Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What's Up Wednesday. {8.30.17}

Hello, Wednesday!

I know this week has been a somber one for so many of my fellow Texans.  I have family and friends in the Houston area (all are safe) but seeing their pictures and hearing their stories is just breaking my heart.


I keep trying to imagine the scenario if it were to play out in my house.  I picture water creeping higher and higher up our driveway until it reaches our front door and then watching that first trickle start to come in.  I imagine scrambling trying to save what we can and get it up the stairs and into the attic.  What would I even try to save?  Our computers? Our pictures?  Important documents?

I can even picture making Craig help me lift our new kitchen table up onto the kitchen island!  (I really like that table!)

I know I'd be in full on Mom-mode though.  I would have life jackets on the boys and cell phones charging upstairs for as long we could.  Shoes for everyone, backpacks stuffed with clothes.  Shut off the gas.  Shut off the water.  (Would it even matter?)  

Yes, I think about these things.  I like to be prepared but I know that so many of those people thought there was just no way anything like that would happen.  That it would never come to that.  And I totally get it.  Which makes it even more awful.

And for the people who have lost loved ones...there are just no words.  My heart breaks for you.

I've been watching the news steadily while I work for the past couple of days and feel so helpless and even guilty that we are fine and our little bubble has remained in tact.  I am trying to do what I can though.



I have been praying constantly.  We have donated money.  I am going through our closets looking for clothes, shoes, blankets, bedding...whatever may be helpful.  And I'm hoping to volunteer a couple of hours this morning (more on that below).

Today, I wanted to put together a list of donation opportunities in case you wanted to give a little something, but are overwhelmed as to where to do it.

MISSION REGAN


Our friends here in Mckinney have an AMAZING charity called Mission Regan and they are taking physical and monetary donations.  They have already loaded up a truck with medical supplies and headed down there to do everything they can to help and from what I understand, this won't be their only trip this week.  If I can make it work, I plan on going out there this morning to help them sort and pack things up for round two.

Find them on Facebook.

To donate money to Mission Regan, you can go here.  Select "general fund" and add "hurricane relief" in the notes box.

Physical donations can be dropped off at:

3400 Eldorado Pkwy Suite 4
Mckinney, TX

Every little bit helps!!

MAGNOLIA MARKET

Those amazing people over at Magnolia in Waco will be donating 100% of the proceeds from their cute Texas Forever tees from now through September.

I didn't think twice and grabbed mine immediately!  I saw the shirts in person when we went to Waco this summer and they are soft and so very Joanna.  ;) #welovejojo

I posted this on Instagram yesterday on both my IG accounts (@amandanall and @thatinspiredchick).  And by just doing THAT, I felt like I was doing something.  Even the small things matter!



Grab your shirt here!

Other reputable disaster relief efforts:  (Just click the name to go to their page)

RED CROSS (or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation, as many times as you'd like)



Houston, we are praying for you!!  Stay strong!!!

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There really is no way good way to transition from something so serious to something so...NOT serious...so I'm just going to jump right in.



Every last Wednesday of the month we link up with Shay, Mel and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday but this morning I saw that they had decided to move the linkup to next Wednesday instead so we could focus on Hurricane Relief.

I did both today though so I'm just going to leave it.  :)

So here goes!

What we're eating this week...

Sunday we had a breakfast casserole for dinner, partly because it is easy and delicious and partly because it made for a quick back to school breakfast Monday morning!  We just popped some leftovers in the microwave for a minute and there was a hot breakfast!  It tastes just like a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit.  Yu-mmy.

And man.  My food pictures most definitely need work.  #workinonit


Here's the recipe.  Be sure to pin it for later!  (I'm pretty sure I made all these pictures pinnable.)


Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit Casserole

1lb Jimmy Dean Mild Sausage (or spicy if you want a little kick!)
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
16oz can of biscuits
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (depends on how cheesy you want to go!)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350.  
Brown your sausage and drain.  Set aside.
Spray or grease 9x13 baking dish.
Cut each biscuit into 6 pieces.
Spread biscuits evenly on bottom of dish.
Add crumbled sausage on top of biscuits.
Sprinkle on 1/2 cup or so of cheese.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.
Pour over sausage and biscuits.
Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. (Add as much or as little cheese as you'd like!)

Pop in oven for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees or until eggs are set.  

Enjoy!!

And don't forget to check out my Super Easy Baked Mac-n-Cheese I posted here last week!  


And yes, we love cheese.

My friends should be so proud of me.  They know I HATE to cook!!  I'm doing better lately though!  And speaking of friends did y'all pre-order Shay's new book Simmers?!  It's all crockpot recipes which is sooooo much more my jam.  I just feel so responsible and adult-ish with dinner cooking away all day in a crockpot.  Total mom-win.


What I'm reminiscing about...

All of those past first days of school.




That year Matthew insisted on wearing his favorite way too small, long-sleeved shirt (in August...in Texas...) for his first day back to school.  It was also my first day at my new job as a PE coach so I decided to ignore it.


Which leads directly into...

...what we've been up to!

Matthew is in 4th grade this year and Mason is in 2nd.   How did my babies get so BIG!?!!


They barely let me snap some pics before running off to meet their friends on the corner to walk to school together.


When I talk about my boys "house-hopping", these are the people who live in said houses.  ;)  We are SO blessed with these sweet neighbors! 



BFFs.

After we got them sent off, I headed to Spoons in downtown Mckinney for the annual Back to School mom's breakfast!  This group of girls just makes me happy.  There is never a shortage of laughs, stories, and fun, inappropriate mom humor.  Nothing is off limits and I love it.  


We've also been up to this once again!


Matthew and Mason kicked off their fall baseball season with back-to-back games.  We watched Mason play first then hit up Sonic to grab some slushes before heading over to the big boy fields to watch Matthew. 

And yep, I'm still rocking my favorite flip flops EVER, anywhere and everywhere.  Thankfully in Texas, I'll be able to wear them for at least another month if not 2.

What I'm working on...

The shop has been in full-swing since I reopened after our vacation!  I'm once again covered in glitter, sawdust and paint all the time.  But that's how I prefer it.  ;)

Check out the shop HERE!








I also got all inspired the other day and made a cute little homework caddy for the boys this year!  You can read more about it here but it's working already!  Matthew came home with homework yesterday and he was actually excited to start it!  But then he got distracted.  So hopefully he'll get excited again tonight.  ;)




What I'm watching/reading...

At the mom's breakfast the other day, Shay brought in a giant stack of books to pass along to whoever wanted any and I grabbed Balancing in Heels by Kristin Cavallari.  I have a TOTAL #girlcrush on Kristin.

She's just SO incredibly put together, beautiful, successful, stylish...and if you watched her on The Hills, you know she's also got a super sassy side to her.  ;)

I had an appointment yesterday morning and drove through Starbucks on the way home. When I got home, I flipped through her book while I ate.  The whole book is #goals.


And I'll be posting my August book review soon but for now you can go back to see my mid-summer book review here if you haven't checked it out yet.  There are TONS of great books in that post!

And I'm watching Big Brother.  I also watch the live feeds.  And y'all.  Yesterday, the chat rooms (yes they have those running next to the live feeds) were going crazy because Matt is apparently and a have-not this week and has just ignored ALL the rules.  He's been eating whatever he wants, taking hot showers and sleeping in a normal bed (with Raven).  They are talking about him getting a possible penalty vote because of it. 

Everyone is also turning on Kevin.  Poor guy.  He's so confused about why everyone has turned on him!  :(

And Matt and Raven will be out the door sooner rather than later.  Raven is getting a great edit in the actual shows on TV.  She is HIGHLY annoying in the live feeds though.

HIGHLY.

What else am I watching?  Real Housewives of the OC and Real Housewives of Dallas (I don't particularly love the Dallas girls...and feel like a traitor saying that about my fellow Dallas-area wives....).  I just can't with Leanne.  Are y'all with me on that??  She came dressed as Two Face Stephanie for Halloween to Stephanie's party!  But I feel like she's incredibly two faced herself.  Hypocrites suck.

And Brandi completely cutting off Stephanie-her very best friend- all summer long because she was mad about something Stephanie said in the press?!  The craziest part about it was that Brandi never bothered to tell Stephanie what she was so mad about!!  She just cut her off, blocked her completely and moved on.  Who does that?! I don't get it.

What I'm loving...

I think I covered this pretty well in last week's Friday Favorites!  It included my MVP picks from the summer.  Hop over to that post here.

What I'm wearing...



I got new jeans in last week and I've been wearing them a lot already (see my first day of school outfit above)...which should say something about how much I love them since it's still almost 100 degrees every day.  ;)

I love these jeans not only because they are a great fit but also because they are shorter which means I can wear them all the way rolled down or I can roll them up a little bit for a small cuff.  It's hard finding skinny jeans like that that hit at my ankle.  They are always too long to leave unrolled.  But these are really great if you are 5'5"ish and over. If you are shorter, they'll still be cute!!  You just might have a little bunching around the bottom unless you cuff them.

I'm a total fan.

What I'm doing this weekend...

Craig will be going back to Louisiana for a dedication of his high school football stadium.  The stadium is being renamed in honor of his coach who left quite a legacy and passed away recently.

We've also tentatively made plans to go to the Larry the Cable Guy/Jeff Foxworthy show on Sunday night but I'm not sure if it's going to work out just yet.  Craig has been friends with "Larry" (real name Dan Whitney) for many years so we usually get to any show he has near us.  He is just the best guy and hooks us up with tickets for us and any of our friends every time.  And we also get to go backstage afterwards and hang out for awhile.  Great guy for sure and so funny!

The last time we saw them was January 2016.


I hope we get to go but we're still sorting out a few things before we make the final decision.  Anyone want to babysit??  ;)

So that's what we've been up to!  Don't forget to check out the different ways to donate to the Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief!  Please feel free to drop in links or other ways to donate in the comments! There was no way I could get to them all!  Thank you!!!

#texasstrong







Monday, August 28, 2017

Back to School!


Yes ma'am.  Today is the day.

It is FINALLY our turn.  Mckinney kiddos go back to school today and although I will (surely) miss my little rugrats tearing through the house at top speed with 4 of their buddies right behind them, leaving nothing but destruction in their wake multiple times a day, I've gotta say I'm happy to release them to their sweet teachers.

Shocking, I know.  ;)

But we have had a great summer.  We've gone on a couple of trips, we've hung out with friends a ton, we've BBQ'd, gone to movies, eaten ice cream, stayed up WAY too late and slept in WAY too long and done an enormous amount of cannon balls.

We're done now.  Summer is over.  The crazy busy schedules can start up again and the temperatures can start to drop.  Crying fits can ensue over ridiculous homework assignments that seem pointless but probably aren't (???).  Showers will happen every night now instead of jumping into the pool and letting the chlorine cover it for a couple of days.  (Don't judge.) And best of all, bedtimes will once again exist.  #canIgetanamen?

Today we will take pictures in the front yard at 7am and the boys (Matthew-4th grade and Mason-2nd) will meet up with the neighborhood crew to walk to school on their first day.  It is up in the air if I will tag along on that walk or not.  I have plans to meet up with my girlfriends in downtown Mckinney for the annual back to school breakfast and my hair WILL be Day 2 dirty since I washed it Sunday before church.  So I'm not sure if walking to school and getting sweaty, sticky and frizzy will help that cause much.  ;)  Plus, the boys are SO OVER me walking them to their class on the first day. #sonotcool  We'll see how that plays out.


So since today is our official first day back, I wanted to show you my cute little Homework Caddy I whipped up last week!

For starters, this was NOT my idea.  I have been on Pinterest (follow me HERE!  I am a pinning fool!) for awhile looking for back to school organizational tips.  And since I knew homework is our biggest struggle, I searched for some homework tips.

And this is what I came up with!  



A super cute Homework Caddy that holds basically anything we will need to get homework done!

 In the past, we were always hunting for pens, pencils, markers that work, scissors etc when it came time to do homework.  We just did NOT have it together.  And we all hate homework.  

So this year, when it's homework time, we just pull out our little caddy and get to work!

Here are the details if you want to make your own!  Obviously, you can buy all of this stuff at Walmart, Staples, Target or wherever but I'm linking them in case you don't want to hit the stores for more supplies.  (Amazon Prime is my BFF.)  Just click the things below that you might want!

Homework Caddy:

Storage Caddy (also in Silver!)
Colored Pens (my FAVORITE!)





My kids are actually excited about homework (right now...) because of this thing!  I'm hoping it'll help set a homework habit which will include less whining and crying.  ;)

And here are a few pictures from Meet the Teacher last week!



Just realizing he met the teacher with a hole in his shirt.  And probably his shorts too.  She'll get used to it.  ;)


They all wanted to ride bikes up to the school for Meet the Teacher night.  I drove.  They regretted it.  It was hot.


We are super excited for this school year! Both boys have great teachers and are ready to get back at it!  So thankful for a school where I have zero worries and know they will be just fine.

See you back here Tuesday or Wednesday!  I've got some random catching up to do and a new recipe that is always a hit with my family!

And if you missed Friday's "Friday Favorites:  End of Summer Edition", be sure and check it out here!  I focused in on some of my favorite MVPs from this summer!

Happy Monday, y'all!

Linking up with the girls for Hello Monday!



Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Favorites #24.{End of Summer Edition}

Happy Friday!!

Today I decided to do an End of Summer edition Friday Favorites.  Kind of an MVP list of all my summer favorites in one post.   So yes, you've probably seen these favorites before but these are all things that are tried and true, so I can fully recommend!  ;)

Of course, I'm linking up with my girls Erika, Narci and Andrea as always!


So let's get started with this Super-Sized Edition!


Jewelry.  

When I was going through pictures of the summer, I noticed some definite jewelry standouts that were on repeat like crazy all summer long.  

I know you've seen these a million times now but they are definitely an MVP of the summer.
These earrings were my first thought when I thought of summer favorites.  I got them in clear/silver and jet during the Anniversary Sale and they have become my most worn earrings ever since.  They are such high quality and the colors are so gorgeous.  (There are 7 colors to choose from!)





I wore the Jet color here on our way to Gulf Shores!

And then of course, there are my favorite big earrings.  I also got these at the beginning of summer and I've worn them dozens and dozens of times!  

And if big earrings just aren't your jam, they do come in a smaller size!  (I ended up buying them in silver AND gold!)

I've got them in the biggest size because....everything's bigger in Texas???

Go big or go home??  

I just like big earrings...and I cannot lie??  (Ok, I'll stop.)

Big ones (like mine) here.

Smaller ones here.





I've also been wearing these adorable gold and white beaded fringe earrings so much.  I am so glad I got them in white because they go with so much more!  (Although I think I'd wear them just as much if I'd gotten them in black and the turquoise ones are just gorgeous...)


Find these other earrings here:  green earrings / multicolored earrings / white earrings / gold necklace (another staple!!!)




And finally, some of my very FAVORITE bracelets!!




The colorful bracelets are super old.  But the white and gold studded ones are AMAZING!!!  Y'all, if you need a good solid piece of jewelry that you can wear all the time (so you don't feel too bad about spending the money on it), get one (or two!) of these bracelets!!  Pair them with your watch or add them into a cute little stack.  I was on the fence about the white one when I got these and I am SO GLAD I SPLURGED FOR IT!!!  

Seriously, ladies.  You won't be sorry.

And I can't not mention my gorgeous blue/green stone bracelet.  I am crazy in love with it still and have worn it every chance I get.  The good thing about this is that it comes in so many colors!!  I definitely need it in more of a neutral color for the fall!

I'm also on the hunt for a new gold or gold/silver watch so if you have any suggestions, let me know!  


Makeup.

This summer I was all about lashes!  This is still my very favorite mascara and I've tried A LOT of mascaras, girls!!  



No, I don't have lash extensions.  Those are all mine!  I do use LashBoost though which has worked so well for me.  You can get it from any Rodan + Fields girl.  (Hint:  I got mine from Erika!)

You can also see my pretty green earrings from favorite #1.  ;)

I've also been using this amazing eye brightener/concealer DAILY.  As in, every single time I actually put on makeup...and even when I only slap some on halfway.  It brightens my eyes immediately and hides those dark circles that tend to happen to me no matter how much sleep I get.  I think it's just hereditary.  But this really helps!!




And my favorite nail polish has to go to OPI Shorts Story.


It's been on my toes all summer long and on my fingernails whenever I actually decide to do my fingernails.  It's hard for me to keep nail polish looking good on my hands in my line of work!


Beauty products.

  I love a good beauty product.  Anything that promises to make me look younger--yes, please!

But here are a few that I've tried, I've loved and I've actually noticed a difference!




All you have to do is pour this bottle (below) into this jar of cotton pads.  And then once a day, after you wash your face, give your face and neck a quick wipedown.  


I still remember the first time someone asked me what I'd been using on my face lately.  It was about a week after I'd started with this and I was so happy something actually worked!!!  My skin was brighter, clearer and just prettier overall.

Find it here!

And speaking of that certain "glow", I ended up with this "Glow Tonic" after our gift exchange with our Sunday School class and I love it!  Clearly, anything that makes my skin glow, look brighter, more even or younger, is perfect for me!


I use this at least 4 times a week but not at the same time as my Exuviance.  (And you can see my "Shorts Story" nail color there too!)

And since we are all about to start losing that golden glow, I know I'll be keeping these favorite tanning products on repeat.

My favorite product that I use the most is the new Jergens Natural Glow.


And every morning, before I put on my makeup, I use the Jergens Natural Glow for my face.


For the fall/winter, I use the Dr. Dennis Gross face and body towels to keep some color.  I swipe them on after my shower at night, stand around in my birthday suit for a few minutes letting it all dry and then put on my PJs (on sale!!) and get in bed.


Books.

Holy cow, I've read so many amazing books this summer!!  You can find my Mid-Summer Book Review here but I wanted to spotlight just a few of them in my number four spot today.  Definitely, go back and checkout the review though!!  There's just no way I can cover all my favorites here.  And come back next week for my August Book Review!  (Follow me on Goodreads here!)



I also need to add in (in case you are new here) that I am an Audible FANGIRL.  Straight up.  It just works with my lifestyle and I get to read soooo many more books that I would if I had to make time to sit down and just read.  I don't have time for that y'all.  I am a multitasker 16 hours a day.  And even when I sleep, I do THIS weird thing.  So technically, it's probably a full 24.

But I love to read.  So here are a few of my favorites from this summer.




I know I've been gushing about Kristin Higgans books lately.  Well, it all started with these two books  (If You Only Knew and On Second Thought) and I don't know why I chose these out of all of her books to start with, but I'm glad I did.

I've now read I think 5 of her books and these two are still my favorites by far.  So if you like chick-lit, romance, drama, and witty characters that you can relate too and who make you laugh you MUST buy these two books!!  Trust me, you'll read the first one (If You Only Knew) and you'll finish it, think to yourself "THAT WAS SO GOOD!!!" and want to read another one.  So go with "On Second Thought".  It brings in a cameo of the characters from If You Only Knew but other than that is a completely different story but just as good.

I've also added a few new Elin Hilderbrand books to my collection this summer.



The Identicals.  You'll love it.  How can you not?!  If you love chick-lit, sisters, girlfriends, beach towns, romance...you'll love it.  

And The Matchmaker.  Oh you'll cry.  But it'll be a good cry.  And it's such a great story!!!!  Add it your cart, ladies!



Favorite posts.

This summer we had 2 trips as a family.  One was to Waco for a super fun family reunion where we also hit up Magnolia!

Find Part 1 and Part 2 of our trip here.  We had the BEST time!!



I also shared our week long adventure in Gulf Shores, Alabama in Part 1, 2 and 3.  :)


And then my 25 Random Things About Me post seemed to be a favorite among y'all and I totally get it.  Weirdness is funny and random facts about people are the BEST!

So if you want to read mine, go here.  :)

And if you need a yummy Mac-n-Cheese recipe, check out my post from Tuesday!  Pin it and save it for Thanksgiving, your next BBQ or tailgate, or just for a yummy dinner!


So there ya go!  Some of my favorites from this summer!  I couldn't fit them all in so if you want to browse my past Friday Favorites you can go here and just click on "older posts" once you get to the bottom.  Or check the right side of my blog for search topics, blog posts and blogs I love!  (Available from the desktop version only).


And I always do a Bonus #icanteven on these Friday Favorites posts so here is today's!

Today I bring you...

THIS.



Your eyes have gone directly to the crazy, awful, weird plastic on this model's gorgeous legs right?  You think that's what she's modeling?

Nope.  You are wrong.

The actual product she's modeling are these SWEATSHORTS.

So first of all, sure, whatever.  Sweatshorts.  I'm sure they are comfy.  No biggie. ($140 by the way.)

But why, why, WHY pair them with these high heeled, clear plastic, knee high shoes!?!

I get that you just probably can't find a lot that would go with these shoes.  (Can we even call them that??)  But aren't they kind of stealing the spotlight from the shorts you're trying to sell?   Who is in charge of styling?!  Kanye West??  (Oh wait...  Yes.  Yes he is.  The brands for both of these are Yeezy.  His brand.  #stupidname  #notafan)

At first I thought the plastic things were the product shown for sale.  Right?   But nope.  It's the shorts that you can find here.  And then you can click on the Yeezy brand (eye roll) "tubular boots" to view them in full.  And for $950, you will most definitely get noticed. 

So that's Friday, y'all!  I hope you have a great weekend and we'll see you back here for our first day of school on Monday!!  Whoo hoo!!!  















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