Sharing Prime Day Deals on My Favorite Amazon Purchases Over the Past Year!

Sharing Prime Day Deals on My Favorite Amazon Purchases Over the Past Year!
Hey friends! 

Did you know that today is Amazon Prime Day? It's like Christmas in July!! 

I don't know about you but I get excited about it and then spend WAY too much time searching for things on sale only to return half of it because it was an impulse buy or it wasn't actually what I was looking for. 

Soooo I thought it would be fun to go through and find all of my favorite items that I've purchased over the past year and see what is on sale today and send you links to them! (You know I love to help a sister out like that!) 

Full disclosure, I do get a small commission on any purchases you make via these links, but you don't pay a dime more and it helps pay for the kiddos to go to dance and taekwondo so they thank you a ton! 

The best air fryer out there! 
This thing is a LIFE SAVER!! It has a warm-up setting so you don't have to use the microwave and it makes things taste WAY better and it has cut my cooking time in half on tons of dishes!! 

Air Fryer Link: https://amzn.to/3AJfZvd  

Over the door spice rack to save a TON of room in the pantry! I've bought and returned many because they were too flimsy, too wide or just didn't look good. This one is perfect! 

Spice Rack Link: https://amzn.to/3nZx3FX 

Stovetop Coffee Maker
I literally use this every single day! I even take it with me when I travel. Kids have favorite stuffed animals that they have to take with them, I have my coffee maker because mama needs coffee ya'll! Also I'm not a fan of the K-cups because I've read WAY too much about what is in those things. No thank you! 

Stovetop Coffee Maker Link:  https://amzn.to/3NXy37X 

Cast Iron Skillet with Rubber Handle 
Another thing I use every single day and having the rubber handle is awesome so you don't burn yourself. These are SO easy to clean and you avoid toxins in nonstick pans. 

Cast Iron Skillet with Rubbler Handle Cover Link:  https://amzn.to/3c8aoEP 

Coffee Grinder 
Freshly ground coffee just tastes better. If you use the stove top coffee maker I mentioned you will want finely ground coffee, if you use a coffee press, you will want to use course ground. 

Coffee Grinder Link: https://amzn.to/3nYi8M2 

Sunrise Simulator Alarm Clock 
This is the only thing on this list that I don't actually own...yet. I've been hearing SO much about these things from friends that are also not morning people and since it's half off I'm about to try it out! 

Sunrise alarm clock Link:  ://amzn.to/3yzBmfZ 

Toy Organizer 
This has been great to help my kids actually find their toys and their books fit across the top. I put my son's in his closet and his room has stayed much cleaner! I can't say the same about his closet but at least I can just shut the door! 

Toy Organizer Link: https://amzn.to/3PkyYAC 

Pantry Storage Containers: 
Every time someone comes over and sees my pantry they comment on how organized it looks. This is my secret. I think I ordered two sets but they are on sale today so load up! 

Pantry Storage Container Link: https://amzn.to/3yxvow4 

Thermoses with Straws: 
These have been awesome for the kids! They last and they don't spill and there are lots of colors to choose from! 

Thermoses with Straws Link: https://amzn.to/3cc8hQp 

Backpack, Lunch Box, Pencil Case Combo: 
This is the set I got for my daughter last school year and it held up extremely well! Since they all matched it was easy for her to keep track of which ones were hers in the classroom! 

Backpack, Lunch Box Pencil Case Combo Link: https://amzn.to/3P5IlnW 

The Bug Bite Thing
Admittadly this looks odd, but for those of you prone to itchy bug bites, this thing is a must have! It actually works to make bites stop itching! 

The Bug Bite Thing Link: https://amzn.to/3avh3Iu 

Towel Hooks
Great for bathrooms with a lack of towel racks. I just stuck these over the glass on the shower and we have a place for everyone's towel. People ask me all the time where I got them. Right here! 

Towel Hook Link: https://amzn.to/3IuHxXk 

Stuffed Animal/Blanket Storage "Bean Bag" Chair
If your kiddos have a ton of exrra blankets and/or stuffed animals that they don't want to get rid of but you don't know what to do with you need this! You just suff them in it, zip it up and they ahve a comfy place to sit and read or chill! 

Stuffable "bean bag" Chair Link: https://amzn.to/3P3X0jo 
If you got one or more of these things reach out and let me know how much you love them! 

Have the best day!! Happy Shopping! 

3 Things You May Not Expect as a Stay at Home or Work From Home Mom & How to Handle Them w/ Grace

For some women, their ultimate dream is to be able to stay at home full or part-time with their children so that they don't miss out on those precious years when their children are little. In my experience, this was one of the single hardest decisions of my life because I had always planned to be a career woman but the second I realized the cost of daycare compared to my income and how little I would see my children do to my work schedule, that quickly changed. 

(Insert the old cliche here: If you want to see God laugh, tell him your plans.) 

Almost 8 years into staying at home/working from home I can now say I do not regret the decision to quit my 8 - 5...however, in many ways...it is not AT ALL what I thought it would be. So for those of you who have a picture in your head of what staying at home will look like, or those of you struggling with the realization that it's different from what you expected, let me share a few things that may have come as a shock to you OR that you may be struggling with, and don't want to say out loud, so that you know you are not alone. 

Here goes... 

1. Your house will NOT always be clean. 

What you thought: 
You will have all the time in the world to keep your house clean, get the laundry done and stay organized. 

New Perspective: 
You are at home more, but so are your children and children are messy period. The whole reason you chose to stay home with your kids was so you could spend time with them right? Keep in mind that you will not remember how clean your house was, but you will remember experiencing milestones and memories made so focus on making memories and put a limit on the cleaning time or keep a scaled back cleaning service in the budget. 

What helped me: 
When you clean, find ways for the kids to help. They won't do it perfectly, but they will learn life skills. Assign days of the week to clean certain areas or do a task for a short time. (Ex. do one load of laundry every morning, vaccume on tuesdays, mop on Wednesdays, clean bathrooms on thursdays etc.) 

2. You May Still Need an Occasional Babysitter

What you thought: 
I thought I could completely cut babysitting costs from the budget aside from the occasional date night with the hubby. 

New Perspective: 
You're probably used to fitting things like doctor, hair, nail appointments and happy hours with the girls in during daycare, work hours or evenings. When you stay at home you will most likely want to do these things during the day during the times when you have the kids. It can be tricky to find a reliable daytime babysitter so you may want to still allot some money in the budget for babysitting.  

What helped me: 
Finding mom friends with similar aged kids near by that don't mind swapping kids when appointments come up. Bonus for finding lunch spots to let the kids play while you chat! Swapping happy hour for play dates is now a thing! 

3. Your Friend Circle Will Likely Change

What You Thought: 
You may wish to keep in touch with your current friend circle, but keep in mind that may or may not be phesable. Your schedule will likely change quite drastically and your interests and topics of conversation will most certainly change. Be prepared that this may mean it's time to find a new tribe that is more in alignment with your lifestyle. 

New Perspective:
Factors I hadn't considered which have greatly affected my friend circle:  
- Ages of your children and whether or not they share interests with and/or get along with your fiend's kids 
- Shedules; your kids may be early risers so you like to get out of the house early others may like to sleep in. 
- Preferred activities: You may like to do outdoorsy things while others prefer the AC/Heat. You may be a home body while others like to get out and about. 
- Beliefes and values: Parenting styles and values vary greatly and you may find that while you can be friends with someone, you may differ in opinions on what is acceptable for your children. 

What helped me: 
I quickly found that trying to meet fellow mamas at the local playgrounds didn't work out well for various reasons but when I connected with other moms that my children were friends with at church, mom's day out programs and extra curricular activities, it seemed to be a better fit because we had something in common and the kids generally gravitate toward those with similar interests and common ground. 

If you're new to staying at home, remember to give yourself grace and do your best to carve out quiet time just for you regularly! You CAN NOT pour from an empty cup and your kiddos need a happy mommy NOT a super mom that does it all.

Struggling to find quiet time? 
Oh my friend, I've been there and I've got you covered! There is a free 5 day 10 minutes for me challenge (<- Click the link) over in the facebook community which will help you carve out "me" time every single day. I've gotten great feedback from those that have made the commitment and taken the challenge! 

I can't wait to see what it does for you!  





Meal Plan and Grocery/Packing List for a Week Long Glamping Trip to Purdon Groves

Meal Plan and Grocery/Packing List for a Week Long Glamping Trip to Purdon Groves
If you love a good story, but you don't want to scroll and you're just here for the meal plan and grocery list I've got you! Click here and have it sent directly to your e-mail (I promise I won't spam you! That's not how I roll!) 

If you want to learn more about the super awesome 'glamping" spot we found in central TX read on!


Click the image to check out Purdon Groves Glamping site where we stayed! (Tell Sherry and Houston we sent you!)

A few months ago we decided to take our family of 4 on an off-grid vacation to disconnect from the world and reconnect with each other. I did some research and came across an adorable little farm in Purdon TX that offered "glamping" tents that are fully furnished and all we had to bring was food and toiletries! That's my kind of camping, ahem...the kind with real beds! 


It was a wonderful experience complete with a tour of the farm and the kids got to help feed the pigs, donkey, goats, chickens and ducks and find fresh farm eggs daily and play on the rope swing and hammock and just enjoy nature. We played cards and dice games and cooked great food over the open fire. 


Que the "meat" (pun intended) of this blog. While we were there I noticed that many of the other glampers drove into town to eat instead of cooking for themselves despite the fact that their tents were also equipped with mini-fridges and a fire pit with a cooking grate. This puzzled me because half of the fun of camping, at least to me, is cooking over the fire! It doesn't get much better than fire-roasted, well pretty much anything....right? 


So then I thought well, I grew up around a campfire and making a meal plan for the week came naturally to me so why not share it so others can know exactly what they need for the week and what to cook! If you're going to glamp for the week to make things effortless, why not hit the easy button on the meal plan too? ! 


Check it out here 

Sorry, not sorry kiddos for posting this great picture of you two passed out on the way home! 


Okay now that you know about the awesome spot we found, here is the meal plan and grocery list you're here for! 

BTW - This post contains affiliate links to products, if you choose to purchase via the links provided my family will get a small commission that does not affect the price of the item you purchase. Thank you for your support! 

Monday: 
Snack: Granola Bars, Nachos and S'mores 
Dinner: Sausage, Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts 

The animals are friendly and also love to check out what you're cooking! 

Tuesday: 
Breakfast: Eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, tomatoes and avacado
Lunch: Fajita Quesadillas (We made them with meat, peppers, cheese and black beans) 
Dinner: Steak and salad 

Wednesday: 
Breakfast: Oatmeal and Fruit
Lunch: Burgers and skillet fried potatoes or chips 
Dinner: Shrimp, crab cakes and Corn on the cob 

How we cooked the corn: Husk the corn, slather with butter and salt, cover again with husks, wrap in foil place on the fire and turn regularly for about 10 minutes. 

Premade crab cakes came out perfect! 

Thursday: 
Breakfast: Protein pancakes, eggs, sausage and fruit 
Lunch: Wood fire pizzas and salad
Dinner: Chicken, Squash and Zucchini 

The kids loved this meal that they got to make themselves! 

Friday: 
Breakfast: Breakfast Tacos
Lunch: Sandwiches, nut butter and jelly 
Dinner: At home 

Grocery List: 

Produce: 
Potatoes 
Brussels Sprouts 
Cherry Tomatoes 
Individually packaged smashed avocado
Bagged salad of choice (2)
Corn on the cob 
Squash 
Zucchini 
Red and green pepper 
Bananas
Strawberries
Watermellon (I got slices) 

Dairy: 
1 - 2 Dozen eggs (Depending on the size of you 
Mozzarella Shredded Cheese 
Cheddar Shredded Cheese 

Pantry: 
Ground Coffee (I have a stovetop coffee maker that worked great!) 
Snack bars of choice 
Instant oatmeal 
Instant protein pancake mix or preferred flavor 
Tortillas 
Tortilla Chips
Crackers and or chips 
Salsa 
Black beans
Pizza Sauce 
Can of black beans 
Naan Bread (For pizza crust) 
Marshmallows 
Chocolate Squares 
Graham Crackers 
Nut butter 
Jelly 
Bread

Meat & Seafood: 
Premarinated fajita chicken or beef
Peeled, deveined shrimp
Crab cakes  
Breakfast sausage links 
Smoked sausage 
Pepperoni or preferred pizza topping 
Chicken beasts 
Small sirloin steaks (or cut of choice) 

Frozen: 
Hashbrowns 
Hamburger Patties 

Packing list: 
Wash basin for dishes 
Dish soap 
Dish sponge 
Scrub brush or pot scrubber 
Cast iron skillet 
Flat skillet (Click to see one similar to the one we have)
Medium stainless steel pot 
Lid for the pot 
Spatula 
Tongs 
Cooking spoon 
Can opener
Paper towels 
Bottled water 
Paper plates 
Aluminum foil 
Plastic utensils 
Stovetop Coffee Maker (Click to see the one I loved so much I still use it every day!)

I hope this helps you enjoy your family getaway that much more stress-free! If you would like an e-mail with the meal plan sent to your inbox click here and we will send it right over! (I promise not to spam you, that's not how I roll!) 





How 10 Minutes of “Me” Time Can Change Your Life

How 10 Minutes of “Me” Time Can Change Your Life
I checked all of the boxes…

Go to college, get good grades while learning to live on coffee and Ramen, fielding late night calls from professors asking where I was because my project was not complete and on my desk at 11 pm almost a full day before it was due and reminding me that sleep was a luxury. Graduate with honors. 

Check. 

Get married to the true love of my life, my college sweetheart who I met by the grace of God 6 years before I finally felt I had accomplished enough to say I do. Thank you Jesus that you gave him patience. Lol…but seriously! 

Check. 

Get a good job that would require me to prove my worth in a field dominated by very conservative men. 

Check. 

Buy a house in a nice neighborhood and a car that didn’t require weekly repairs and “fit in” to said neighborhood. 

Check. 

Have babies and decide that it was best for our family that I leave my job to stay at home with them because my heart broke when I toured each and every childcare option and the cost was not justifiable when compared to my salary and expenses. 

Check. 

I thought at this point that I would slow down and truly treasure this time with the tiny person we had made, and I did, until my first baby started walking and we learned we were pregnant with our second and I was already starting my third business from home. Mom boss culture was my MO and I was officially addicted to “busy”. 

Seemingly in the blink of an eye my kiddos were 6 and 4 and as much as I loved the life we had built, I was constantly overstimulated, overstressed and I would seethe with jealousy any time I saw another mom post about a girl’s weekend somewhere. 

Then, I saw THE post. I’m not even sure who posted it, or exactly what it was about but I do remember that it was about the importance of “me” time which seemed to be a hot topic lately. I normally flippantly laughed these off and kept scrolling, but this time one of the comments caught my eye. A fellow mama said “My “me” time is on the toilet with the door open in the 30 seconds it takes my toddler to realize that I’ve “left her forever”. 

My first thought, oh my goodness! This girl gets it and I’m not alone!! My second, is this what motherhood is meant to be? What are we teaching our children if we are constantly modeling stress, overwhelm and unhealthy sacrifice showing up as skeleton versions of ourselves in order to meet their needs? If we are constantly telling them that Mama needs a break from them, what does that do to their self-worth? 

That’s when I knew that something needed to change and it had to be in a way that was realistic and sustainable for me, so I made a commitment to myself that I would find 10 minutes every day for “me” time. What would I do with that 10 minutes? At first, I just sat quietly, took a walk, journaled, read, or prayed. Whatever my heart told me that I wanted….not need….to do just for me at that time. The to-do list could wait.

I also told myself I was also not going to allow any negative thoughts to stick around in that 10 minutes so if any came in, I would picture a warm blanket being wrapped around it and gently push it away in favor of something positive. I allowed myself to dream, picture the ideal version of myself doing exactly what she was put here to do. 

Was it hard at first? Absolutely! After about a week or two, I learned to look forward to that 10 minutes and started looking for ways to extend my time to allow me to actually step into the much better, healthier, and healed version of me that I had pictured. I started setting goals and identifying habits that I needed to change or implement in order to get me there. I felt less guilty about asking for help and the best part, I started enjoying my time with my family SO much more! I started to actually like me again!! 

If you resonate with any of this please know I see you and also know that all of these things are possible for you as well. I’ve created a group over on Facebook of women just like you that are committing to 10 minutes of “me” and seeing where it takes them. If you would like to join us and take the challenge here’s your link! (Click Here) I can’t wait to see what it does for you! 


How to Avoid Toxic Relationships That Go Nowhere

How to Avoid Toxic Relationships That Go Nowhere
We have all been there, you meet someone, you share a common interest, you exchange contact info and you make plans for more meet-ups and conversations and your imagination runs wild with possibilities of what could be. 

If you're anything like me, this is the point where you start to over-analyze EV-ARY-THING and you might even find yourself putting up walls and even eventually sabotaging things even if things are going well and there are no red flags because deep down you "know" that....warning this next part may hit between the eyes...healthy relationships just don't exist for you.

Sting a little? Is that your 'truth"? 

Ohhh my dear friend, let me pause and offer you the BIGGEST virtual hug and tell you that that does NOT have to be your truth anymore. 

How do I know? I was you.

For most of my life, I allowed almost anyone I shared a common interest with into what I considered to be my inner circle almost immediately. I prided myself on authenticity, openness, and the fact that I would bend over backward to help anyone I could. (To coin a current buzzword, I had no boundaries) 

This resulted in an extremely burned-out, resentful, bitter, and skeptical version of myself with a plastered-on smile and a broken heart. I hit rock bottom and I had no idea how I got there when all I had ever wanted was to love and be loved.

The one nice thing about rock bottom? There is nowhere to go but up. (I know, queue the ding for cheesy cliches, but you get my point.)

I had always been an optimistic, fairly social, outgoing person who had a huge heart for others and seemingly overnight I lost every single one of those qualities. I couldn't find the positive in anything, "I didn't want to people", I just wanted to lay in bed or on my couch and do the bare minimum to function in my life. Whenever someone called, I would hit ignore or answer with an unspoken goal to get off the phone as soon as possible. 

I knew I had to do something and it seemed my best option was to admit that I needed therapy. That was not an easy pill to swallow, not only from an ego perspective, but also it meant that I had to share my feelings with another human being and be honest. That scared the crap out of the people pleaser in me. I did it anyway because the fear was less painful than staying in my own mind at that point.

In my first session, I remember feeling scared to death, but I jumped in with both feet and poured out my story and my heart. I was totally honest maybe for the first time in my life. She listened and asked a question I will never forget: 

Have you ever considered setting clear boundaries as to what is and isn't acceptable in a relationship so that you have a gauge to ensure that your core relationships (the ones that affect your daily life and headspace) are positive and healthy with a good balance of give and take? 

Well....um...no. No I'm pretty sure I have not thought about what I actually want out of relationships well, ever. I've only considered what I could give and my feelings on how their actions make me feel in the moment. I've never considered defining what my needs actually are from the get-go. 

She then proceeded to encourage me to clearly define what I needed from each relationship in my life and what I was willing and actually able to give in return. If there was a sustained uneven balance, that was not fair to either party. Mind blown. 

After much reflection and prayer, I made the harsh realization that I had been searching for validation, love, and affection from anyone and everyone I met. So much so that I had been willing to give all of myself, my energy, and resources in order to gain their approval, and in the process, I was tearing myself apart in order to put them back together when they hadn't even asked me to. 

This realization lead me to several long sleepless nights of prayer, reflection, and brutal honesty with myself. I came to realize that at the root of it, I had a vertical relationship problem (between me on earth and God in heaven), not a horizontal one (between me and others down here on earth.) I was searching for my self-worth in human approval instead of standing in my god-given full value. 

I continued therapy for about 3 months learning about the signs and cycles surrounding toxic relationships and then I met with the lead minister of my church and he encouraged me to simply spend more time in prayer and form a true relationship with the Lord so that he could fill me rather than the world and to start serving in the church. 

I started implementing a morning routine that allowed me to focus my eyes first on the Lord and form an actual relationship with him. I took a good hard look at the core group of people I spent the most time with and made some changes there and slowly, slowly I started standing taller, accepting less from new relationships and more standards (boundaries) from ones that were tried and true.

As of today I can say I've never felt more secure in who I am and what I bring to the world. These few simple changes have made all the difference.

Are you like me? A recovering people pleaser?  Are you burned out and plastering on a smile? My friend, it doesn't have to be this way! I've created a group for us to heal, grow and learn to thrive again or for the first time. There's no catch just community. If that's something you need check it out here. 

How to avoid toxic relationships that go nowhere
 
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