Friday, October 31, 2014

A Little Fixer Upper

Yesterday my friend Holly and I headed to Waco for an event we have been anticipating for weeks and it did not disappoint!  If you are not familiar, Joanna Gaines is wife to Chip and star of the HGTV series Fixer Upper.  I absolutely love this show!  She has a great eye for design and the style fits my taste but beyond that they are just a fun couple living a full life and being grateful everyday for their blessings.  When Holly suggested we purchase tickets I jumped at the opportunity.  
Fixer Upper 
We stopped by the Magnolia home store but it closed 10 minutes before we arrived.....definitely will be stopping by next time I'm in the Waco area.  I just love those letters!!  
Due to Halloween tomorrow we knew staying the night would make for a Cr-AZY Friday so we decided to make the drive back home afterwards but that meant we had to do a quick change in some bathroom before the event.  Let me just tell you that nothing can stress me out more than not knowing what the heck to wear.  I emailed the event coordinator thinking that maybe I should check the dress for the event.  The response....it is a nice event, but not formal so I would say dressy casual or maybe a little nicer.  Eek....this totally freaked me out.  We wore casual comfy clothes for the ride and then sat across the street and stalked saw others walking by with what I consider casual and thankfully we did not have to try and change in the restaurant bathroom!   
Fixer Upper
Shop our look here! 
Gingham Button Down worn by Holly here 
Striped top here & here
Black Ponte Pants here 
Kimberly Necklace here
We were super excited to see Chip as we were waiting in line and he was working the crowd! 

The event was held at the Phoenix Ballroom in downtown Waco and the venue was very fitting for Joanna's style.  Joanna talked about how Magnolia homes store and business came to be and shared some of her philosophies on making a house truly a home noting that having a house that is well lived in is the most important.  She added that being intentional about creating an environment that is not just beautiful but also has meaningful design and used the example of families choosing to convert a formal dining area into a playroom.....do what works and don't apologize for it.  I love that!  

There were several items on our table that were for us to take home and while we listened to Joanna talk we were able to decorate the nest like wreaths used as chargers on the tables.  She touched on entertaining and using simple things like chargers that can add a special touch to a table when entertaining a small group of 6-12 people.  Carving out time to be intentional about reaching out to others and opening your home to honor friends and family will make them feel special.   
And lastly these "thankful for" cards to make a banner of things your family is thankful for or to create a thankful tree.  This was perfect timing as we are going to work on participating in 30 Days of Thanks and Giving starting November 1st.  You can read more about this by visiting Holly's blogpost here
Finally we had our time to actually meet Joanna.  She is as "real" and welcoming in person as you would imagine after watching her show.  Her faith was evident in her talk and it was clear that she and Chip have turned their dreams over to God and trusted His timing to unfold the plan for their lives.  It was inspiring to hear her talk about taking a leap of faith to start a business.  
If you want to find out about future events hosted by Magnolia Homes the best idea is to follow Joanna's blog or follow her on Instagram.  That is how we found out about this event and it was sold out fairly quickly.  
Fixer Upper

And now....it wouldn't be Halloween without a few flashback pix from my some of my fave Halloween memories! 
My sweet baby brother (throwing it all the way back to Sigmond the Sea Monster) and me and this crazy witch costume that I actually chose two years in a row??
My sweet pumpkin Jordan at 2 years old.....everything was so exciting with my first baby!  Note...chambray shirt was in style and so was ombre hair evidently just the opposite of today's style. Ha!
Riley never was much into dressing up for Halloween with the store bought costumes..too itchy, too hot...so not 100% sure what he was this year but he was loving on his sweet kitty sister!
Go-Go Girl and her hillbilly brother
This sweet boy loved everything cowboy and he made the absolute cutest!
My sweet baby spider...I loved this costume and this may have been the last time she actually let me dress her.  
Always deciding at the last minute to go trick or treating....Riley was a good sport when I came up with this one on the fly!  Oh yes...yes he is! 

Harry and the Peacock!

Happy Halloween Friends!  Keep Calm & Be Scary! 


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lasagna Fit for a Queen

When I was first married and crazy out of my mind at 22, I tried to make homemade lasagna and boiling noodles was a disaster!  I could not remove one from the pot without tearing it in half.  I tried making frozen lasagna and that just wasn't working for me either.  By chance one day I happened to notice right there on the Skinner's lasagna box, a recipe for Virginia's Easy Lasagna and it has been a family favorite for 20+ years.

Over the years I have tweaked the recipe a bit and earlier this month made this lasagna as listed below on request for my daughter's 24th birthday celebration.  You can catch up and read about my sweet Jordan here.
This recipe served 5 adults and 1 child for this birthday dinner and everyone was satisfied and the birthday girl even had enough to take home leftovers for lunch the next day.
Lasagna Recipe
Tip....Skinners does make Oven Ready lasagna noodles and there is a recipe on the back of the box but I have tried it also and really think this one is tastier.

Excited to be linking up with Momfessionals and can hardly wait to try a few new recipes!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Favorite Things Party - A Little Halloween Fun

Today I'm joining Erika and Andrea for a Favorite Things party! 
I found these super cute napkins while browsing through World Market and they were $4.99/pkg.  Wouldn't these be super cute for a girls night out (in)?  I believe now there is a 15% off coupon floating around.  I took one and added scrapbook paper and framed it in a dollar store frame to put on my desk at work.  My co-workers think it's perfect!  
Fall Decor
I also found these two items at Michael's for 60% off and they were perfect to complete my entry hall table decor for Halloween! 
Fall Decorating
Fall Decorating
Fall Decorating
 Friday I ran into Target for some laundry detergent (and surprisingly I actually remembered to buy some!) and was distracted by a big 70% off sign next to the scarves.  I found these infinity scarves marked down to $4.48!  I tried them on because surely there was some issue that caused them to still be on the rack but they are super soft with a little fringe and I loved them.    I can't decide which color I like best but I bought several for gifts as well.  
Hope your week is off to a fabulous start!  


Friday, October 24, 2014

Five on Friday - Friends, Food, Fashion



This week has flown by and I'm so excited that we will actually be in town all weekend!  Our schedule is a little busy but with fun parties and activities and possibly even a date night with the main squeeze. 

On to this weeks 5 on Friday!  

One.....FRIENDS....I have the greatest friends.  I actually received 4....count them 4 "real" birthday cards in the mail this year.  What a great surprise to see something besides junk mail in my mailbox! If you have the chance to drop a line to a friend...birthday or not...in the snail mail it is totally worth it and can make someones day!
We have also been BOO'ed not once but TWICE this week!  What a fun way to surprise a friend and I'm telling you my kids think they have been living right.  

If you want the deets on this fun picture frame head on over to my friend Holly's blogpost here.  


TWO....Girls Night Out!  This really needs no further explanation and could just as easily been counted under number one but let's be real...when you get the chance to head somewhere nice for dinner..you know...somewhere that doesn't serve chicken nuggets...it deserves it's own category!  I really am fortunate to have a wide variety of friends...friends of all ages and stages of life.    Some I feel like I am able to counsel and mentor and some definitely mentor and counsel me....and some are just perfect for making me laugh so hard I almost pee my pants.  All of them are equally important in my life and I'm always grateful when I can spend some time hanging out.  So last night I hooked up with two of my friends that came into my life first at the baseball field as our sons played ball together from 5th grade through senior year.  If you missed my Tuesday Toast it was all about my friend Cindy on the left below and you can catch up here.  
And this little Italian restaurant, Luigi's, always makes for a great girls night or date night.  Close to home, nice atmosphere and great food. 

THREE....birthday presents to myself!  I used some of mine....and Keith's (shhhhh) birthday money to purchase...wait for it....some new kitchenware!  In all seriousness one of the things Keith and I have always loved doing together is cooking and preparing meals.  The last time I bought a crockpot was 11 years ago and it was seriously past it's useful life span.  The handle broke off the lid about 3 years ago so we had to use a fork or something to actually lift it off.  So when I saw Shay at Mix and Match Mama post about the sale at Williams Sonoma I knew it was just what I wanted to spend my money on! It is even more beautiful in person and I can hardly wait to use it!  
You can find it here.  It is not discounted quite as much as it was the day I purchased but it is still on sale.  The best feature to me is the actual pot is cast iron so you can place it directly on the stove to brown meat, etc.  While I was at it I also bought these pans.  Keith's favorite thing to cook is breakfast and I think he's going to rock these.

FOUR.....Doggy Daycare.  So first you just have to know that most of the people who know me did not think I was a dog person in the least.  What they really didn't know is that I had resisted a dog because I knew I would fall fast in love with the little sucker!  See my post about bringing Dutch home here.  Anyway...I was determine to crate train this sweetie and somewhat train him to be a great dog that felt loved and secure.  I go home for lunch almost every single day or I have my older daughter check on him but he is never left for more than 4-5 hours at a time without some playtime. As you can imagine this has really cut into my "free" time for running errands at lunch or having a lunch date with a friend or even working through lunch so I can leave a little early.  On Fridays, however, I take Mr. Dutch Buddy to Doggy Daycare and I'm really not sure which one of us is more excited at drop off!  Remember that first time after having a baby when you get out of the house baby free....even if you are only going to Walgreens.....and you peel out of the driveway and roll the windows down and let your hair blow in the wind as you celebrate the freedom??  Well...that's how I feel on Fridays when Dutch goes to daycare....I overload my mind with ideas of what I can do with that one free hour in my day that I do not have to go home to let him out!  And for real...he loves it there and I really think they love him too! 
FIVE....in case it isn't apparent yet I have somewhat of a shopping problem!  I need to just stop the emails coming directly to me letting me know there is a sale.  Does anyone ever buy anything full price anymore?  I may at Nordstroms if I find something I absolutely adore but Gap, Loft, Old Navy, etc....they have a sale like every...single...week...that is at least 40% off so why pay full price?!  There really are truly not too many things that I just can't live without.  Loft currently has 40% off fall favorites and here are a few items I thought were super cute!
  
Scroll Sweatshirt here//Tweed Blazer here

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!  The weather will be what the forecaster called "unseasonably warm for Texas" but it will be high 80's...I'll take it!  

Momfessionals

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WIWW - Workout Edition

There are so many fun options for workout clothes and I am always looking for a fun way to spice up my workout.  It seems like I always end up coming back to the same old basics so I'm sharing some of my favorites today!  

My workouts typically consist of some sort of weight training and cardio classes.  Currently I'm training with some friends for a 1/2 Marathon in December so most of the cardio has been coming from running these days.  While I do wear shorts in the really hot months of summer, I typically prefer to wear some sort of workout leggings.  Especially when running, if I want to avoid the chub rub, I almost exclusively wear leggings.  I also prefer a top that is long enough to give me some coverage and unfitted enough to avoid the muffin top even when I'm in the middle of my workout.  Even after squatting and standing back up this tank stays put! 






I've tried Lulu workout pants in the past and while I do love the feel of them, I always had trouble with them falling down.  I found these Zella workout pants and fell in love!  Plus the price for these workout pants seems much more reasonable to me and I always stalk them at Nordstroms and watch for the sale.  
Zella Leggings here

During the anniversary sale I also picked up some Nike leggings and I love that they have the rubber around the upper waistband to help them stay put.  
Nike Legend Leggings here

I've had the best luck with finding tanks at Target and Old Navy.  
All Options from Old Navy here and they are 30% off right now

When I first started weight training I had a hard time keeping my form with my heavier running shoes and my trainer suggested I look at more of a cross training shoe.  I found these and I love them.  There are lots of other options out there and all seem to come in fun colors!  

I have a very high arch and when running my favorite shoes are Mizuno.  I've tried Brooks and Asics but Mizuno brand just works best for my foot.  If you are interested in running I highly suggest visiting a local running store to let them evaluate your foot and watch you on a treadmill to help determine what shoe is best for you.  

Lots of options here

My best advice is to find workout gear that is the most comfortable for you.  If you are comfortable and feel confident in your workout clothes you are more likely to work harder!  

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