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Thursday

Man Gifts. Christmas.

I think guys are fun to shop for. For like one or two years, and then after that it just gets annoying.

I mean, how many power drills can a man own? Or a spherical cocktail ice cube maker? I'm so over those. Does anyone actually use them more than once? We sure didn't.


So, buying for my husband typically has me getting a little creative but I did want to share some of the items that he loves and that have been "gifting wins."

MAGNETIC WRISTBAND
I got this Magnogrip last year, eight bucks and Prime eligible, stuck it in Ian's stocking and it has been such a winner! We have been switching out all of the old yucky door hinges in our home and this thing has been invaluable. I highly recommend this as a stocking stuffer for the guys in your life -- your man, brother-in-law, father!


RUBBERMAID TRACK SYSTEM
We had this FastTrack system installed in our garage recently, and I honestly thought it was sort of a waste of money UNTIL I saw every single thing we own hanging up and off of the floor! What a difference.

I once saw on Hoarders (no joke) that one of the best things you can do for organizing is get things off the floor. So, even your closets? Hang things up, put things in baskets, but nothing on the floor. FastTrack really helps us feel organized and it comes with all sorts of accessories and hooks to suit your needs (strollers, bikes, rakes, shovels etc).

Available at hardware stores or HERE with Amazon  and all of the fun hooks and accessories HERE



WEBER SMOKER
I bought this nice smoker for Ian two birthdays ago and he still loves using it! I bought the smaller one (14") which saves you $100 -- and it's plenty big.


KIEHL'S AGE DEFENDER LINE
Ian really likes the Kiehl's Age Defender line and I buy it for him at Nordstrom since they have the best customer service and always include lots of samples that I can add to his stocking :)

I think the black packaging also looks super tough and cool. Good for that manly man.

You can find the following at Nordies:
POWER SERUM (his fave) // MOISTURIZER // EYE REPAIR // EXFOLIATING CLEANSER

kiehls




MOTIVATIONAL BOOK
This year, Ian asked for this book for Christmas and I think it's a great snag for less than ten dollars! Ol' Lou is full of wisdom and humor.


I hope this helps you little sweet elves shop for the man in your life! I'm all ears if you have more suggestions!


Direct links embedded for your convenience are affiliate links. 
Thank you for your support of my blog.
Merry Christmas, y'all!

Wednesday

What's On My Christmas List

I still owe Christmas lists to my mom and my mother-in-law and ... I'm the worst at putting these together. I can pick out cutesy-wootsey things all day long for my girls, and I promise I'm not trying to be a martyr, but there's just not a lot that I really want for. 

I love my house. I love the way it's decorated. I love crafting and craft supplies but I like picking out my own ribbon. I love makeup and LipSense but I buy that for myself using my wholesale discount. I love clothes and jewelry, but I am also kinda crazy about wearing something until it's almost too far gone to donate. I'm not a "wear once" girl. And my sister Laura makes my favorite jewelry so I get a lot of my wishlist items from her.

So here's what actually made the cut this year -- maybe you have some ideas for me, too?

Swarovski 2017 Ornament
I've been collecting these since 2002 and I've amassed quite the gorgeous collection! I display them on a gold metal tree from Pier 1.

NOW ... super duper important -- I just spotted that these are the Amazon deal of the day which means that they are $27.50 down from $79! We spend $79 on these every single year (and my mom buys a few of them) so this is huuuuuge. Find the deal HERE. This would also be such a perfect keepsake ornament for anyone who had a big 2017 -- new house, new job, new baby, engagement or marriage!


Between The Tipsy Bunny hairbows I make and sell and LipSense products, I'm mailing out packages every single day. I have my computer and packaging supplies at the dining room table (sorry, Martha Stewart, but my Christmas tablescape leaves a little to be desired) and I run back and forth to Ian's office to print out mailing labels. It's getting a little old and I'm burning through his printer ink like crazy. SO, a $160 label printer isn't normally what I would get all of the heart eyes over, but I want this so bad.

HERE is where I need your help. I know there are websites out there to find the best deal online. I just know we can get this for less -- right? Does anyone have any insight into what website I need to track this on? 



This is the perfume I found out about from my brother-in-law's girlfriend and it smells HEAVENLY. You can find it on Amazon Prime and ever since I smelled it, I knew I needed it in my life.

Aqua Allegoria Nerolia Bianca for Women By Guerlain Eau De Toilette Spray, 3.3 ounces


My girlfriend group-texted us about these jammies the other day and on my list they go! I recently bought these Santa pajamas in XS from the Target (PLEASE do me a favor and wash yours first in ice cold water ... I did not) and I do love them, but I want these to wear year-round. And of course I love the animal print tie at the waist!



YES I am asking for laundry detergent this year (and again I swear I'm not trying to be a martyr "oh I just need not a thing please just a little laundry soap for this dear girl would make my yearrrr" LOLOLOL).

But y'all, the ladies in a local Facebook moms group I'm in swear that this stuff makes your laundry smell amazing, and it's not something I would really buy on just a normal Tuesday. So on the Christmas list it goes. I won't use it for kiddie socks and Ian's gym clothes, but every time I run a load of MY laundry, you better believe it will get the royal treatment. 


Other than that, I just want all of the good holiday stuff. Egg nog and fruitcake (which I picked up Monday), Amy Grant Christmas music, some classic Christmas movies, and pictures of my girls on Santa's lap. 

Again -- if you can help me with what website I need to go to for tracking that Dymo label printer I'll be your bestie!

What's on YOUR list? 


Direct links embedded for your convenience are affiliate links. 
Thank you for your support of my blog.
Merry Christmas, y'all!

Tuesday

A Big Baby Blue THANK YOU

Oh my dear gracious, thank all of you SO much for your excitement over our growing family! It truly is such fun news, I mean ... overwhelming! Three kiddos 4 and under! But really darn wonderful and a true blessing in every sense of the word.


Camille is telling her age here, but I feel like it's an accurate representation of how I want to walk around as well!

SO, I'm due mid-June, feeling really great. So far it's been just like my other pregnancies -- feeling great minus a little bit of exhaustion, and I get out of breath pretty easily (like climbing the stairs, which is crazy). My tummy is already pretty large as you've maybe seen on Instagram, but I sort of love dressing a pregnant belly. Maybe it's just not having to suck in for 9 months that has such an appeal to me. 

I lost weight at the beginning like I did with Camille and Charlotte, but am pretty much back to my normal weight now, 14 weeks in. I'm probably eating more than I typically would, BUT since I had gestational diabetes with Charlotte (and likely will this time around, too) I am definitely trying to keep my diet in check and balance carbs with proteins. I am tempted to eat like a college kid for breakfast and lunch, but typically by dinnertime I'm "EHHH" and don't feel like cooking or eating anything. But ... I do ... or else I will feel sick and maybe even get sick. That's the only main difference this time around -- I never vomited with the girls but have done so a few times this pregnancy. 

We are going to eventually transition the girls into the same room and put baby boy in his own bedroom. Charlotte's current room. It's a lovely shade of light coral-pink now so it will need a new coat of paint and some boy touches here and there. Nothing crazy, just sweet and innocent boy style is sort of what I'm hoping for. 

We don't have a name. Not even close! Ian thinks all of the names I love are cheesy frat-boy names (eye roll). The names he likes are ... SO random. 

I know several of you that read here have children that are in middle school, high school, college, or maybe even be parents themselves now, and many of you have reached out saying that you love reading our family anecdotes (the good, the bad, and the ugly department store tantrums) because it takes you back. And I love hearing that. So I will keep sharing little tid-bits of our daily lives ... even the not-so-pretty but very realistic parts ... because we all enjoy a trip down memory lane from time to time. And just as you are thinking "Man, now that the kids are grown, I'd do anything to have them back at home!" then you can read a story about me being up six times in the middle of the night and not showering for two full days and think ... "mmm -- I'm good." 

Funny how that happens, right?!

Thank you again for your sweet words -- I still owe two of you a personal email reply back, but didn't want to rush through it -- and for the big virtual hug I felt from every single one of you! 



Friday

(PARTY OF) FIVE on Friday

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. :)


Today my FIVE is announcing our news that in June we will be a party of FIVE!

O N E // T W O // T H R E E // F O U R // F I V E
Ian // April // Camille // Charlotte // Baby BOY!


I am due June 11, feeling totally great, he's a healthy little stud, 
and we are thrilled to welcome a whole new world of trains and trucks and BLUE!

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Thursday

Christmas Cards -- Check, Check, Check!

Hey y'all! I have ordered my Christmas cards! HALLELUJAH!

I PAID for them this year. Haha ... let me explain. For the past several years, I've always partnered with a stationery company for Christmas cards. And I've gotten them 100% free. It's awesome. Whatever card I wanted, gold foil, scalloped edges, printed return addresses on the envelopes, you name it! But here are the stipulations: 1) you have to be on the ball, get your family photos done super early, select/design/order your cards early, address and mail them early, so you can do your sponsored post early enough to still drive holiday card traffic to the company for card orders! Then you make your post, submit it for approval, publish it, and if you're really a great blogger, you'll write your company contact again with a link to the post, tell them how it was received (pageviews, comments, interacton, social media touts, etc), thank them profusely and say you'd love to collaborate again for upcoming events.

WELL let's just call a spade a spade. Ain't nobody got time. Or at least, not ME. Not this year. I decided it was well worth my own money to just remove all of that stress from myself and just order the dang things like normal people do.

I read so many great reviews about the quality of the Staples holiday card deal on Groupon and decided to give it a shot. For $25 I ordered 100 cards, paid $15 additional to have them printed on premium cardstock, mailed to my home, EXPEDITED, and come with printed return addresses on the back of the envelopes.


Selecting the card design was the hardest part because Staples shockingly had some really adorable designs! And we had really GREAT photos that we had taken recently using my friend Katlyn again, so that part was easy. These photos are adorable but aren't any of the ones that will be on our card. Although now I'm looking at the one below wishing I'd just done a single image like this with a big "Merry Christmas" at top. Classic and pretty!


Who did you use this year for your Christmas cards? And, because I know we are all a little nosy, care to share what you paid and how many you got? 

Tuesday

Our Stay At The Inn At Crestwood

On the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, Ian and I headed up to the mountains of Boone, NC with our girls and ... dropped them off at my mother-in-law's house.

We had a PARENTS NIGHT OUT complete with a resort stay! Praise hands! Sleep til 8am!


This all came about because I was perusing Groupon (which I way underuse) and saw that a local resort called The Inn At Crestwood a matter of minutes from their home was running a pretty good deal. For $90 the week of Thanksgiving, we got a night away from it all.

Let me be very clear and say that this is no Grand Bohemian or Grove Park Inn, and (if I can be super frank) we probably wouldn't stay there again. The lobby was cute but the rest of the resort was rather outdated and we got the impression they were on Groupon for a reason.

BUT.

We got to treat ourselves to a parents night out!

We drove into nearby Blowing Rock, sat together at the bar at Blowing Rock Ale House and ended up chatting with the man himself who makes the beer (fascinating!) and then mozied over to Storie Street Grill for a really delicious dinner! I had the Horseradish Salmon which was divine.


And we woke up to a quiet hotel room!!!!


Breakfast the next morning was continental-style but they diddddd have a Belgian waffle maker so I was a pig in mud.



By check-out time, we felt ready to head to the house to see the kids and get ready for the arrival of five more family members for a good Thanksgiving. It was a really nice way to enjoy a quiet night out, a free babysitter (THANK YOU to my MIL!) and an easy morning!

Friday

Five On Friday!

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
Hello from South Carolina! I came down here yesterday with my girls and we are driving into Columbia today for the Junior League Holiday Market. I've been going for years now and it's such a fun way to shop for the holidays and just get into the Christmas spirit in general! They have the most gorgeous decorations and holiday music and childrens' choirs and performances.

The most important booth there is my sister's booth -- so if you're going, definitely scout out Laura Cox Designs!





T W O
I went to Old Navy earlier this week to find some matching shirts for the girls to wear under some jumpers. Found those AND also found some matching fur vests for them! Camille was actually the one that scoped them out and fell in love. We are def in the stage of twirly skirts, sparkles, glitter, fur, rainbows. It's awesome. So, I scooped up a 3T and an 18-24 months and I do think the vests will look so cute on them this holiday season!

Don't pay full price! 20% off with code SWEET.

product photo

T H R E E
I'm so happy to hear from some of you who have also had positive results from Monat! My distributor friend Stacey was so helpful in matching me up with the perfect line for my hair and hair goals. Contact her HERE if you want to hear about how to get it for less ... they also have free shipping!



F O U R
I have to share the most beautiful-smelling perfume with you. During Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law's girlfriend came to visit and I met her for the first time. I didn't want to overwhelm her and be like "YOU HAVE TO TELL ME WHAT FRAGRANCE YOU ARE WEARING" but I wanted to.

Finally, my sister-in-law said "Who smells so good?" and I jumped in saying "It's Emily! You havvvvve to tell us what you're wearing!"

Well, she brought down the bottle, it's NOT expensive, and you can get it HERE on Amazon! I seriously can't explain how delicious it smells -- floral yet spicy, too. Ian's going to have it under the tree for me!



F I V E
Lastly, a small thing but something I'm excited about ... I bought this sweet plaid fabric and my mom is going to make matching nightgowns for the girls! It's from Hobby Lobby if you are looking for a nice flannel fabric. We are going to pair it with some white eyelet and they will wear them Christmas morning. 



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That's it for today! Hope you have a lovely weekend -- thanks for linking up with us below!





Thursday

Monat Hair Care: My Two Month Results!

You may have seen some mentions here and there on Facebook and blogs of Monat hair products, and -- like me -- your first thought was "how in the world do you pronounce that? Mo-nat? Monet?" 

Well, I asked my distributor friend Stacey and she told me: Mo-Nate (short for Modern Nature ... see, you'll never forget now!). 

I started using it at the beginning of October, and results have been gradual, but I think the before and after photos speak for themselves. Note: I did get my hair trimmed between these photos and had about 1.5 inches removed. 


After hearing my hair goals and my starting point hair (thinner hair but a decent amount of it -- want big, Texas-sized hair), she pointed me in the direction of the Revive shampoo and conditioner for volume. 

I use this every single time I shampoo -- I even travel with the full bottles if that says anything. 


Stacey recommended for me to put the shampoo in my hair, leave it for a minute or two, then wash it out and REPEAT. It may not lather up quite as much as a typical shampoo, but that's normal. After that, I apply the conditioner on the bottom half of my hair. 

I do really feel like this shampoo, combined with my two other favorite volumizing products (hairdryer and volumizing tonic, mentioned below) has made a really noticeable difference. I've had more questions than ever in the last month about the volume in my hair!


So, along with my Monat shampoo and conditioner, I follow this routine every single time I wash my hair, which is every day or every other day:

1) Spritz with CHI IRON GUARD for heat protection
2) Use 2-4 sprays of AVEDA VOLUMIZING TONIC directly to roots and sides of head
3) Clip up top of hair with CURLER CLIPS and dry bottom half with my REVLON VOLUMIZING DRYER, then unclip top half of hair and dry that half in sections. 

If I want to keep volume at the crown but not have it curled under too much, sometimes I will flat-iron the bottom half of my hair but not go close to the roots. That's what I did in the "after" photo above.

So, end story? I really, really do like Monat and feel it is a great value. I have plenty of shampoo and conditioner left in my bottles after two months of regular use because a little goes a long way. And I love how Stacey helped me find the right product for me and followed up to see if I had any questions. Monat for the win!

Find Stacey!
She will talk to you quickly about your HAIR GOALS
and make the appropriate Monat recommendations!

Website: HERE
Email: HERE
Instagram: HERE


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