Halloween 2013

Well, I suppose since I have a blog, I should share our Halloween pics on it, haahaa!
First- we made our FAVORITE soup tonight (my mom saved the day and made it because it has been a crazy week to say the least!) Here it is: (if you make it you will NOT be sorry!) RECIPE LINK HERE

Here are some pics of the girls today:
{Ellie: KU Cheerleader, Izzy: Rainbow Butterfly, Milly: Sleeping Beauty}

{KU Cheerleader- Her random glasses or "mask" was an excuse to use glitter- it is really all about the glitter and lipgloss!}

{She picked every piece of this outfit- she was determined to be a Rainbow Butterfly!}

{I loved this picture so I had to share- girlfriend LOVED Halloween...especially the candy!}


{Annual family picture- Happy Halloween!}


Candy Fest!

I hope you all have a blast at Halloween! This is just a reminder of our Halloween tradition "Candy Fest"- the girls have already started asking when we get to have Candy Fest this year. {HERE is the post from last year with all the info.} Basically, we designate a night (our night this year is Friday) and we have CANDY FEST- they can go through their candy- pick their top favorites and then we bag the rest to donate! (a lot of dental offices, schools, etc.. collect candy and send it over seas to the troops. They love the tradition and I LOVE being done with the candy! Pics to come......


Clean House..Happy Mom!

Here is the deal, I actually really like to clean the house- AS LONG AS I do not have the children in the house (see snowing quote- that is TRUTH!)- that doesn't happen very often. Dave works really late hours and often on the weekends, so I am constantly trying to find time to clean while the 23-mont-old is not hanging on my leg. Usually, I just clean while they watch a movie or something- but I do want them to learn to clean. The girls usually like to clean with me and I find myself dreading that. There are several reasons why I have not been good at letting the girls help me clean (in the past): 1) it takes 10 times as long and done half as well 2) I hate that they have chemicals all over them and they could possibly splash on them- so I have to stand with them the whole time (meanwhile delaying the cleaning of the rest of the house) 3) they usually start the job and then I finish it because I am not in the mood for whining...you get the idea!

SO...today...something AWESOME happened!!! I have been using Norwex for several months now- I even signed up as a consultant because I love it so much (I haven't done anything with it yet...but someday!). The beauty is, you can just clean your house with their cloths and no products (no chemicals)- a lot of the cloths have "antibac" in them- which traps the bacteria in the cloths and wont spread it through your house. I will sometimes use one cloth for the whole house! Anyway, Dave was traveling this week and my house was in desperate need of cleaning...DESPERATE! I handed the girls the Norwex Dusting Mitt and a Enviro Cloth (I like the little travel pack because it comes with 4 wash cloth size cloths, perfect for the girls) and I told them to go to town on their rooms. Here is the best part- while they were going to town....I could leave the room and work on my room! I wasn't concerned that they would splash a chemical in their eye or spill anything- they just used water and the cloth. I am telling you, they did an AWESOME job- their rooms and bathroom were spotless! I even taught them to do blinds with the mitt. The mitt is great because it doesn't spread dust at all- so they could do everything without spreading it around. Even Milly likes to wipe with the cloths (she wants to do anything the sisters do) and I was great with it..just water! I can honestly say- those who know me know that I am someone who is brutally honest about things, so I am not lying to you on this- my house has never been cleaner and it takes me 1/2 the time to clean it- seriously! (my whole house used to take me 4-5 hours and today I did the whole house in 2!) I am going to show you all of my favorite products..so far! I have saved so much on cleaning products I cant even tell you how these have revolutionized my life!

{This cloth- The Enviro Cloth- is seriously amazing! I use it on my high chair, bar stools, car, iPad, iPhone, computer screen, kitchen counters, bathrooms, tables, windows, hands, face- you name it! It is awesome dry for a lot of those things and when it is wet, it traps bacteria- so it is great for other things wet. I clean my glass table and windows with one wet cloth to clean and a dry cloth to polish and they look so much better than windex or anything else!}

{The Body cloth is awesome, it gets every bit of dirt or makeup off of your skin and gently exfoliates}
{This mop is a little pricy to start but it is life changing for floors, walls, fans, etc.. It is super easy to remove the pads (velcro) and really easy to push. My wood floors used to take me 30-40 minutes to do and now they take me 15 minutes. The dry cloth is great for walls and fans and the tile mop is awesome too! You can just throw them in the washer between uses and they are good to go- just water!}

{The Bathroom Scrub Mitt is AMAZING on shower doors and tile- again, just with water! I actually use the dry side of this to do my mirrors in my bathroom also and it works beautifully!}

{This is the ONLY bubble bath that doesn't give my girls "bottom issues" (enough said if you have a girl- if you have boys, be thankful on this one!) Anyhoo...I have tried them ALL because we LOVE bubble baths! They have so much good kid stuff LINK HERE}

{I do laundry every.single.day (as I am sure you do too with kids) and I have been using the same bag of Norwex Laundry Detergent since June- it takes 1 teaspoon of this powder (the scoop that comes with it is too much so I have a little teaspoon I keep in the bag) my clothes are so clean and it doesn't have chemicals or a bunch of fillers in it- and you can really tell a difference- no "build up" on the clothes. This is really the only detergent to use with the Norwex products, other chemical products will break down the cloths- so this really is a must have. I LOVE it!}

I could go ON AND ON...If you want to get started, there are a lot of good packaged deals HERE- I am happy to answer any questions. I am so inspired today as I am sitting in my clean room and I just knew that you all wanted to know about it, haahaaa! Happy Weekend! 


Thanksgiving Print...and Other Fun Prints!

As usual, my girl Maggie from LilyCole Designs has a Delightful print to offer you! I really wanted a print for my fall table that focuses on Thanksgiving- I like to focus on fall and "thanks" from Labor Day until Thanksgiving- I love pumpkins, mums, the yummy foods, the crisp weather, boots...and Thanksgiving! Halloween is darling for the kids...but Thanksgiving..that is where it is at for me! SO... Maggie made this darling print/notecards for me and has listed them so that you can purchase! Make sure to look around at her whole Etsy shop- she is so gifted (LilyCole Designs)! The "Give Thanks" product would be fabulous as a hostess gift- if you are joining someone for Thanksgiving, you could take this little treasure for them as a thank you. Maggie does a great job with presentation, you could literally just order them and take them with you- no wrapping or bow tying necessary!
Here are some of my favs:

Other Favorites:

{I purchase these TEACHER NOTECARDS for the girls teachers every year!}


{I am a big notecard fan- you can never have too many and they make the best gift because everyone can use them- THESE are delightful..or THESE..or THESE for boys...I actually like all of them- check them out!}

{Maggie has a girl and a boy (hints LilyCole)..so she gets boys and girls- which is fun (I tend to go heavy on the girl stuff for obvious reasons! Love THIS- she has dinosaurs, tents, footballs, baseballs, basketballs}

{I love the Bathroom prints: Sink, teeth, tub}

{THIS print is one of her most popular- love it! 

I could go on and on :) Make sure to place your "Give Thanks" order soon so that you can enjoy it for a full month before Thanksgiving because after that CHRISTMAS prints come out (stay tuned, I am talking Maggie into a Christmas print too!!!) Happy Fall!


A Happy Woman?!?

I read the blog, Cupcakes & Cashmere (as does everyone I think!) and she did a post on "8 Things Every Happy Woman Should Have" based on THIS ARTICLE from Thought Catalog. I think it is a fun article to think about- here is their list (with my answers after):

8 Things Every Happy Woman Should Have: 
(according to Thought Catalog)
1. A go-to Drink: Coffee
2. A go-to Karaoke Song: "I love Rock 'n' Roll"- the Brittany Spears Version (my DC roommate and I owned this song- right Molly!)
3. A uniform: Baldwin Jeans and a solid shirt-usually black- boots in the winter, flips in the summer
4. A hair-stylist they love: I LOVE getting my hair done-but I am always searching!
5. An exercise routine: Their names are Ellie, Izzy and Milly and my house is more than enough gym (cleaning, laundry, running up and down stairs, lawn work, etc..)
6. A hobby: Lake-ing (all things lake!)
7. A best friend: I am so blessed with so many REALLY good friends...but Dave is my best!
8. A healthy sense of self: I am a daughter of The King. 

**Since I don't really believe those are the things that define a "happy woman" I thought I would write my own list: 

10 Things Every Happy Woman Should Have (according to me!):
1. Something to do: A Purpose, What are you on this earth for? 
For me, I believe that God has a plan and purpose for everyone. Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". The awesome thing is, with God, life is an adventure. You never know where He will call you next- my prayer is that I never miss an opportunity to follow His plan because I am stuck on His last plan. Grow and Go! A job, raising your kids, ministry, missions, taking care of a parent....God has something for you to do!
2. A Reason to live: Why are you here? 
I believe I am here to love God, love others, serve God and serve others. That mentality effects all aspects of my life- I am here because God has a plan for me...every day!
3. Someone to serve: 
I serve the Most High God and through his Holy Spirit I delight in serving others. I always try to remember Ephesians 6:7 "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people" When you serve the Lord and not men you don't need to worry about receiving "thanks" or credit- you are Free!
4. Someone to love: 
As I said earlier, Love God, Love others. It is because we are SO loved by God that we are able to love. God places so many people in our lives to love..some easy to love, some HARD to love! The point is, love in a way where you are not burdened with "self"- I believe we are not truly happy when all we think about is ourselves. The good news is, as a mom, we love like we never knew possible! Whether it is a husband, a child, a dog...have a "somebody" or pray for God to give you a "somebody" to love!
6. An accurate sense of self: 
We are happy when we know who we are and we are not trying to be someone we are not. Not thinking less of ourselves than God created us to be and not trying to create a false image of who we think we are. Content is the person God made us to be, the blessings he has given us and plan He has for our future. 
7. The ability to laugh, often times at yourself: 
Seriously, life is too short to take yourself so seriously! Have fun! Carpe Diem- Seize the Day!
8. Healthy habits: 
Food, sleep, quiet time, exercise, technology moderation, fellowship, cleanliness, a "system" (for organizing your life), filling your brain with positive information- it is a daily choice but a good one!
9. Integrity and Honesty: 
Doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. This creates trust. It effects all areas-work, wife, mom, friend, customer...etc.. You are happiest living without the guilt of dishonesty! 
10. A go-to peaceful place: 
My peaceful place is the lake or really anywhere I am alone, haaha! I love laying by a pool reading a book or magazine, the spa is peaceful, getting a pedi is peaceful- but the lake...that is it for me! 

>>What would you add?


GIVEAWAY: Sandra Boynton's Frog Trouble + Amazon Gift Card

We are big fans of Sandra Boynton in this house- her books rank among our favorites! I am excited for you to have a chance to win her new CD "Frog Trouble" and $25 to purchase some of her books from Amazon! Here are some of our favorite books (I could list all of them- my girls love them):

Here is the scoop on "Frog Trouble":

{Here is a clip of the album}

About the CD
Grammy nominated and bestselling children’s author, songwriter and music producer, Sandra Boynton, presents her first Country album, Frog Trouble. The album features 12 original songs by Boynton, arranged and mixed with Michael Ford.

Boynton produced the tracks mostly in Nashville, with renowned session musicians and an All-Star roster. Each artist was hand-picked by Boynton for this retro sounding album, including Dwight Yoakam, Fountains of Wayne, Mark Lanegan, Kacey Musgraves, Ryan Adams, Ben Folds, Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Josh Turner, Darius Rucker, Linda Eder, and Falls Mountain Cowboys.

With composer Michael Ford, Boynton has written and produced five albums, three of which have been certified Gold. She also received a GRAMMY nomination for the Boynton/Ford album Philadelphia Chickens. Frog Trouble has tracks ranging from Country to Bluegrass to Rockabilly to Honkytonk to Blues. It’s truly an album for everyone or, as the cover says, "For ages one to older than dirt."

FROG TROUBLE Track Listing
1.         I’ve Got a Dog – Dwight Yoakam
2.         Trucks – Fountains of Wayne
3.         Frog Trouble – Mark Lanegan
4.         Heartache Song – Kacey Musgraves
5.         When Pigs Fly – Ryan Adams
6.         Broken Piano – Ben Folds
7.         Copycat – Brad Paisley
8.         End of a Summer Storm – Alison Krauss
9.         Alligator Stroll – Josh Turner
10.       Beautiful Baby – Darius Rucker
11.       Deepest Blue – Linda Eder
12.       More Frog Trouble – Falls Mountain Cowboys (a fictitious group)

Frog Trouble Online
Visit the official website
Like Sandra Boynton on Facebook                   
Watch clips on YouTube                  
Follow @SandyBoynton on Twitter

Available at the following retailers

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Gift Box: Over 20 Affordable Gift Options for Young Kids!

I have started a new "system" recently and I thought I would share it with you, because it is life changing...really! (You all probably do this or have a better system...but for me...life changing!) I have started a box that I keep in my office and I have a variety of fun gifts in there along with fun tissue, different colors of tulle and plain bags that the girls can write on (instead of a card- they decorate the bag). As I run errands or find a deal on Amazon, I snag items for the gift box- this way I always have a good go-to gift ready! When we have a party or birthday come up, we can grab various items out of the box that fit the person we are giving to. This is also good for "sibling gifts" when someone has a baby! Here are some ideas from my "Gift Box". (Friends, if you do not have Amazon Prime- you need to highly consider it!!! Free shipping on so many items and their prices are amazing. I order virtually everything on Amazon- clothing, shoes, make-up, cleanser, food, gifts, books..you name it! And you get movies, ebooks, etc.. so awesome! Check it here: Join Amazon Prime }

Some Fun Gift Ideas for my box: (I have a lot of girl ideas...for obvious reasons)

{It seems like every girl over the age of six wants Rainbow Loom these days- always to keep a couple in the box: LINK and the bands: LINK}
{These Sewing Kits are fun for young girls- LINK}
{Silly Putty is always fun (or play doh is fun to throw in): LINK}

{Kids love a fun notebook: LINK. Whenever I find fun notebooks, I grab them for the box!}
{I grab a big box of gel pens and wrap a couple of them up with tulle and put them in the gift bags with the journal! LINK}

{Everyone loves a slap bracelet! LINK}

{My girls all need water bottles at school, sports, road trips, etc.. we never seem to have enough! So cool water bottles are always fun! LINK}

Other Ideas:
>Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker books (tons of them for boys or girls)

>>>What is your go-to gift?<<<
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