Mother’s Day Hangover – To the Moms who were Let Down

It’s so easy to scroll through our social media feeds, become disgruntled, and find things lacking in our own experiences in comparison to those we follow online when it comes to holidays or special occasions. Today (or yesterday – because this will be posted the day after  😉 ) is Mother’s Day and a few of my close friends and I spent some time sending joking texts back and forth about how we were still having to perform menial everyday tasks like cook, care for our children, and clean despite the fact that it was Mother’s Day. We joked how the day had basically gone up in flames and our lives were shit. We joked about that stuff, because we all have seen women actually making posts like that online in groups that we are a part of. We joked, but the sad truth is that there are so many moms who were genuinely let down by the way that their Mother’s Day panned out.

And while, yes sometimes the people in our lives truly do let us down. They have all the time, opportunity, and wherewithal to recognize and fulfill our needs but still refuse to do so.  However, I would bet money that nine times out of ten – those who are upset about how their loved ones didn’t do this or that for them during a holiday is because of mismanaged expectations and relying too much on other people to provide your fulfillment, happiness, and joy.

So, if you just spent Mother’s Day crying in secret or venting to your girlfriends in a group chat about how your husband didn’t load the dishwasher for you and none of your kids planned something special for you guys to do together  – well, this post is for you. Because, let me tell you – I am not sitting on my high horse like I’ve never been that woman. I have. I spent my first couple of Mother’s Days super upset about all the things that my significant other did not do for me. I felt pretty damn awful actually and was so mad and aggravated with him. BUT – eventually I came to my senses and realized that I could fix all of that pretty easily. And I just wanted to share that with you.

Manage Your Expectations I mentioned how my partner didn’t give me what I needed during my first couple of Mother’s Days. I should have never expected him to roll out the red carpet, flood the house with flowers, be able to READ MY MIND in order to complete all the little chores I had arbitrarily decided were beneath me because it is Mother’s Day. Why should I have never expected those things? That’s not his MO. That’s not what he has ever done. That’s not his instinct. I’d never expected in any other situation before (birthdays, holidays pre parenthood, etc ) that he would treat me with such extravagance. I never set that standard. Why in the world did I expect that would suddenly happen a month after becoming a mom? Who was I to feel such entitlement? Let me put it another way. Say you’ve been living with your man for several years, and for several years you’ve come behind him and picked his clothes up off the floor. You set the expectation that you’re going to pick his clothes up from wherever he decides to discard them throughout the house and then place them in the hamper for him. You can’t then get mad several years later that he’s not picking up his dang clothes. You can’t expect that he will start doing that for himself. You don’t expect to be that woman who picks up her guy’s discarded clothing from the floor? Well don’t. Leave his clothes on the floor.

Most of the time – in any life situation – if we just manage our expectations. Take a little look at how life has been functioning prior to whatever situation is coming up .. and then build our expectations from that point – THEN we won’t be left feeling so empty or let down.

Ask For What You Want Alright, so you’ve got those expectations under control. Did you find that maybe you want a little more than what you’ve found you can expect? You did? Cool – ask for it. Yup, sometimes it’s that simple. Ask for what you want from the people who love and surround you. You don’t want to do dishes or laundry all day, but you also don’t want to wake up Monday morning with a pile of dishes and laundry to do? Ask your people to do that for you. You want to go out to a restaurant and have dinner with your kids + people? Ask them to do that for you.  If you want it, ask for it. If you’re not a mind reader, how can you expect your loved ones to be a mind reader?

Make Your Own Happiness  Ok, so maybe you asked for what you want and you still didn’t get it? Or maybe you know that even if you do ask for what you want, your people aren’t going to come through? Well girl, do it for yourself. Take yourself out to eat. Cook yourself a bomb meal. Spend all day on the couch binging Dead to Me on Netflix. Scoop up your littles and go to the beach. Lay out in your backyard with dranks while soaking up that sunshine. Look deep inside yourself and figure out what is going to make you happy. Evaluate what will give you joy. And do it for yourself. If you are depending on the people who surround you for your sole source of happiness and joy – then you will continually be let down. No matter how considerate or how much someone may love us – they are still in fact very human and very capable of becoming self involved or simply just making a mistake. Or misunderstanding what would make you happy. Because that’s not their job. Unfettered happiness and joy come from within ourselves.

The truth is – all those people you see on social media sharing their lives.. That’s just a tiny slice of their reality. And you don’t know all the details that went into making that day happen. You don’t know their partner or their kids. You don’t know all the groundwork that Mom may have laid throughout the year to build the Mother’s Day she’s currently experiencing. You don’t know about all the not so pretty moments that also happened during that day. That post you’re seeing on social media? Maybe that was just a couple hours out of her day – and maybe she spent the rest of her day living life as usual.

So, don’t let it get you down. Don’t start picking apart your life. Look for the positives. Decide what you want. And start working toward that for next year. Cheer up Mama. Be the sunshine in your babies’ lives. And if your daughter is anything like my Sophie Grace – force her to give you a hug and kiss – because she’s three and saying, “It’s Mother’s Day – do X, Y, & Z for me” doesn’t hold any weight with her. In a few years though? It will – and I bet I get special hugs and kisses because she knows I expect that.

Being a Mom is something I always wanted, and it’s something I treasure every single day. I’m happy because I’m their mom. What they do or don’t do – doesn’t affect that happiness. They gave my life a whole new purpose. I chose them. I chose to be a mom. I’m so thankful that I have them and that I had to make ten million cups of milk for them during my Mother’s Day – because without them..that day wouldn’t be the same.

— Ashley

Amazon Haul – April 2019

It’s hump day, and I’m here to share with you guys what I bought on Amazon last month! Haul type blog posts or Youtube videos or Instagram Stories are probably one of my favorite things to watch. The people watcher in me loves to see what other people are purchasing and why – and the shopper in me likes to also buy some of those things once they are brought to my attention. So basically, it’s a win win situation for all the me’s that make up me. 😉

Alright, let’s get to it, – shall we? First things first – these are the items I purchased via my Subscribe and Save Subscription which is a monthly subscription that I set up with items I want and set the regularity with which they will be purchased and delivered and then I don’t really have to think much more about them from that point on. The forgetful part of me loves Subscribe and Save, because she was forever forgetting to buy the boring essentials like TP or Soap. 😉

  • Cosmetics Storage Drawers – $25.99 I’d been debating purchasing this organizer for MONTHS and finally decided to pull the trigger this month. I have zero regrets, because it helped me clear up a bunch of clutter that had previously sat on the desk surface of my vanity area. It’s also a really great price for the size + quality. I did a ton of shopping around before settling on this one.
  • Chunoy Women’s Chiffon Long Sheer Loose Cardigan – $18.99 I saw an influencer on IG sharing this Cardigan and totally impulse bought it straight from her link. I was not disappointed at all. The quality is great and it looks super cute with shorts. It’s very light weight and the perfect layering piece for spring and summer!

Soo, this month’s grand total was $137.87 which I think is a bit higher than usual – but everything was either household essentials and event/party things. The only pleasure buys were the cardigan and cosmetic drawers. 🙂 I’m calling that conservative spending.. 😉 lol

What did YOU guys buy on Amazon this month?

— Ashley

Our Destin, FL Vacation Recap

Hey there, and happy Monday to you! I thought I’d drop by today to share with you how our little mini getaway in Destin went. We decided to take a little family vacation during Cooper’s Spring break, and I am so so so glad that we did. This was our first family vacation, and I can’t wait for many more to follow wherein we fill up that memory tank with our babes. 🙂

Our kids are three and six – and I still had the whole worry over dealing with bedtime outside of our home. We are strict bedtime routine kinda people… so I anticipated struggling with getting the kids to bed. BUT to my surprise they passed out both nights. Albeit they went to bed a bit later than what we do at home…but that was mainly because we didn’t want to rush ourselves. Usually the kids are getting baths by seven and asleep by eight. Both nights that we were away they passed out by nine. So just an hour later than usual. 🙂

We ended up having to stay in two different places, because Shaun got a little mixed up on the dates when he was originally booking our condo. By the time he realized his mistake – it was too close to our trip to add an additional day at the original condo we planned on staying in… but it worked out ok. 🙂 The first night we stayed in a traditional hotel which wasn’t the funnest because we were all in one room and I felt like I was continually telling the kids to calm down. LOL We didn’t want to be those annoying people with loud kids in a hotel.

And besides having to switch rooms mid stay – the only stressful thing was dealing with Cooper’s anxiety which was heightened because of the switching places to stay and not really having any solid plans to be able to answer the, “What’s next?” question.

So, what did we do? Well the first day after we arrived – we checked in and took the kids straight to the pool. After about an hour after the pool, we got cleaned up and went to dinner at Fudpuckers. We were early enough to beat the crowd so that there wasn’t a wait to get our table. And it’s a family atmosphere so we didn’t have to stress that the kids were antsy at the table. In real life we never take them out to eat except for special occasions. 😉 They also loved seeing all the live alligators AND there was a little playground for them to run around at after dinner. When we were finished at Fudpuckers we hit up a little touristy amusement/goofy golf place. The kids loved it. And then after that obviously, we had to check out the Super Target… you know for gathering some “necessary” supplies. After we got back to the hotel – the kids were ready for round two at the pool.

Our second day consisted of lunch – then visiting Henderson Beach State Park – going to the Bass Pro Shope – getting ice cream – and playing at the playground in the Destin Commons Shopping Center – then checking into our condo and more pool time there.

The weather was absolutely perfect that day – and hearing the kids’ excitement over seeing the beautiful beaches for the first time was so sweet. The water was still a bit too cold for me, but they could have cared less!

We did an easy dinner of take out in the condo that night. Everyone was wiped and just needed some low key downtime to rest and relax.

We checked out the beach for one last time before left on our last day around noon. The kids slept the entire almost three our ride back home. We were all sad to leave – but happy to be back home in our own beds that night.

What’s your favorite kind of get a way to take? We love the beach around here. 🙂

— Ashley

Saturday Share 4.27.19

Hello hello…and Happy Saturday to you. 🙂 I hope that your day is going well – and if you need something to scroll through while you enjoy a few quiet moments with yourself and your phone or computer – I’ve got some interesting things for ya to take a peep at. Depending on when you read this today – Shaun and I are either on our way or currently knee deep in a Toy Show in St. Tammany Louisiana. Wish us luck and send all the good vibes that we sell off a big chunk of his toy collection. 🙂

What’s Saturday Share? I started this little series on the blog that runs on Saturdays where I share with you some of the things I’ve run across online that have caught my eye and made me linger for a bit. What kinds of things you ask? Well most likely there will be lots of links to blog posts I’ve read throughout the week, or links to products I want to buy, or maybe even a few funny memes. The possibilities are just really endless!

  • This article about saying goodbye to Payless held me captive. I mean – just read this quote and tell me you don’t want to click over and read the whole thing? I definitely did. Twice.

Payless demonstrates who the so-called “retail apocalypse” is actually hurting. Most media coverage of the chain’s demise has focused on declining revenue and on the changing whims of consumers. But it’s the lowest-paid workers who are truly feeling this loss. They’re also the ones who need accessible brick and mortar shops. Shopping online still requires relative privilege — reliable internet, credit, a secure address, etc. Big-box stores like Walmart and Target are, frankly, exhausting — I’m an able-bodied adult and I get tired just thinking about going to one. Payless is going away, but like so many things in our current economy — full-time employment, affordable education, healthcare — it won’t be replaced by something that actually meets people’s needs, especially the needs of the very people this system marginalizes.

  • These Foodie Dice on Amazon are GENIUS. lol Seems like a cute and fun way to help with that ever frustrating question, “What do you want to eat?”
  • My favorite accessory shop Nickel and Suede is running their Mother’s Day Sale where you get 15% off sitewide. AND they introduced the cutest mommy and me sets that kinda make me wish Sophie Grace was a bit older and had pierced ears. 😉 I did grab a pair for myself – cause you know.. I needed a new pair of N&S earrings. 😉
  • Speaking of cheap shoes… I mentioned buying some knock off Birkenstock Rubber Sandals in a previous Saturday Share , and well I’m here to give an update that is all thumbs up. You need these in your life. They are super cute and so practical. I wore them during our Destin trip which they were perfect for moving from beach to pool and back again without having worry about any damage to the shoe! I got mine from Walmart, but I did find an option on Amazon.
  • I do this thing when I get hooked on a song where I’ll unashamedly listen to it over and over again. Sucker by the Jonas Brothers is my current indulgence.

That’s it you guys – three cheers to the weekend… I hope you make the most of it. 🙂

— Ashley

Teacher Appreciation Gift Guide : What they Really Really Want

Teacher Appreciation Week is fast approaching (May 2-6), and if you have a child in school – I’ve got the perfect post for you! Now listen, I am well aware that you can easily hop on Pinterest to search for some cute TAW ideas. In fact, I personally got lost down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest when trying to come up with an idea for TAW for my kids’ teachers. Then I took a step back and really assessed the situation. Yes, all those Pinterest ideas with cute printables that have catchy sayings like, “You’re the balm” and have an EOS balm attached to it are in fact – cute and will probably make your kid’s teacher smile.

Little Legel Designs on Etsy

BUT if I were a teacher, a gift that would really give me all the feels and leave a lasting impression is something that’s more personalized. Something I actually want. Something like a $5 Starbucks gift card or $10 Target gift card. Yes, please give me all the supposedly impersonal things like gift cards. Forget the cutesy print out – just stick it in a Thank You card you have on hand at the house with a nice little hand written note and I’ll be singing your praises the next morning when my coffee is free or I can pick up some new beauty product on my next Target trip that I didn’t actually need but really wanted to test out. And if you’re thinking : TEN DOLLARS?? Listen, by the time you pay $5 for the instant download, inevitably have to go buy new ink for your printer, and then buy the balm – you could have easily afforded to run to Target and grab your teachers a $10 gift card. 😉

How do you know what your teacher wants? I know that my son’s school has an AMAZING PTO who provided us room moms with a print out at the beginning of the year to give our teachers. The print out is a form that asks the teacher to provide all of their favorite things: places they shop, what they drink, favorite food & candy, and asks if they have any allergies or aversions that would affect what kinds of things you buy for them. It’s been incredibly helpful, and it’s not too late if you haven’t done something like it for your teachers! I found this form on Recipe for a Sweet Life. It’s not the one we used…but is very similar!

Source – to Print

Now, if you do find yourself in the position to be the one responsible for organizing a gift that is to be from the entire class – I’d definitely go for something sentimental that will last and be something your teacher can look back at and remember your children’s class by. I think that these two prints from Etsy sellers would be perfect for such an occasion. They are also very affordable (in terms of a group gift). BUT – you’ll have to act fast … like now in order to get them in on time for Teacher Appreciation Week. 😉

Gifted Turtles UK on Etsy

I think that this print is super cute, and is perfect for an entire class gift. It starts out at $13.68 and goes up depending on what size print your choose and if you choose to get a frame with it.

WordsandRainbows on Etsy

Another cute print idea for a gift from the entire class. You can get an 8×10 download of this print for $15.19.

Another fun thing would be to make some kind of display on your teacher’s door or on the wall outside your classroom with a compilation of notes from all the kids in your class saying what they appreciate about their teacher. Our school did something similar to this for Valentine’s day and for St. Patrick’s day which I thought was super cute + very easy to execute (because we have daily folders that go home with the kids you just send the print out home in the folder and ask parents to fill it out and return it). You could also compile a parent email list and ask for their kids’ responses that way.

This is actually a print out BUT you could easily convert this idea to a wall/door display that you sneak into put up one afternoon after school-like the Friday afternoon before TAW. 😉

The bottom line when thinking about a Teacher Appreciation Week – is to try to make something happen because our teachers deserve to be acknowledged and thanked and lifted up. They spend a huge chunk of their day with our children. We depend on them to teach our children important life skills. They are waaaay out numbered on a daily basis… and listen I am outnumbered by two kids on a daily basis… I can’t imagine doing it with a classroom FULL of children.

So, be thoughtful – be intentional – be personal. It doesn’t have to be big and flashy. It can be small. Whatever you can do. But make it about the teacher. With her or his needs/wants in mind – Not what Pinterest says will be the most cutesy. 😉

AND let’s not forget all those parents who home school. If you know someone who home-schools – I’d urge you to try to make that mom or dad a part of your teacher list to provide a token of appreciation for. They don’t have a classroom of parents to arrange a gift for them. They are the teacher + parent.

I hope this was helpful! And I hope you have an amazing weekend!

— Ashley

For the Love of a Grandparent

I was extremely fortunate to grow up knowing all four of my grandparents. I grew up physically around them, and they all four played an important role in my life. I have fond and concrete memories of spending time with them. My memories of childhood holidays are grounded in traditions that were centered around visiting and spending time at my grandparents’ homes. I spent summers at my Mimi’s house with all of my cousins. Christmas’s were spent hopping from my mom’s parents to my dad’s parent’s house.

And then just all of the in between and ‘ordinary’ times we spent with them… to name a few…

My Papa would always take us to the gas station with him where he’d buy us all little candy treats. I remember watching soaps with my Mimi during the summers. I was a chatty little girl and my Pawpaw would always threaten to mute me with his remote when he was trying to enjoy some old western show on the television. I vividly remember Sunday mornings spent with my Mawmaw in our church nursery while she sat in a wooden rocking chair watching all the young toddlers and babies.

Sophie Grace + Ppop

And while my grandparents were involved in my life – they really can’ t hold a candle to the way that my parents and Shaun’s parents actively pursue ways to be in our children’s lives. It’s a beautiful thing that brings me to tears to think of how lucky we are that our parents accept nothing less than total involvement in the lives of our children on a regular basis.

We lost Shaun’s mom late last year – and as death tends to do – it has made me all the more thankful for her part in helping to raise my children. She wouldn’t let us put Cooper in a daycare. She and Shaun’s dad watched both our babes until Cooper was in school and until her declining health no longer let her watch Sophie. Everyone said that Sophie was probably too young to even really feel the impact of losing Mawmaw, but even at three years old – Sophie Grace has felt the loss in a profound way. She often speaks of her Mawmaw and says things like she wants to be a doctor so she can fix Mawmaw when she grows up.

Sophie Grace + Pawpaw

Our parents have not ever waited for us to bring the kids to them. They were there beside the hospital bed as soon as each one took their first breaths, and they see them every single week. My parents take the kids most every single Friday night, and Shaun’s dad comes over to our house at least once a week to simply sit and play and visit with the kids.

Baby Coop + Mawmaw

I can’t even begin to count the number of times that I’ve come across an online article spouting the health benefits for grandparents if they are involved in their grandchildren’s lives. I wholeheartedly believe that claim, because we all need something/someone to live for. But – we’re really the lucky ones. Us (their children) and our children are lucky to have such actively involved grandparents. Grandparents who are selflessly involved and outrageously generous with their time. You can throw every dime you own at someone you love, but if you aren’t investing your time – are you really truly showing love?

Sophie Grace + Grammy

There are no amount of words that I could use to truly express my gratitude and how filled up my heart is over the ways that our parents show their love for our children. And I would just urge you – to look at our parents’ model for showing love and apply it to your own life in some way. We have this one life to live, and what really and truly makes it worthwhile are all the moments spent with those that we love: The big moments and the ordinary moments. Take advantage of the time you have and fill it up with memories that will outlast even your own life and trickle down through the people you leave behind.

— Ashley

This Is Life Lately – 4.22.19

Well hello there! It’s Monday – one of my favorite days… despite the bad rap that Monday gets, she’s really a good one because of the fresh start that she represents! And what better kind of Monday than a Monday spent on vacation which is exactly what THIS Monday is for me! We’re headed over to Destin, Fl for a little family vacation, but I wanted to pop in this space and give you guys a brief run down of what’s been going on for us lately.

At the end of March I got to spend some time with my bestie and her boyfriend while we watched some of our friends play in their band at the IP Casino Chill Bar.

It seems we’ve been celebrating Cooper’s birthday since the beginning of April! He had a mini celebration the actual day of his birthday and then two different parties (one for family and one for his classmates/friends).

We did his friend/classmate party at a local crafting store called Create A Craft. The kids got to each pick out a figure to paint and then take home with them. I think it turned out really well…and all the kids seemed to have a blast! And I think the kids and I will definitely come back sometime. They host parties, but you can also just drop in and create something. There’s no need to plan an appointment time! I wrote about his family birthday party at home here.

Not only did we celebrate Coop for weeks, but we also had my sister’s birthday and Shaun’s birthday in the mix! It’s always fun to celebrate your people on their birthday and I know I’ve enjoyed this birthday season in our lives…but also I’m ready for it to have passed. LOL Between family and classmates’s parties this introverted momma has planned and been to enough birthday celebrations to last for a while over the past two months!

We hired a landscaper to come out and update our yard which I am just loving. It makes me the house look so put together.

That’s MoMoMonkey in her hand. He’s a treasure that she must have at all times.

Sophie had Spring pictures .. I haven’t gotten the actual pictures back from the school but when I took some before school that particular day – she was ready to slay. hehe 🙂 We got so many compliments on her sunflower jumpsuit. My mom found it somewhere online and it was just the perfect outfit for picture day!

We’ve also been spending lots of time outdoors soaking up the extended daylight hours and warmer temps!

What have YOU guys been up to?

— Ashley

Stitch Fix for Men

Shaun’s Spring Stitch Fix Box Reveal

Shaun has been doing Stitch Fix for a while now… probably since the end of summer last year? I’m not exactly sure. Maybe we started during the summer? ANYWAY – my point is that he’s had several boxes now and we always end up keeping almost everything in the box. It’s a great way for him to add to his wardrobe without going shopping. He is not a shopper, and I hate shopping for him because he is hard to please. Thankfully, his Stitch Fix stylist usually gets it and sends him some really great pieces.

What is Stitch Fix you ask:

Stitch Fix is an online styling service that delivers a truly personalized shopping experience, for you and your family. Fill out your Style Profile and a Personal Stylist will handpick pieces to fit your tastes, needs and budget—and mail them right to your door. Each box contains a curated selection of clothing, shoes and accessories for you to try on at home. Simply keep the items you  love and send back the rest in a prepaid USPS envelope. Shipping and returns are always free—even for exchanges! You pay a $20 styling fee that you can use toward your purchase. And if you buy the entire box, you get a 25% discount off your entire purchase in addition to the $20 fee deduction!

Stitch Fix FAQ
Shaun’s Entire Box

This time we ended up keeping 3 out of the five items. He didn’t keep the Chambray button up, because he has a couple of other shirts that look exactly like it. He also didn’t keep the pants, because they are just not his style. They look like a khaki pant mixed with a pair of jeans.

But, to the things he DID keep:

One of the main reasons he started doing SF was to bulk up his word wardrobe. He wears a button down shirt, tie, jacket, and slacks every day. His closet was starting to look a bit aged. Stitch Fix has really brought some life back into his word wardrobe with very little effort on our part! Anyway, with that being said – this particular shirt was a no brainer when it came to deciding keep or send back. I think he wore it to work the next day . lol

Y’all – this maroon t-shirt is SO SOFT. He’s not a major fan of v-neck shirts, but I told him that he HAD to keep this one. I’m so glad he did. I love how it looks on him and I love how it feels. It’s uber smooth and soft and is made of that moisture wicking material which will be great for the upcoming hot and humid southern days ahead of us.

Another more casual shirt that had his name written allll over it. It’s a polo style but the fabric is more t-shirt feeling. It is incredibly light weight and fits him perfectly.

What’s fantastic is we started this whole venture with the intent to beef up his work wardrobe, but he’s also collected some great casual pieces like the t shirt and polo from this box which are much needed additions as well. I love to shop and am constantly revamping my wardrobe… Shaun would go YEARS before the carved out some dedicated to shop online or in store for new clothing items.

Do you guys do Stitch Fix? We love it. Shaun gets a box every three months, and we thing spending between $100- $200 on his clothing every three months is definitely worth it! Interested in signing up? Click this link to get started!

— Ashley

Landscaping Update

Hey hey, it is officially the middle of the work week and I somehow managed to FORGET to blog on Monday?! I just don’t even know what to say other than it’s been a long week already.

However, I am here today to share with you an update on the progression of our landscaping. I don’t know if you remember, but a few weeks back I posted about being inspired by Azaleas during a trip to Lucedale, MS. That inspiration solidified My ideas for what I wanted to do with the front yard – so shortly after writing that post I went to work finding the right landscaper to execute my vision.

Do it yourself, you say? Well listen, I’m all for that and totally envy those who have the ability and will power and time to do so…and yes it probably would have been a lot cheaper. But, we just aren’t work in the yard kind of people. And I really have zero experience + a bad track record with planting/keeping alive plants. Sooo, I called in an expert.

We ended up going with Impey’s Lawn Care, and I just can’t say enough about how great of an experience it was! He got out to the house quickly to get an idea of what I wanted and give me an estimate. We are also using them for bi-monthly yard maintenance (i.e. cutting the grass, weed eating, etc.) which is nice to not have to worry about that on top of all the other things we have going on. Our yard is super tiny – and we don’t have any kind of outside storage to put yard tools in… so we figured at this point in our lives it would be easier to just pay someone to come out and take care of it for us.

So what exactly did we do? Well, we got the beds defined and filled with black mulch. There are 8 cute little mini Azalea bushes along the edge of the porch. We went with minis which will grow and fill out the space versus a full size Azalea bush that would eventually overwhelm the area. The blooms are pink, per Sophie Grace’s request. That was the first thing she said when Mr. Impey arrived to give us the estimate: “I want PANK flowers.” She’s three and southern so pink is prounced, p-ank. 😉

Shaun wanted ferns hanging from the porch, and I have got to say that they are probably my favorite part of the whole thing! I just love how southern it looks. Seriously, all the heart eyes.

We also have a small bed in the back of the house by the drive way, that he defined and added mulch to. We didn’t change any of the plants there.

Our house is only almost four years old – and has had one previous owner who seemed to live there alone and traveled a lot. So when we moved in we were left with the remnants of builder grade landscaping that had not been taken care of. The changes we made were not huge – but it just makes a big difference. And it feels so nice to have that checked off our to do list!

Now, all I need to do is find the perfect furniture and accessories for the front porch to complete the look. Are you guys doing any sprucing up to your yard or porches? Have any good leads on cute outdoor furniture? Let me know in the comments!

— Ashley

Kids’ Target Swimsuits

Hello! And happy Friyay ! Spring has FINALLY sprung, and we are experiencing some pretty consistent warmish weather around here. Sophie Grace asks at least three times a week if it’s summer yet – immediately followed by inquires about whether or not the splash pads are open yet. Unfortunately I have to let her down each time..but I mean I feel that. I am definitely ready for the Summer time and all the activities that that entails!

A week or so ago Target had a BOGO 50% off sale on their swimsuits. I’d walked by the kids’ swimsuits a million times prior and thought to myself each time that I needed to grab a fresh suit for the kids before they became all picked over. SO, when Target announced the sale, I knew that I needed to take advantage and go ahead and grab some new suits for the kids. Sophie can still wear hers from last year, but Cooper had definitely outgrown his. I grabbed Coop this gray rash guard and these shark print bottoms. They weren’t sold as a set, but I thought they worked well together! Unfortunately I can’t find Sophie’s online. 🙁

Also, during Cooper’s spring break which is in about two weeks – we are going to Destin for a couple of days. I felt like that was definitely validation to grab them some fresh suits. 😉

I always try to get suits with a rash guard. It just puts my mind at ease knowing that their shoulders and chest and upper back are always protected from the sun. My babes are fair complected with freckles which means they burn so so easily. I still apply sunscreen all over them, but I know that having the rash guard on top means I don’t have to worry with reapplying to those parts of their bodies. And if you have kids, you know the struggle is real with doing those reapplications once you’re at the beach or splash pad.

We went to a pool party for one of Coop’s classmates shortly after I bought their new suits which was great because they got a test run. I have major regret about buying Soso a one piece. lol It’s sooo much easier to manage potty breaks with a two piece. I had to completely strip her down which was a major pain. But, lesson learned. 😉

So yeah, I am very much looking forward to our mini vacay and seeing these beach babes live it up in the sun and sand.

Before we go to Destin next week – I’m definitely going to purchase them a couple more suits.. for sure getting Sophie a two piece this time. 😉

Do you guys have any Spring vacations planned? Where’s your go to place to purchase swimsuits?

— Ashley