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

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

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.

Source
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

Easter Basket Ideas for Girls + Boys

It’s that time of year when we parents start thinking about ideas for filling our children’s Easter Baskets. We’ve never been the type to fill them with outrageously expensive things, but I try not to just buy a bunch of junk that will thrill them in the moment but end up neglected until the end of time 30 minutes after they rifle through their baskets! You know, similar to the Happy meal toy effect. It gives them a quick rush to see what toy is in the box – then they promptly forget about said toy and it just sits in the bottom of the toy box until I throw it out weeks later during a purge.

SO with all that being said – I decided that it is time to get my booty in gear and go ahead and make some intentional choices about what I’m putting in their Easter baskets. And, as a way to organize and coral my ideas – I’m going to share them here on the blog!

For reference, I have a 3.5 year old sassy little girl who loves all things pink, unicorn, and mermaid. Bubbles and bath bombs are some of her favorite things in life. And I have newly 6 year old little boy who is obsessed with video games, army dude life, and spider man. He also lives for a good bath bomb and is really into drawing/coloring lately.

  1. Yoobi Unicorn and Mermaid Chalk Sets $4.99-$5.99

2. Yoobi Polka Dot Chalk set $3.49

3. Essential Oil Infused Egg Bath Bombs (set of 6) $12.99 – I did run across this cute DIY for Egg Bath Bombs on A Beautiful Mess … but I know that for me, in the end buying them already made is the way to go. 😉

4. Sunglasses I love these Flower Sunglasses for Sophie and these aviator style for Coop $9.99 -12.98 – They can always use a pair of sunglasses + these will be great to have on our beach trip.

5. Something you can’ t have enough of when you have kids? Water bottles! And yet another thing that will come in handy during a beach trip…or any trip..even to the park or grocery store. 😉 I found this Minecraft one and Princess one at Target – $14.99

6. My kids are loving temporary tattoos lately. I think this Army set and this ‘girly’ set would really make Sophie and Coop happy. However, any random set of temporary tattoos would suffice! $3.97-3.99

7. Another thing that’s always a hit for my kids are bubble guns. I ran across this Unicorn set and this Tiger/Wolf set that would make my babes ecstatic – $12.99

8. I would be remiss if I didn’t include some kind of art related item in their baskets. Sophie Grace lives for water coloring books like these and I love them because she isn’t drawing on things around the house! I found these ‘how to draw’ books for kids that I think Coop would die over! – $6.31-13.99

And then beyond the ‘toy’ treats – I always fill their baskets with some of their favorite candies. 🙂 Because would it be an Easter basket without a few sweet treats?? 😉 What do you guys put in your kids’ Easter Baskets??

— Ashley

MINECRAFT Birthday Party

Cooper’s 6th Birthday!

Hey hey there! Happy Monday morning to ya. 🙂 I hope you had a really great weekend and are facing your Monday with zero blues. 😉 We wrapped up Cooper’s birthday party, and I thought I’d get on here to share with you guys about it.

His birthday was actually April 2 – but of course we didn’t have the party until the weekend…and actually it’s his first of two parties. I know. I know. What was I thinking? Well logistics. We had our family get together this weekend and next Saturday we’ll have his classmates/friend party at a craft place in town. Hopefully he looks back on this and thinks about what a cool mom I was to have planned TWO parties for him. 😉 lol

So obviously, all birthday parties must have a theme. I’m not sure when and where that started, because as a kid our birthday parties were just themed ‘Birthday’. Like, that WAS the theme. Now here I am planning months in advance to figure out what he wants the theme to be and making sure there are decorations and invitations that coordinate! I fully realize I’m doing this to myself…but truth be told I kinda enjoy it. And I’m doing it for the memories. I try my best to not get too caught up in making things complicated and so stressful that we can’t even enjoy the day. But I do know that he enjoys all the frills that go along with making it a theme which is what makes it all worth it.

This year, he decided to go with a Minecraft party. It’s currently his main obsession when it comes to video games. And he could spend FOREVER telling you all about the things he has built in his little Minecraft world.

Thankfully, Minecraft is a pretty popular party theme. I was able to pick up different decorations from Walmart, Target, Party City, and Amazon. And of course there were plenty of DIY ideas on Pinterest which were all super cute. However, I generally find that getting knee deep in DIY when I don’t have to just caused unnecessary stress and aggravation.

I did want to print out cute labels for all the food that I planned around actual food from the game. However, we inexplicably didn’t have more paper after print the first round that didn’t print correctly. SO – I improvised and drew them. I am no artist…but I think they turned out ok. 😉 Cooper gave me tons of criticism on my depiction of Slime Balls though. I apparently didn’t get their depiction quite right, but he said that they were alright in the end.

There was also a struggle with the 6 balloon. It took me three tries to get a balloon that would cooperate. I couldn’t get the little straw in the first one in order to inflate it. The second one had a giant whole in it and wouldn’t hold air even when I taped it up. So the morning of the party – I ran to Walmart to get a third one and thankfully that one worked just fine. It wasn’t silver like I planned…but you know – I let that minor detail go. 😉

His second obsession next to Minecraft? Being an army man. It’s his number one fantasy play that he does. There’s always some kind of battle going on at our house wherein he’s running around talking to his soldiers while playing out the battle. My mom got him this ADORABLE and so realistic looking army uniform. He’s lived in it since the party and just thinks its the bees knees. 🙂

All in all, it was a really great day. Lots of great family time. 🙂 How was your weekend??

— Ashley

Birthday Gift Guide – for the Woman in Your Life

Hey hey! I don’t know if you knew it or not, but in case you don’t – March 21st is my birthday… so in honor of this wonderful day – I thought I’d put together a little birthday gift guide aka my birthday gift wish list. 😉

And honestly, I know SO MANY PEOPLE who are born between the months of April and May that I’m just like 95% positive that someone reading this will find it to come in handy in the upcoming weeks!

So here’s to adding some more thingamabobs to a girl’s collection.

  1. Cheetah Cork Earrings from Nickel and Suede – Size L – $27.00

If you know ME at all, then you know I love Nickel and Suede Earrings. They are pretty much the only earrings I wear – and I NEED this new print in my life. ASAP They are handmade leather and cork earrings that make a huge statement without the huge burden of pulling down your earlobes because they are super light! Seriously, they are life changing earrings and the girl in your life could definitely use a pair…or twenty. 😉

2. Kristen Ess Iconic Style Blow Dryer – $100.00

I have been eyeing this blow dryer for some time now. I know from past experience that it’s totally worth it to invest a good amount of money in your hair dryer ESPECIALLY if you use it often. Plus, this one is super pretty!

3. Bead Head Little Tease Hair Crimper – $18.74

I’ve seen people on social media using a hair crimper here and there and I’m here today to call it and say that they are going to be big thing soon 😉 . I Just want one. And I think it’d make a cute unexpected soon to be trendy gift. But mainly I want one. LOL

4. Wedding Date Necklace – $39.00

So, I really really need this. We just recently set our wedding date and how freaking cute does it look on this necklace??

5. Penn Carry – All | Black – $498.00

Listen, I know that this is really very expensive.. but you know it’s a hand made leather bag that is going to last your FOREVER and it’s an incredibly classic and versatile design. Totally worth that price tag. And totally needs to be on my arm. 😉

6. Skin Aries Ear Cuff in Dream| Sarah Briggs – $20.00

I’ve been wanting one of Sarah Briggs’ ear cuffs for some time now…and my birthday is just really a great excuse to get one!

So, there you have it! Tell me, anything on my list look like something a girl in your life would love??

— Ashley

On International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day, and while I usually reserve Fridays to talk about products that I have tried out and want to share with you guys – I thought it would do all of you more justice to spend a few words speaking about the importance of today. 🙂

I’m sure that by the time this post publishes you will have come across several social media posts declaring that it’s International Women’s Day. I think that’s fantastic. I took some time to research and do some reading on the history of IWD, and I did some self reflection on what IWD means to me. Over and over I saw people writing, “ While women have fought and won many many battles in the arena of gaining – there is still much to do.”

I can’t wait for the year when we feel like we don’t have to explain ourselves. I can’t wait for the year when everyone is aware and accepts that change still needs to happen and women don’t feel like they have to justify their basic needs and rights. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

In my opinion, one of the greatest way that we can enact any kind of change is to take a grassroots approach. Look around at your own life, into the lives of the women that surround you, into your hometown and see what you can do to start making changes there. Throw a pebble in your pond and watch the ripple effect explode out around you.

International Women’s Day was accepted by The United Nations since 1910 and has been officially celebrated on March 8th or every year since 1914 by many countries. This year’s theme is #balanceforbetter – to “Think equal, build smart, and innovate for change.”

For so long, women have just been fighting for equality and balance – and the cold hard truth is that women are still not getting equal pay in all work environments, there are lower proportions of women to men in government positions, and women’s education is still being withheld across the world.

I hope that my daughter will not have to fight these battles. I want my daughter to know that she can do whatever she wants. I want my daughter to know that she is strong and she is worthy and has the right to be seen and treated as equal. Yes, maybe her body is biologically different from a man’s – but that doesn’t mean she should ever be treated as less than.

So, if you’ve read this and you think that today is a one sided affair. If you think that you still need to be advocated for. Then do it.

Because there’s a need for women to be advocated for. There are still great strides that need to be made for women to live in a gender balanced environment. That’s why IWD is a big deal. We’ve recognized a need and we are doing things to try to meet that need. We are. Women are. Not surprisingly, it was a woman who proposed that there even be an IWD.

So, we’re not sitting around waiting for someone to hand us a to do list. We’re not waiting for someone to do it for us. The laundry basket is full and we need clothes for tomorrow so we’re washing the damn laundry. The trash can in the bathroom is overflowing and we’re not going to wait two weeks for someone else to empty it. It’s International Women’s Day and we’re here to celebrate women. To uplift women. To inspire women. To motivate women. To encourage women to seek out balance in every aspect of their lives.

— Ashley

MARDI GRAS : Ideas for a low-key KID Celebration!

Hey hey, it’s Monday! I hope that you guys had a fantastic weekend. 🙂 We had a good one.. even with a stomach virus and sinus infection mixed in. I mean, we really just can’t win lately in the health department. However, we made the best of it and still enjoyed ourselves. I even slipped in a much needed nap on Sunday afternoon!

Alright, so to the point of today’s post: I wanted to share with you guys how I plan on celebrating Mardi Gras with my littles tomorrow. Both kids are out of school, so I had to take the day off to take care of them. And considering they both love to celebrate a holiday and I’m not one for parades … I came up with a plan to have a little low-key at home Mardi Gras celebration!

First of all, I have a few activities planned. Some simple crafts that I gathered ideas for from Pinterest. And secondly, while we do those crafts I was going to spend some time talking to them about what exactly IS Mardi Gras – and why is it a thing that we celebrate.

Lately, my children are really into making things, coloring things, painting things… basically they are ready for me to exercise all of my crafty momma dreams with. Seriously though, there was a time before I had kids when I imagined doing all sorts of fun crafty activities with my future children and I was THERE for that moment. Then I had kids and realized that it wasn’t the dreamy experience I imagined it would be. But now..now my kids are at a great age where they can do things by themselves (i.e. use scissors, color, draw, etc) and most importantly they are interested in crafting. So anyway, I’m now here for this moment take full advantage of it! Anddd I said all of that to say that’s why our ‘kid friendly Mardi Gras celebration’ is centered around making crafts. 😉

I put together this color by number color sheet. It’s an age appropriate activity for both my almost 6 year old and 3.5 year old. It’s also something super simple that they can pretty much do on their own after I explain it to them.

I’m also planning on having them make masks. Cooper made a Mardi Gras mask at school this past week, and has wanted to make another one. So, I found this cute idea on Activities for Kids to make one using paper plates which is great because it’s a different approach than what Coop did at school.

Source

I also thought making this jester hat using construction paper would be really easy and fun for the kids. I’ll probably go ahead and cut out all the pieces Monday night so that on Tuesday all they have to do is glue/tape it together. I found the idea from the Mardi Gras Outlet blog via Pinterest.

Source

Some thoughts on doing crafts with kids? Keep it simple. Lower your expectations and expect a little chaos. 😉 Keep. It. Simple. That’s really key. For me, doing things like having things prepared so that the kids aren’t waiting for things like me to cut the eyes out on their mask or cut the shapes for their jest hats makes a HUGE difference in how smoothly it all goes.

While we do all of this I’ll talk to the kids about the history of Mardi Gras and the meaning of the celebration. I plan to pull up some parade footage on YouTube which will be great because they can get a visual for what a parade is without dealing with crowds! I’ll also play some Mardi Gras themed music. And obviously, we will also enjoy some King Cake, because is it Mardi Gras without King Cake? 😉 Make sure you follow me on IG @thisisashleynicol and Snapchat ashley.sumrall so that you can see how all this pans out in real time. 😉

Do y’all celebrate Mardi Gras? If so, do you go to parades or stay home like us?

— Ashley

FREE March Themed Phone & Desktop Wallpapers

Hey y’all ! Happy F R I D A Y & Happy beginning of my BIRTHDAY month! March really kicks of birthday season for my entire family though. Between March and April we celebrate SEVEN birthdays… this whole time of year ends up feeling like another Christmas season. 😉

But anyway, the whole reason I’m here is to share with you some free goodies. Listen, I am no professional – this is just me having fun creating images that and wanting to share them. 🙂

For us here in the south, March means Mardi Gras this year. I’m not really one for parades. I’m not into crowds… ever… I’d just leave feeling exhausted and stressed out. I DO like the spirit of Mardi Gras and this year I’ll be home with the kids since their schools are closed so I have some fun Mardi Gras inspired crafts for us to do. Maybe one day they will request to go to a parade and then I’ll have to suffer LOL..until then we’ll celebrate quietly.

March is also heavily themed with St. Patrick’s day which makes me think of all things green, four leafed clovers, and rainbows. And really, year round.. when does a rainbow not make you smile?? I’m not even into colors and I get joy from seeing a rainbow.

And really, that’s all y’all. I hope that you’re having a fabulous Friday + an amazing weekend.

— Ashley

P.S. Keep scrolling to see all the phone wallpapers! If you’d like me to email you the files, submit your email address below! 🙂

Valentine’s Day Sweet Treats + a Chit Chat Sesh

Hey hey! Happy early Valentine’s day…or happy actual VDay – depending on when you’re actually reading this. 😉

I was perusing Instagram stories – truly one of my favorite guilty pleasures – and got some inspiration from @cottonstem to make and decorate some cookies for Valentine’s day. So..the kids and I attempted just that along with some cake pops!

The cookie dough is just a pre-made sugar cookie dough from Pillsbury that I picked up at target. I rolled it out flat and we used these cookie cutters from Amazon to get our Vday inspired shapes. I had plans of icing and sprinkling these – but the kids were pretty much over it after the rolling and cutting and baking and were ready to eat them. Sooo we skipped that part.

We had a really great weekend. Saturday Cooper had a classmate’s birthday party to attend, and both kids spent the night at Grammy and Ppop’s while I got to go for a night out with my best girl!

Sunday was just a usual chill day spent catching up on household chores and getting ready for the next week. Sophie Grace and I did our Sunday night ritual of going to Winn-Dixie to shop for groceries. She’s my favorite shopping buddy, and she just loves Winn-Dixie because they have little shopping baskets that she can pull around and load up with things from our list.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I am not ready AT ALL. haha I’ve been in a funk over some literal sickness funk that’s been going around our house. We have had our fair share of savage allergies + sinus infections lately. I’ll be glad to move on from all of that!

Sometimes this season of life that we are in : littles who have just begun school and incorporating all the extra social events that come along with that into our previously chill lifestyle – feels overwhelming and I feel like I’m just keeping my head above water with staying up to date with everything, but generally it all just makes me feel so happy and filled up.

Having babies sure does make the holidays sweeter. They love to celebrate. They love a party. The love decorations and festiveness. And I’m just here for all of that childlike excitement. And not to sound tooo cheesy but : It’s all really just magical.

How was you guys’ weekend and week so far? Did you celebrate Valentine’s day over the weekend or are you doing it tomorrow? Also, someone come eat all of these treats!!

— Ashley