Back to School with Stuck On You

In Mommyhood
Back to school with Stuck On You
*The items featured in this post were given to me in exchange for a review.  The opinion expressed is 100% mine.*

When it comes to back to school, we’re half and half at our house right now.  Gav is back in school as of Monday, big first grader, and Ro is in full on prep mode.  It’s so strange that I will have two kids in school Tuesday through Thursday come September.  Not too sure what I’m going to do with myself but I’m thinking it will involve quite a few lattes and a manicure or two.  Anyway, one of the biggest things for me is making sure the boys have a balanced lunch.  I’m trying to teach them healthy habits and we’ve got an awesome tool from Stuck On You to help out.

Back to school with Stuck On You

These bento boxes make lunches super easy and balanced, easy for mom and yummy for the kiddos.  I love the sectioned insert and there’s plenty of space to put enough in to keep my hungry hippos full.  I think my favorite part of the insert is the center circle because I’m always scrounging for a small container for dips and they get tossed around in the lunch box.  This space is perfect for hummus, ranch, or even the occasional treat if I’m feeling fancy.

Back to school with Stuck On You Back to school with Stuck On You

What’s so fun about Stuck On You bentos is the personalization.  Stuck on You is the original and best personalized labeling company so they have a great selection to choose from.  I love the designs I picked for the boys.  I mean, look at that super hero bunny!  Honestly, I want one for myself and you know it would have a unicorn on it.  I usually dread getting lunches ready because I never know what I’m going to put in there from day to day.  However, these bentos have made me excited to plan out some healthy options for the growing boys.

What are some of your kids’ favorite healthy lunch options?

You can see one of my other favorite products from Stuck On You, their name labels, in THIS POST.

Our White + Bright Fireplace Makeover

In DIY, House Tour

Along the same lines as the emergency binder post, I’ve accomplished another item off my own personal summer bucket list!  This one was with the help of my awesome hubby and Youtube.  I love DIY and doing different crafts but I’ve never done one on a larger scale.  And while this project is mainly just a paint job, I think it definitely qualifies as a large scale DIY.

Hubby took to Youtube to find what we would need and how much of a process it would be.  He found THIS ONE and we got to work.  As you can see, I was super helpful from the start.

Fireplace Makeover

Hubby did the main rolling and I came in with the grout work.  That took, what felt like, FOREVER.  Our mortar is so far back in some places that it took more than a few strokes to cover.  Luckily, we only needed to prime the grout for it to look good.  Hubby rolled on the additional paint layer to finish it off.

We are so thrilled with how it turned out and how bright it has made the entire room.  We don’t have a ton of light that comes into our house.  When the fireplace was traditional brick, it would stay a little dim even with all the blinds up.  Now, it bounces right off of the pretty white paint and lights up the main level.  We were also fortunate to already have the white mantel piece (removed in the before pic) so that saved us a ton of time.

Fireplace MakeoverFireplace MakeoverFireplace MakeoverFireplace Makeover

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Family Emergency Binder

In DIY, Mommyhood

In addition to the summer bucket list that I created for the boys and our family, I also created one that was specific to things I’d like to do myself.  Certain things on this list include getting a mani/pedi, buying a floppy hat, and doing a large scale DIY.  I’ve checked off two of those already! Another on this list was to redo our family emergency binder. I had found a printable one on Pinterest years ago and decided that it was something that was a good idea to have but found that I hardly used any of the pages.  Time for a makeover!Continue reading

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Turn Any Present Into a Unicorn

In DIY

Turn Any Present Into a Unicorn

I’m totally on the unicorn bandwagon.  I have coffee mugs with unicorns, they decorate my office, and my obsession is so obvious that Gav always points them out to me and wants to buy me unicorn things. (Seriously though, how sweet is that?!)  Needless to say, while you don’t HAVE to be a girl to love unicorns, my boys are very much into anything with wheels and loud noises.  So, my unicorns and I live in my office.  That is until we get around my sister-in-law and her daughter!  I live vicariously through them and love giving my niece all of the cute unicorn, pink, gold, glitter everything when I can.  She just turned two and I had fun picking out her tea/kitchen food set but when it came time to wrap it, I decided to have even more fun!  Now, you could totally make this into any animal you’d like but, unicorns are awesome!  Continue reading

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June 5 Favorites

In Uncategorized

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Hey there…Long time no blog!  It was a busy month for me but a good one.  I was, very thankfully, swamped with orders and travel but I’m back and ready to dive onto my keyboard.  First things first though…it’s July and that means it’s time to recap what I loved from June.

1. The Sugar Queen – Of course I’m starting off with a book! I may not be the fastest reader, aka I fall asleep a lot, but I’m determined to reach my book goal this year of 20. Speaking of reading fast though, I blazed through this one. I’m not even really sure why but there was something that drew me into the story and I finished it in two days. Could’ve been one but, you know, mom duties call! I highly recommend this book as a quick read and a delightful story.

2. Highwaisted Swimsuits – I’m so in love with this trend! As someone who prefers to be a little more modest in dressing (mainly due to insecurities but whatcha gonna do…) these suits are my jam! There are so many out there and they are super cute. I got THIS ONE from Amazon but it’s also sold by Cupshe. (You can see it on me HERE.) You know, that brand that pops up in your Facebook feed that doesn’t seem legit but I’m here to tell you it is because I’ve ordered straight from them before with great success.

3. MOD Pizza – You make your own pizza, all the toppings you want with no extra charges for being extra, delicious gluten free option. That is all!

4. Lavender Coffee – When I hear something has lavender in it, I HAVE to try it. My bestie and I met up at a wonderful coffee shop in Roswell, GA (shoutout to Crazy Love Coffeehouse!) and they were featuring their summer iced lavender latte. I have to find a way to make this at home!

5. Ziplining – I know that I’m completely late on this train but it’s so fun!  And more than zip lining, I love treetop obstacle courses.  I was able to experience this on my trip to visit my aunt in Virginia.  The Virginia aquarium in Virginia Beach has a great climbing park and I loved every minute of it.  I’m determined to find something like it here in GA.  If you happen to be local to VB, check out The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium.

How was your June?  What were your faves?

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5 Ways to Practice Self-Care on a Budget

In Health, Uncategorized

5 ways to practice self-care on a budget

Not only as a mother but as a human in general, it’s important that I take care of myself.  With mental health still (somehow) a taboo issue, many go weeks, moths, even years without focusing some of their energy on taking care of themselves.  I’m for sure guilty of it.  It’s so hard to break that cycle, especially as a mother.  Caring day-in and day-out for little people is exhausting and down right expensive at times.  What’s left over?  If anything, you have just enough energy to take a shower once every few days and shut your eyes for half a second.  So what can you do to practice some self care, feeling a little better about our selves and not spend an arm and a leg trying to do it?

1. Clean(er) Eating – Let me slap you with an old cliche. “You are what you eat.”  Cliche? Yes.  True?  Also, yes!  The better you do for your insides, the better you’ll feel about the outside.  I learned this first hand in the past month and as I’ve reintroduced some foods back into my diet, as well as indulged a time or two (ok, like 12!), I’ve increasingly feel crappier.  It’s also not has expensive as you think.  If you’re not spending the money on the bad/less good items, you have more left over for your good things.

I also realize that this one is a matter of doing it for yourself.  I can sit here and tell you you’ll feel so much better but you have to be willing to make the effort.  Make the investment in your health and you mind will thank you for it!

2. Nail Care – Mani/Pedis are wonderful.  You feel pampered and pretty and all that good stuff.  But I’ll be darned if they don’t cost way more than I’m willing to spend on a regular basis.  Invest in some good drugstore supplies and start doing it yourself.  There are great cuticle removers, base and top coats, oils, etc out there that cost a fraction of the price of a nail salon.  They also last much longer!  Here are some of my favorite drugstore finds:

All of these together cost LESS than one manicure.  Painting your nails can takes some practice (my left hand is so uncoordinated!) but it’s worth it!

3. Essential Oils – Oils are everywhere now and it’s awesome!  Even Walmart has started selling them.  All you need is a diffuser and a couple of oils to get you started.  There are so many uses for them and benefits to using them.  Some of my favorite single oils are lavender (calming), lemongrass (keeps mosquitoes away), tea tree (blemish treatment), lemon (fresh/clean scent), Eucalyptus (calming/fresh).  And I could go on and on!

4. Drink More Water – This one is basically free!  You’re body thrives on this stuff so give it what it needs.  My favorite way to enjoy water is to drop in some fruit and/or herbs.  Infused water just tastes better in my opinion.  Some great combos include orange/cucumber, lemon/mint, or just plain lemon.

5. Take a Nap – This one is completely free and, done in the right amount of time, can really refresh you.  I know we don’t always have time for a nap, #adultingishard, but when you can, treat yourself to a 30 min power nap and you’ll thank yourself.

What are your favorite ways to do something for YOU and not brake the bank?

 

Our Summer Bucket List (Free Printable)

In Mommyhood

summer bucket list

Now that we are in our first full week of June (and finally getting better weather here in GA!), it feels like summer has really begun.  I love that the job I have lends itself to lots vacay time for the summer.  I get to spend more time with my boys, my mom who’s a school teacher, and my bestie!  During the yea, I’m a bit more limited on the clock with my shop/chalkboards/teaching dance classes so it’s a very welcome change.  I have plans y’all and I really want to check everything off our list!

Here’s our list…

  • Make Smores
  • Shoot Fireworks + Light Sparklers
  • Visit the Aquarium
  • Have a Cookout
  • Have Picnics at the Lake
  • Visit the Splash Pad
  • Visit the Beach
  • Collect shells
  • Build a Sandcastle
  • Go on Nature Walks
  • Paint Our Nature Finds
  • Got to the Farmer’s Market
  • Make “Dirt + Worm” Cups
  • Have a Water Balloon Fight
  • Make Fresh Lemonade
  • Make a Half Birthday Cake for Gav (yes…we love to celebrate half birthdays!)
  • Play with a Sprinkler in the Lawn
  • Make Ice Cream in a Bag
  • Meet Ms. Black at the Library (This is something that Gav’s amazing kindergarten teacher is offering to keep up their reading in the summer.)
  • Go for a Bowling Date with Gav
  • Scrapbook the Summer (I’ve REALLY let me memory keeping go since having Roman.  Ok…even before that!  So I want to get back into it.)
  • Play with Bubbles and Chalk in the Driveway
  • Splash in Puddles

Summer bucket list

Want to make one for your family?  Just print this one out and fill it up with fun times!

CLICK ME!

Summer Bucket List

 

Happy Summer!

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4 Myths of Whole 30

In Health

4 Myths of Whole 30

I did it!  I finished my first round of Whole 30 as of yesterday!  I really do feel much better in my body, as the program says you will, and I’ve noticed many positive changes that don’t even include my number on the scale (although that’s a huge perk!).  I originally did this to support my husband’s decision to give it a try but it’s safe to say that I became slightly obsessed with the program and learning all that I could about it.  I’m a huge fan of what it can do for you but there are still misconceptions about what the Whole 30 actually is.  If you’ve never heard of it, never done it, never looked it up, many of the things that I would share sounded down right crazy to some people.  I’m here to bust the most popular myths that I encountered while doing my first round.

  1. It’s just another fad diet. – This far from true because it’s NOT a diet.  The Whole 30 is not meant for weight loss.  Weight loss is simply a perk that goes along with eating a cleaner, more natural diet.  Also, I did ZERO calorie counting, weigh ins, or food logging.  Getting on the scale is actually discouraged for the duration of your 30 days.  The Whole 30 calls itself a “reset”.  You are literally pushing the reset button on your health to figure out what groups of food cause issues for you such as gastrointestinal problems, breakouts, bloating, etc.
  2. There’s no way you can maintain that. – And you’re right!  You’re right because the program was not meant to be maintained for life.  It’s meant for 30 DAYS (hence the name).  It’s meant for you to find out how different food group effect your body and decide what foods you’re going to completely eliminate from your diet, which ones don’t effect you, and which ones you’ll choose to indulge in sparingly.
  3. Aren’t you so hungry? – Nope.  Just because the types of foods are restrictive doesn’t mean that your portions have to be.  Remember, you’re fueling your body with the good stuff, not filler.  You’re not calorie counting here, add an extra scoop of veggies or pack on a little more protein.
  4. Well, I guess you can’t go out for a month. – Of course I can.  Doing a round of Whole 30 does not mean you have to become a hermit. Now that would, of course, be much easier and less use of willpower but it would also be a little (ok a lot) miserable.  All you have to do is prepare.  If you’re going to a party, bring your own snack or eat before you go so you’re not starving and more likely to cave.  If you’re eating out with friends, find the menu online (thank you Google!) and call ahead with questions if you want to avoid being “that person”.  Or, do what I do, call yourself out to the waiter, tell them you’re gonna be a little crazy with the questions.  I hardly ever mention that I’m on Whole 30, just that I have dietary restrictions and I’m being safe.

I hope that this is helpful and even gets you more interested in trying a round for yourself.  The more you know, the better off you are when giving this a go so be sure to do your own research, talk to your doctor, etc. before starting.  It’s also makes the entire process much easier and takes the stress out of a lot of situations.

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May 5 Favorites

In Uncategorized
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Even though the month isn’t technically over, May felt like a whirlwind!  So much happens in May that we didn’t really have a chance to blink.  Mother’s Day, hubby’s birthday, end of the year prep and parties, recital, on and on! So much going on but also an incredible amount to be grateful for too. Prime examples include my beautiful flowers from Mother’s Day and recital, a special trip to visit my brother and his family for my niece’s graduation, wedding season, celebrating a certain rising first grader, and summer break!  Here are my favorite things from the past crazy month that I think you’ll enjoy as well.Continue reading

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My Favorite Whole 30 Snacks

In Easy Eats, Health

My Favorite Whole 30 Snacks

I’m half way through Whole 30! Woohoo! Crazy to think that just about two weeks ago I was binge eating Halo Top ice cream in preparation for my first day. (This is actually discouraged by the program but I did it anyway)

I’m already feeling some positive effects from the eating plan. I have more energy (most days), I feel better mentally, I like the way my skin looks, and I have just a general feeling of being healthier. One of the weirdest things that has happened is that I find myself not really wanting certain foods like I would before. Example: Muffins with mom at Gav’s school was yesterday and I didn’t have any desire to eat the muffin. Like….what? Who am I? (I did, however pretend to take a bite to make Gav happy. If for some reason you’re reading this in the future Gav…Sorry!)Continue reading

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