Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What's Up Wednesday {September}

Today I'm linking up with ShayMel & Sheaffer for this months What's Up Wednesday!  The questions are in green so check it out and join the fun. 

WHAT WE'RE EATING THIS WEEK.....

I left for Austin on Sunday to attend a workshop for work so I have been eating conference food...yummy.   In all seriousness it really was very good.  We were staying at the Hyatt in downtown Austin and the food the first day was amazing.  
 Steak was cooked to perfection and that little potato stack was pretty good too.  
Fall
 Cheesecake is a definite weakness for me and let's just say I may have licked the plate had I not been among colleagues.  
Fall
Day 2 was a little disappointing.  The chicken was delicious but am I the only one who does not like chicken served on the bone??!!
Austin
Keith & I ate at the Ranch 616 on Monday night and it was amazing!  Mel @ Larson Lingo actually blogged about this restaurant a few weeks ago and as many times as I've been to Austin I had never heard of it.  The food was unique and amazing!  We had the Texas Black Angus Tenderloin & Crab which was a perfectly cooked steak on top of chipotle mashed potatoes and topped with crap & lobster.  Oh goodness it was amazing!  We ordered the crispy oysters & calamari for an appetizer and then a waiter delivered the truffle fries (think garlic parmesan) that were "extra" from another table.  The atmosphere was so fun and I would definitely recommend it.  

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT.....

Having all my babies under my roof!  I think during the fall is when this always gets me the most.  We celebrate 5 out of 6 birthdays, visit the pumpkin patch, carve pumpkins, etc and it makes me miss having the Bigs here to enjoy the fun.  Hopefully we will still have plenty of opportunities to get together as an entire family unit between now and Christmas.

WHAT I'M LOVING.....

Farmgirl Paints extended opening...though I'm afraid it's going to really hit my pocketbook hard!  You can save 15% with the code fangirlshellyj now through November 2nd!  She has been posting new cuff designs each week!  So far I have ordered a new cuff reading stay in YOUR lane and shine BRIGHT. Now I'm wondering why I wasn't thinking like Cinderella as I read Be Kind and Have Courage and I have a feeling I will either be ordering one that reads that or Live YOUR fairytale.  
Farmgirl Paints
I'm also loving adding a little extra to my outfit with fall scarves!  If you missed my post on Monday it was all about my favorites and you can read along here.  My friends at Burlap & Pearls Boutique are even offering a discount code through October 2nd so you definitely want to check that out! 
Fall Style

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO.....

Slumber party
Last week was all about Carly Jo and celebrating her {Double Digits} with some {Slumber Party Fun}.
Fall
Keith & I also attended the Brazos Food Bank Celebration of Hope dinner. 
Austin
And since he works in Austin we also managed to squeeze in a date night while I was at my conference!  Every time I post a picture and he is smiling I receive so many comments about it.  Even his sister commented when I posted this one Monday night!   When I was showing him that people don't think he ever smiles he responded "I'm always smiling on the inside".  So there you have it! 

WHAT I'M DREADING.....

Not going to lie....I've been gone from my office since last Thursday so I'm dreading catching up just a tad!  

WHAT I'M WORKING ON.....

Goals for October!  I did great on a few things in September but there are a few areas I am still struggling like my healthy living {hello traveling and tailgating} so I need to start fresh October 1st.  I also want to make sure those fall bucket list items are noted on paper!  

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT.....

On Friday I will be heading to Round Top with a few fun girls and I am super excited.  If you have never heard of Round Top you must not be from Texas!  If you have a trip planned, definitely hop over to visit my friend Kim's blog where she displays her finds and also offers some tips on making the most of your trip here.   

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING.....

I'm reading For the Love and totally soaking up every word.  I have to say there have been so many words I have identified with.  This is a great book and every woman needs to read it!  Hope to have a full review soon.  
We are super slow but I finally talked Keith into watching Friday Night Lights with me!  I'm so excited and super hooked already but at this rate all my kids may be out of high school before we complete it!  

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO.....

After being gone for a few days I'm listening to Carly chatter away about al that happened while I was gone!  She started show choir last week at school and had practice yesterday so I'm sure I will be listening to a lot of singing in the future.  

WHAT I'M WEARING.....

Shopping my closet!  I have pulled together so many outfits this month from items I already have in my closet.  I definitely needed to take a shopping breather and this has given me a good chance to re-evaluate and figure out what I would like to add for the fall.  
And I attended a workshop in Austin this week and took along these outfits.  For all the details visit my workshop style post here.
Fall Style

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND.....

The Aggies play Mississippi State on Saturday and one of my good friends is coming with her family for the weekend.  I expect we are going to be having lots of fun catching up and tailgating before watching the Aggies BTHOstate.  There are sometimes years that go by without us seeing one another but this will be the 4th time we have seen one another in less than a year!  Here we are enjoying a little Aggie football last year.  
Fall

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH.....

October is the birthday marathon at our house!  Jordan turns 25 on October 6th, Riley 22 on October 18th, my birthday is the 19th and Keith's is the 20th.  It makes for a crazy month with lots of dining out and celebrating.  Bring it! Hope some cooler fall weather comes along too. 

WHAT ELSE IS NEW.....

I'm not going to lie....with all the celebrations and functions lately I'm super excited to say nothing else is new!! 

BONUS:  HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS

Fall
We don't really have any set Halloween traditions other than trick or treating with friends.  More years than not since Dillon was born we have hooked up with my friend Holly and her family for Halloween night.  This year could be interesting since the Aggies also play on Halloween.  I'm thinking Tailgates & Trick or Treating!

Hope you have a super Wednesday!

Also linking up today with
While I'm Waiting...
Our Three Peas
Thoughts for Thursday

And as always you can check out all the blogs I link with over the week here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Slumber Party Fun

Carly turned {Double Digits} last week and for the 2nd year in a row she requested a slumber party.  I am not a huge fan on having unorganized chaos going on in my house so this is always a party that causes me to hyperventilate just a tad.   

I designed this little invitation on Pic Monkey which was a step up from my last minute text message invitation for last years {Night Owl Party}.   I love using Pic Monkey but my only beef is I am never able to make the colors print the same as they show up on the screen.  I ended up sending this invite through an email this year.  As you can clearly see there was no real them this year but I decided to use her monogram with hopes we would find a craft for everyone centered around that.
Birthday Party
I was excited this year Carly chose to request donations to a local charity, Books and a Blanket in lieu of gifts.  She had several sweet friends also bring a gift card so she will be able to actually go shop to pick out books and blankets to donate.  I've been impressed with how these two sisters have been able to do in such a short time! 

I really wanted to make the party feel special so after brainstorming living on Pinterest for weeks I decided it would be fun to set up our pop up tent in the living room to create a little "glamping" fun.  Now, I can pull ideas together like nobody's business but execution is sometimes where I fall short.  Carly even told her teacher "my mom has great ideas but we hardly ever do them".  My heart would have melted into pieces had Jordan said this about me 15 years ago but these days I'm good with my shortcomings!  I took the day off work and headed out Friday morning to gather all the items on my list.  

If any of you have ever set up a pop up tent then you can visually picture me doing this alone!  There may have been one...or all the cuss words used.  I finally succeeded, however, and knew it was going to really make the party.  I added string lights around the top and found a fun little turquoise chandelier for the center.  Initially I thought about using tulle but opted for plastic table cloths from the Dollar Tree to dress up the ceiling of the tent.  
Birthday Party
I added a mattress on the floor in front of the couch and from either the couch or the mattress our TV was viewable.  I initially planned to hang sheets on three sides but decided against it.  You can head over to Just a Girl Blog here to see my initial inspiration. 
Birthday Party
Carly really, really wanted a PiƱata and I was thinking they were a little old for this but I was so wrong!  These girls were hilarious and they giggled and laughed hysterically while cheering each other on.  
Birthday Party
We kept dinner simple with pizza and had the girls work on a quick craft making bath scrub to take home.  This may have been a mom fail because they really had no clue yet what the heck bath scrub even was. Not to mention it never crossed my mind that using food coloring and letting them make it as dark as they wanted might color their skin!  Oops.  
Birthday Party
 Oh, and did I mention I misplaced the battery charger for my good camera?  Forgive some of these pictures!
Birthday Party
 Carly's 4th grade teacher texted me and asked if she could stop by at 8 for a "craft".  I seriously thought she was just coming to have wine with me but she actually brought a legit craft!  How cool is that?!!  They girls made initial necklaces with her which definitely helped to kill some more time.
Birthday Party
 I set up a makeshift photo booth wall with lots of props and you can see the girls brought the silly.
Birthday Party
I picked up a glow in the dark ring toss game at the Dollar Tree and they played for awhile in the dark hallway and then bonus the rings  made great bracelets.  
Birthday Party
 The girls loved this set up and there was a lot of dancing and singing loudly (evidently Fight Song is THE song right now) and doing flips on the mattress.
Birthday Party
Carly decided she wanted a sundae bar instead of cake this year.  For those of you who do not know, we barely survived the great Blue Bell shortage of 2015 and now that it is back in the stores it is all we can think about! I bought several different candies, nuts, cherries and of course their favorite canned whipped cream.  Seriously I think I could have just given them each a can of whipped cream and they would have been happy. 
Birthday Party
I decided to air pop the popcorn and bought some fun flavors to try.  This was another fail.  I have not air popped popcorn in forever and FYI if you don't add a little butter the seasoning doesn't stick at all. They were not impressed.  

They watched TV and finally fell asleep around 1am.  This my friends is what you call a slumber party win!  
Birthday Party
Carly & her friends posing with the books & blankets they brought.  
Birthday Party
 I
Birthday Party
I made banana chocolate chip muffins for breakfast and but also had cereal and pop tarts on hand
Birthday Party
The girls departed around 10am with their goodies.  My amazing sister-in-law made vinyl monograms for each girl and added to a pillow case.  Super cute!

Slumber parties can be fun!  My advice is keep them a manageable size, plan a few activities and then sit back and have some wine and let the girls be girls!  

Linking up with some of my favorites you can find here.  


Monday, September 28, 2015

Favorite Things - Fall Scarves & Discount Code

Today I'm linking up with Erika and Andrea for their Favorite Things series talking about my favorite scarves!  Get ready for scarf overload as you will quickly see this time of year scarves are my favorite! 

{Fringe}

Fall Scarves
This BP Scarf from Nordstrom is a little different this year but the fringe coupled with the ease of an infinity style makes this one a no brainer.  Add in the fact it is priced at $20 and comes in a variety of colors and there is just no reason this should not be in your accessory toolkit.  
BP Infinity Scarf here
Fall Scarves
I love mine and currently have similar styles in red, teal and black.  At this price point they also make really great gifts.  My beautiful daughter Jordan loves wearing hers as well and it is the perfect color for those Aggie games once the weather cools off.  

{Plaid}

Fall ScarvesFall Scarves
Plaid scarves can really dress up a plain old outfit.  Either of these paired with a plain white tee and some cute booties and you totally look pulled together in a pinch.   
I love this green Sophie Scarf @ Banana Republic here
Fun plaid scarf @ Old Navy here makes a great gift at this price point

{Blanket}

Fall Scarves
There may only be a few months out of the year here in Texas when the blanket scarf is an option but I think they are just too fun to pass up.  My friends at Burlap & Pearls Boutique have several styles to choose from and I'm thinking this red and black plaid really needs to find a place in my closet.  
As a bonus, my readers will receive 15% off at Burlap & Pearls Boutique today (September 28th) through Friday, October 2nd with the code Queen15.  
Fall Scarves
I found lots of ways to wear mine last season.  My mustard skinnies were also one of my favorites and if you love this color they are a must.  Bonus they can also be found at Burlap & Pearls Boutique! 
Mustard Skinnies here

{Animal Print}

Fall Scarves
Another one of my faves to add in the fall is a great animal print.  This goes so great with the fall colors such as orange, burgundy, mustard and can easily add interest to an all black outfit.  
Old Navy Animal Print Scarf here
Fall Scarves

{Video Tutorial}

To me an infinity scarf is the very easiest to throw on as it basically styles itself but if you are looking for an easy way to wear traditional scarves you can watch my video here.  



To see all the places I'm linking up visit my contact page here.

Don't forget to hop on over to the Farmgirl Paints Etsy page and do a little shopping for yourself or others.  Becky is donating 10% of proceeds to Raise for Rowyn which is an inspiring organization.  Read their story here.  My readers will receive 15% off with the code fangirlshellyj.




Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Queen's Chronicles - Week 39

It was an exciting week at our house with the big event being Carly's 10th birthday!  Pretty much the entire week was centered around her and I'm rather confident she had a super birthday week.  
We started the week watching Dillon play football and I was super excited to have gotten this shot of his catch on my camera!  He had just a teeny height advantage but he did have to jump and grab the ball.  Love watching him play.  
 I came home to tuck this 9 year old into bed the last time in single digits!  I don't know why but 10 just sounds so much older.  
 The birthday girl enjoyed lunch from Chick-fil-A from her Nana.  Carly really does enjoy her birthday so much.  You can read my top 10 things about Carly in my Double Digit post.  
Stealing this picture off her teachers classroom page.....happy girl so excited about celebrating with her friends! 
That night I received this picture from Riley.  He is in Florida for instructional league and living in a Holiday Inn Express for a month.  He was trying to figure out how he could manage to eat healthy while he was there.  
I'm taking this as a parenting win.  The boy purchased an electric skillet and managed to cook up this meal that looked so yummy.  Now, to be clear, his mom would have risk being a rule breaker but at least he did take it out on the balcony!  
 Wednesday night we celebrated at Olive Garden with our family and the McBertys.  Aunt Amy is always a favorite! 
 Carly was super excited about her dessert!  
And Sissy came through big time with a glitter confetti push pop that was perfect for the slumber party!  Carly's eyes lit up so big when she opened it.  Jordan, just know, she will remember the fun and always bring messy, loud toys for your kids someday! 
Thursday night Keith & I attended the Celebration of Hope dinner hosted by our local food bank.  It was such a great night and a lot of money was raised for the capital campaign for the new building.  Love being part of the solution.  I was excited to pull out this maxi dress of the event.  I have always loved the pattern of this dress and it is probably 6 years old but has only been worn a handful of times.  The jacket definitely made it work for this event.  
I took the day off work on Friday and spent my day preparing for Carly Jo's slumber party.  I saw a "glamping" idea on Pinterest using a pop up tent and decided this would make for a fun atmosphere.  I may have used one {or EVERY one I know) cuss word while trying to do this basically alone but I finally succeeded.  I am if nothing else determined!  I wish I could have gotten a picture that really would have shown the full ambiance but let's just say the girls LOVED it!  I will write a full birthday post later this week!  
 Saturday looked much like this for all of us!  The boys worked on their new deer stand all morning but then we all settled in to watch college football after Carly & I caught a nap.  How about those Aggies??   And we were all screaming like crazy at the end of the TCU game.  I seriously love watching college football but a lot of times I don't sit still and enjoy it.  
The boys headed out early Sunday for a baseball scrimmage while I finished laundry and lunch prep.  I'm leaving this evening for a conference in Austin for a few days and needed everything in "ready to go" shape for my mom as she comes to help with the kids.  I took Dutch Buddy for a much needed walk (him and me) and when we got home he found this limb and preceded to carry it inside.  He really thinks he's a big dog!  He's a crazy nut.  

Hope you all had a super weekend too!  

Be sure to hop over to my contact page to see where I'm linking up!  



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