Posted in Gift Ideas, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom

Hello! Happy Monday. How was your weekend? We had a pretty good one with a bit of downtime, but also a few activities like Hayden’s cross country meet and basketball game as well as the UK football game.

I’m one of the weird ones who likes to “fall back” an hour. Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy when we “spring forward,” but during the fall months, I like to embrace the early darkness and enjoy time at home.

Today, I’m linking up with some of my favorite bloggers for our Not Just a Mom series.

Today’s topic is: favorite small shops

I’ve written a few posts about my favorite Etsy purchases. When I think about shopping small, I immediately think of Etsy. Through the years, I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed with a single purchase from Etsy.

Of course, I try to support local small businesses too. If you are in the Lexington area, some of my favorites are: The Front Porch, Peggy’s, Story, Queen Bee, and Peacocks and Pearls.

Etsy Shops:

Here are a few of my favorite Etsy shops:


I ordered this bag from SprinkledWithPink as an end of the year teacher gift last year, and it was so cute.

Hadley’s teacher told me she took it to the beach with her, and I know it’s perfect for toting books as well.

They have so many cute items that can be personalized like bags, pouches, phone cases and more.


I’ve bought these flower pots from RiLeeMDesigns a few times, both for myself, and as gifts.

The handpainted detail is amazing, and so cute.

As a gift, I’ve potted some flowers for an extra added touch.

Also, she has so many cute door hangers!


SummerDuffyDesign has so many cute gift options, but this pencil sign/door hanger was the perfect graduation gift for our sitter as she started her new teaching career!

Other really cute items in the shop include key chains, ornaments and bookmarks!


I’ve purchased sweatshirts from SweetMommaBlair a few times, and they are cute and great quality.

Go Chiefs

Check out the Etsy shop especially if you are in Missouri. Tons of KC and St. L options!

Go Tigers


Hadley loves a cute sweatshirt as much as I do. This one from MelandMae is so cute, and it’s one she wears often!

I also got Hadley this “Merry and Bright” one that she wore last holiday season.


These books from AveandAsheDesigns are one of my favorite pieces of home decor.

I have “Hayden and Hadley” ones, and I’ve gifted these to my mom with the grandkids names.

According to Etsy, it looks like this shop might be taking a little break? I found these similar personalized books from a different Etsy shop.

That Inspired Chick:

ThatInspiredChick has so many awesome gift options. From wood signs to tumblers to mugs to earrings, and so much more… You won’t be disappointed with the cuteness and the quality.

Many of the items above are linked in these posts, but there are even more gift items in these as well:

What are your favorite small shops?

Next month, our topic is: favorite holiday movies

Make sure to check out the other posts, and link up if you can!

Thanks so much for reading,

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Posted in Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Busy Nights

Hello and Happy Monday! I know most people either love Mondays or hate them. I fall somewhere in between, but today I’m loving this Monday. Even though fall break is now over, this is the first Monday in almost three weeks that all of my family is going to school or work after being sick and/or in quarantine. Travis went back to work last Monday, Hayden went back to school last Tuesday, and now it’s Hadley’s turn to head back to school. Hallelujah!

Today is our Not Just a Mom link up, and I’m co-hosting with these lovely ladies:

Our topic this month is: how we handle busy nights.

Well, I know this is shocking, but I always have a plan! 😂

Every Sunday, I write our weekly activities and dinner plans on our fridge calendar. I always try to use my slow cooker or have leftovers on busy nights, so I plan those meals accordingly.

Also, if we are double booked with the kids, I make sure Travis can pick up or take one of the kids while I handle the other one’s activities. Also, I have a great group of mom friends, and if we can carpool, we do.

If our evening is so busy that we don’t have time to come home after school or between activities, I pack a few snacks for the kids to grab if needed. I try to make those options as healthy as possible: granola bar, Chomps, cuties, variety pack of chips, etc. That way they eat something somewhat healthy to hold them over until dinner.

Also, if needed, I make sure the kids have practice clothes laid out (or packed) in the morning, so we can use our time as efficiently as possible after school.

Since the kids are in middle school now, they have to manage their time wisely with completing homework on busy nights. On Sunday, we try to look at their evenings and deadlines for assignments, so they know on less busy nights, they may need to complete more work to make up for more hectic evenings when they may have less time to complete schoolwork.

…and then…

What about you? How do you handle busy nights? I will take any tips I can get!

Next month’s topic is: favorite small shops.

Make sure check out everyone’s posts. I hope you have a great week!

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Posted in Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Morning Routine

Hello and Happy Monday! Shew…we had a busy weekend, but so fun. I’ll share more later in the week, but Friday night Hayden’s baseball team had their end of the season party (even though the season isn’t over) Then, on Saturday, we stopped by a friend’s football game before heading to Hayden’s cross country meet. Then, we went to the UK/MU football game. My Tigers lost, but it was a good one. Sunday was spent at the baseball field and then with Hadley’s Girl Scout troop! Literally, we had zero downtime, and I’m feeling it!

Today, I’m co-hosting the Not Just a Mom link up with these awesome bloggers:

This month’s topic is: Morning Routine.

My morning routine is pretty simple: coffee and quiet time with an occasional workout.

I wake up at 6:10 if I’m not doing a morning workout. Typically, on Tuesday and Friday mornings, I set my alarm for 5:40 and go to my basement for a Beachbody workout. Otherwise, I sleep in a little later, pour myself a cup of coffee, watch the news and read my favorite blogs.

I shower at night, but in the morning, I make sure to wash my face, and apply daily moisturizer. I eat a light breakfast, brush my teeth, and then do makeup and hair.

I’ve seen a post on Instagram about the order people do those morning tasks. I do my makeup, then I do my hair, and then I get dressed. I’ve always done it that way!

I wake the kids around 7:15, and get them a quick breakfast before I go and get dressed.

Travis or I always make the bed. I’ve shared that that’s a non-negotiable chore in our house for us and the kids. Everyone has to to make the bed.

Unfortunately, my routine Monday-Friday is typically rushing to pack a lunch and fussing at my kids to move faster while getting ready 😉

I’m typically out the door by 7:45 before arriving at school around 8:00.

So, that’s my morning routine. I feel like I’m forgetting something. 😆

Next month’s topic is how we handle busy nights. My answer will probably be a plan and some prayers! 😂

I hope you have a great Monday. Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

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Posted in Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Daily Must Haves

Hello! How was your weekend? I definitely had a great one. I joined Travis for a work trip in California, and we had a great time. We were in one of our favorite places, Del Mar. We spent time at the beach, ate amazing food, and had a couple of fun events for his work with a nice dinner on Friday night and enjoyed the track on Saturday.

I’m going to keep today’s post pretty short and sweet because I can barely keep my eyes open as I type this, and also need to prep for back to school this week.

I’m co-hosting the monthly Not Just a Mom linkup with these lovely ladies:

This month’s topic is: Daily Must Haves…

Daily Must Haves:

Coffee. Coffee is definitely a daily must have for me. I can’t start my day without one cup…or three!

Quiet time. I cherish my quiet time in the morning where I read my favorite blogs, scroll Instagram, answer emails and more.

A plan. 🤣I need to know what to expect for the day. From school, to kids’ activities to errands and dinner, I feel better knowing how the day will unfold.

Exercise. Exercise is definitely a daily must have for me as well. Sometimes it’s just going for a walk, but I try to work out at least four days a week. To be honest, exercise has fallen to the wayside the past few weeks, and with school starting back, it may continue to do so. I am going to try to work out at least twice this week, three times next week, and continue to build it back into my daily routine. I can definitely tell a difference in my mood when I don’t work out.

Family dinner. Even though it doesn’t happen every night, I prefer that it does. Sometimes, that means we eat really early or a little later, but if I can figure it out to have dinner ready for all of us before or after practices, I really try to do so.

Reading. Whether it’s the blogs I read daily or a book, I love to read. Sometimes I read while waiting to pick up one of the kids from practice, sometimes it’s just a few pages at night before bed, or other times, like on vacation, I get to read for hours and hours!

So…those are some of my daily must haves! What are some of yours?

Next month’s topic is: morning routine.

I wanted to say thanks to everyone who commented on my Blogiversary post last week! I really appreciate it, and will hopefully announce the winner in tomorrow’s post. Speaking of which, I have a few posts planned this week, and I’m going to try to get them done, but since I start back to school today and the kids start on Wednesday, I will just have to see where the week takes me!

I hope you have a great one. Don’t forget to check out the others’ posts from the link up.

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Posted in Home Updates, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom

Hello! How was your weekend? Ours was filled with a few errands, baseball and basketball on Saturday (baseball was rained out on Sunday), some family time and more!

It’s already the second Monday of the month (sigh!), so I’m co-hosting with these ladies for our Not Just a Mom series.

This month’s topic is Home Tour.

Well, I’ve written blog posts sharing our home improvements, so I will link back to those during this post. I did a Transformation Tuesday series during the pandemic sharing our house updates through the years.They include before and after photos of our fixer upper home that we purchased all most seven years ago. Wow! That’s hard to believe.

I shared in the first post of that series that I didn’t even want to look at our house because I knew it needed so much work. Travis convinced me to look, and we stopped by the house a few times before making an offer (at the same time that another offer was being made too!) The inside of the house we could update. We couldn’t beat the location, the yard, the schools, and more.

So here we go….

Living Room:

I love our living room and how bright it is. The only thing I wish is that we could change up the seating configuration. All the main seating is up against the wall with the windows. There were hardwood floors under the carpet in the living and office (dining) room. They were untreated which actually worked well for us when we tackled this and the kitchen area.

I’ve been thinking about adding “shiplap” to the walls on either side of the fireplace and add a mirror above the chest. That’s on our project “to do” list.


So, our office is what would be the formal dining room. Our first couple of years here, we did have formal dining room furniture that we had in our previous home. We then decided to make this space more functional for us and brought up the desk that was in the basement, ordered this cute cabinet, and moved these chairs in from the kitchen for additional living room seating when needed.


The kitchen is one of my favorite parts of our home. When we moved in, there was carpet in the kitchen! A few quick fixes we did pretty immediately included, pulling up the carpet, laying hardwood and then staining the kitchen, living room/office, and hall floors all the same finish. Travis painted the lower paneling white and eventually painted the fire place. We had the island installed within the first month of living here. We had the cabinets (they are great quality…just not our color preference) painted after living here about six months.

Since I wrote the kitchen post, we have made a few more dream list item updates with a gas stove and updated (as close to farm house style as I could get) sink. Here’s that post and the kitchen post:

Sun room:

The sun room was a perplexing space for some time. Travis painted the wall paneling gray almost immediately, and then we also changed out the flooring within the first six months of living here. Until April of 2020, we didn’t really use this room much, and it housed our leftover furniture. Then, the pandemic motivated us to figure out this space. We purchased some new furniture, brought up the tv cabinet form the basement that I had painted, and made this area more inviting. We now spend lots of time in here!

**Sun room part 2 is at the end of the Life Lately post.

Master Bedroom:

Our master was not a space I put forth a lot of effort. I always had bedding that I loved and wanted to feel cozy, but we hadn’t done much else to our room. Randomly, in December 2019, I had the idea to move our bed how it is in this photo (it used to on the wall where the pictures are). This created more space when you walk into the room which I immediately loved.

In April/May 2020, we purchased new bedding, Travis and Hadley painted the walls, we hung a little gallery wall, and Travis and I put up Wall Pops wall paper on the wall where our tv is located. (You can see that in the master bedroom post). Now, this room is the definitely more cozy. I do wish our room was bigger (as well as my closet), but the room definitely is more functional now and a space I enjoy.

Master Bathroom:

Like our bedroom, the master bathroom is also small. I can’t believe we waited as long as we did to update it, but the finished product was definitely worth the wait.

Kids’ Rooms:

The kids’ rooms both show their personality. We kept them as is for about nine months before painting them and adding some personal touches in the summer of 2015. Like the master, I do wish their rooms were bigger, and, of course, I wish they were tidier, but I kind of let them do what they want with their rooms, and ask them to pick up every couple of days. Hadley is asking for a bit of a refresh, but we just haven’t had time this summer. I can understand wanting a bit more of a “sophisticated” middle school look ;), but I do think her room has stayed pretty age appropriate which was my hope when making color choices a few years ago.

Hayden’s room is still pretty much the same, but he now has a desk in his room.


The basement is still a space that is a work in progress. Like most basements, it’s not our most put together part of the home, but we have tried to make it inviting and have updated it with new floors, Travis (and I) painted the wood paneling and we’ve made color choices that tie into the rest of the house to at least make things as cohesive as possible.

Travis also painted these bookshelves white, added the wooden planks and mounted the tv. This was definitely a labor of love, but a cheap update with lots of bang for your buck!

I don’t think I’ve shared this but almost two months ago, our master shower leaked down into the basement bathroom and seeped on to the basement floors. So, our basement and basement floors currently look like a disaster area! I think the new floors will finally arrive this week, and then hopefully we can get the basement put back together.

Basement Bathroom:

The basement bathroom was my very first Transformation Tuesday post! It’s still one of my favorite before and afters. Travis now uses this bathroom, and the closet in the basement is where he keeps his clothes.

Thankfully, with the master shower leak, this area was spared except for a few wet walls (The insurance company brought out fans) and a hole in the ceiling to repair the pipe. That hole is finally getting fixed this week, but thankfully, this bathroom is still in great condition!

We still have a few more updates both major and minor. The hall bath still needs updated and the basement needs to be put back together. Then, we are doing little things like plantation shutters in the kids’ room, a shade for the front door and basement windows, and probably making a few tweaks in the kids’ rooms to prep for middle school.

So that’s a look at our home sweet home! I love looking at houses, so I can wait to see what others share! House Hunters and Fixer Upper (and similar shows) are my favorites to watch. House Hunters is permission to be nosy, and I love a good before and after on remodeling shows!

Next month’s topic is Daily Must Haves. The first thing that comes to mind is coffee! 😆

Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts, and I hope you have a great week!

Thanks for stopping by.

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Posted in Meals and Recipes, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Quick Family Dinners

Hello! How was your weekend? We had a great one with my dad visiting for few days, Hayden’s baseball tournament, some pool time, and an early Father’s Day (and my brother’s birthday) celebration.

Today, I’m co-hosting with these ladies for our Not Just a Mom series.

This month’s topic is Quick Family Dinners.

I try to meal prep and make my grocery list for pick up most weekends. I like to have a plan for the week ahead. With the kids being pretty busy most evenings, almost anything I make is quick.

I turn to one of my favorite cookbooks a lot for meals all year long:

Some of my favorite recipes from Shay’s Simmers cookbook that I turn to quite often are:

The best “cooking hack” is putting chicken in the slow cooker, cover it with water, and then shred when it’s finished cooking to use for meals.

Also, when I thought of this topic, I immediately thought about sharing a few favorites from each season. Here are some pretty quick recipes my family enjoys!


Of course, the winter months are perfect for soups and chilis!

Chicken Chili


In the spring, we start eating lighter meals.

  • Salmon with roasted Brussel Sprouts or broccoli is a family fave! (I love that our Kroger has salmon that can be baked in the foil packs with spices and herbs that can be added in. The salmon is always flavorful, and the clean up is easy.)
  • Of course, every March I make Corned beef and cabbage & Irish Soda Bread.
Soda bread


During the summer months, we grill out, and I typically make one of these side dishes, during the summer months. Fresh fruit is also an easy side dish when the weather is warm. Watermelon is definitely a summer fave!

I found this recipe on Pinterest for a Sushi Roll Bowl a few years ago. I tweaked the recipe a bit, but it’s such a healthy and refreshing meal in the summer.


I start making hearty meals / comfort food once the weather cools down in the fall.

One recipe I always look forward to in the fall is Pumpkin Sausage Penne Pasta. I’ve had this recipe for years, and found it in a Kroger coupon pack. It’s so good.

Pumpkin Pasta

I also make Turkey Rice soup with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

Turkey Rice Soup

Other Ideas:

Other easy dinner ideas all year long include tacos, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and pork loin with a veggie or Trader Joe’s side. Like the salmon, I love the Smithfield pork that is cooked in the bag. It’s such an easy “go to” although I always forget that it takes about 45 minutes in the oven, but the clean up is easy!

Favorite Trader Joe’s Sides:

Y’all know I’m a faithful Trader Joe’s customer. While I love most everything from TJ’s, their side dishes have been my best “mom cooking hack” through the years. They have so many great options, and they are all so delicious.

Here are some of my faves: {all found in the frozen section}

  • Mexican Street Corn
  • Mushroom Risotto
  • Gnocchi
Favorite TJ sides

I love to cook, and I would say that most everything I make is a pretty quick and easy dinner! Also, I’m a big fan of leftovers, so if a recipe takes an extra bit of time to make, I always think it’s worth it for leftovers the next day!

Next month’s topic is Home Tour! I can’t wait to see a sneak peek of everyone’s homes!

Thanks so much for reading, and make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too! I hope you have a great week.

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Posted in Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Concerts

Hello! How was your weekend? We had a great one!

Friday night, the kids played with friends until late evening, and otherwise, we just hung out at home.

Saturday’s weather was gorgeous, so I took a walk before running to the grocery store and going to Hayden’s baseball game. Saturday night, we had dinner as a family to celebrate our niece’s college graduation.

Yesterday, was, of course, Mother’s Day. We all slept in and went to church. I did get my wish…no cooking for me yesterday! We went out for a late lunch, and then I took a nap! I read my book and watched a couple of shows for the rest of the afternoon.

Mother’s Day photo with my two faves:

Brunch was delish…

Now, on to today’s post…

It’s the second Monday of the month, so I’m co-hosting our Not Just a Mom link up with these ladies:

Our topic for today is concerts you’ve been to or what to go to.

Well, don’t hate me, but I’m not much of a concert person. Music is probably the only thing Travis and I really differ in. He’d love to go to more concerts and really enjoys music. Music is just not something that I’m drawn to. When I workout or go for a walk, I listen to a podcast. When I’m in the car, I’m usually on the same channel or two. (Also, let me let you in on a little secret: sometimes, when I’m alone in the car, I don’t even turn on the music. I. like. silence. haha!) You’ll never hear me say, “That’s my jam!” #dopeoplestillsaythat ? 😉 When I get in my car after Travis has driven it, the radio is usually blasting!

Anyway, I have been to some concerts through the years, and I always have a good time…and wonder why I don’t make concert going more of a priority.

Here are some concerts through the years…

The teen years…

The very first concert I remember going to was a Billy Joel concert. Actually, it was a rescheduled Billy Joel concert, because the original scheduled date was 1994 when his wife at the time, Christie Brinkley, was in the helicopter crash. I think we ended up seeing him in concert almost an entire year later.

I remember going to see Chicago in concert at an outdoor ampitheater with my mom and her friend when I was in early high school.

I went to a Ricky Martin concert with friends freshman or sophomore year of college.

I never made it to a NKOTB concert, but my fifteen-year-old self always wished that would have happened! I guess when NKOTB reunited a few years ago, even my “in my thirties” year-old self would have loved that too.

First Concert with Travis:

Travis and I went to a David Gray concert in St. Louis in 2002 or 2003. That was the first concert we ever went to together. I still love David Gray. Travis is great about introducing me to various music artists.

Country Music:

The genre I listen to the most is probably country, and have been to a few concerts through the years.

I think the first concert I ever saw with Travis in Lexington was Rascal Flatts. It was many years ago…maybe 2007? Blake Shelton was up and coming, and opened for them.

Travis and I have seen Eric Church twice in concert. The first time was when he was fairly new on the scene. Travis took me to Nashville for my birthday 2014 and surprised me by taking me to the Ryman for a show that had many artists playing a few songs each. Eric Church was one of them and played five or six songs.Then, we saw Church again when he was more established when he came to Rupp in 2015.

2015 with the Chief

We went with friends to see Chris Stapleton at River Bend in Cincinnati a couple of years ago. We all really enjoyed his music, so much so, that the same group of us purchased tickets for his concert in Lexington for last spring. It was then postponed to last month…and now is postponed until next year. I sure hope we can see him again in concert


What are the best concerts you’ve been to? I obviously need to get out more and add some concerts to my list! Hopefully in the next year, the music scene will get back to normal!

Next month, our topic is: Quick Family Dinners. We hope you’ll join us!

Well, I can’t believe it, but this is our last full week of school. Of course, it’s a busy time of the year, so I’m over here just hanging on…but also enjoying this time as well.

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Not Just a Mom: Favorite Family Memories

Hello and Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

Friday’s weather was lovely, and we met some friends out for dinner. Saturday was such a rainy day! Torrential downpour pushed Hayden’s 3:30 game to 7:30. Sigh…yet another 7:30 game, that didn’t start until 8:00. and wasn’t over until after 10:00! That being said, at least we knew it was delayed while at home rather than start a game to have it rained out/delayed while at the ball park.

Sunday was gloomy and cool, so I made Shay’s Chicken Noodle Soup in the slow cooker, we changed all the sheets in the house, recovered from a late night, and prepped for the upcoming week.

Today, is our monthly Not Just a Mom link up! It’s so much fun co-hosting with these ladies:

Today’s topic is favorite family memories. With this topic, I immediately thought of memories as a kid, but also thought of some favorite memories as a family that I hope my kids always remember.

Favorite Family Memories as a Kid:

We often had Sunday family dinners at my grandparents’ house (my dad’s parents), and I loved running around in my grandma’s backyard, playing on the swing set, seeing cousins, and so much more. We also spent many 4th of July’s there grilling out and watching fireworks.

Another favorite childhood memory was sledding in our front yard. Our house was on top of a big hill which was perfect for sledding. We definitely got snowy weather every winter in Missouri. We didn’t live on a busy street, but my mom or dad would stand across the street to tell us it was safe to sled because once we got going, it was hard to stop! We usually went right into our neighbor’s front yard before stopping!

80’s sledding photo with my brother, my mom, and our dog Maggie

The Plaza lights are a huge Kansas City attraction in the winter months. They are always lit on Thanksgiving evening and stay up until after Christmas. As a kid, we’d always drive through the Plaza to look at the lights and would then often stop at Winsteads for a burger and a shake!

We’ve taken my kids a few times when we visit KC for Thanksgiving. I hope this will be a favorite memory for them just like it was for me.

In my middle and high school years, we’d drive to see the “Magic tree” and drive through “Christmas in the Park” lights.

Here we are this year as a family visiting the Magic Tree that I did too so many years ago.

As a kid, we often visit the Lake of the Ozarks with my mom’s parents. They had a house boat for most of my childhood. We’d fish, swim, play Solitaire (cards!) on the deck of the house boat, walk to the store by the dock to get a Tootsie pop, and so many other fun memories. I remember what a big deal it was to take a bath at the lake…in the lake. My grandpa was so funny and we’d lather up and jump in the lake. He’d say we were clean enough doing it that way!

the lake life as kids

Also, back home in KC, my grandparents belonged to a country club. My brother and I loved going to the pool and getting an ice cream bar when we were finished swmming.

Other favorite family childhood memories included going to World of Fun and Oceans of Fun (KC attractions) with my cousins as well as going on vacations to California, Colorado, Minnesota, Maine and other places.

I definitely had a great childhood filled with wonderful memories which is why I guess I feel like it’s so important to provide opportunities and traditions to create memories for my kids.

Favorite Memories with my Family:

I’ve shared a couple of posts on traditions that certainly serve as great reminders of some of the fun things we do as a family that have provided great memories.

I hope one of my kids’ favorite memories growing up will be that I make them snowman pancakes on our first snow day off of school!

One of my favorite memories to look back on is that we’ve gone to Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park every year that I’ve lived here since 2004. We only missed December of 2009 when the kids were less than a month old, and we were too tired to think about traditions. haha

Baking has provided some fun family memories through the years. I always bake with the kids around Christmastime.

They’ve also learned some of the family favorites by baking cookies with my mom and Gma.

Hadley loves to bake and will bake on her own from time to time!

The kids have gone to Keeneland a few times with Travis which as been so fun for them and have provided great memories for them as kids.

October 2017
ready to go to the races in April 2018

I’d say going to the pumpkin patch is one of my favorite family traditions through the years. I hope the kids feel that it’s a favorite as well.


Family vacations have also provided us with so many wonderful family memories. We love going somewhere different for Spring Break, we usually go to Asheville for Fall Break, and we typically head to the beach for summer vacation. I hope the kids appreciate that we’ve made a point of taking them to new places, but we also love the tradition of a beach vacation as well.

The Biltmore
Gaylord Opryland for Spring Break 2021
Isle of Palm, SC 2013
Hilton Head, SC 2018
Siesta Key June 2020
Siesta Key June 2020
Siesta Key June 2020
Grand Canyon 2018
San Diego 2018
San Diego 2018

As I completed this post, I realized that while some of my favorite memories are of family vacations or bigger events and holidays, some of the smaller memories are what have stuck out to me as favorites. What are some of your favorite family memories?

Next month’s topic is all about Concerts!

I hope your week is off to a great start. Thanks so much for reading!

Take care,

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Not Just a Mom: Favorite Phone Apps

Hello! How was your weekend? My mom has been visiting us, the weather was beautiful out, and we only had a few activities. Overall, it was a good one, and now we tackle the first full week back at school for in person learning!

Believe it or not, it’s the second Monday of the month, so I’m co-hosting our fun Not Just a Mom link up with these lovely ladies:

Today’s topic is: Favorite Phone Apps.

I feel like there are two types of people…those who have their apps organized in folders and those who don’t organize them. Which one do you think I am? haha

Folders, of course!

(*Also, yes–the 153 unread emails are of concern to me as well! Some of them are so far back in time that I can’t even scroll to delete them!)

Most Often Used Apps:

These are the apps I tend to use the most often:

~Notes: I have all kinds of notes on my phone: to do lists, gift ideas, books I’ve read and more. I’d be lost without the Notes app.

~WordPress: Of course, this app is so helpful in uploading photos for my posts, and then I type the content on my computer.

~Podcasts: I try to listen to Podcasts when I’m working out or working a little in my classroom.

~Amazon: Amazon…always for the win! They changed the icon recently!

~Venmo: Venmo comes in so handy for paying the sitters or paying friends when needed.

~Instagram: Instagram is definitely my favorite form of social media.

~Kroger: I use the Kroger app every week to place my Click List order. This past month, I’ve tried really hard to place my order on Friday for Saturday pickup. I’ve pretty much always scheduled Sunday pick ups, and this month it’s been so nice to get this task completed leaving more time on Sunday to prep for the week

Apps I Love:

These are some apps I love to use as well:

~Pic Collage: I love using Pic Collage to create collages of photos to add to my blog posts. The app has so many cute backgrounds to choose from, and the photos can be organized in a variety of ways.

~Libby Library: The Libby app makes it easy for me to check out library books for my Kindle.

~My Fitness Pal: I use My Fitness Pal to log my meals each day and count my macros.

~Beach Body On Demand: I’ve only started using this app in November when I started subscribing to Beach Body. The app is perfect for searching for workout programs and previewing workouts. I’ve actually done workouts using the app as opposed to casting them to my television when our internet has been glitchy. There’s definitely no excuse to miss a workout when I can use this app on my phone as a back up plan.

~Water Reminder: I’ve been using this app pretty much daily to track my water. Some days I still fall short of my water intake goal, but this app provides a good visual for me.

~Shutterfly: I upload all my photos from my phone using the Shutterfly app. I’ve been using this app since the kids were born in 2009. I have so many folders and albums with all of my pictures.

~Chick-fil-A: Nothing like a pandemic to force you to order food from your phone! I’m still pretty new to the CFA app, but I love that it saves my recent orders and my points accumulate for an occasional free brownie!

~Shop: The Shop app is a pretty new find for me as well. It’s so nice to have all my online purchases in one spot, and tracking packages is so easy this way. Again, I don’t have to search or scroll to find emails for purchases. All my purchases are in one place.

~Light Room: I’ve used the Light Room app for a couple of years to add filters to some of my photos. I’m not a professional photographer, so this app is so nice to help lighten photos.

One More App:

I’m also getting the hang of using the Goodreads app. I’ve had it for a while, but just this year I’ve decided to put book ideas on it. That being said, I added a ton of books from my “to read” book list that used to be on my phone and now I’ve realized I should probably organized those books onto shelves. So, I will probably do that at some point and have mystery books, auto/bio, beach reads, etc. all organized on one shelf.

What are some of your favorite apps?

Next month’s topic is: Favorite Family Memories. We’d love to have you join us for that link up!

Thanks so much for reading. Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts on their favorite apps! I hope you have a great week!

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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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