Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hello and happy Friday! Mother Nature stopped by Kentucky, and we woke up yesterday feeling like we were living in Arendelle. *Cue Elsa* “The cold never bothered me anyyyywayyy!” Well, we got more ice than snow and many people even lost power throughout the city. It looks like this may only be the beginning of some active winter weather over the next week.

Even with the cold and ice, I have plenty of favorites to share with you! Today, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites post.

Of course, our Chiefs losing the Super Bowl is definitely not a favorite, but…

our cute Chiefs fans,

delicious cookie cake, and…

festive cups were all favorites on Super Bowl Sunday.

It’s that time of the year where I’m burning the last of my winter Bath and Body Works candles. Peppermint, Gingerbread Cookie, and Winter are almost used up, so it was time for a few new candles to transition out of winter and into spring…

Butterscotch Toffee is perfect for February, and then Lavender Coconut and Eucalyptus Rain will be perfect for spring.

“Old-fashioned” stove top popcorn is a new favorite. Hadley had the idea last weekend to make popcorn in the Dutch oven, and it worked perfectly and popped so quickly! She made enough to feed an army!

Hadley is wrapping up Girl Scout cookie sales, and has sold a little over 500 boxes. About half of those were shipped, but we still had to sort and organize about 250 boxes for delivery! That’s how we spent some time yesterday. We all have a different favorite cookie, so the cookie temptation is real around here!

Watching Hayden play basketball is a favorite for sure! Most Saturdays are filled with two games. The time has flown by, and the season is almost over.

Free throw Boo!

One of my favorite traditions is sending family Valentine’s Day cards. They arrived just in time for me to mail them out to our loved ones.

front and back of card

The kids had a Valentine’s Day party at their school pod. Hayden kept his Valentines simple with Sour Patch Kids, but Hadley chose “You make life S’more fun” from the cute Valentine’s that Andrea created. I printed them at Walgreens, and then we used chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and Golden Grahams to make the mix. We had fun putting these together.

A favorite from the kids’ week was the party at the pod! They came home with lots of goodies.

I bought this sweet little pot of roses at Trader Joe’s, and it’s now a favorite Valentine’s Day touch in our house.

Not that .3 inches of ice is necessarily a favorite, but it is pretty to look at, and BONUS!— Travis was home with us yesterday. He doesn’t take many snow days, so it was nice to have him home…and have someone else in charge of lunch duty 😉

backyard with icicles and droopy branches

Yesterday, we used the recipe on the side of the box to make Golden Graham No Bake S’mores. I think we have a new favorite dessert! So easy and so delish. Hadley did most of this on her own!

Travis and I were supposed to go to dinner last night for Valentine’s Day, but like most restaurants, reservations were canceled. Maybe we can find a time to go out to dinner in the next couple of weeks?

Another favorite is that we’re looking forward to a three day weekend with no school on Monday!

Favorite Mom Meme:

I feel this deeply, y’all!

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from the week in case you missed one:

(lots of fun link ups this week!)

One more favorite from the week: This morning I’m going to get my second dose of the vaccine! Vaccine appointments were canceled yesterday, so I’m hoping appointments stay scheduled for today!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a great weekend and a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Posted in Three things

Three Things

I think I share quite a bit about what’s going on in our lives, but every once in a while I like to take a moment to share a few more details about what’s going on with each of us. So, today I’m sharing Three Things…

  1. Hayden is still recovering from the Chief loss. I’m not sure who was more beat up after that loss…Mahomes or Hayden 😉 I know it’s his age and (lack of?) perspective, but Hayden is usually pretty upset after a loss whether it’s a big game for himself or a professional game. It takes him some time to let go and move on. Kid wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to sports.
  2. This season, Hayden is on two basketball teams. Don’t ask me why. I just show up when I’m told to. 😂 He has a lot of fun with his teammates, and it’s fun seeing his effort on the court. Thankfully, the Saturday game schedule is pretty doable with a mid-morning game, time for lunch, and an early afternoon game.
  3. Hayden continues a somewhat healthy balance of playing Xbox and reading. Sometimes, I want to throw the Xbox out the window, but he cracks me up wearing the headset, and he has fun playing online with his friends. Then, almost every night, I have to beg him to turn off his lamp and go to bed while he insists on reading his book! It’s hard to get upset when he’s reading…even if he should be sleeping.
  1. Hadley is prepping for dance competition season. Y’all, never in my life did I think I’d be a dance mom, but here we are. This is the first year she’s performed on a competition team, and she’s with a great little group of girls. Thankfully, there are only three competitions, and they aren’t goo far away. I love after class when she comes home and shows me what she’s learned. I’m pretty amazed with her dancing ability, her grace, and how quickly she picks up on routines. They also started dance club at school (via Zoom right now), and she’s loving it. The sponsor is actually Hayden’s teacher, and she’s teaching the club members choreography from popular songs from Broadway musicals. This has been special because she loves dance, but it also feels like a “normal” school activity even though it’s via Zoom.
  2. Hadley’s sold two rounds of Girl Scout cookies, so we are now in the sorting and delivering phase. She had a goal to sell 390 boxes, and her current total sold is 499! Of course, we were limited with door to door sales, but she visited some neighbors. I helped her make a video for me to share with family, friends, and Facebook. I think people ordered more cookies than usual this year because cookies make everyone’s day brighter and the shipped method was so easy and quick! I’m proud of her effort!
  3. If there’s a hair or makeup tutorial on YouTube, Hadley has probably seen it. She just dabbles in applying some makeup for fun while hanging out at home. I’m amazed at her application of it, and I’m typically the one mixing up my concealer with my undereye corrector. 😆She also styles her hair in such cute ways. From beachy waves to curls to messy bun to braids, she’s tried them all, and her hair always looks so cute. She also hogs the bathroom which drives Hayden crazy. I told him he should be worried about the high school years!


Homer continues to reap the benefits of us being home most days for school. You’ll find him snoozing in Hadley’s bed while she completes classwork or begging for lunch while the kids eat grilled cheese or quesadillas.

Also, Homer’s newest issue is he’s scared to go up and down our back steps from the sun room to the yard. I think I’ve mentioned before that he won’t go down the stairs to the basement. Even when he was a puppy, he’d refuse, but he’d always go outside. Around Christmas time, we found him whimpering at the bottom of the back steps after it had snowed. We think he must have slipped coming up them, so he was hesitant to come back up.

It’s been snowy or icy pretty consistently the past two weeks, and I guess he remembers slipping at Christmas time. So, sometimes he takes forever to work up the courage to go down the steps and other times we find him not wanting to come back up! There have been times we’ve had to get a leash and bring him from the backyard through the front door. Sometimes, I’ve just had to use “tough” love and let him stay out there until he’s cold enough to find the courage to come up the stairs.

I hope he forgets about this slipping issue by next winter! As I always say, “It’s a good thing he’s cute!”


As for me, I’m a weirdo who likes winter. I even like overcast and dreary days as it gives me the excuse to hang out at home, read, or watch Netflix. By March, I’m ready for spring, so I’m soaking up this last month of winter.

I’ve also been cheering on my *ranked* Mizzou TIGERS, but I keep quiet about the fact that Trav and Hayden’s beloved CATS are unranked.

I’m also more hopeful than ever that we are headed back to school in the somewhat near future. We’ve been receiving many emails about plans and protocols. The superintendent and team make the call every Tuesday for the following week using a matrix and guidance from local health department officials. Our numbers are finally low enough that K-2 start back in person on Tuesday. Grades 3-5, 6, 9, and 12 will be next, so I hope we hit phase two soon. So, I’m doing a bit of in person school prep while meeting with students via Zoom until we return to our school building.


Per usual, Travis has been very busy with work.

He’s also helping coach one of Hayden’s basketball teams. We’ve officially split most driving duties with him as Hayden’s chauffeur for all things basketball and baseball while I drive Miss Hadley to dance.

He’s also planning runs with the kids as they are most likely going to participate in a few track meets in March.

So that’s a little bit of what’s been going on with us! I feel like some days are so busy, but I try to take each day as it comes and enjoy this season of life.

See you back here tomorrow for this week’s Friday Favorites post.

Posted in Let's look

Let’s Look

Hello! How is your week going so far? Monday was a little rough after going to bed a little later than usual thanks to the Super Bowl. Hayden’s still reeling from the Chiefs’ loss, but his attitude is improving a bit each day!

We have some winter weather on the way, so I’ve front loaded my week with errands and crossing things off my weekly to do list.

Today, Shay and Erika are hosting their monthly Let’s Look link up, and I’m joining in on the fun.

In January, we looked at our coffee bar areas. I don’t have a coffee bar, so I shared a few of my favorite mugs!

Today’s topic is Let’s Look: Love Language.

So, I’ve had this book for years…but haven’t read it. #andtravissighswithrelief

I know the Five Love Languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

Well, since one of the love languages isn’t Amazon, I’m guessing Acts of Service is where I’m at in the “Love Language” department.

I guess just with the hustle and bustle of the day, I appreciate when Travis steps in to help with little things like unloading the dishwasher, doing the dishes, and even just bringing the laundry upstairs.

That being said, I love cards. Words of “written” affirmation must be one of my languages as well. I appreciate a sticky note with “have a good day,” and cards on special occasions (or for no reason!)

I don’t think Trav will mind me sharing this story, but I remember after we’d been dating for exactly one month, he bought me a card and just wrote a few words reflecting on our first month together. It was very sweet, and I think that’s when I realized how much a few written words or words of encouragement mean to me.

Travis “upped” his card game and at some point and started writing my name in bubble letters. While he’s no artist, I appreciate the sentiment.

I should probably dive a bit deeper into this love language business, but I’m sure Travis appreciates that I don’t. 😆 ! That being said, I do see the benefit in knowing and understanding your spouse’s emotional needs. Marriage is a journey, and the better you understand your partner, the better it is for everyone.

I still keep hoping Travis will master reading my mind, but until then, I guess I should remind him that acts of service is the way to go!

What’s your love language and how does it compare to your spouse’s language?

Next month’s topic is: perfect night in!

Thanks so much for reading. Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

See you tomorrow for a Three Things post.

Posted in Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom

Hello and Happy Monday!

It’s time for our monthly Not Just a Mom link up, and the topic is Healthy Habits and Staying Motivated.

Healthy Habits:

The older I get, the more I understand the importance of *trying* to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

As far as healthy habits are concerned, I feel like it’s important for me to have quiet (alone!) time every morning before the rest of the house gets up and before we start the hustle and bustle of our days. This time is important for me to get my mind right and ease into the day.

Another healthy habit for me is trying to get enough sleep. I’d say I get close to 8 hours sleep every night. I’ve struggled with staying asleep in the past, but I’ve never had issues falling asleep. Before bed, I try to limit screen time, read a book, and Melatonin is the real MVP!

Exercise as been a part of my routine for years. I used to be the type to watch what I eat and workout January-October. Then, I’d let the wheels fall off the bus, give in to the temptation of holidays foods, and regroup in January. About four years ago, I started not letting November and December negate the work I’d done the rest of the year. I give myself grace, but I continue my workout routine and do my best to make good food choices.

To be honest, this past year has been very difficult. From the stress of Covid, quarantining, and my endometriosis issues, I definitely relied on comfort food, didn’t workout as a consistently, kind of let anxiety creep in, and ate my feelings a bit! I feel like I’ve done a really good job regrouping since January, and I’ve been intentional with workouts and making pretty good food choices.

Staying Motivated:

As far as staying motivated goes, I’m a task oriented, Type A, visual person.

I like to start the week off with a plan, and I’m motivated by seeing progress.

Before placing my grocery order, I plan our dinners for the week. Meal planning is essential for me to stay on track. That being said, I don’t necessarily meal prep, but I do keep in mind what foods we have on hand, so that I can make the best choices possible.

I know that I have to be flexible with what time I work out, but I typically factor in two mornings to get up early to get my work out in. Then, I choose a couple of afternoons when I know I will have time to get my work out in and adjust my schedule that way. I know some people do better getting up every morning extra early, but that doesn’t work for me. Also, I’m home by 4:00 most days (during a normal school year), so I know that I’m usually able to get a workout in without issue a couple afternoons a week.

I’m also motivated by down time and rest. I try to accomplish chores, errands, school work, emails, workouts, etc. and then take Sunday as my motivation with a day of rest.

Certain apps help keep me motivated and tie into my Type A/task oriented personality. Just seeing my calories and macros as well as my water intake, keeps me going to make good choices.

Lately, I’ve been focusing more on tracking my food and calories, but I also check out my macros. Most days, even when I think I haven’t made all the best choices, my macros are close to perfect. (50% carbs, 20% protein, 30% fat) (*I know this seems like a lot of work, but it becomes second nature pretty quickly, and I definitely see results when I track what I eat.)

I’ve been using this water app since December, and it’s been helping me reach my water intake goal most days.

In November, I purchased Beachbody On Demand and have been working out at home. Even before Covid, I only went to the gym a couple days a week. I’ve used Beachbody workouts in the past, but this is the first time I’m using the On Demand option to use at home while working out. Since November, I’ve completed 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, and I’ve now moved on to Muscle Burns Fat.

Knowing that I only have to go to my basement, and these workouts take about 30 minutes motivates me to stay on track.

I’ve used strategies from Amanda Nighbert’s Lean program for years. I’ve been carb cycling and intermittent fasting pretty consistently for four years. Back in November, she shared this chart, and I printed it out to write my monthly goals.

My February goals are:

  • workout
  • drink water
  • intermittent fast
  • log food in My Fitness Pal app
  • have a protein shake most days for lunch or snack
  • Eat low carb on Tuesdays

Lastly, is anyone else motivated by cute workout wear?

I’m more picky about my workout leggings than workout tops because I wear them for more than working out. I basically live in workout leggings/tights when not in regular clothes or pajamas! Also, the perfect length for me is 7/8. I only own a couple of pairs of capri length leggings. 7/8 is where it’s at for me!

If I’m wearing something I’m comfortable in, I’m more likely to workout.

Cute story: A couple of months ago, Travis called me and told me he’d picked me up a gift. Well, I came home and saw he’d been to Fabletics, and purchased me a couple of pairs of workout tights. He went on and on, and said the selling point was that they had side pockets. He thought this was a new feature! 😆 ! So sweet! I guess he hasn’t seen my other five pairs of leggings with pockets. He’s very proud of the fact he’s a Fabletics VIP member!

I have this same pair of Fabletics leggings in teal, navy, and blue.

Recently, I purchased these leggings from Amazon…and they are legit. They come in a variety of colors….and have side pockets 😉

I know it’s silly but what made me buy them besides the fact that they are high-waisted is that I loved the angled bottom inseam. That feature is just a little “extra” that elevates these leggings.

I cringe at the terms “buttery soft” and “dupe,” but these are so good, and I don’t know any other way to describe them. I only have one pair of Lulu leggings, and these, to me, are comparable.


To wrap up on a funny note…

These workout memes made me laugh, so I thought I’d share.

I’m forever a work in progress over here, but I’ve been very focused lately on getting back on track with making good food choices (minus Girl Scout cookies, y’all!), and exercising daily since recovering from my surgery in October.

Let me know any tips and tricks you have for staying motivated and making healthy choices!

Next month’s topic is Favorite Phone Apps. Well, I know two of those already: the water and My Fitness Pal apps. Those two apps keep me motivated!

Thanks so much for reading. Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts!

Take care,

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

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Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hello and Happy Friday! We had a good week around here, but we are certainly ready for the weekend!

While we had some snow on the ground, the kids still had school, but their teachers gave them some time off of the computer to get outside and enjoy what would have been a couple of snow days. Of course, I’m happy they had that extra time for fun, but Monday and Tuesday just seemed never-ending; I guess because we weren’t following our regular routine.

It’s finally Friday, so I’m linking up with Andrea for this week’s Friday Favorites post.

I’m starting off with a few favorites from each day this week…


Hadley’s fruit plate made me smile. 1. because she did it all herself and…2. because it looked so pretty!


3.5 inches of snow!

Homer and the kids had some fun out in the wintry weather and…

Hayden made a snow angel or two.


Homer posed for a pic while wearing his Valentine’s Day scarf. He’ll do anything for a treat (except come inside after he has escaped from the backyard!)

Also, I saw this cute llama succulent at Kroger, and thought it would be cute in Hadley’s room. She likes to have a little plant in her room, and this is perfect on her bedside table.


Amy had shared about how she recently made Two Ingredient Bagels. I turned to Google for a recipe, and these were so easy and delish. I made them Wednesday afternoon, and I will definitely make more this weekend. Everyone in the family loved them.

SO good!


Doesn’t every girl need her dog and disco ball light on while taking a math test?!? 😂

While I’m hopeful we will be back to school soon, I will miss this time home with them for little moments like these:

Favorite Kid Quote:

Earlier this week, I overheard Hayden, as he was hugging on Homer say, “Homer you have two jobs: to guard the house and look cute!” 😂 So sweet!

Favorite Food:

Well, our favorite food could be the bagels mentioned above, but our Girl Scout cookies came in, and we were all excited. We all have different faves: Hayden loves Lemonades, Travis prefers Caramel DeLites, Hadley enjoys Thin Mints (and Peanut Butter Patties), and I love the PB patties! The new cookie, the Toast-yay! is so good! Hadley sells until the end of the month, so I’m sure we’ll place another order since we can only gets these once a year!

Favorite Clothing Item:

This sweatshirt from @sweetmommablair ‘s Etsy shop arrived just in time for the Super Bowl…Go Chiefs!

Favorite Mom Meme:

This meme popped up in my Facebook memories, and I sure remember people asking me this when the kids were babies. I don’t get asked it as much anymore since Hadley’s about a head taller than Hayden! People probably just think they are close in age at this point…one minute apart to be exact.

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Speaking of Facebook memories, this photo of Travis and Hadley popped up in my memories from 2017. It’s the first dad/daughter dance they went to a few years ago. This is the first year in four years there’s no dance. They always have so much fun with friends…both the daughters and the dads! This memory brought a tear to my eye. It’s such a special occasion for them, and I know they both love that event!

Weekly Recap:

I actually blogged all five days this week! In case you missed a post:

Before I go, I wanted to mention that Monday is our second Not Just a Mom link up of 2021. I’m co-hosting with these ladies:

and the topics is: Healthy Habits and Staying Motivated. Feel free to check out our posts on Monday and link up with us if you are a blogger!

This weekend we are cheering for the Chiefs. I don’t want to talk too much about it because I don’t want to jinx anything 😂 but GO KC!

I hope you have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.

See you back here on Monday! Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Everyday Life

January: A Sentence a Day


So, I thought I’d try a new blogging idea thanks to Joanne of My Slices of Life Blog. After reading one of her posts a couple of months ago, I thought I’d try to do a “sentence a day” in January as a new blog idea for 2021. She actually shared her January “sentence a day” post earlier this week.

Let me just say that much like my “Day in the Life” posts, this post was harder than it may seem to keep up with on the daily! I ended up setting a daily alarm on my phone 😂 to remind myself to add to this post each day.

And…y’all, I have to give thanks to the compound-complex sentence structure, or this post wouldn’t be possible! #Englishteachernerd

So here we go….


(off to a great start the first day…no picture!) This is when I decided to put an alarm on my phone to remind me to take a photo each day.

We took down the Christmas tree, and I made a Target run; I came home with my new favorite tray for the coffee table.


Hadley wanted to use her gift card for a manicure, and she needed a ride; I got my first manicure in almost a year.


The 3rd was the last day of break (for me), and it was a dreary cozy day where I sat by the fire and enjoyed coffee out of my new mug.


The kids had a “back to school” party and the skating rink with their pod; I showed them that “mama’s still got it!”


We had a faculty meeting Zoom to kick off the semester.


I helped Hadley with her Girl Scout cookie sales pitch to share with family, friends, and Facebook!


The kids headed back to school on the 7th, and it was a pod day.


Hadley went to a birthday party at the movies and said, “Mom! I feel like I haven’t been to the movies in forever!” #shehasnt


Both of the kids were with friends, so Travis and I headed out for an impromptu date night where we sat on the enclosed patio.

(*This was my first time in a restaurant since the summer which had outdoor patio seating.)


Our church is still not back to in person service, so Hadley and I tried another church for the time being and have been enjoying their Sunday service.


I co-hosted the first Not Just a Mom post of 2021 with Adrienne, Dara, Joanne, Lauren, and Sarah.


Hadley got her second set (phase 2) braces on January 12th.


I spent the whole day at school, and it felt good to be productive and get caught up.


We celebrated my birthday with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants followed by cookie cake at home.


I had a hair appointment followed by Hayden’s basketball game. #ragingFridaynight!


I had lunch out with some friends followed by a spa day to celebrate a friend’s birthday.


The Chiefs won the divisional championship against the Cleveland Browns, and we were all excited! #evenHomer


We didn’t have school, so I spent the day relaxing at home; I didn’t even leave the house. (and clearly didn’t take a picture!)


The sun finally came out for the first time in four days and the snow started to melt.


I went to the eye doctor for the first time in two years; I have an astigmatism and she adjusted my prescription slightly.


Thursday, January 21st was a big day; I received my first dose of the vaccine.


While Hayden had baseball and basketball, Hadley requested take out Chinese food for dinner. #anotherragingFridaynight


This Saturday was filled with two basketball games for Hayden.


I felt down for the count post-vaccine, and the Chiefs won the conference championship and are headed to the Super Bowl!


I started a new Beach Body workout program….Muscle Burns Fat.


Hadley earned the You are Special red plate to celebrate straight A’s and earning a spot on the Principal’s List.


Then it was Hayden’s turn for the red plate, and we celebrated a good report card.


On the 28th, we woke up to 3 inches of snow which would have a been a snow day if we weren’t doing online school.

Part Husky Homer loves the snow…
Ready to play!
We made snow ice cream for our afternoon snack.


Again, Hayden had basketball and baseball on Friday night, so Hadley and I tried out a new restaurant!

The grilled salmon was delish!
She loved the lemon pie for dessert.


On the 30th, I picked out my new glasses at Warby Parker, and then we were all excited that our favorite Girl Scout cookies were delivered.

The new Toast-yay! cookie is delish.


I wrapped up the month putting out a few Valentine’s Day decorations including my favorite door hanger.

While posts like these are a lot of work, I do enjoy them because it forces me to focus on both the big and little pleasures of each day.

I know some people feel this way about the month of January…

but overall, it was a good month for me!

See you back here tomorrow for this week’s Friday Favorites post.

Posted in Gift Ideas, Holidays, Home Decor

Valentine’s Day Decorations & Gifts

Hello! Today, I’m sharing with you the Valentine’s Day decorations I put up over the weekend. To be honest, I use the same few things each year, so I guess this post probably isn’t too different than what I shared last year!

I’ve mentioned before that I typically buy the kids a few things for Valentine’s Day to make the day special, so I’m sharing those today too!


I love a garden flag, and change our front yard flag pretty often! I’ve had this cute heart flag for years. My favorite decoration of all is my heart door hanger that I purchased from Etsy years ago!

Inside, Hadley helped me hang this XOXO banner on the kitchen mantle. Last year, I found this wooden love “sign” at Home Goods or TJ Maxx, and it fits perfectly on the mantle between some of my favorite pictures.

I try to keep the little pink dish on our island tray filled with Hershey Kisses, but they don’t typically last too long! We seem to have the same problem with the conversation hearts in the other pink dish on the kitchen counter. The wooden heart sign was painted by one of my friends, and it’s the perfect touch for that corner of the kitchen.

I guess we all heart the Valentine’s Day candy at our house!

The white ceramic heart fits in perfectly on our front hall table…

and the XOXO on the coffee table rounds out my Valentine’s Day decor.


Gifts for both…

For gifts this year, both kids (and Travis!) will receive a box of chocolate hearts from me. I’m also getting cookies from a local baker/cookie decorator (@1smartcookieky on Instagram) that the kids can decorate on Valentine’s Day!

Also, I love to shop small when I can, and Etsy always has the cutest items! Years ago, I got the kids each a personalized pillowcase with their names. I honestly think I bought them eight(ish) years ago when they transitioned to their “big boy/girl” beds. They’ve used those pillowcases off and on ever since, so I figured it was the perfect time to purchased them news ones.

On Etsy, I found this one for Hadley and this one for Hayden.

I love the whimsy of the one I picked out for Hadley and the simplicity of the one I picked out for Hayden. There are many varieties and options for pillowcases in these shops, but I settled on the ones pictured below.

I always purchase a book for them. When they were younger, they were always Valentine’s Day/love themed books. As they have gotten older, I just choose one I think they will enjoy reading.

For Hayden, I know he’ll love The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling as he has been loving the Harry Potter series. Hadley just finished up the first book of The Vanderbeekers series, so I got her the second one in hopes that she will keep on reading!

I also always purchase a game to add to our collection, and I’ve heard that Bananagrams is fun. Hopefully, it will provide some family fun!

Gift for Hayden…

Hayden loves golf! He plays on the golf course. He plays in the yard. And…he plays in the house! I thought this automatic putting practice hole would be perfect for him. He will love that it returns the ball right back to you…once you make it in the hole! 😉

Gift for Hadley…

I’ve been following MelandMae on Instagram, and I’ve made a few purchases from their Etsy shop! I thought these leather circle stud earrings in blush would be perfect for Hadley because Sis loves a good monogram!

You may be wondering about Travis…😂. Well, I’ve mentioned before that we try to just go out to dinner at some point before or after Valentine’s Day. We always exchange cards as well which is all I need.

Also, Homer is a big fan of the holiday 😆 He will tolerate a scarf for a few minutes…and I bet he will get an extra treat or two on February 14th!

I shared a few more thoughts about Valentine’s Day in last week’s Monthly Musings link up. Check it out if you’d like!

We still have snow on the ground here! I hope everyone is staying safe and warm!

Take care,

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Amazon

February 2021: Prime Purchases

Hello! Well, we woke up to a few inches of snow yesterday that I wasn’t even expecting! Since we are doing virtual school, I don’t stay glued to the weather channel in hopes of a snow day like I do during a regular school year. That being said, both of my kids got on their class Zoom meetings at 8:00 only to have their teachers tell them to take a “two hour delay” to play in the snow, read a book, or stay on with the teacher for tutoring. My kids (and Homer!) played in a the snow for about an hour before resuming school at 10:00. I’d say the first day of February started off quite nicely with the 2021 version of a snow day.

…moving on to all things Amazon! I’m linking up with Tanya for her monthly Prime Purchases post!

Now, I’ve shared before that my version of a “dry January” includes not shopping on Amazon for the month.

Well, this month was a dry(ish) month. And…defintely drier than December! Also, a few purchases were for organizational purposes, so I feel like those shouldn’t be counted against me! They were for the sake of organization! 😉

Here are my Prime Purchases this month:

I am actually starting with a late December purchase. I tried something new this year that did work nicely and saved my sanity. It’s always difficult for me to give present ideas to many family members for Hayden and Hadley since their birthday is in November followed by Christmas. I have a list on my Amazon account of ideas that I add to throughout the year. This year, I shared that list with extended family for ideas for the kids. When someone made a purchase from the list, the item disappeared, so people weren’t buying multiples of gifts. It really did work out nicely.

Anyway, the kids were in desperate need of new suitcases. They’d had the same personalized ones since they were born. Seriously, I purchased these sweet little blue and pink suitcases before their first trip to KC when they were four months old.

Anyway, it was time for an upgrade. My mom bought the carry-on size one for each of them for Christmas. She had them sent to my house, and when I opened Hayden’s blue suitcase, it had a more purplish tint to it. So, I went ahead and sent it back, and bought the navy one for him (and my mom reimbursed me #yeahvenmo!). My mom bought Hadley the champagne colored one. They are awesome, fit so much, and glide while pushing or pulling them. I am very impressed. I actually need a medium sized suitcase, and will definitely see what Rockland has to offer.

My closet is a disaster…with a capital D! I ordered these organizers to to help with my t-shirt and sweater sitch!

I was wanting to find new neutral pillows for the couch and stumbled upon these farmhouse style buffalo plaid pillow covers! I ordered them in the cream and beige, size 18 x 18. They are so cute (and I love the little pom poms on them), and I already had pillow inserts to use when they arrived.

Homer gets on our couch…and we never really stop him. So, we typically have a blanket for him to sit on. I’d been using an old quilt, but wanted to get something more neutral (neutral is apparently a theme for my couch) 😉 and easily washable. I purchased a small and a large in the blanket. The small is for a chair he likes to hop in to look out the window, and the large is for the couch. We’ve washed both a few times, and they’ve been just what we needed to try to keep the Homer hair at bay.

Homer approves of both the pillows and the blanket 😉

So, I’ve been using our new Air Fryer a bit, and I’ve seen people suggest using liners for easier clean up. I found these when I searched for Air Fryer liners. They work great, and I’m glad I read the instructions and you only put them in the Air Fryer after it’s finished preheating!

Well, you had to know that I wouldn’t make it the entire month without ordering one clothing item! This shirt arrived over the weekend, and I’ve already worn it twice! It’s perfect to put over my workout tank before and after my workout. I’ve worn it with leggings and skinny jeans. It’s lightweight t-shirt material…not a sweater! It will also be perfect for the spring, and I love the pockets. It comes in a variety of colors, but I got it in this blue.

Here it is on me:

So those are my purchases this month. The next link up is February 2nd.

What have you been Priming lately? Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts!

I hope your week is off to a great start!

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals: Taco Soup

Hello! and happy F E B R U A R Y 1st?! Where in the world did January go?

Well, according to WordPress, this is my 300th blog post! I’m so happy to be sharing one of my favorite recipes with you to mark the occasion.

We eat some form of Mexican food every week for dinner (never underestimate the power of a good Taco Tuesday!), and of course, I love soups in the fall and the winter, so Taco Soup is the perfect answer to a cold and dreary day!

I’ve had this recipe for years, and I think my dad is who shared it with me. It’s on heavy dinner rotation during fall and winter months.

Here it is:


  • 1 1/2 lb beef
  • onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans
  • 1 can (15 oz) corn, undrained
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1-2 cups water (I typically use 2 cups)
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning mix
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese


  • In soup pot, cook beef and onion until beef is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease.
  • Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, tomato sauce, taco seasoning, and water.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with shredded Cheddar cheese.
  • Enjoy!
We usually get two nights of dinner out of this!

Last night, we had Shay’s Creamy Tomato Chicken Pasta, and it hit the spot on a rainy Sunday!

We are having plenty of hearty comfort meals this week as it appears we may not see the sunshine for a few days!

I hope you had a great weekend, and have an great week as well!

Posted in Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Hello! Today, I’m linking up with Patty and Holly for their Monthly Musings series.

This month’s topic is Valentines/Love.

Let me just say that I like Valentine’s Day, but it’s certainly not a holiday that I feel deserves the hype that it gets. It’s a commercialized holiday, and I feel that you should show the ones you love your love all 365 days of the year.

Of course, I’ve been blessed to have had the same Valentine for almost 20 years, but I guess I didn’t start making a big deal about V Day until I had kids. Now, it’s an extra day where I focus on them, make them a good breakfast, and buy them a few gifts.

Showing Love/Love Language:

I think I show my love by writing notes. I also love receiving notes, so I guess I assume others like them too. I also love cooking and baking for others to show my love as well.

Now, as far as the five love languages go, I think my language must be “Acts of Service,” because I love nothing more than someone else unloading the dishwasher or making the bed. 😂

Valentine’s Day Traditions:

As far as traditions are concerned, Travis and I usually find a time sometime around Valentine’s Day to go out to dinner. That’s typically our gift to one another because we often don’t have time to go out when it’s just the two of us.

Since I love receiving cards, that’s a part of the deal too. A card is all I need.

Once the kids were old enough to understand Valentine’s Day, I started making them a nice breakfast on February 14th and buying them a few things, so that’s one of our traditions.

Ever since the kids were little, I’ve ordered Valentine’s Day cards from Shutterfly to send to family.

This post reminds me that I need to order our 2021 card!

Here’s last year’s card:



Valentine’s Day Memory:

I don’t have any memories that stick out to me. I do remember loving Valentine’s Day parties in elementary school. It was always fun to make our Valentine’s Day card boxes, give cards to classmates, and enjoy tons of candy and cupcakes!

The kids love their Valentine’s Day parties as well. I know some of the excitement wanes as they get into the upper elementary grades, but I still hate that they are missing out on their last Valentine’s Day party of elementary school.

For laughs, here are the boxes they made last year:

Hadley loves details, and Hayden takes a simpler approach!

Through the years, Travis has upped his card game, and always writes my name in bubble letters. 😆

Valentine’s Day Treat:

The past few years, I’ve ordered cookies from local small businesses for the kids and Travis to share.

Valentine’s Day Fashion:

Well, since they were little, I’ve had Hayden and Hadley wear some kind of heart or red/white clothing for their Valentine’s Day parties.

Here are a couple pics from years past!




I’ve already shared this in pervious posts, but Hadley loves her new Valentine’s Day sweatshirt that I got her this year from MelandMae on Etsy.

Valentine’s Day: Love, Like, or Hard Pass?

I like Valentine’s Day. I enjoy creating a special day for the kids and for Travis.

Romantic Song:

Someone Like You was our wedding song, and it holds a special place in my heart.

Dine out, Carry out or Cook?

Like I said before, Travis and I usually go out to dinner around Valentine’s Day.

Last year, Valentine’s Day was on a Friday, so I actually made dinner at home for everyone. I used a few of our house decorations to make a cute centerpiece, and I ordered paper hearts, plates, napkins, and straws from Amazon.

I also ordered the cardstock hearts, and I wrote each person’s name on one as a place card.

**I kept the extra plates, napkins, straws, hearts, and place cards in a tub, so I can use them again this year.

Pink or Red?

I think I’m more of a pink girl…or rose gold!

Flowers or Chocolate?

Both?! haha I do love flowers and the little boxes of chocolate are just perfect to satisfy my sweet tooth!

So, those are my thoughts on Valentine’s Day! I’m glad it falls on a weekend again this year. Maybe we’ll have a special Valentine’s Day brunch!!

Here are the topics Patty and Holly have thought of for Monthly Musings 2021.

Weekly Recap:

This has been a doozy of a week. I’ve been pretty tired and busy with school and the kids’ activities. So, I think I’m going to take tomorrow off from blogging.

Here are my posts from this week in case you missed one:

Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Thanks so much for reading.