A Day In the Life

Regular days.

We have so many of them. Just the normal stuff. The errands and chores. Meals and clean up. Exercise and to do lists. I’d venture to say that it’s what makes up 95% of my life. Often I find myself only wanting to highlight the fun stuff … the projects and outings, the sweet smiles and results of production mode. Because, it’s fun and dishes and carpools aren’t. Amiright?

Not today though, today I thought I would share a regular ol’ peek at our normal days. 

a day in the life of that mama gretchenI attempted to take a photo an hour for a whole day, but as it turns out I’m not that organized. Either that or I have a very poor memory. I suppose I’ll break down our regular day by shifts for a little explanation. Because shifts is how I tend to categorize my days.

Morning …

  • Here we’ve got my favorite quiche of all time. I shared the recipe on Instagram. I promise, it’s a winner. I love hearty breakfasts and aim for eggs or oatmeal most mornings.
  • A walk or run with the double BOB. I love babywearing, really, I do, but my double BOB? I think it’s my #1 baby purchase when it comes to two children. We use it every day.
  • Almost four year olds are my favorite people. The top right photo captures this sentiment perfectly.
  • Two year olds on the other hand … especially mine, give me a run for my money. While I was showering post-breakfast and walk, Max proceeded to throw all my beautifully rolled towels out of the basket and plop himself inside whilst looking at me and saying “what ya gonna do about it?”

Afternoon …

  • By noon I’m warming up lunch while checking email and organizing my to do list. Jemma and Max usually play with their favorite princesses, the train table or these blocks. Now that we’re back in school mode we have to keep a pretty tight schedule so we’re awake from nap in time for school pick up.
  • After lunch … lights out for all! I love and cherish my afternoon naps. (And yes, I had to crack open the black out curtains to snap a photo of snoozin’ Max). Black out curtains + Serenity in our diffuser = a quick and peaceful transition to sleep.
  • After nap we rush to the high school to pick up our international students – no photo there – too busy!
  • Sometimes I’ll squeeze in a quick errand after school because the girls can stay in the car and sing Frozen with Jemma and Max thus making my errands go much quicker. Once we’re home the littles snuggle in with Netflix while I fix dinner. Do you think they’ll swap afternoon “responsibilities” with me someday?

Evening …

  • I become quasi presentable (which obviously warrants a mama selfie) before jetting off with Jem to swim class. Max and Dom revel in guy time :)
  • Then I sit in peace for 30 whole minutes near the pool which feels like sauna while Jem fulfills her dream of being mermaid.
  • This particular evening, Dominic manned the bedtime routine and I ran errands ALONE. See my freak out face? This DOES NOT happen everyday, but today it did sooooooo … hello Target and Old Navy! I came home just in time to kiss Jem goodnight and nurse Max to sleep. 

Second Evening/Post Bedtime …

  • I’ve been mixing up essential oil blends for easier application. Wake Up + Focus is a new favorite blend of Wild Orange and Peppermint! I’m also taking orders for my Slumber Baby Sleep blend in a 10ml roller ball. Email me if you’re interested in one at thatmamagretchen@gmail.com. They work out to be just $23 shipped and last a good 3-4 months!
  • Last, but not least, here’s evidence of my second evening splurge. I just couldn’t resist. Happy early birthday to me :)

There you have it. The hum drum, normal life of That Mama Gretchen.


How To Host a Favorite Things Birthday Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SparklySavings #CollectiveBias

FAVORITE THINGS BIRTHDAY

Have you ever been to a favorite things party?

If you have, you already know how awesome they are. If you haven’t, today I’ll be sharing all the things you need to host one for you and your friends! It’s pretty fabulous (dare I say … my favorite kind of party) so grab your calendar and begin planning!

First, I’ll give you the brief run down of how a favorite things party works. Get ready to hear the word FAVORITE a lot!

At a favorite things party you and your friends gather for an evening of favorite foods and gift swapping! My favorite way to host a favorite things party is tied to a special gal’s birthday, because it’s the perfect excuse for a grown up celebration. Most recently, I hosted a favorite things party in honor of my sister’s 25th!

Now, here’s where the favorite things concept meets a regular ol’ birthday party. Instead of one gift for the birthday girl, each guest brings 5 gifts – all the same, valued around $5 each. The birthday girl receives a little something from everyone and the remaining 4 gifts are swapped so everyone leaves with new treasures! birthday girl

Sounds fun? Right? I promise it is! So much so that I’ve been to 4 favorite things parties in the last year and have gained new friends AND new favorite things thanks to my friends sharing what products and treats they love the very most!

To host your own favorite things party, here’s what you’ll need …

INVITATIONS

E-vites are great. So are Facebook events. For birthday parties though, I prefer a tangible invitation. This is how I word the favorite things concept so everyone understands and comes prepared:

Here’s how a Favorite Things Party works … Do not buy a gift for Katie. Instead, you’ll bring 5 wrapped gifts that are all the same (valued at about $5 – or a few little things that add put to $5). Be creative – favorite toiletry, favorite snack, favorite accessory – your choice! At the party, Katie will receive one of each guest’s favorite things and you will swap the remaining 4 favorite things with 4 other guests. That’s right – you’ll leave the party with presents to enjoy yourself! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call Gretchen! photo 1

A SET UP CREW

Let’s be honest, hosting a party is much more fun when it’s a team effort. I usually rally my mom, sister and bestie to help me wrangle the kids, vacuum and pop a load of dishes into the dishwasher pre-party. You see, I keep a spare set of dishes in the garage just for parties. They’re simple (and therefore match whatever decor I plan) and the perfect size for balancing on one hand while guests roam about visiting. Since I keep them in the garage, they’re always in need of a quick run through the dishwasher before the party begins. I picked up Finish dishwasher detergent the other day at Walmart to ensure sparkly clean dishes for the party and, you guessed it … I have a new favorite dishwasher detergent! No dust or grime allowed on my party plates! finish aisle at walmart finish collage

FOOD

You can do one of two things when it comes to party food … 1) Ask each guest to bring a favorite snack for a potluck style meal or 2) Prepare your own meal for your guests to enjoy. I enjoy cooking for a crowd, so in the case of my sister’s party I made a mishmash meal of her favorites — slow cooker honey garlic chicken with rice, watermelon, scones with strawberry jam and lemonade! honey garlic chicken

GAMES

My sister’s party was a gathering of friends from all her different circles. So, to get to know one another we played a fun game focused on favorites … obviously. Prep was simple – I filled cupcake liners with 5 pretzel M&Ms (Katie’s favorite candy) and we went around in a circle sharing our names, how we knew Katie and our favorite thing about her.

Then, the M&Ms came into play … for each color we shared one of our favorite things. A red M&M meant we had to share our favorite book. Green, our favorite hobby. Orange, our favorite place. Brown, our favorite food. Yellow, our favorite TV show. Blue, our favorite movie. It was the perfect icebreaker before we launched into more favoriteness – the gifts! favorite things mandm game

PRESENTS

After eating and talking about our favorites via the M&M game, each guest wrote their name 4 times on a piece of paper and placed it in a bowl. Then, I chose one guest to gather their 5 gifts and I drew 4 names from the bowl. The gift giver handed their favorite things present to Katie and the 4 others while sharing why they chose to bring that particular gift. Around and around we went until Katie had received everyone’s gift and everyone else received 4 different items.

Gifts ranged from favorite soaps to favorite candles to favorite snacks to homemade crafts to favorite beauty products. This favorite things party I brought a homemade essential oil blend called Wake Up + Focus (wild orange, peppermint and coconut oil) to share with Katie and 4 others. Past parties I’ve taken a pretty hand soap and washi tape combo, chocolate covered potato chips in a reusable shopping bag and colorful mason jars for creative storage.

From this party, I left with these fun favorites – a new candle, yummy tea, a Seahawks keychain and on the go lunch accessories!

photo 2 The sky is the limit when it comes to favorite things!

A CLEAN UP CREW

Just like my set up crew, I’m always more willing to host when I’ve got extra hands to help clean up! With a quick sweep everything gets back in its place, food gets packaged up and the dishwasher gets started again! I love nothing more than sitting down when the house is quiet once again and hearing the dishwasher work on my behalf. A clean dishwasher equals a happy mama! Yeah for the clean up crew! finish clean dishwasher

Are you ready to host your own favorite things party? I promise it will become everyone’s favorite party of the year! 

I’d be remiss (one of my favorite words!) to leave you all without a coupon to kick off your party planning. So, here you go! Head to Walmart and do yourself some shoppin’ and some savin’ as you prep for your very own favorite things party! Walmart has a Rollback on Finish products going until October that you can pair with this $1 off coupon for amazing savings … and we all know savings are one of my favorite things!

Finish_Detergent_BloggerBadge-01Trust me … no one wants to celebrate favorite things whilst eating favorite foods off dirty dishes. Capiche? Clean dishes are EVERYONE’S favorite thing. We all know that, especially Finish :)

Now, join the favorite things conversation in the comments and share what YOU would bring to gift at a favorite things party! 


Thank you for supporting the brands that support this little blog, it means the worlds to me. As always, all opinions are my own.


Style File /// Thug Life Three Ways

When I’m standing in line at the grocery store, how I do, and the checker looks at me with that pitiful smile as Jemma chatters about the chocolate popsicles I was pressured into buying (yes, I’m easily swayed by all 3 year olds who say “please” and bat their eyes) and Max bites through a banana peel (yes, this is pure truth) I need a tee shirt that adequately explains my life. You know, so I don’t have to waste my precious breath explaining things. Lord knows I need to save all my breath for prayers and prayers alone.

I love being a mom. We all know that. That’s usually what I blog about. But I’m tired too. Just like you. If it’s not from lack of sleep, it’s from a mile long to do list or … or … or … I can’t even communicate what else. BECAUSE I’M TOO TIRED TO COMPLETE A FULL, COHERENT SENTENCE. (Excuse my type yelling, it just seemed necessary). As does this.

It’s what I wear to deter the checker from too many questions. Questions about the melting popsicles and the slobbered bananas. Thanks to Thug Life Shirts, instead of random banter and questions with no answers, we just laugh, scan my items, load my bags and then I get waved off with a chuckle and stickers for my crew. Oh, happy day!want a nap

I sport my Thug Life in more places than just the grocery store though. That’s right – I’ve got Thug Life three ways for you today! 

Appease my mom style with a gander at my night off, my play date and my date night outfits — all featuring my favorite “I Already Want a Nap Tomorrow” tee!
thug life relaxed 2 Music in the park with a take out dinner (no dishes for me!) — sunglasses, Kate Spade | tee, c/o Thug Life | Salar capris, Fabletics | flips, Tevathug life play date 2

Meeting friends at the children’s museum — tee, c/o Thug Life | jeans, Vigoss | diaper bag purse, c/o Lily Jade via Baby Gizmo

thug life date 2

Birthday celebration date with my sister — earrings, c/o Brave Sunday | lips, MAC Russian Red | {sister’s} jacket, Costco | tee, c/o Thug Life | lace cami, Grace & Lace | Kensie skinnies, Stitch Fix | wedges, Target | Kismet Day Bag, Noonday Collection

Are you surprised at the versatility of this simple tee? Me too! 

Thug Life prints on American Apparel tees – read, SO COMFY – and they have just the right amount of stretch for a vintage feel. Pretty much, you can’t find a better tee. 

Best of all, use code code “MAMAGRETCHEN15″ for 15% off your order. That’s proper savings for a pressie for yourself AND to think ahead to your mama friend’s birthday and Christmas gifts! 

Oh, you want to know what other Thug Life tees I’ve got my eye on? I’m glad you asked :)

This (at least I try), this (truth), and this (sarcasm at its finest). Fabulous and perfect for putting that coupon ^^^ to use! Amiright? from play date to date night


Thanks to Thug Life Shirts for sending me a complimentary tee - I love supporting companies that totally get motherhood!

 


One Hundred Lessons /// I Believe You Are Good

One Hundred Lessons is my story. It’s the heart of my experience in motherhood and all the things, well 100 of the things, I want my children to read and remember. These bits are my hope for the future and my cherished memories of the past. Most of all, they are the beautiful moments of today that I never want us to forget.

You can read all the post from the One Hundred Lessons series here.


 

I Believe-5My kids are not perfect and I never want them to think they are.

But they are good.

And I want them to believe that. I believe you are good. Do you hear me? You are good.

You have beautiful, kind hearts and every day you give me tiny glimpses of all the goodness inside of you. 

When you believe you are good, when you follow your conscience and the Lord’s soft whispers on your heart – you do good.

And doing good is what we need more of in the world. 

So, no matter what you did yesterday or the bad that crossed your mind today, choose to do good now, today. I believe you’re good and I know you’ll make the right choice. Every moment is a turning point to do the right thing. To let the good win. And you can do it. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes it is ugly. Sometimes it seems impossible. But, YOU CAN DO IT.

As humans we’re full of sin. We make mistakes. More than we ever want to. But God has called us beyond our sin. To find good, to do good and to be good. Celebrate those small, beautiful things that embody goodness. Let it be your calling to follow the little whispers you feel in your heart. To reach out to those with tears, to feed those who are hungry, to be the listening ear to those who are hurting. 

Your goodness will never save you, that’s a whole other conversation. What your goodness will do is shine a light in a very dark world. And you, my little lights will do much shining. I just know. 

Be good, my babies. I believe you’re good. Believe you are good too.


Back To Routine

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It seems today is our first home morning since school began last week. #carpoolmom #falltimeisbusytime

Summer feels over and we’re officially in the throws of life. Of routine. School has a way of doin’ that to ya. Well, it’s not technically us in school. We’re true homeschool preschool folk this year (complete with coop!), but our Korean and Chinese daughters keep us in school mode.

They arrived on Labor Day and have settled in nicely. Each to their own room and into their senior year studies. Our Korean daughter was with us last year and has quickly fallen into step with her friends and her little siblings – Jemma and Max adore her. Our Chinese daughter is new and a real sweetheart. She’s become my afternoon chore buddy and I’m crazy thankful for her!

The conversation of boyfriends arose yesterday and she shook her head no when we asked if she had one. Then she quickly added, “He is my little boyfriend!” while pointing to Max. And ya’ll, Max would agree! He loves her and follows her around like a little puppy!

Both girls brought us fun little gifts from their home countries – best of all being a selfie stick form Korea! Apparently they’re all the rage and already allowing me to take fun, new photos such as this … photo-2 copy 2

Anyways, the routine. I’m aiming to school Jemma two mornings each week and plan at least another one or two learning outings for us. Even simple things like her solo walk home from the mailbox … photo-2 copy 3

And! Homeschool coop! Our first gathering went really well – as a group we’re studying the Puget Sound in September. Jemma is also taking swim lessons and ballet (her birthday request) and we’re participating in church activities each Wednesday. When you look at my calendar, the weeks look full. I’m back to managing a better cleaning routine after my free for all summer and am meal planning too. It truly saves me money at the grocery store and helps pace the cooking each week. Why do I ever stop? This week we’ve enjoyed pulled chicken sandwiches and cauliflower crust pizza (sharing the recipe soon!). Tonight is broccoli soup and the week will end with zucchini boats and honey garlic chicken over rice.

I still want to implement a few other routines into our schedule – a family walk night and an evening where I do non-screen activities (bath, reading, solo errands) just for me. We’ll see what fits.

Before you think this new found routine has me bordering perfection … I just snagged a Groupon for a housecleaner to come do my bathrooms, because contrary to popular belief, I do not have more than 24 hours in each day.

What does your Fall routine look like? 


The Gratitude Tour

Welcome to the September 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Home Tour

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have opened up their doors and given us a photo-rich glimpse into how they arrange their living spaces.

***

Ever since reading Glennon’s post I’ve been walking around my home with a new perspective. I see things differently. I appreciate more. I bubble with thanks.

Yes, bubble. Because, you guys, just look … photo 5

This is what I wake up to every morning. A big, cozy bed with clean(ish) sheets, a warm blanket and my kids tucked next to me. My pillowcases don’t match, but I like it that way. photo 1

I stumble down stairs each morning and have my choice of eggs, yogurt, cereal, coffee, fruit, toast … you name it, it seems to be tucked in this enormous fridge somewhere. We have food at our fingertips and have NEVER been hungry. Never. That is something I am thankful for. photo 1

And this space? We live here. We make memories here. The cabinets aren’t the color I’d pick and it’s hard for more than one person to effectively move about, but hey – all the better for bumping and hugging mid-kitchen collision, right? photo 4

Back upstairs we’ve got a little dose of luxury – my bath tub. My quiet place. I’ll confess that I’ve complained about it not having jets. You can virtually slap me now. photo-2

Right now Jemma has her own room. We’ve gotten it all set up for her and she truly loves it. Well, except for that last picture frame that still has the Costco people in it. My grandma grew up with 6 siblings and I bet she never even considered the possibility of having her own room. Again, kinda crazy that we live in a house with enough space for a 3 year old to have her own square footage.

photo 2No haulin’ water from the creek to clean these clothes! Nope – I have a WHOLE ROOM dedicated to the washing and drying of clothes where I push a button here and there and, just like that, clean clothes. It even has special shelves (thanks husband!) to hold all the clothes I so lovingly fold. photo 3

Oh the clothes. People, this is what’s left AFTER I cleaned out things I didn’t need. Seeing it all makes me ready for another purge. One person doesn’t need 14 cardigans. She just doesn’t. 

There you have it. My gratitude tour. Everything I don’t NEED, but am extremely BLESSED to have. It can become so overwhelming, living in the midst of Pinterest, comparing to friend’s homes or those we see on TV and watching our Facebook newsfeed scroll by with snaps of perfection. Every time we feel that twinge of want and desire; discontentment. It’s not good. It’s not what I want my natural instinct to be.

And so, by looking at things through fresh eyes I’m all of a sudden in awe of all my blessings. All the food, all the clothes, all the resources at my fingertips. I’m thankful more (SO. MUCH. MORE.) and feel armed to share my blessings with others. This gratitude tour was good for my soul. Just what I needed to spur some Fall cleaning, care for the things I have and truly appreciate everything around me.

Hop over to the That Mama Gretchen Facebook page and share a photo in the comments of today’s post about this blog entry. I want to see what seemingly normal part of your house makes you most thankful!

For other peeks at my home, take a peek at these posts and come back in early October for a full debut of Jemma’s room which will include a GREAT giveaway from Blinds.com!

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon September 9 with all the carnival links.)

 
  • Being Barlow Home Tour — Follow along as Jessica at Being Barlow gives you the tour of her family’s home.
  • A Tour Of My Hybrid Rasta Kitchen — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama takes you on a tour of her kitchen complete with a Kombucha Corner, a large turtle, her tea stash, and of course, all her must-have kitchen gadgets. Check out Hybrid Rasta Mama’s most favorite space!
  • Dreaming of a Sisters Room — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, dreams, schemes and pins ideas for when her younger daughter is ready to move out of the family bed and share a room with her older sister.
  • Building a life — Constructing a dream — Survivor at Surviving Mexico-Adventures and Disasters shows you a glimpse inside the home her family built and talks about adaptions they made in constructing their lives in Mexico.
  • Why I’m Sleeping in the Dining Room — Becca at The Earthling’s Handbook welcomed a new baby but didn’t have a spare bedroom. She explains how her family rearranged the house to create Lydia’s nursing nest and changing room in spaces they already had.
  • The Gratitude Tour — Inspired by Momastry’s recent “home tour,” That Mama Gretchen is highlighting imperfect snapshots of things she’s thankful for around her home. Don’t plan to pin anything!
  • Our Home in the Forest — Tara from Up the Dempster gives you a peek into life lived off-grid in Canada’s Yukon Territory.
  • natural bedding for kids — Emma at Your Fonder Heart shows you how her family of 3 (soon to be 4) manages to keep their two cotton & wool beds clean and dry (plus a little on the end of cosleeping — for now).
  • I love our home — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings explains how lucky she feels to have the home she does, and why she strives so hard to keep it tidy.
  • Not-So-Extreme Makeover: Sunshine and Rainbows Edition — Dionna at Code Name: Mama was tired of her dark, outdated house, so she brightened it up and added some color.
  • Our little outdoor space — Tat at Mum in search invites you to visit her balcony, where her children make friends with wildlife.
  • Our Funky, Bright, Eclectic, Montessori Home — Rachel at Bread and Roses shows you her family’s newly renovated home and how it’s set up with Montessori principles in mind for her 15-month-old to have independence.
  • Beach cottage in progress — Ever tried to turn a 1980s condo into a 1920s beach bungalow? Lauren at Hobo Mama is giving it a try!
  • Conjuring home: intention in renovation — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama explains why she and her husband took on a huge renovation with two little kids and shares the downsides and the ups, too.
  • Learning At Home — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling helps us to re-imagine the ordinary spaces of our homes to ignite natural learning.
  • My Dining Room Table — Kellie at Our Mindful Life loves her dining room table — and everything surrounding it!
  • Sight words and life lessons — The room that seemed to fit the least in Laura from Pug in the Kitchen‘s life is now host to her family’s homeschool adventures and a room they couldn’t imagine life without!
  • A Tour of Our Church — Garry at Postilius invites you virtually visit him in the 19th-century, one-room church where he lives with his spouse and two kids.
  • Preparing a Montessori Baby-Toddler Space at Home — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the Montessori baby-toddler space she’s created in the main living area of her home along with a variety of resources for creating a Montessori-friendly home.
  • The Old Bailey House — Come peek through the window of The Old Bailey House where Erica at ChildOrganics resides with her little ones.
  • My New House Not-Monday: The Stairs — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl shows you her new laminate stairs in her not-so-new-anymore house.
  • To Minimalist and Back Again — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares how she went to the extreme as a minimalist and bounced right back. Read how she finds it difficult to maintain the minimalist lifestyle when upsizing living space.
  • Our Life As Modern-Day Nomads — This family of five lives in 194 square feet of space — with the whole of North America as a back yard. Paige of Our Road Less Traveled guest posts at Natural Parents Network.


Essential Oil Ouch Spray

Have you started dabbling in essential oils yet?

It seems that mamas across the board of mothering philosophies are starting to try out this natural remedy for home cleaning, wellness and even cooking! But how exactly do you implement essential oils into your daily life?

For me, the two hardest things about essential oils is determining how they fit into my day-to-day and making them easy to access when they’re needed. I’ve found that making blends in easy-to-use spritz or roller bottles (affiliate links) is a surefire way of grabbing my oils when the circumstance warrants a need.

There is no doubt that my homemade Ouch Spray is my most used essential oil. For cuts and scrapes – which are prevalent with a busy mom, preschooler and toddler roaming around – I seem to use it almost daily!

ESSENTIAL OIL OUCH SPRAY WITH DOTERRAEssential Oil Ouch Spray

In a 1 ounce glass spritz bottle drop in …

  • 18 drops lavender – to soothe
  • 10 drops melaleuca – to disinfect
  • 3 drops frankincense – to help heal

Top with fractioned coconut oil, screw on spritz top and roll gently in your hands to incorporate. Before each application, roll once or twice again.

A few notes … It’s really important to use a GLASS bottle. Pure essential oils are strong enough to eat or melt through plastic. Always use caution when applying essential oils to your kids. Run this remedy by your pediatrician and do a test spot before using on any wound to see how their skin reacts. Essential oils should be treated like medication – keep them out of reach of children and store them in a dark place.

The oils used in the Ouch Spray are great starter oils and have many other uses making them a smart investment for sure! You’re welcome to read more about my essential oil journey here.


The September special with doTERRA is a FREE Immortelle (valued at almost $100!) with every 200pv order. Interested? Send me an email and I’ll share all the details, answer your oil questions and help you determine what oils you and your family might use most!

This post was originally published on the Baby Gizmo Blog.


Style File /// Housewife With a Dash O’ Glam

Housewife With a Dash O' Glam
Housewife With a Dash O’ Glam by thatmamagretchen featuring diamond bridal set by Anjolee. Click below for details on each piece .

 

Last week on my local mama Facebook group someone said to me, and I paraphrase, “You have great style … maybe you should post photos of yourself every week to give us inspiration!” I mean, I totally would, except I just don’t get dressed in real clothes all that often! When I do, I put forth effort in the style department (and usually Instagram it, haha!), but most days – comfy athletic wear and easy access nursing tops. And do ya’ll really want photos of that? Didn’t think so.

With the start of school and my outings for pick up at the high school (our international students are here from South Korea and China!) I tend to pull together decent outfits on the daily. Gone are the days of easy, breezy summer lounging. Se la vie. Now, bring on the PSL americanos and all things cozy and fall-esque! I’m all about embracing the seasons and, thanks to my fall birthday, am a big ol’ giddy fall fan.

Here’s my official welcome to all my fall favorites – skinnies, funny tees, wire headbands (a billion times better than regular headbands!), boots and simple, meaningful jewelry.


This post was sponsored by Anjolee. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support me and my little writing space!


Perfect Pins

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One /// Two  /// Three /// Four /// Five

I’ve had a string of really, really late nights lately. Like, 3 AM. Dominic gets up for the gym by 5 AM so we practically “work” swing shifts these days. It’s amusing. And we laugh. Because it’s actually working for our family and it just seems funny to be on such opposite schedules.

We are on the verge of diving into Whole30. We’re both nervous. Me for the preparation, Dom for the vegetables. Can ya’ll hit me up with all your Whole30 tips and recipes?

And, let’s see … what to say about my perfect pins today. Nursing mama, check. Bucket list castle, check. Gorgeous (ethically made!) tote, check. A print I must locate for my someday niece or nephew who will have a Ranger daddy, check. Fall food, check check checkity check!

Happy almost weekend my friends! We start homeschool coop tomorrow, have a double dating planned on Saturday to celebrate my sister’s 25th birthday, and you all know I’ll be nappin’ it up this weekend. Naps keep the 3 AM mama from looking’ too zombie like :) 


Win $100 to Thomas Kelly

thomas kelly” … The concept of classically styled from exercise to errands was born”

And on that d,ay when exercise met errands, all the angels sang, because the good Lord and mama both know that yoga pants are needed for both exercise and everyday livin’. Am I right? Or, AM I RIGHT?

A special welcome to Thomas Kelly today. It seems to be that they know exactly what us mamas need when it comes to activewear.

  • Fashion
  • Function
  • Washability
  • Quality
  • US Made
  • Comfort

I’ve been running the track, running errands, and well, lounging a bit in my Thomas Kelly Rincon Racer Tank and Ladera Leggings. Both are made beautifully in the USA with style and comfort in mind. And yes, that does mean a perfect dose of Spandex :)

photo 4photo 3

Friends, you’ve seen my love for Thomas Kelly popping up off and on (I wore my leggings during my first 5K!) and today I’m thrilled to be giving away a $100 credit for you to do some fabulous shopping for yourself!

To start your wish list I’ll mention that I adore the cropped leggings and this cardigan that should be renamed “perfection”. What do you love most from the Thomas Kelly shop? Enter the giveaway below and may the odds be in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway