Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Links and Loves

TGIF! Although that phrase has a little bit more meaning during the school year, we are all always excited about the weekend! More time with Daddy, fun plans with friends, and perhaps best of all, since it IS summer, there aren't many chores to be done this weekend because I've been home all week to do them!  (Remind me, when school starts back, that it takes working ALL. DAY. and ALL. WEEK. to stay caught up on laundry, dishes, cleaning, and keeping things organized and put away.  THIS is why I am never "caught up" during the school year, leading to frustration for this OCD, attempting-not-to-be-a-perfectionist Mama!)

Here are a few of the things I've been inspired by or fallen in love with this week:


The Decorating Truths You Won't See on HGTV by The Nester.  I have been reading her book for a couple of months now and I'm totally inspired by her mantra, "It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful." That's #idhtbptbb if you're a hash-tagger, but it takes me forever to figure it out each time I try to use it!  I love this quote from her post:

"Decorating is not an Olympic sport. There’s no big hurry and no prize for “finishing” first.  ENJOY the process...Me, and Lysa TerKeurst and Joanna Gains and Alison and you? We are all in this together. Living it out, creating a home, letting it change and grow and serve our family. Amen."

Speaking of Joanna Gaines, (who, by the way, must clearly be more my BFF than The Nester's since I know that there is an "e" in her last name and Myquillin doesn't.  Win.) she is both a link AND a love this week.  I am loving her new show, Fixer Upper, on HGTV.  She and her husband Chip are real, love each other, and aren't shy about sharing their faith.  It doesn't hurt that she is my age, has 4 children under the age of 8, and has impeccable decorating taste, so I can totally identify (HA!).  I have started following her blog and this post made me laugh, cry, and shout Amen.  All of my workin' mommy friends need to read it.  I'm so thankful that my God is THE gap-filler.


This necklace from Lisa Leonard Designs.  My friend Anna and I love this hymn.

31 Bits.  Another jewelry company with a heart and a purpose.  Love their stuff!

Editor's note:  I am not sure why I keep posting links to necklaces.  I *rarely* wear them, especially in summer in Alabama, because I feel like they choke me.  I think it is all the fault of The Pleated Poppy and her What I Wore Wednesday series, where she demonstrates her uncanny ability to rock a t-shirt and holey jeans and make it look fashionable with a big chunky necklace.  Maybe someday I will possess this talent...or copy an outfit of hers exactly.  If you notice, kindly pretend you don't.

Mrs. Meyer's Countertop Spray.  I love this stuff--it makes the kitchen smell so fresh and clean.  It's on my grocery list for the week.

My Erin Condren Life Planner.  Yes, even in summer I am STILL using my planner faithfully, and I love it.  She just came out with beautiful new designs and 18-month planners that are perfect for the new school year.  If you are interested, use my link to shop and we'll both be happy!

That's it!  Have a great weekend...and if you have time, take a minute to let me know what YOU are loving these days!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Bucket List

I love lists.  The first step is admitting it, right?  And I love my babies, and I love summertime, and I love making a plan to be intentional in the summer.  So a Summer Bucket List just pretty much makes me happy.  I am finally posting ours!  We created it on June 1--almost a month ago.  The shortest summer ever waits for no one, so it is time to get busy!

1.  READ
2.  LEARN (The boys are already 5 steps ahead in the goals I had set for them in this area.  Their little brains are amazing right now!)
3.  Catch lightning bugs
4.  Build a sand castle
5.  Go to a baseball game
6.  Watch fireworks
7.  BBQ with friends
8.  Go to Chuck E. Cheese
9.  Go to a movie
10.  Go to Greene Street Market in Huntsville--it was AMAZING--this should now say "go BACK!"
11.  Point Mallard
12.  Hartselle pool
13.  Look for shells
14.  Hunt crabs--this one was amazingly easy this year due to some kind people who had gotten in the water by the rocks, found hermit crabs, put them in a bucket, and shared them with my curious kiddos.  People from North Alabama simply do NOT get into water around big rocks.
15.  Play putt-putt--this one gets half of a cross-off due to only completing 9 holes with two little boys at the beach.  Do-over for the (highly competitive) girly is due, perhaps?  And oh yeah--if you see Zeke or Kinley, ask them who hit the hole-in-one on the hardest hole we played! Hint--it wasn't either of them...just call me Tiger.
16.  Bonfire with K's friends
17.  Backyard movie night
18.  Go to a museum
19.  Go to a concert
20.  Paint/art day

Obviously there are a few that we *had* to do while we were at the beach, but there is a lot left to pack in to our July.  Bring on the fun!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

May Goal check-in and June Goals

May turned out to be super busy.  Busier than I had planned for!  So, just go ahead and plan on extending grace, because here is the recap for last month along with how I did:

May Goals
1.  Create a summer bucket list with my family.  Done...and several things already crossed off!  Look for the list coming next week!
2.  Date night with my hubby.  Sort of...we went to a company dinner at the beach so we weren't totally alone but we were childless.  Never mind that it actually took place in June--remember what I said about grace!
3.  Read 1 F/1 NF book.  I didn't finish the fiction book, but I did finish Seven by Jen Hatmaker.  Again: WRECKED ME.
4.  Make dentist appointments.  Not done!  Told you so!
5.  Playroom.  We got a lot accomplished--we went from toys covering the floor to toys organized in baskets and bookshelves put together and put in the room.  We ordered baskets and are waiting on them to come in to finish our project, so it goes on the list again for June!
6.  Stick to budget.  Let's not even discuss this one.  This is one of those areas where Satan seeks to destroy me.  It will definitely go on the list again for June.
7.  Paint outside doors.  Moving this one on down the list for June too!

June has already started off on a crazy note.  Our first full week was spent at the beach, we came home to one day of work for mom (I know, right?  A teacher?  Working in the summer?!), a planned business trip for mom and dad (which got cancelled), and several weeknight activities our first "official" week of summer, and next week is VBS!  This month is definitely going to have to be a slow month for crossing things off the list, but after all, isn't that what summer is for?!  Here is the June list:

June Goals
1.  Cross some items off of the summer bucket list.  And post the list on the good ol' blog!
2.  Date night with my hubby.  Again...alone!
3.  Read 1 F/1 NF book.  I just started Love Does by Bob Goff, I'm planning to reread Seven, and I have a Barnes and Noble gift card just waiting to add some fiction to my list!
4.  Make dentist appointments.  Enough said.
5.  Playroom.  I am planning on getting this room completely finished this month.  Come on IKEA, ship those baskets!  Maybe I'll even share before and afters!
6.  Stick to budget.  This is my first bite of the elephant but being home in the summer makes it even harder.  Lunch out?  Sure!  Those windows need curtains!  My drawers need cute organizers!  My mantle needs decorations!  Cue Target and Amazon!  Now you know why I said I am planning to reread Seven!
7.  Paint outside doors.  Maybe I can find a day that it isn't raining and isn't too hot to make this happen this month!
8.  Freezer Cooking session.  Because I love using my kitchen when I have time, because school will start back, sooner rather than later, and because I am on a mission to feed this brood some healthy, yummy food on those busy school nights when cooking sounds like a chore.
9.  Make a (short!) list of summer projects.  There are always a few things that need to be done before school starts back--things that need to be reorganized after being thrown around during the school year.  I am hoping to get some of these done in the short weeks ahead!

I know it's already halfway through June, which doesn't bode well for this list and really does bother the OCD part of me.  BUT this list actually does make me think about what needs to be done, so I'm putting it out there again!  What are your plans for this month??

Friday, June 13, 2014

Birthday Girl

A couple of weeks ago, we had a birthday party for our best girly.  It was so much fun!  In the past, we have done the big, blowout birthday parties and invited her whole class...but this year, we decided to "simplify" things and only invite a few super close friends.  Kinley loves Cupcake Wars, so we decided to do our own version of her favorite show.


We set up everything so that the girls had easy access to the kitchen and all of the necessary tools.  We had plans for the girls to choose a cake flavor, icing flavor, and decorations.  We chose a beach theme because our girly loves the beach and summertime!  We also got all of the necessary supplies to make displays for their tasty creations.

Each team had their own bowl, complete with measuring spoons and a cute cupcake pot holder.

They chose their cake flavor and baking cups.

There were plenty of options for decorating too!

We had the table set and ready for lunch when they got home from the gym.  Each girl had a cupcake headband and an apron for the festivities!

We even gave out awards--they were decided upon AFTER the cupcakes were created, and ranged from "Best Use of Beach Theme" to "Most Random Cupcake Ever" (that was Kinley's pink cupcake with candy lips all over it.  Beach romance, perhaps?).  Special thanks to my sisters for "judging"!  Each girl also got to take her tasty creations home in the plastic cupcake trays, thanks to Publix!

The Party

We picked up the girls at the gym after their Saturday morning workouts, and after a lunch of Chick-fil-a nuggets and chips and dip, they got serious about partying.They started by making their aprons using fabric markers.  They turned out so cute!

After making cupcakes and display stands (which I'll have to post pictures of at another time because I can't get my camera to work!), we had birthday cake and let Kinley open gifts before we headed out for an evening at Bridge Street.

A Night On the Town

The girls had dinner at PF Chang's (and we were so proud of those who tried new things!), and then did some shopping.  We had a blast watching them run around and play and be in that in-between little girl and big girl stage.

We came back home for a sleepover to end the night, and although I'm not sure how much actual sleeping took place, I think they had a good time.

Mommy Thoughts

It is hard to believe that my girly is NINE.  Half of eighteen years--wow...that went by in a hurry!  I heard John Croyle say years ago that when a baby is born you should imagine them with a suitcase, and you have eighteen years to pack all of the good things that you can into that suitcase so that they will be ready when they leave you.  At the time, eighteen years sounded like a loooooooong time.  Now...not so much.  The days are long, but the years are short.

We have loved every minute of Kinley's nine years with us, and this little party was such a fun way to celebrate her.  Here's to the next nine, E!  We love you!