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Monday

ROLL CALL: Mom Hacks


Monday morning roll call!

Someone asked me the other day what one of my favorite "mom hacks" was.
You know, the tips and tricks you use to make life easier. 

Here's what I said:
It's actually a trick I learned from my mom. We have a drawer underneath our double oven that was going unused. My mom recommended that we turn it into Camille's art drawer. It houses her washable crayons, coloring books, construction paper, and sticker pads. She has access to it whenever she wants to be creative. She is in charge of putting her supplies away all by herself! 

And here's one more:
I always try to be one step ahead of what the girls will want or need. 
For example...

+ Ten minutes before Camille is up for her nap, I put a snack and cup of water out for her. Then, whenever she wakes, snack is ready. 

+ While the girls are safely in their high chairs, I run back to our bathroom and draw the bath. I also put their jammies and fresh diapers next to the tub so they can get dressed right out of the bath and I'm not running around the house with naked shivering babes. 

+ Before I go to bed, I fill up a cup of milk for Camille's breakfast.

Tiny tiny things that make life run a smidge smoother!

OKAY, YOUR TURN!
What are your "mom hacks"?

Friday

Five On Friday -- Toddler Hair and More

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :) Please visit my lovely co-hostesses Christina and Natasha!

O N E
Toddler hair is the cutest. We've been doing a cute hairstyle that we call "Teddy Bear Ears." Make two high piggytails and just don't pull the last loop all the way through. Top it off with two bows (Tipsy Bunny bows if you're extra special) and you've got Teddy Bear Ears! Camille absolutely loves this hairstyle.

(She's wearing the 3T in this Old Navy top and it's one of my favorites on her!)



T W O
I've been all about some facial masks recently. I mentioned the other day that I did a morning mud mask, and I also had several questions recently about a charcoal purifying mask I used. It's been my favorite so far. It's from Beautycounter and you can contact my girl Alicia HERE if you have questions about it or want to give it a shot. She knows so much about this line and answers all of my questions. This mask dried completely on my face and then drew out tons of oil around my nose and chin ... horrifying but true. It's scary effective.

Image result for beautycounter charcoal mask




T H R E E
This sweet girl has sure been stealing our hearts recently. She's just wrapped up day 10 of the antibiotic Augmentin (after being on Amoxicillin for 10 days) for an ear infection, or "ear insection" as Camille calls it. It's taken a toll on her belly even though I've been giving her a probiotic mixed into her purees daily (this one, as recommended by our pediatrician). She's still been such a happy baby and even mastered clapping this week. She is also sitting up in her crib as of this week and slightly started pulling up on the railing as well. Charry-barry, I love you.


F O U R
Our dining room chair pillows needed a refresh and Elizabeth from Wheaton Whaley Designs always has the perfect solution! She replaced some tired, faded covers I had with thicker, punchier, better quality covers. Her prices are so fair and she's a hustlin' mama that I love to support. She sells inserts too if you need to start from scratch. 

BEFORE:


AFTER:


F I V E
We are heading to the mountains today for some good family time and I cannot WAIT! I hope you all have a great weekend.

OH! And if you are the reader (Elizabeth) who commented the other day on the hobby post that you're a mystery shopper ... please email me! So many of us are curious about how you got in to this and what sort of experiences you've had. Seriously, please email me, we want to pick your brain!

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TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!

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Thursday

Day In The Life: January 11, 2017

I love Day In The Life posts, and so do you (from the last survey I did).
So ... here's how my day went yesterday.
It was a non-preschool day for Camille which made it a little different.

+ + +

6:09a: Ian's ready for the day and telling me goodbye. He's not always up this early, maybe one or two days a week. I secretly love it because it forces me to get up early and start the day. 

6:25: I am sitting at my computer with a cup of dark roast coffee and a detoxing mud mask on. 


6:48: I place a bid on eBay for a pair of pants I'd love to have in my closet. It's been forever since I've bought or sold on eBay but I do enjoy it. Then I hop over to Blogger and start my blog post for the day. 

7:06: Blog post is up. Truth or dare -- a quick one to write, but it will take time to work on during the day with the comments section. 

7:15: I shower and run a load of laundry.

7:29: Camille tosses the books from her bed to the floor. She does this every single time she wakes up (she loves having books in her bed). 

7:30: Camille's OK to Wake clock turns green and she calls for me. I go up, get Camille, go over to Charlotte's room with her, change both of their diapers. I nurse Charlotte while Camille plays. 

8:00: Breakfast time for us. Waffles and pear slices for me and Camille, organic puffs for Char.


8:33: I make my 2nd cup of coffee. I only let myself drink one cup before nursing Charlotte, so when I'm done, I like having a second cup. Between now and 10:45 we are doing Frozen puzzles, cleaning up from breakfast, tidying up the house, going back to my bathroom to get ready for the day. I bring clothes for each girl down to our bathroom. I do my makeup and dry my hair (Camille is watching YouTube videos and Charlotte is jumping in a doorway bouncer). I get them dressed. We go upstairs to the playroom afterwards and they play while I get some bows organized to take to a local childrens' boutique. 

9:45: I nurse Char again and tidy the house, getting the girls ready to leave. 

10:45: We load up the care to head to The Argyle Alligator to shop and switch out the holiday bows I have there for some Valentines bows. They have this little mom meet-up event going on so it's the perfect day for me to stop by. 


11-12:15: We are at the Argyle Alligator. Camille loves the little play area for kids -- she plays with Elsa, a stuffed Minnie Mouse, and wears Cinderella dress up shoes around the store. I bought Camille a poncho for $11 and a baby gift. And now they have my Valentines bows there!


12:45: We are back home. I feed Char baby food (organic chicken and rice puree), Camille eats chicken noodle soup with cheese toast and frozen peas, and I eat leftover pulled pork and lima beans for lunch. Leftovers from the night before always makes for a great lunch. 



1:30: Nurse Charlotte and get her down for nap around 1:50.

2:00: Reading One Fish Two Fish to Camille and we both lay our heads down on her carpet and rest. I never do this. Usually I have energy for days. Luckily a girlfriend texts me around 2:15, I wake and put her in her crib, turn on her sound machine, and go downstairs. I clean up from lunchtime and make a cup of coffee and have two squares of chocolate. 


2:15-3:30: Transfer over 2000+ photos from my phone to my laptop to clear up space on my iPhone. Fold clothes, Try to organize my closet. Wash dishes and load dishwasher, run it. Ian gets home from work around 3 and then leaves after a while for the gym.

3:30: Camille's awake. I take her to the playroom and give her some caramel rice cakes for snack with a cup of water. I turn on Doc McStuffins for her. She is allowed to watch two shows each day after nap. I make hairbows in the same room.

4:00: Charlotte is awake. I walk into her room and see her pulling up for the very first time. She's not standing up but she is pulling up to a kneeling position. Yikes. We had to install these breathable crib bumpers in her bed because she was getting her chunky thighs stuck in the rungs. 


4:05: Charlotte has more milk and then we all play a little bit in the playroom.

5:00-5:45: We play outside. Ian gets home around 5:15 and joins us on our wagon ride. This is the first time Char has ever sat up in a wagon. She is loving it. Camille also bikes a little after the wagon ride and is getting really good at pedaling. 



5:45: Dinner for the girls. Camille has macaroni, lima beans, green beans and tomatoes. She has a jello fruit cup for dessert, it's her favorite. Charlotte has pureed prunes with her Vitamin D drop. Mama has a glass of wine. While they are in their high chairs I run back to our bathroom and start the bath water. 




6:30: The girls are in the bath together. I already have their jammies and fresh diapers on the bathroom floor for ease. I get them dressed right out of the tub. Ian takes Camille up and I take Charlotte up and nurse her one last time before bed. I read her a story and sing Twinkle Twinkle to her. Ian is in Millie's room getting her teeth brushed and reading to her. After Char is down, I pop over to Mill's room and let her tackle-hug me once and then we sing songs and I put her to bed. It is a little after 7pm.

7:15-8: I finish cooking dinner, tidy up the kitchen, and catch up on Instastories. I cut a whole pineapple up and start prepping Camille's preschool lunch for the following day. 

8:00: We eat dinner together at the kitchen bar and talk about our days and the upcoming weekend. We have chicken sausage, roasted parmesan green beans and tomatoes, and freshly cut pineapple. 


8:25: Ian clears the dishwasher and I am sitting at my computer with a glass of red and cream cheese icing. And I start this blog post...


9:35: Print shipping labels for Tipsy Bunny bows I sold. Grab shipping envelopes. Message buyers on Instagram and send invoices. Package up two orders to go out in the morning. 

9:53: Back to get ready for bed!

10:20: Lights out. 

Wednesday

Truth Or Dare

It's almost 7am, which means the girls will be up soon. I don't really have much on my blogging radar today, so I'm going to open comments up to what I hope will be something fun.



Truth or dare. You know you want to play along. Ask me anything or dare me to do anything!

Start your comment off below like this:

TRUTH: _____ (or)
DARE: _______

Okay, so it may look like this:

TRUTH: What's your most embarrassing mom moment?
DARE: I dare you to post a photo on Snapchat of XYZ

Let's keep it nice and fun and family friendly 'cause you know ... morals. :)

I may not answer everything and I may not take every dare, but I'll be responding below to each comment as my day allows, so check back ever so often to see what's happening in the comments!

OK ... GO!

Tuesday

Hobbies And Making Money

A little more than a year ago, I took Camille to toddler hour at the indoor trampoline park, and she was so worn out afterwards that she napped for two hours that afternoon.

For many of you, that may be normal, or even a shorter-than-normal nap. For me, it was double the time than I was used to. DOUBLE! Camille has always been a one hour napper (I'm getting 90 solid minutes these days thanks to the amazing and all-powerful OK to Wake Clock).

That day, my house was (somewhat) clean, I was (somewhat) showered and presentable, and I grew ... borrrrrred. Bored. I know, I am SO weird. Normal people would nap, watch TV, I don't know. Chill.

But in that last hour of unexpected naptime sleep, I taught myself how to make hairbows! I took a couple of Pinterest tutorials and fused them together to create the perfect little girly and tailored hairbow.

Feeling your feelings is an important tool for greater self love, increased peace, happiness, confidence and joy. Download a powerful meditation for deep emotional healing at SuzanneHeyn.com.:

It wasn't long after I made that first bow before I had the idea to sell them, because I've always enjoyed making my own fun money. Especially now as a stay at home mom. I call it my "Chick-fil-A money" because it's the cash I keep on hand to buy Camille a 6-piece nuggets meal instead of always insisting on the ever-so-economical PB+J I can whip up at home.

Making hairbows to me as part of The Tipsy Bunny (the Etsy shop I own with my mom) is a blast. I love scouting out ribbon colors and putting together interesting combinations. I get excited every time a new holiday is around the corner and I can focus on holiday bows. When someone tags us on Instagram in a photo of their little ones, I am so proud! I sell quite a few bows locally from my own front stoop and love seeing a car pull into the driveway to come pick up an order from my front porch.

I absolutely love it.

ΓΣΣ ❤ ΓΣΣ:

The other hobby I do to make a little bit of money is ... blogging! It's no secret that blogging has changed remarkably in the 6+ years I've had this hobby, a large part of that being the monetization of blogs. Two of the most mainstream ways to earn a buck from blogging is to work with companies on sponsored posts and to use affiliate links (like the ones in this post). Sponsored posts can be fun to me if the partnership is truly genuine and meaningful. They are not really my cup of tea for the most part, though. Affiliate links are more natural to me as long as the content that surrounds them is genuine, unique, thought-provoking, and appropriate.

I think you see from the way I live my life, buying clothes at resale shops and meal planning around what meats are on BOGO sale, that I'm not obsessed with turning either one of these hobbies into a get-rich-quick scenario. I like to keep them as healthy hobbies -- low pressure, FUN, enjoyable, fulfilling.

Fulfilling is probably the most important word in that bunch, by the way.

I'd continue to do either hobby if they didn't bring me a little bit of money. But that part is the icing on the cake. To me, in this really busy season of life, it helps justify the time I spend making bows or blogging if it's time that could be spent snuggling with my hubby on the couch or tackling some household chores.

I'd love to hear about your hobbies -- whether they bring you Chick-fil-A money or not. :) What do you do that fulfills you? How did you learn to do what you do? What are your goals with your hobby?

Monday

A Simple Dinner Recipe: Parmesan Coated Chicken and Kale

Recently we had a dinner that was so delicious but also insanely easy to put together.

I don't know about you, but the chicken breasts at our grocery store are HUUUGE (I know, I know, I should be buying them organic, and maybe they wouldn't be so freakishly humongus. humongous. humungous. How ever do you spell that weird word!? Second way's gotta be right?).

The two chicken breasts below are actually just one large boneless skinless breast cut in half horizontally!


To lift each chicken breast off the bottom of the dish for cooking, I placed sliced red onions on the base of the dish. The onions cooked so nicely and were a great side but also played an important role in the cooking process. Almost like baking on a roasting pan.

The chicken breasts themselves were coated on each side with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a hefty shake of parmesan cheese. The powdery kind from the shaker can. Dried oregano went on top of the entire dish. 


I roasted the parmesan chicken and red onions at 375 until the chicken was golden brown and the onions were nice and soft. 

In my dutch oven, I had kale simmering for a loooooong time. 


After washing my kale and cutting it into strips, I added it to the dutch oven along with chicken broth, salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar. Brought it to a boil then simmered. 


Right before serving, the kale got a nice dash of hot sauce as well.
Texas Pete is my hot sauce of choice, in case you were wondering.
Ian's a Crystal man, but, you know ... I'm the cook. 


So, delicious, easy, and ... did I forget to mention inexpensive?!
The red onion was already in my fridge. As I mentioned, this was just one chicken breast, halved. And the bunch of kale was not much more than a dollar. 

Can't beat a dinner like that!

Friday

Five On Friday ... First FoF as Smidge Of This!

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

O N E
I have had a very FUN week! Tuesday night I was down at my parents' lakehouse, Wednesday night I had Bunko with my girlfriends at Katie's house, and Thursday night I went to Nina's house after dinner for a little more girl time. Ian was totally cool with it because he's been sucked into Stranger Things on Netflix and was happy to put a dent in that series!




T W O
While I was down visiting my parents, my mom made the BEST Southern dinner, which included this Pip and Ebby meatloaf recipe. It's going to be our new go-to meatloaf recipe. She used part apricot preserves and part orange marmalade for the sauce, and I loved the little bit of orange rind that was in the glaze. It may sound a little odd but it sure was delish -- so you can be guaranteed that I'll be making it this way going forward!

My new favorite meatloaf recipe! Moist, flavorful, and the sauce is sweet, sticky, and yummy!:


T H R E E
We are having to hunker down this weekend and prepare ourselves for ... snow! Actual, real live snow! Apparently the grocery stores are a complete mess and the milk supply is dwindling. But we'll be good, I'll make a quiche for us and we have plenty of ingredients for grilled cheeses, soup, and hot chocolate suppers. I'm looking forward to it although it has thrown a kink into my weekend plans.

F O U R
Did you score anything from the Lilly sale? I waited in "line" almost two hours and then lost my spot, then re-entered the virual line for another hour and lost my spot again. Around one in the afternoon I had no trouble whatsoever getting in, but the pants I wanted sold out. If you scored any great deals, I'd love to hear about them! It's live through 1pm today.

"Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink." @LillyPulitzer:
click image to hop in the virtual line for the sale

F I V E
And if you didn't score any items in the Lilly sale, don't forget about one of my favorite ways to buy it -- on ThredUp! I didn't get the pants I wanted in the Lilly sale BUT I did order these black Lilly Pulitzer leggings last night from ThredUp for $23. If you use this new member link, you get $10 off your order!

Check it out—Lilly Pulitzer Leggings for $22.99 at thredUP!
I'm excited about my new black leggings. They have plenty of other great Lilly finds like these items below, so get to shopping and saving!

Check it out—Lilly Pulitzer Casual Dress for $36.99 at thredUP!Check it out—Lilly Pulitzer Khakis for $30.99 at thredUP!Check it out—Lilly Pulitzer Casual Dress for $66.99 at thredUP!Check it out—Lilly Pulitzer Casual Dress for $36.99 at thredUP!
size 2, $36.99     // size 6, $30.99   //   size 10, $66.99    // size 6, $36.99



TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! 
Cheers to the weekend!

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Thursday

Thoughts On Thursday

I read a blog post in bed this morning that had me just (sleepily) nodding my head in agreement so much. My blog pal Natalie at East Coast Chic wrote it. She recently had a bit of a blogging/life epiphany. I highly encourage you to go visit this post and give it a good read. As a fellow blogger, I could not agree more. As a fellow mom, I could not agree more. As a fellow woman who still wants to pursue passions and hobbies that speak to me -- and make time for myself, I could not agree more.

I told some other girlfriends the other day that I was going to pump the brakes HARD on sponsored posts. It's just not me. Penning a post that's like "My Favorite Mama Moment (Brought To You By This Hardworking Deodorant)" ... its just. not. me. These sponsored posts pay really well, but they are more work than I want to take on. Adhering to deadlines, guidelines, did I tweet this enough, did I put this on Insta already, I have to get pageview reports to the company, blah blah blah. It's nowhere near as fun as what I'm doing RIGHT this minute which is sipping on coffee and chatting with you.

By the way ... my newest coffee obsession is the Cafe Verona k-cup by Starbucks. It's a dark brew and it's delicious with the French vanilla creamer I get from Aldi.

I do have some post ideas for this month which I'm really, really excited about. I am going to dedicate one full week to home stuff -- selling a home, buying a home, big home updates, little (inexpensive) home updates that pack a punch. I'm pretty excited about that little series!

I'm off to check out the Lilly sale which began at 8am today HERE. It runs through Friday afternoon only. This sale happens only twice a year and is something I always check out. I love Lilly and 95% of my pieces have been bought on sale. I can literally think of three things I own, a pink puffy vest and two Elsa tops, that were purchased full price. Chances are, if you see me in Lilly, it was a sale find!

logo
(click image to hop in the "virtual line" for the sale)


The bright colors just speak to me and are so cheery. I know not everyone loves Lilly, but they have a fan in me.

8 of the Best Lilly Pulitzer Quotes of All Time  - TownandCountryMag.com:

And if you also heart pink, green, and palm trees but your Lilly budget is more in the $15 and under range, you're always covered. :)




Let me know if you score some great finds! What's your fave Lilly piece? I have a knit dress with navy and white zebras on it that is one of my absolute favorite pieces in my closet.

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Linking up with East Coast Chic and Home of Malones ... two of my faves!

Thoughts for Thursday
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