Tuesday, April 26, 2016

MOTHER'S DAY GIFT GUIDE | For the mom who has everything

I can't believe April is almost over. It seems like just yesterday I was yearning for warm weather, and now, in less than two weeks, we'll celebrate our favorite mothers.

If you're anything like me, choosing gifts for Mother's Day can be challenging. In our family, Mother's Day falls a few weeks before both my mom and my MIL's birthdays. I like to give heartfelt, thoughtful gifts with meaning, but it's sometimes hard to come up with those gifts in a few weeks' span. My mom and my MIL would both tell you that we don't have to get them anything, but that's really not an acceptable answer (Love you both!) The truth is, sometimes picking out gifts can be overwhelming especially when it involves purchasing things for the mom who has everything (and if she doesn't, she'll go out and buy it when she wants it).

Here are 8 gift ideas to make your Mother's Day shopping trip(s) a little easier!

1. A Stack of Inspirational Bracelets to Show How Much You Care


I am obsessed with MantraBands. I received a few for Christmas and gave some as gifts. I've not-so-secretly hinted that I'd like some in silver for Mother's Day. 

2. Birthstone Alex and Ani Bangles.


I must be stuck on bracelets today, but I think they make good gifts. Why not give the mothers in your life birthstone bangles?

3. Monogrammed Bag


I LOVE Grateful Bags. There's just something about a monogram that makes anything better. I received a tote for Christmas from Grateful Bags and love it.

4. Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough


I saw this company on Shark Tank and I have to say, this idea is genius. Who doesn't eat raw cookie dough? Anytime we make cookies, I find our boys and myself dying to eat the cookie dough, but I know we shouldn't because of the raw eggs. Why not give mom some safe-to-eat cookie dough to enjoy? After all, she deserves it!

5. A Day of Pampering

Being a mom is the greatest thing in the world, but sometimes, you get tired. Why not show your mom (or wife) how much you appreciate her by giving her a day to get pampered rather than do the pampering? 

6. Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt/Sorbet/Ice Cream Maker


When I was growing up, I remember my parents making homemade ice cream so many nights. As an adult, I love frozen yogurt and am often the instigator of our trips to get some. Why not make it easy to have frozen yogurt at any time? 

7. Rodan + Fields Products


Rodan + Fields is awesome (disclaimer: I'm an independent consultant). I love knowing that I'm doing something good for my skin when I use my R+F products. If you're interested in trying the products or purchasing some for your mom, please let me know. I have mini-facials I'm happy to send for those just wanting to try to products. 

8. A Basket of Her Favorite Things



I love basket gifts. My sister and mom are both really good at giving these gifts, too. Basically, just a basket of her favorite things. 

VS Giftcard - Who doesn't want a new bathing suit?
Reese Peanut Butter Cups
OPI Nail Polish


Do you have any Mother's Day gift ideas? I really need help! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

THE WEEKEND I DIDN'T WANT TO END

This weekend was just the best. The best. Hands down, one of the bests I've had lately (not that mine have been bad; this one was just that good).

The weekend started with taking dinner to a sweet friend and her family. She just had a baby girl who couldn't have been any more precious. I made poppy seed chicken casserole and hash brown casserole and took salad, rolls, and cupcakes. The boys had a blast seeing their friends!



We went on a "family date" to Mellow Mushroom after visiting with our friends and got a pizza. After dinner, the boys wanted to go to Target. They each had some money that was burning a hole in their pockets.

  


Saturday was a really fun day. We started the morning at the ArtFields 5K. This was my first race since September. I was so nervous! I used to get slightly nervous before races, but haven't lately. Not racing for almost seven months made me nervous again. I wasn't sure how fast I'd be, so I was shooting for around 20:30. I believe I ran a 20:04 last year and since I haven't been pushing it as much, I thought I'd be a little slower.

I had a great run and was thrilled with my finish. Not only did I do better than I expected, I broke 20 minutes in the race and finished in 19:57.

The sweetest part was having out little Kaden run in with me. This race is a color run (definitely not my favorite - I always say no to color when I get to each station), but Kaden wanted to get colored. Kevin, the boys, and my mom were about 100 yards from the finish line and he ran in with me and had a blast.

After a cool down run with some friends, we waited for the awards and watched Kaden completely cover himself in color. He just loves it. K.C. watched from a safe distance!





We walked around the green after the awards and then had lunch.


After lunch, we checked out some of the art in the competition.




That afternoon, Kevin and the boys went fishing with my dad and my sister's boyfriend while I hung out with my mom and sister. We rode up to the pond where they were fishing to see how they were doing and then went to get some fresh strawberries. Kaden decided he wanted to go with us and picked a basket of strawberries all by himself.






We ate dinner at my parents and hung out for the rest of the night.

With the exception of church on Sunday, we stayed outside all day. We went to my in-laws for lunch and visited with them most of the afternoon.

When we got home, I went for a run while the boys played outside with our neighbors. When I got back, they had a big bucket sitting in our drive way and in it was a snake! I am petrified of anything that crawls (lizards) or slithers (snakes). Thankfully, it was a harmless snake, but the kids and Kevin were fascinated and touched it as I screamed.



After dinner, the boys asked to watch Fixer Upper, so we did that before giving them baths and getting them to bed.

Weekends like this one make me yearn for summer and endless weekends.

What fun things did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Transform Your Ugly Contractor Mirrors

Please tell me I'm not the only person who hates those lovely contractor mirrors that are always hung when you build a house. While I can't figure out why they don't do something about them, I can tell you what I decided to do about them: frame them!

After looking at these lovely mirrors for a few years, I decided that something had to be done. I searched online and found several different tutorials on how to beautify these mirrors and decided to give it a try. 



It turned out to be a really simple project and one I could complete almost entirely alone.The first step in the project was to measure the mirrors. We are so lucky to have two huge contractor mirrors, so I took measurements of both. The next step was to pick our molding. For the master bath, I wanted something a little dressier, so I choose a molding with a pretty pattern on it. For another bathroom, I wanted something simpler. When I went to get the molding, I also picked up some spray paint. All of our faucets are nickle, so I wanted the mirrors to match. 

The most critical part of the project was cutting the molding correctly. Many times, your local Lowes or Home Depot will cut it for you, but I opted to have my FIL cut ours. 





Once it was cut, I sprayed three coats of paint on the molding and let it dry. 





After the molding was thoroughly dry, Kevin hung it up. He used a strong mirror adhesive and then we used painter's tape to secure it while the glue dried. I left the tape up for about three days.


I'm so happy with the result. It transformed our mirrors and in the process, transformed our bathrooms.



If you feel the same way I do about contractor mirrors and haven't known what to do about them, I promise you that this is a quick and easy fix. I couldn't be happier!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A DAY IN MY LIFE

I always want to do a day in my life post, but forget to take pictures. When I realized that this month's Show and Tell Tuesday with Momfessionals is all about a day in my life, I knew I wanted to join in.

I think it's always interesting to see how other people spend their days. Many times, I feel like I have no margin in my day, so it's nice to put everything down and see what I actually do.

Also, the day that I've documented (yesterday, 4.18.16) was a rest day for me with exercise. I typically run five days a week, so those days look different depending upon if I run before work, at lunch, or at night.

6:15 am - Wake up. My alarm goes off. I really want to hit snooze, but know I need to get up. I ask myself if it's Saturday and realize that the week is just starting. I slept great!


6:25 am - Start Breakfast. I get up and brush my teeth then head to the kitchen to get breakfast started. This morning, I'm making waffles and bacon, so I put the bacon in the oven to cook before taking a quick shower.

Tip: I bake bacon on 400 for about 20 minutes. I use a stone with aluminum foil to make for easy clean up.

6:35 am - Shower. Since today is my off day from running, I go ahead and take a quick shower, wash my hair, and put on makeup before the boys get up.

6:50 am - Finish Breakfast. I'm back in the kitchen mixing up waffles. I call upstairs to the boys to wake them up. Kevin gets them up and has them get ready while I finish breakfast. I unload the dishwasher while I'm waiting for the waffles to cook.

7:00 am - Breakfast is on the table. Kevin and I both sit down and eat with the boys. We talk to them, reread a book Kaden needs to take an AR test on, and go over their presentations for a family heritage project they both had to turn in and present. After the kids eat and take their vitamins, they go brush their teeth while I put their lunchboxes in their book bags and get their coats out.


7:25 am - Leave for school. Kevin and I switch off on who takes them based on what we have going on. This morning, he took them since I made breakfast. Once they leave for school, I finish cleaning the kitchen from breakfast and pack my lunch. Since today is not a run day, I dry and curl my hair, put on my clothes for work, and make up our bed. I also pack a bag for baseball practice and read my Bible. I decided to start reading through Romans, so I read the first chapter and journal.

   



8ish am - It's out the door for me. I have about a 25 minute commute if I hit the lights right. I use my morning drive as some quiet time this morning. 

8:30 am - I'm at work. I spend the morning answering emails, returning calls, making revisions on drafts, talking with my boss, and in a meeting. Since it's a Monday, I print out my list of things I need to accomplish for the week. Of course this list gets added to, but it's a good start. I also make some decaf coffee.

     


12:00 pm - Lunch. I normally take a late lunch, but today, I have a meeting at 1pm, so I decide to heat up some leftover Stromboli and eat at my desk so I can finish a few things. The Boston Marathon is on and I have it playing, so I watch the last 10 minutes or so with my lunch. I also talk to Kevin for a minute while he's home for lunch, a definite perk I'm glad he has due to working literally next door to our house.

  



12:30 pm - 5ish pm - Work. I have a meeting, work on a few projects, write some notes, take some photos for social media, and finalize a few things. I change for baseball since I'm helping Kevin coach (we'll use the word coach lightly).


5:30 pm - 6:30 pm - Baseball practice. The boys both did awesome at baseball. Kaden couldn't decide if he really wanted to play or not this year because he gets bored in the field, but tonight, he decided he wanted to. I was proud of how well he caught and hit. K.C. did great, too! I help Kevin when I need to, but tonight, my FIL and another dad from the team are helping, so I talked with a friend during practice while we watched our boys play.



6:45 pm - Dinner. We decided to go to Chickfila after practice to get something quick to eat. If you haven't tried the frosted coffee, you should!

 


7:45 - 8:30 pm - Homework and Bath time. We made it home from Chickfila about 7:30. On a night without baseball, we're home early, so we have plenty of time to play (lately, it's been soccer outside), but since we had baseball, we had to get to work. K.C. doesn't have spelling this week because of standardized testing, so he and Kevin read some books. Normally I work with K.C. and Kevin works with Kaden, but tonight, I work with Kaden on his spelling and read a book with him. He's been asking me to do homework with him some, so it worked out well. 

While the boys take a bath, Kevin irons their clothes for school on Tuesday while I get their folders signed and book bags ready for the morning. K.C. did a math sheet after his bath.

Normally, we turn the lights off at 8:30, but tonight, we're a little behind due to baseball. I think it's so important for kids to stay active and be involved in organized sports, but it does make our night more stressful to me. haha There are only a few weeks of school left though, so I'm really not worried about it.

Before bed, we read a Bible story, say prayers, and the boys ask to read a little of "There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom," so we read a few chapters of it. I'm so glad they like to read.

8:55 pm - Pack Lunch and Tidy Up. We're back downstairs and it's time to pack lunch. For lunch tomorrow, the boys will have a ham sandwich, fruit, olives, Pringles (for Kaden)/CheezIts (K.C.), and a treat (chocolate chip cookies for K.C./Rice Krispie Treat for Kaden). 


Some reality TV shows are my guilty pleasure, so I turn on Southern Charm and finish lunch during the commercial break.

9:30 pm - Relax and Unwind. Lunch is packed and Kevin and I sit on the couch to relax some. We finish watching Southern Charm and watch a few minutes of the RH of Dallas before going to our room. I take a bath, Kevin irons his clothes for work tomorrow, and we flip through the channels. I read a little.



I happen to check an old email address where I mainly get junk mail and click on a She Reads Truth email. This verse (above) was in the email as the verse to memorize this week. I really feel like God is speaking to me through this verse. It's one that has helped me through everything. In fact, this verse is already (in a different format), the screensaver on my phone. It makes me feel good.

11:30 pm - Sleep. I remember seeing 11:30, but that's the last thing I remember. It's night time!


Monday, April 18, 2016

LIFE LATELY | 4.18.16

Today feels like a great day to catch up on life. Here are a few things that we've been doing lately.



My cousin got married a few weeks ago. We had a great time!


We had a great Easter celebrating our Lord and Savior. 



My family spoiled me with a great 30th birthday party!



One of my best friends and I went to Charleston to see The Phantom of the Opera. It was awesome!


The boys finished their spring soccer season.


We got fish! K.C.'s is Absal (a Pokemon) and Kaden's is Bubbles. The story goes something like this: Kaden asks for a fish for his birthday. I think a fish won't be much trouble in the realm of pets. Kevin says ok if we take care of them (I'm really good at not taking care of animals). The boys and I go to the pet store and somehow leave with two fish. They are cute though (the boys and the fish!)!

This guy lost his eighth tooth! We joke that he'll be eating ice cream and soup only before long.



I got a new pair of glasses. I am absolutely horrible about taking out my contacts. Last week, I went to the eye doctor and decided to go ahead and get some new glasses as mine are eight or so years old. I'm looking forward to them coming in.


Our Saturday with nothing to do turned into a Saturday of cleaning and organizing. I decided to go through the craft/art supplies the boys and I have. I'm happy to report that my kitchen table is now clean and my art cabinets are organized. We made a trip to Goodwill to donate a bunch of clothes and household items, too. It always feels good to purge.


Kevin and I went out to run some errands Saturday night and ended up at a little Italian place near our house. We ordered the Stromboli to split. It was divine!

That's what we've been up to lately! What have you been doing?