesn't bring it to your attention, how are you supposed to know, right!

This is something that I've been preaching on for the last couple of years.  Make sure as a blogger that you aren't a no-reply blogger.  If you're not sure if you are or aren't, you can read my post here, or do a quick google search.

It's super easy to fix, and then when you leave a comment on my blog, I can reply to your comment right through my email.  If you are a no-reply blogger, I will reply to your comment on my blog post instead, but I don't believe you'll be notified of it, and you most likely won't ever see it unless you come back to my blog to check for a reply.

Which lets be honest, who has time for that, right?  If I'm lucky enough to have you check out my post once, I'm not counting myself lucky enough to have you come back to the same post again.

Plus, I think this method makes it so much easier for bloggers to connect even better.  If you want to know where I got some new product I posted about, you'll get an email with my reply, so you won't have to come back to the original post to find your answer... it will be sent straight to your email.

 My second tip, ties into my first one... just reversed.  Make sure that when you reply to a comment on your blog, that your readers are receiving it.  I'm not sure how all sites are set up, but there are a lot of replies I never see, because bloggers will post their replies on their blog, under the comments.  Chances are I'll never see it or even know they replied, because replies straight from the blogs aren't usually sent to me.  (If it's something I should be doing differently, let me know)

If they are a no-reply blogger, you have to reply under the comments section of your blog, since they aren't set up with their email, but if they aren't a no-reply blogger, your reply should be sent to their email, so that they are aware that you have replied.

 I've found the best way for me to reply to comments on my blog is to reply to the email notification that was sent to me, letting me know that I have a comment on my blog.  I reply and the reader receives it, and can further the conversation if they wish, or they can delete it and move on.  Either way, they've seen that I've responded to their comment.

 Making sure your readers hear back from you, helps build a better relationship, and hopefully encourages them to keep coming back to your site.  If nothing else, they'll at least know that you took the time to connect.

 My last tip today is, to make sure you've set up your blogger profile with an easy link to your blog, so you're blog is easy to find.

If you are new to my blog and you leave a comment, I will always click on your name to check out your blog, as well as who you are.  Many times, I have clicked on a name, to have it take me straight to a Google plus site, and then after searching around for 20 seconds or so without any luck, I'll usually give up.  If you have taken the time to stop by, I'd love to repay the favor, but I don't want to have to search you out.  It should be easy and simple for potential new readers to find you.

Okay, so that's my 3 blogging tips for you.

You can find list after list of blogging tips, but these 3, are ones that I can't stress enough.  Make sure you are doing all 3 of these, and I'm positive, you'll see even more growth on your blog.  If you aren't sure, if any of these tips apply to yourself... check it out, or ask me, and I'm happy to help.

What are some of your favorite blogging tips?


Friday, March 10, 2017

10 Favorite Household Tips

 Happy Friday!

 Erin is hosting a 10 on the 10th link up today, and it's all about favorite household tips.  I thought I'd share a few of mine with you today as well.
Now, I don't claim to have it all together, in fact I usually stay away from writing, "How To" blog posts, because lets face it... some days I feel like a rock star with how smooth everything is going, and then the next day, I feel like a mess who can't get anything done.

Be that as it may, I'm sharing my tips for you this morning.  If I remember and follow all of these, my day goes so much smoother.

I try and start a load of laundry almost every single morning.  I do this before I even pour myself a cup of coffee.  Sometimes I'll put towels or whatever I'm planning to wash in the wash machine with the laundry soap the night before, and then in the morning all I have to do is close the door and push start.  I can then enjoy my coffee knowing that things are already off to a good start.  I've found for my family that if I can do one or two loads of laundry every day, I can usually stay on top of it.  If I don't, it takes over quickly.

Every night before bed, we start the dishwasher, that way in the morning during breakfast I can unload it and put the dishes away.  Breakfast dishes are ready to go in along with any other dishes from the day, that way nothing is getting stacked up in the sink.  Every once in a while we will forget to start it before bed, and it definitely throws my day off.  Nothing like having a dishwasher full of dirty dishes the next morning, along with any new dishes that need to go in, that there isn't room for.  It makes me crazy just thinking about it.

We have our kids shower at night verses in the morning.  I would prefer having them shower in the morning, but their bus comes fairly early, and my kids aren't natural early risers.  I wake them up around 6:00 and it's all they can do to just function before needing to be out the door by 7:20.  Getting dressed, brushing their hair and their teeth seems to take almost the full hour.  So to make it easier on all of us, showers at night seem to work best, because getting 3 kids up and ready in the morning can be almost as bad as herding cats. 

Depending upon what we're having for dinner each night, I try and take meat out of the freezer in the morning so it has time to thaw.  I hate looking at the clock realizing that it's almost time to get the kids off the bus, and that I haven't taken anything out for dinner.  Nobody needs that kind of stress in their life.  ;)

On the weeks where I meal plan, and we have a couple meals with chicken in them, I will cook all of the chicken in one day, and store it in the fridge.  I put around 8 frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot with a bit of water or chicken broth, cover it, and set it on low for 8 hours.  At the end of the day, I'll shred the chicken and put it away until I'm ready to use it.  It makes meal prep so much easier, when you only have the mess once.  You can easily put the chicken in a casserole, in a pot of soup, or add some BBQ sauce and throw it on a bun, and you're done!

Lists!!!  I am a list person through and through.  I have grocery lists, Costco lists, to do lists... Dan and the kids have their own lists as well.  This house runs off of lists.  There is way too many things going on with our family, that if I don't write it down, chances are, it's not going to happen.

I only use two things as far as stain remover on our clothes.  I use Dawn dishsoap for grease or oil stains, and I use Shout for anything else.  If those two things don't do it, then I consider it impossible.

We make our kids help out.  Now granted, they don't help out nearly as much as we should make them, but with me being home all day, I like to just get things done, instead of waiting for someone else to do it.

I have them bring their clothes to the laundry room for me to wash.  I wash them, and then they are in charge of putting their clothes away and hanging them up.  I have them clean their own bathroom, as well as their bedrooms and then I have them help with a couple basic things like folding towels or emptying the dishwasher from time to time.  Things like that, that help me out.  Again I know I don't give a long list of chores, but after they've spent a long day at school, I also want them to have time to just be a kid as well.  They'll have a lifetime of household chores ahead of them.

I diffuse my Thieves and Purification oils every day.  I know there are a lot of different oils out there, but I usually only use these two.  Lemon is also another one that I love, but I don't usually start using it, until Spring.  Through out most of the flu and cold season, it's all Thieves and Purification.

My biggest household tip, is to give yourself grace.  As much as we all want a clean house, sometimes you've got to just roll with it, and try not to sweat the small stuff.  Life happens.  If your floors need mopped, or your windows need cleaned, but you are doing the best you can, and you just can't get to it today... breathe.  At some point, you'll get a chance to get it done, but it just might not be right now.  Be okay with that, and try again tomorrow.

I would love to hear what your favorite household tips are.

Today I linked up with Andrea.
Christina, April & Natasha with Five On Friday.

And Erin.

Enjoy your weekend!