Adulting.....ugh! Y'all, it stinks. After two mornings at the dentist, insurance glitches, and going through a big stack of mail (bills), I have to do something fun right now. So blog it is.

Like a crazed, pregnant woman I'm trying to get my act together before this baby comes in August. Really, I'm trying to get all my little projects done by the end of May - when school gets out. Things like....taking my kids to the dentist, sorting and ordering photos, selling a few things on eBay, painting a dresser in the boys' room, decorating the guest room, de-cluttering the toys (again!).

This summer, I just want to focus on kids, laundry, making good meals, and keeping the house reasonably clean. No extras. Except for having fun, of course.

I know what's coming - the end of pregnancy, having a newborn, nursing, taking care of the older three, having a baby under one. It's all incredibly hard work! Entering this season (once again), I know it's time to set my ambitions low.

So here's a couple of success stories lately....

My junk drawer...



Containers are from the Dollar Tree, no surprise there. This drawer is in our kitchen under the coffee pot. It was full of school supplies and random junk. The kids were always rummaging in there and it was driving me crazy! We could barely open and close it. Now it is pretty and mostly kid friendly.


My wall gallery...

from the other side... 

I had a stack of frames that I just couldn't get rid of, but I also didn't have anywhere to hang them. Then one night, so tired of looking at the stack, I asked Stephen to start hanging them up in the hallway. It's not perfect, but I LOVE it. Just do it. Sometimes I'm so paralyzed by decisions or by the lack of a big allotment of time, that I put off a project. I'm learning to just knock it out even if it doesn't go perfectly.


And here's a peak at the guest room. With the birthday money my parents gave me, I ordered a comforter for the duvet cover, bought a lamp, some new pillows, and printed some big black and white photos of Stephen and my niece playing at the beach.

More to come...


Dollar Tree Goodness

I have stuck my head in a few dollar stores over the years, and I have always been underwhelmed. Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc. The merchandise is cheap, but not that cheap. Most things cost more than a $1. And in the end, I really did not know if I was getting a good deal.

My opinion has changed since I've discovered the DOLLAR TREE. Until I took my son's class as part of their Christmas party/field trip, I had never darkened the door. And I certainly did not realize that this dollar store, unlike the others, priced EVERYTHING at $1. One dollar.

Why didn't y'all tell me?!

Since Christmas I have become a frequent Dollar Tree shopper, stopping in at least once a week to get needed items. There is one close to my son's school and it is the perfect way to burn 20 minutes before I get in the carpool line. Y'all would not believe what's in there!

Let me tell you what I buy there:

Notebooks. I use these to make grocery lists and to-do lists.

Pens and pencils and other school supplies.


Stickers. I buy these to give as birthday gifts. In fact, I now buy all my children's friends' birthday gifts here. With 3 kids going on 4, we have so many birthday parties we are invited to. Good problems. My birthday gift budget is $1-$2.

Coloring books. Also, perfect for birthday gifts.

Glue sticks, scissors, etc.

Bread. They sell Nature's Own and Sunbeam. You can buy a whole wheat loaf for $1. I happened to be in there on a Monday morning before the bread delivery for the week, which is why these shelves are sparse. But I went back yesterday and bought 4 loaves of Nature's Own bread for $4.40.

Cleaning supplies. Ironing starch.

Plastic food containers.

Paper plates.

Pet supplies. I bought that blue bowl with the bones. Our dog, Jack, can stop using my Pyrex and mixing bowl.

Rubber bands, hair supplies.

Plastic serving pieces.

Kid's toothpaste and toothbrushes.


Paper cups and plates. Perfect for holidays and school parties.

So many colors.

More baskets, etc.

Pitchers, solo cups, plastics cups.

Gift wrapping.... bags.

And wrapping paper. Lots of cute wrapping paper and so many choices. I'm kicking myself for the $15 I spent on Target wrapping paper at Christmas last year.

Balloons. This kind, helium filled and the kind that say "congrats" "happy birthday" and "get well".

Birthday candles.

Cute paper plates.

Princess napkins.

It just keeps on going, folks.

Also, they always have great seasonal goods. I bought Easter buckets, candy, and eggs there this year.

All this stuff I've shared can be so marked up at other stores. You can't even get a decent box of birthday candles at Publix for less than $3.

The Dollar Tree is a busy mom's dream. The secret is to not go crazy and avoid taking your kids in there! Get what you need. Just now, I'm feeling comfortable enough to stock up on a few items like birthday gifts.

So tell me, did y'all know about this store?  Do you have one near you?


P.S. Thank you for your snack suggestions on my last post (see comments). I feel so inspired! The afternoon snack at our house has been a much more pleasant experience this week.


After School Snack: Banana Bread

My kids have been coming home from school ravenous. And I have not had a plan! The other day when Stephen was eating chocolate chips and Laurie was finishing off a bag of marshmallows I thought to myself - okay, it's time to get organized.

So today, in anticipation of hungry tummies, I made an old faithful - banana bread. Is there anything more homey than banana bread?! I love this recipe. I've experimented with different ones, but always come back to this one.

2 sticks butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients and pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake on 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown on top.

We ate an entire loaf! Me + the kids.

What are your kids favorite after school/ afternoon snacks? I need some inspiration.


My Favorites - BABY Things

A reader suggested that I do a post on my favorite baby items. Okay! I love giving advice, solicited or unsolicited.

But I have to say, this is such subjective information. Everyone is so different, every mom, every baby, every house, and life circumstance. These are the baby items and gear that have worked  for me through the experience of mothering three newborns (and the fourth on the way). I count these things as my essentials. And at the end I'll share what I totally can do without.Your preferences may be totally different....and that is fine and good. Whatever works!


1. Chicco infant car seat Gotta have a car seat. I've really liked the Chicco. I spent a painful amount of time researching and shopping for my first baby's infant car seat. I will say, my three babies have used the Chicco and so have my niece and nephew. It's been through a lot and is still holding strong. 

2. Aden + Anais muslin swaddle blankets These blankets are the reason I keep having children. Kidding. But really,  they're wonderful. I like them because they are big and they work great for my big babies. They also make wonderful nursing covers. My recommendation is to forgo buying a nursing cover altogether and just use one of these. The gauzy material tends to stay secure over your shoulder and best of all they are light and breathable! Perfect for summer.

3. A Jenny Lind Crib These cribs are classic and inexpensive. Plus, you can paint them any color you like.

4. Infant gowns or shirts are perfect for all the frequent diapering newborns require. These gowns provide easy access and you don't have to button or zip baby up every single time you change a diaper. This is especially appreciated in the middle of the night.

5. A Boppy I love a Boppy. My deliveries have all been C-sections, and I think this is why I love a Boppy so much. It's nice to have something to hold over your incision and serve as a barrier when nursing. Also, as a former postpartum nurse, I think Boppy(s) are ideal for getting baby in the correct nursing position.

6. These gingham diaper bags with the eyelet lace are my favorite. I know the stylish diaper bags that look like a purse are popular. But my main need for a diaper bag is to leave with my baby in the church nursery. So I prefer the sweet, gingham bag which I love to have monogrammed. I like getting something with my baby's name on it, and it serves the practical purpose of identifying the bag in the nursery.

7. Umbrella strollers are my transportation mode of choice. Once again, I go with Chicco on this one. My babies tend to be big, so within a few weeks they fit are just fine in an umbrella stroller. If I go out in public, I majorly prefer a stroller to a baby carrier like an Ergo or Bjorn. I'm in the minority on this one.

8. Bouncy seat or rock n' play It's nice to have some place to put the baby down besides the crib. I let my babies nap in these things for the first 3-4 months. I would definitely say this is something to borrow. People will practically pay you to take them off their hands. My sister in law just loaned me hers last week.

9. Booster seat I prefer this Fisher Price booster dining seat to a legit highchair because they are inexpensive and portable. Also, I tried the charming wooden highchair when Stephen was a baby and ours did not hold up. Since the wooden one broke, I'm content with plastic and it's been easy to store in between children. Plus I find that the 2nd, 3rd, and beyond babies don't spend as much time eating in a highchair because they see their older brothers and/or sisters not using one. 

I must give an honorable mention to the sound machine. We've always relied on sound machines to get us through naptimes. But thankfully all of my children have outgrown the need for using one at night.

And now here's my short list of items I can painlessly do without or just don't use/need.

nursing cover
grocery cart seat cover
breast pump - I don't pump
crib bumper and bed skirt
sleep sacks
diaper genie

What are your favorite baby things?!



I do not aspire to be a fashionista. But I do love clothes! And I love to feel good and look nice. For the past couple of years I've really been trying to find my style...as a mom, as a thirty-something, as a pregnant lady. Y'all, it's hard! It's hard to dress well when your body is constantly changing shapes and sizes. It's hard to keep up with trends. It's hard to avoid trends and find classic clothes. It's time consuming to shop, try on, take back, and alter clothing. The seasons change. What you feel comfortable wearing changes i.e. I will never wear another strapless dress for the rest of my life...those were so 2006.

I know, first world problems.

All this to say, I've had a lot of ups and downs. But all the online "window" shopping and fashion blog reading is starting to pay off. I'm hitting my stride. I don't have near the buyer's remorse I used to have. I like my clothes right now.

One valuable tidbit of wisdom I've acquired through all my "research" is to wear more dresses.

Women used to wear dresses (and for good reason!). Dresses are feminine, comfortable, and best of all, a one stop shop because you don't have to pick out a top and a bottom. I have officially embraced the dress as an everyday, day in day out option.

One day when I was wearing a dress, my husband came home and said - "I love it when you wear dresses." I was so flattered.

One thing that triggered my dress-love was discovering an old family photo album with a bunch of my dad's childhood photos. In all the pictures, my grandmother is wearing either a dress or a fantastic blouse and a skirt. She looks fabulous...on vacation, with babies, at children's birthday parties, at the family reunion, etc. Dressing nice was the standard, not just for special occasions.

Anyways, I love the idea of dressing up more as the norm, specifically wearing more dresses. Both of these dresses pictured above are from Old Navy. Between a little store credit and sales, they each cost less than $20.

What are your thoughts? Shouldn't we all wear more dresses?!



I shared this on Instagram last week, but this news deserves a blog post too.

We are having a baby! I'm 20 + weeks along and feeling fine. It's been a worrisome pregnancy given what happened last time. But the peace that passes understanding, four reassuring ultrasounds, and favorable statistics have gotten us through.

We are truly excited and just can't wait to meet this boy or girl sometime in the middle of August! 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...