Archive for April 2017

Five Friday Favorites: April...

Friday, April 28, 2017

It's the last Friday of the month and so I thought I would share 5 favorites today!  What are you loving these days?  Anyone have any good recommendations for me???  Here is a round-up of things I am loving and excited about these days!   Hope you have a great weekend my sweet friends!


May Day is Monday

Do you celebrate May Day where you live? We do!  If you don't, you should totally start the tradition with your friends and neighbors.  We simply raid the pantry for leftover Easter candy, pop some popcorn and make baskets with solo cups and strips of construction paper that we decorate and affix with staples.

Then the kids put on their running shoes, drop the baskets, and ding dong ditch.  You don't want to get caught or the rumor is you might get a kiss!  That's what the saying was when I was a kid anyway.  My kids look forward to it every year, the ding dong ditching -- thankfully not the kissing ;).  I have a reminder on my Facebook page for Monday!


I shared this on Instagram (are you following me ;) and it's a game changer if you have hardwood floors and live in your home.  Scratches happen, amen?  You simply shake up the pen (much like a paint pen) and then color in the scratch, let it sit for a bit and then wipe off with a paper towel.  The longer you leave it, the more it will penetrate the wood. 

 I vacuum and wash my floors and then go around and touch up all the scuffs!  They are super inexpensive and I have had mine since we moved in.  I have dark floors and use the ebony finish.  I also use it on our farmhouse table and any other dark furniture around the house!  Just remember to wipe off.


Lucy (our youngest) is totally into reading books all of a sudden.  We have always read to her but now she gets so excited for nap and bedtime to read her stack of books with mommy.  Our favorites right now are these on repeat: Belly Button Book -- Dance -- Snuggle Puppy -- Brown Bear, Brown Bear -- Five Little Monkeys and Peek A Moo.  It's turned into one of my favorite times of day with her as we read and sing songs together!  What are your favorite books to read with your kids these days?


Have you heard of a tinkle?  Either had I but a gal I follow on Instagram mentioned that she uses these little eyebrow razors for those little tiny blonde hairs below her eyebrows and between them.  You can also use a tinkle for the pesky above the lip hairs that seem to grow.  Anyway, I pluck my brows but those little hairs take forever.  I am smitten and you can't beat the price!  You need a tinkle ;).


The farmer planted which meant I could wash my windows since all the dust should be done flying for a bit.  I tried these pads for the main floor windows and I attached them to my norwex mop.  If you have a mop that has a mechanism to hold pads, you don't need to buy anything but the refill kit.  You simply wet your windows with a hose, scrub til you see bubbles and you get all the dirt off, then rinse clean.  I was really impressed.  I felt like a professional window cleaner.  I have yet to get on a ladder to do the 2nd story because #ladders!    I used 1 pad for all my main story windows (7 windows). 

Before you go...

Have any of you tried these magnetic garage door pulls. They seem like an easy addition to add curb appeal but not sure if they would last.  What are your thoughts? The price is right!

As we wrap up April, here are the top five posts (in order of most views).  Thanks for your continued support.  If there is something you would like to see more of or less of, let me know.  My goal is always to serve you well, my faithful tribe!  You can pin these for later reading too, there is a pin it icon in the corner of all pictures, FYI :).

My Guest Post // Blogging in Between Infertility Story Guest Post

5 Easter Activities

5 Excuses that Keep us From Being Hospitable

There you have it -- A wood stain pen, some favorite tiny toddler books, a beauty product, window cleaning pads, and a round-up of your favorite blog posts from April.  Have a great weekend my friends!  Next time we meet up, it's May Day.  Don't forget!  Do you make baskets in your neck of the woods?

Linking up with Erika and Andrea for Friday Favorites,  September Farm & Amy for Oh Hey Friday!, Meet @ The Barre for Friday Favorires, Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday, and Smidge of This and North Carolina Charm for Five on Friday.

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What's Up Wednesday: April...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
It's the end of April - say what???  It's that time of the month where I dish on what we are eating, watching, wearing, doing and loving. I love knowing what other people are up to #snoopmuch and who doesn't love a good tried and true recommendation?  This gal does. You will see most of my favorites I am sharing were recommended to me!  SO grab your preferred caffeinated beverage and let's say, What's Up Wednesday!  #cuethelights

{What we're eating this week}

Sunday -- BBQ Chicken, Roasted Potatoes with chives, and mini corn on the cob
Monday - Lemon Shrimp Sheet Pan  **New recipe I made up, it was a hit so I will post soon
Tuesday - Dinner at Nana's (they are back from wintering in FL)
Wednesday - Walking Tacos
Thursday - Spaghetti and Meatballs **I add a 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup wine to jarred spaghetti sauce
Friday -  Quesadillas
Saturday - Neighbor's birthday party

Dessert - Rhubarb Crisp a la mode (thanks to my friend Jennifer for sharing her rhubarb)

{What I'm Reminiscing About}

Easter - you can read more about it here.  

We also had the most beautiful spring weekend last weekend.  We were outside almost all of it.  It was just that perfect not too hot, not too cold - light breeze, sunny weather with no humidity!  We did some landscaping and got another garden box built so we could add to what we are growing this year.

{What I'm Loving}

Eating outside. #lesscrumbs #lessmess

She can wear piggies in her hair now :) YAY!  

{What I'm Dreading}

My annual exam is today.  I don't love going to the doctor and get anxious about what they will find.  My Aunts both got cancer in their late 20's/early 30's so that history leaves me uneasy.  Watching them walk that road was life changing.   Anyone else have anxiety about doctors/health???

{What I'm Working On}

I just guest posted on my friends blog and she guest-posted here.  If you are dealing with infertility, miscarriage or just even walking a road of waiting or suffering, I pray these posts will bring your encouragement.

I am also working over time on teacher appreciation stuff!  It's next week - don't forget to shower your teachers with love for all they do for our kiddos  They work so hard.  #spokenbyaformerteacher  We have lots of fun and food planned!

Our theme this year is How Sweet It Is To Be Taught By You.   I will be sure to share all the details on the blog!  How do your schools celebrate teacher appreciation week?

{What I'm Excited About}

We just love being outside!  

We tried out Solon's juggle bubbles.

{What I'm Watching/Reading}

My friend Karie recommended a new show (to us) called Poldark.  The 1st season is free on Amazon Prime.  It's Masterpiece collection show like Downton Abby!  I tell you what, we can't put the kids to bed fast enough at night.  I love when we find a show both my husband and I love.  If you don't take Karie or my word for it, it has over 18,000 5 star reviews on Amazon Prime.  If you liked Downton Abbey, you will like this!

I also have been watching When Calls The Heart.  Season 4 just wrapped up! #WAHHHHH  The first 3 seasons are on Netflix!  I want to read the books now! I love a good series!  Have you read or watched?

I am still reading my way through the bible and just wrapped up Leviticus, the gospels, and Acts.  We are heading into Romans and Numbers now.  I am sort of using this bible reading plan but only two columns worth which means it might take me more than a year ;). 

{What I'm Listening To}

Podcasts, Podcasts, Podcasts - I love to listen to them while I work out or driving my kids all over the place ;).  I love Young House Love and Mom Blog School!

I am also listening to this song, this song, and this song right now.

{What I'm Wearing}

I made it my goal in the month of April to wear more of my closet.  I tend to wear my favorites over and over again leaving more than half of my closet collecting dust.  If I try something on and it doesn't fit or not my style, I put it in a bin in my closet to donate!  I have worn more of what I own and have found some things I no longer want!  Do you wear most of your closet? I was inspired after visiting my friend Laura's house and she wears everything in her closet.  

Just an FYI -- Target is having a sale on their tees and tanks.  My favorite tank and tee are just $6 each!  I size up to a medium in both for length in torso!

I also am crushing on this top, this top, this top and this dress :)  Can you tell my favorite type of clothing ;)  The prices are good too!

{What I'm Doing This Weekend}

It's dance recital weekend for Vera so my parent's are coming to town.  Solon has baseball practice and we are decorating and prepping for teacher appreciation week.  Throw in a milestone birthday party for our neighbor too!  I am tired just thinking about all the fun! ;)

{What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month}


It's Memorial Day which means opening of Lake Season and our local pools!

I love, love, love SUMMER

You should link-up for 10 on the 10th...we are sharing 10 summer vacation must-haves!

{What Else Is New}

Welcoming her home after 600+ Days in the hospital last spring...

I haven't shared too much but a sweet little 10 year old girl in our church is quite sick. She received a heart transplant but her body is pretty beat-up after the long wait.  She is currently at Disney for a Make-A-Wish trip.  Would you pray for her and her family to have the BEST time full of special memories?  Only God knows the number of our days but pray for her, her parents and her 4 younger siblings.  She has taught so many about faith over fear, trusting fully in Jesus and knowing this place is not our home.  

Have a wonderful Wednesday.  Today I am linking up with Shay and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday so head to their blogs for more recommendations and fun!

Do you follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram?  I am always sharing bunches over there!

**This post contains affiliate links. 


Finding Hope in the Pain: Guest Post...

Monday, April 24, 2017
Today I am so excited to introduce you to my friend, Molly.  We connected on Instagram and we have so much in common.   Our shared faith, miscarriage, motherhood, and our love for the name Lucille (her daughter's middle name ;) among many other things.  I know you will love her as much as I do and her story!  I am also guest posting over on her blog today and sharing "The Road to Lucille Violet", so go check it out!  

Molly and her daughter Lily



Hi!  My name is Molly, and I am a wife to my husband David, step-mom to his daughter Audrey (14) and mom to our babies Lily (22 months) and Tommy (2 months).  My joy in life comes from God and helping others see they are not alone.  I believe in truth-telling and stories because that’s how we learn.  I blog at Blogging In The Between, and I’m really excited to be doing a guest post here!


In sharing a bit of my story, I’m praying it offers some comfort and encouragement, but mostly the realization that you’re not alone.

My story has changed so much over the years.  Of course it has.  It would be a little sad if it hadn’t.  Now, as a 33-year-old married woman, my story is about my family – my marriage, our angel babies, our blended family, and our two little ones.  My family is the source of my joy and my pain, my struggles and my growth. 

Molly, Lily and Tommy

It’s incredible how much we’ve been through, how much we’ve grown, how much God has done in our lives.  The good and the bad is all smooshed together in one big beautiful mess. 

I had my first miscarriage shortly after David and I got married.  I lost my second baby right before Christmas, my third the week after our 1st anniversary, my fourth a few days after Father’s Day, and the fifth was technically two losses in an IVF cycle.  Our good is always closely tied to our bad.

All that death was like a weight around my neck.  I missed out on a lot.  I damaged a few relationships.  I wasn’t myself.  I wasn’t capable of being myself.  How could I be when I couldn’t even trust my own body?


It’s difficult to even explain the pain.  To lose a pregnancy is to lose hope.  It’s a death.  With it come fear and shame and doubt and grief. 

During those two-and-a-half years of miscarriages and failed fertility treatments (3 treatments in the year between miscarriages 4 and 5), my relationship with God fluctuated from one end of the spectrum to the other.  There were times I hated Him, times I prayed nonstop, times I was too angry to listen to any worship music or go to church, times I got down on my knees and begged.

One of the things that made the IVF so difficult was that I truly felt God was telling me it would work, that I was pregnant, that it was finished.  Of course, this was true, just not in the way I expected.  After the IVF miscarriage(s), I got pregnant naturally with my baby girl.  I was watched carefully and they put me on progesterone, but the pregnancy was full term without any complications.

I’ve never prayed so much.  It was all I could do, the only thing I truly had control over.  I was so scared all of the time.  It didn’t matter how good the doctor appointments were or what the blood work showed.  I knew too much.  I knew we could lose her just like we lost all the others.  So I prayed.


My daughter is a perfect testament to God’s faithfulness and redemptive nature.  

She is my calm after the storm.  Everything about the pregnancy and birth was a prayer fulfilled.  The joy comes in the morning.

I think it’s fitting National Infertility Awareness Week is so close to Easter this year.  Glennon Doyle Melton often writes, First the pain, then the rising.  I’ve read Easter weekend described as pain on Friday, waiting on Saturday, and rising on Sunday.  

No matter where you’re at in your journey, Sunday always comes.  The pain and the waiting is awful, but it’s also what cause the rising, the joy, the growth.  It’s what allows you to be grateful for the journey and not take anything for granted at the destination.  It’s what makes your story a story. 

I hope you were encouraged by her sweet testimony.  I know I can relate to pain -- waiting -- rising in my own life!  You can follow her on Instagram and her blog.  Thanks so much Molly for sharing with us!  What resonated with you?  Leave a note and let her know!

10 Lunches for Littles: Simple Ideas for Lunches At Home...

Friday, April 21, 2017

My kids hate eating.  That's all there is to it.  I really wish I had that problem, I love to eat.  I guess  I wouldn't say they hate eating but they are creatures of habit.  They don't mind eating the same thing over and over and over and over again, unlike me.  I get asked a lot what we eat for lunch around here so I thought I would share because it's Friday and happy well-fed campers are a favorite of mine!

As moms we feel the need to serve a great variety because we like variety and we feel pressure to!  I have come to find if I stick to these 10 basic lunch ideas and rotate, everyone is happy.  When you look at the list, you will say oh I make that...I think when we lay it out, we actually do serve more variety than at first thought.  So I am here to tell you -- good job!   My son's school lunch calendar only has 15 main dish items so if they can do it, why can't we?


Whatever you serve, remember your kids are fed and loved. 



Never underestimate the power of a good meal rewarmed.  I know not all meals are a hit but plan your dinner meals to include extras for leftovers.  Leftovers my kids especially love leftover are: pizza and taco/mexican dishes.  I try to include both of these into our menu every week for this purpose.


Peanut Butter // Hummus

Peanut Butter Toast (left) and Leftover Mexican food (right)

Peanut butter on anything.  Peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter toast, peanut butter crackers, peanut butter with celery.  You can even warm up a dollop in the microwave and drizzle over cut up bananas.  Cutting up the bread in various shapes and sizes make the meal new again.  One day you can do squares, the next triangles and then strips (as seen above).  Hummus is great with pita chips, crackers or dipping carrots into! 



No matter which way you crack it #punintended, eggs are a fast and easy protein to make for lunch.  You can add some sausage, bacon, ham or cheese as well.  My kids like to cut a hole in the middle of a piece of bread and make eggs in the hole.  They also like sunny side up eggs with cheese on top.  You can make egg burritos in soft shells! 



There is no limit to the creativity with quesadillas.  You can make simple cheese ones.  Try breakfast quesadillas filled with egg, cheese and meat.  You can add some cheese and pepperoni and serve with marinara sauce for an Italian twist.    You can even do peanut butter and banana quesadillas. 


Macaroni and Cheese

No matter what type of diet you follow, there is a box of macaroni and cheese that probably fits it.  It's normally a kid favorite and easily made and stored for leftovers the next day.  

My tip with macaroni and cheese leftover is rather than just microwaving it, place the leftovers in a sauce pan with a little bit of milk and stir as you rewarm.  It turns back into what looks like original macaroni and cheese.  My kids will not eat macaroni and cheese rewarmed in the microwave but I have found a way to trick them ;).


Waffles and Pancakes

You can either make up some homemade pancakes and freeze them or buy pre-made frozen to microwave or toast!  My kids sometimes like to dip so we will mix it up with the way we cut it -- strips, triangles, or bite size!  


Crescent Rolls

I keep a sleeve of these in my fridge at all times.  They make a great base to whatever you want to add inside.  From hot dogs, to string cheese, breakfast sausage or pepperoni.  Bonus -- your kids will love helping roll them up.  

A tip I have found to work really well is to let your littles help make their food.  There is just something to doing it themselves that suddenly makes it more appealing.  Crescent rolls are a great way for littles to roll whatever they want right up and then cook!


Let your kids help you make their lunch, they are more likely to eat it.


Meat and Cracker Lunch

Sometimes I get stuck in the thought that there has to be a main dish and sides.  Kids love eating crackers, cubes of cheese and cubed up meat.   Just grab a variety of crackers, meats your kids like and a variety of cheese.  

You can make a weeks worth of meals just with those 3 items.  Who doesn't love a meat and cheese tray. It's like your very own homemade Lunchable.  I do love the bought ones too especially when they are on sale for a $1 ;).



My kids don't love sandwiches which is just wrong.  We do do grilled cheese dipped in ranch of course (because that's a food group ;).  You can add in some meat to that as well for a little added variety.  I make mine with bacon and avocado if I am feeling fancy!


Freezer Staples

Don't forget about all those things you can stock up in the freezer section.  Everything in moderation, right?  My kids love pizza rolls, taquitos, chicken nuggets, mini corn dogs, and mozzarella sticks.  I generally buy one of those items and serve them once a week and then when they are gone, I choose something different!  Right now there are mini corn dogs in my freezer!

Sometimes, you just need to go through the drive-thru or text a friend to meet at Chick Fil-a!  One friend use to always go out on Friday for lunch with her kids.  Remember variety isn't as important to them as it is to us.   If all else fails, having some fun items to make eating more appealing never hurts.  Here's a few ideas to add to your wish list!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 //

We have these plates and I pull them out when we are going through a particularly rough phase with eating or I know dinner might not be a favorite ;).  My kids also love to eat with different utensils so those cute animal toothpicks or the lego chopsticks.  We have the construction silverware and they are in high demand along with these spoon/fork combos.

Meal time with littles can be downright crazy but hopefully these tips and ideas will help you to get on the right track to smoother meal times so everyone enjoys eating.  Kids included!

Pin this graphic and print so you don't get stuck at lunchtime again with HANGRY children!  Keep it handy while grocery list making to remember to add in items for lunches, I always forget!

What are you serving these days? What tips and tricks do you have?  What utensils get your kids excited for meal time?  Please share!

Linking up with Erika and Andrea for Friday Favorites  and September Farm and Amy for Oh Hey Friday 

Check out their blogs for more fun this Friday!

 **This post contains affiliate links and graphics from Amazon.

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