Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday Favorites: Last One for March

Happy {Good} Friday, friends! I'm so thankful for this weekend and beyond grateful that we serve a risen Savior! It's Friday, but Sunday's coming! 


-ONE-
Well, we have been keeping a little secret...



We are moving!!! 

It's not far -- about 20 miles across the DFW Metroplex -- but it's a big change for us! We simply needed more space with two growing boys and also needed to be closer to Brandon's work for commuting purposes. And, in the "wants" category were much better schools for our boys. So, we signed a contract on a house in early February, listed our current house in mid-February, sold it in about 36 hours and are moving next Friday. Eeek! 

We are so excited -- a little scared to leave what and who we know, of course -- but very thrilled about the future and beyond thankful for how the Lord provided. I'll share more details in the coming weeks, including some inspiration photos for the house and rooms in it. 

My top is the cult favorite from Nordstrom {here

-TWO-
I shared some fun posts this week: my experience with Swap.com {here} and a delicious, easy weeknight recipe {here}. Hop on over to those if you missed them! :)




-THREE-
I have been so engrossed in "American Dynasties: The Kennedys" and can't stop watching it!  I realize this makes me such an old lady to admit to watching documentaries, but I love history and this family is so interesting to me. 



-FOUR-
Ashley monogrammed the boys' seersucker swimsuits, and I just adore them! I'm going to sneak them in their Easter baskets! 


-FIVE-
What are everyone's Easter plans? We are planning to go to one of my best friends' mom's houses for dinner and to let our collective four boys have an Easter egg hunt on Saturday evening. These are our friends who recently moved to Austin and they're coming up for the holiday, so we're thrilled to see them. On Sunday, we are planning to go to my in-law's church since we are moving right by it and want to try it out to see if it's perhaps our new church home. 

But I was looking back at pictures from last Easter and oh my heart! Time is such a thief. 


My dress is sold out, but a similar version is here



-SIX-
And speaking of Easter, it is so much more to our family than the Easter bunny, egg hunts and baskets filled to the brim. It is about the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful God sent his son, Jesus, who died for each and every one of us. And y'all, this gift of salvation is just that: a gift. It's free! It costs you nothing! I know that in this world of "tit-for-tat" and "there's no such thing as a free lunch," that is a hard thing to comprehend. But, I pray wholeheartedly that if you don't know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you would come to know Him. I promise you, it is the best decision you will ever, ever make! 



Linking up with: April, Amanda, Andrea, Claire and Katie
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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Thoughts for Thursday: Easy Recipe Files -- Shrimp Quinoa Bowls

Happy Thursday! With spring here, I love making lighter, easier meals that my whole family can enjoy. Enter this super easy Shrimp Quinoa Bowl! My friend Stacy introduced it to me years ago and I've since adapted to suit my family's needs. The boys love it, it's filling and makes lots of leftovers. :)

Here's the recipe: 



Shrimp Quinoa Bowls 

Ingredients 
1 c. quinoa 
2 TBSP dried cilantro (or fresh, chopped) 
1 bag frozen baby shrimp, tails removed and de-veined (thawed) 
1 c. frozen corn, thawed and cooked (or 1 can corn, warmed)
1 can black beans, warmed 
1 TBSP fresh chives, chopped 
1 clove minced garlic 
Olive oil 
Salt and pepper (to taste) 
Cumin (to taste) 

Directions
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, mix in cilantro and salt/pepper to taste and set aside. 
2. Drizzle olive oil in a pan and add garlic, stirring until fragrant. Add in shrimp, sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper and cook until pink. Set aside. 
3. Warm the black beans and corn and set aside. Chop the chives. 
4. Assemble your bowls: layer quinoa, followed by black beans, then corn, then shrimp and sprinkle with chives. Add any additional salt/pepper as needed to taste. 

Enjoy!


Linking up with Owen 
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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Fun Fashion with Swap.com

Before I had children, I wouldn't have thought to purchase clothes for them {or us} secondhand. Not that I was snootily against it, but it just wasn't something that was on my radar. But then, I had children. And whew, my eyes were opened to how quickly kids outgrow clothes, how quickly they can ruin the cutest little outfit, and how, if you have multiple children the same gender, the seasons might not align and therefore you're left with purchasing a whole new wardrobe for your second (or subsequent children). 

I knew there had to be a better way. When I heard April mentioning another secondhand site a couple of years ago, and then when the ladies in our church started an online Facebook group swap site, it hit me: why not buy secondhand clothes for your kids -- and yourself? If it's in great condition and reasonably priced, you can bet your bottom dollar {no pun intended} that I'm going to scoop up a $6.99 Ralph Lauren shirt for my boys as opposed to the one that retails over $30 each. 

Enter Swap.com, the largest online consignment and thrift store. When I had the opportunity to try them out for free, I was totally onboard! I had previously tried another secondhand site with great success, so this was right up my alley. 

Thanks to Swap.com, I was able to get the following items for our family for exactly $100.60 {they covered $100, I covered the $.60}: 

+ Two long-sleeved Ralph Lauren shirts for the boys: 


Shirts c/o Swap.com
Walker's shorts are custom-made from this Etsy store
Knox's shorts are here

+ Two Columbia fleeces for the boys for next fall/winter: 

Fleeces c/o Swap.com

+ A Banana Republic button-up for Brandon to wear to work on Fridays and/or out on dates: 

Shirt c/o Swap.com
Jeans are here

+ A J.Crew long-sleeved henley shirt to wear around town: 

Shirt c/o Swap.com
Jeans are here

+ A Loft ruffle-neck black dress for me: 

Dress c/o Swap.com
Sunglasses are here
Earrings are here
Shoes are here
Watch is old {similar

+ And a J.Crew ruffle-neck shell for me: 

Top c/o Swap.com
Pants are here
Earrings are old {similar}
Bracelet is here
Watch is old {similar


Overall, I was really pleased with Swap.com. Their website was very easy to maneuver and I got my shipment in less than a week, which was far sooner than the other online consignment company I'd used previously. I was impressed with the range of brands they offered across the board, but do wish they would offer a few more high-end brands for women like Tory Burch, Lily Pulitzer and Lululemon, but overall, I was very pleased with my experience and thankful that Swap.com reached out to me to try! 

Want to try Swap.com for yourself? They're offering my readers a special discount code! If you're a first-time Swap.com user, use "SHOPSWAP40" for 40% off your entire purchase. And if you're a returning Swap.com user, use "SHOPSWAP20" for 20% off your entire purchase. (Some exclusions apply; discount code expires June 30, 2018.) You can also use my referral link {here} for 20% percent off your purchases of $20 or more! 


Linking up with Jessi and Jenn 

Brandon's shirts, my dress, my shirt, the boys' shirts and their jackets are all C/O Swap.com
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Monday, March 26, 2018

Weekending

Happy Monday, y'all! Our weekend felt like it honestly flew by in a flash, and I'm in shock Monday is already back upon us. Here's a bit of what we were up to: 

\\ FRIDAY: 

+ I had planned for a fun morning spent at the Dallas Arboretum seeing the beautiful tulips they plant each year...but Walker wasn't feeling it. Y'all, four has been pretty challenging in terms of just being willfull and strong-willed, and it's just something we're working through daily. Anyway, Knox and I had fun and were able to snap a few pictures in the beautiful blooms





+ Anyway, we came home after some meltdowns and enjoyed an afternoon hanging out at home. We were surprised with a fun Easter "happy" in the mail from Nature Nates, and the boys had a ball coloring the color sheets, stamping all over them and putting on their pretend tattoos. 


+ We had a low-key evening and went to bed pretty early. 

\\ SATURDAY: 

+ Knox and I went to our across-the-street neighbors' second birthday party, and then had lunch out, followed by a really lazy day at home that was capped off with a beautiful sunset. 






\\ SUNDAY: 

+ Walker and I went to Studio Movie Grill to celebrate his sweet friend, Silas's, fourth birthday party! We saw "Sherlock Gnomes," and they gave the kiddos and parents each popcorn, a cupcake and a drink -- so Walker thoroughly enjoyed his popcorn and chocolate milk, skipping nap, seeing the movie and of course, hanging with one of his best buddies! 




We have a really busy, full week this week, so I'm signing off for now. I hope y'all have a great week! 

Linking up with Biana
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Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, y'all! 



-ONE-
It's supposed to be rainy pretty much all week next week, so the boys and I enjoyed a lot of fun outside time this week before we will be indoors a lot over the next few days: the park, a picnic at the airport to watch planes take off and land, and lots of afternoon and evening walks. 

I also got to do something fun this week: read to Walker's class for {a belated} Dr. Seuss week at school! And then we decided to have a little post-school treat at Dairy Queen for their annual Free Cone Day. It was the boys' first cones and they were loving life. 






-TWO-
I was ordering Knox some bathing suits from Old Navy and ran across these cheapie sunglasses for myself...and of course had to get them! ;) They were on sale for $12 and I had a 35% off coupon! (I picked up this pair of swimsuit bottoms for Knox and these shoes for the boys, too, in case you're wondering!) 


-THREE-
If you missed it, I shared on Wednesday some of Knox's (and our) favorite products for {almost} two-year-olds! I can't believe my baby is going to be two in two months! 



-FOUR-
On the subject of "you know you're old when..." (or perhaps better titled, "you know you're addicted to Amazon when...") the following home purchases are delivered to you via Amazon Prime. I mean, honestly, what did I do without Amazon Prime? (The answer to that question is: I spent less money on random crap.) But laziness and money aside, these things are awesome, so I felt like I had to share the love...and also, I always love seeing what people buy on Amazon for some reason. Yep, I'm nosy! 


I mean, does this need an explanation?! ;) Ours recently bit the dust, so it was time for a new one. 


+ Berry Avenue Broom Holder and Garden Tool Organizer {$13.97} 

I saw this on one of those BuzzFeed "cool Amazon gadgets" and decided to scoop it up for the price. I'm an organizer by nature and clearly am on a spring cleaning kick! 


+ 18-piece glass food storage container set {$35.95} 

Clearly the most expensive of the purchases, but I seriously do NOT know where all of our Tupperware disappears to, and we're always left with the cheap, flimsy plastic ones. And, I'm trying to be better about not heating up leftovers in plastic containers, so this was a good option for us. 


-FIVE-
Special thanks to Azar Nut Co. (based out of El Paso, Texas -- shout-out to my Texan companies!) for sending us three products to try: Sweet Valley Organics organic dark chocolate bites in Sea Salt Toffee Almonds, Tart Cherries, Sea Salt Caramel Cashews, Tender Bananas and Cinnamon Praline Pecans...


...Softer Than Brittle snacks in almond, cashew, pecan and peanut...


...and Route 66 Santa Fe Adobe Snack Mix. 


I'm always a bit skeptical to try out new snack products, but y'all, these were good! I'm not a huge fan of nuts unless they're covered in chocolate, caramel or something that hides the actual nut texture...I know, I'm weird) so I skipped the Route 66 Santa Fe Adobe Snack Mix, but Brandon assures me it's delicious -- and the empty bag after just two days proves that. As I suspected, the boys went wild for the Sweet Valley Organics Tender Bananas -- and I love that they're certified organic and GMO-free. (I ate the heck out of the sea salt toffee almonds!) And finally, we all went nuts (no pun intended) over the Softer Than Brittle! I personally loved the peanut and almond flavors, while Brandon and the boys didn't discriminate. With the Softer Than Brittle, I loved that it's dairy- and gluten free, and vegan! 

Linking up with: April, Amanda, Andrea, Claire and Katie

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: Our {Almost} Two-Year-Old Favorites

Since Knox is almost two years old {sob!}, I thought I would share some of his favorite products/toys with y'all today. He's getting to be so much more of a little boy than a toddler, and I can't even begin to describe how happy and yet simultaneously sad that is for me! I feel like he was just born yesterday. 




one || two || three

four || five || six 


eight || nine || ten

-ONE-
This stuffed monkey is Knox's absolute favorite! He knows the word "monkey," but insists on calling it "ooh ooh ahh ahh" only. He carries it everywhere and just adores this thing. It's super soft and holds up well in the washing machine. 

-TWO-
We have continually loved this sound machine, and we all use one in our bedrooms. (And even travel with it, too!) It's loud enough to drown out noises and allow our children to sleep, but not so loud that it's annoying. I love that you can customize the volume and tone with the simple twist of the machine. 

-THREE-
These bowls were a recent purchase and one I'm so glad I made. Knox loves his snacks in a "boo," as he says, and then will proceed to walk around my house with his bowls of Greek yogurt-covered raisins, Goldfish crackers or dry Kix cereal. They're made of recycled milk jugs, which I think is super cool, too. I love how well they hold up in the dishwasher (no warping) and, since they're plastic, I don't have to worry about little hands breaking them. 

-FOUR-
I know, I know, screen time is a huge debate around the Momosphere. I was very anti-screen time until Knox was born, but alas, that #secondkid did me in and sometimes I'd just like to take a 10-minute shower (or cook dinner) in silence. The boys both received these Kids Kindle Fire Tablets for Christmas and each get one hour per day of screen time on them. (Some days we don't even use them at all.) I have a love/hate relationship with these things, to be honest -- love for the reasons mentioned above, but hate because I do notice behavioral differences out of my children when they've had their screen time for the day. I do try to limit it to educational games (Starfall ABC's is a favorite) and educational shows (e.g. "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood") but sometimes a little 12-minute episode of "Fireman Sam" is A-okay with me. 

-FIVE-
My boys never really took to traditional sippy cups {instead preferring these straw ones}, and so when my pediatrician recommended getting Knox started on training for a "regular" cup, I was a little hesitant. But, I purchased these trainer cups for Walker and knew they would be good for Knox, too. He loves them and does great with them! My only complaint is that, since we use them for milk only {they drink water out of these cups}, they do start to get smelly after a while after I put them in the dishwasher, and I ultimately have to toss them and get new ones. But otherwise, Knox loves them and uses them frequently, so therefore, they're my favorite! 

-SIX-
This car seat is by far my favorite! We actually purchased it for Walker when he was still in a convertible car seat {he's moved on to this booster, still using the five-point harness}. I actually purchased this Britax convertible car seat for Knox and absolutely hated it, so it was moved to Brandon's car as our "extra" car seat when Walker moved out of this convertible car seat and into his booster. I love that it reclines, it's durable, comfortable and of course, safe. 

-SEVEN-
We listen to this CD so much it's burning out on me, no joke! It's great for Knox to learn the words to songs and it's little kids who sing the songs, so the boys are both immediately drawn to it. (Runner-up CD in our house is this one.) 

-EIGHT- 
Knox would spend all day outside if I would let him, and his favorite activity is to "race" these dump trucks with Walker. They go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth in our backyard more times than I can count, and Knox especially loves filling the dump truck up with as many backyard "treasures" as he can find: rocks, acorns, flowers from my potted plants...

-NINE-
Knox is my child who carries around random objects, for example, the screwdriver from this toy tool set. (Or the toy tweezers from this toy doctor kit.) I don't even try to understand it, but this boy loves him a "drew-dry-der" and will even sleep with it! Ha! (This little set would make a great gift for a little boy at your next boy birthday party!) 

-TEN-
I don't know one little boy who isn't obsessed with Matchbox cars, and Knox is no exception. He is constantly "vroom"-ing cars around our house or in our cars, and, along with the toy screwdriver, must have at least one Matchbox car in his hand while we're in the car. I even carry extras in my glove box just in case! (This would make a great gift for a little boy!) 

Linking up with Jessi and Jenn 

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Weekending

We had a very low-key weekend, which was so needed. 


Honestly, we didn't do too much worth photographing, but here are some highlights: 

\\ SATURDAY: 

+ St. Patrick's Day is a lot more tame these days with little ones. ;) We had a fun little green-themed breakfast: cinnamon rolls with green icing and green scrambled eggs -- thanks, food coloring! :)





+ The boys donned their best St. Patrick's Day gear and we headed out to Nebraska Furniture Mart to look for some new furniture and then had lunch at Rock & Brews

Walker's shirt is here; Knox's is old but similar here 

+ Saturday night, we had breakfast for dinner and then Brandon and I put the boys to bed and watched "Coyote Ugly" (why do I love that movie so much?!) and "Driving Miss Daisy." 

\\ SUNDAY: 

+ We made a trip to Home Depot and The Dump, had lunch at Rosa's, and then Walker took a nap with me while Knox napped in his bed and Brandon watched that sad Baylor basketball game on TV. 

+ After naps, we all went on a long family walk! Walker is doing great on his balance bike -- we need to get him one a bit bigger now that he's getting older. 



+ We had a simple dinner: baked chicken, Italian pasta salad and green beans -- and then all cuddled up on the couch to watch "The Lion King." I just love these two cuddle bugs! 


I hope y'all have wonderful weeks! 

Linking up with Biana

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