Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Favorites

Another Friday and another post of what I'm loving!  I'm linking up with fellow bloggers ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!


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As you know, I am obsessed with home organization.  So it's no surprise that I follow professional organizers on Instagram.  I first started following The Home Edit for their awesome pics, but I stayed for the Insta Stories.  Seriously, hilarious.  Nothing to do with organization, pure humor.  Watch them and your day will be made.


My newest favorite online boutique is VICI.  I have bought three things from them so far and have loved them all.  This jacket is on it's way to me right now...

How cute and cozy it that for fall?  Speaking of fall...



Tonight is Parker's fall sports kickoff night, or Emphasis Night.  Sophomore football here we come!  We love watching this kid play football.


Fall Eve...Is this a thing?  

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I feel the excitement of fall coming but I know it's too early to decorate.  Fall is my absolute favorite season and I want it to last as long as possible!  Full confession, I've been using pumpkin spice creamer in my coffee and I've ordered my mums.  Give me one more week and I won't be able to stop myself from going full on fall!


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Since it's not fall yet, I have been hanging onto the tastes of summer by eating tomato sandwiches and sipping THIS sparkling water.  I am usually not a fan of these, but I love this one!


Mason starts pre-school on Monday (sniff) and he couldn't be prouder of his new backpack!  We ordered him the one on the top left.  Pottery Barn has such cute patterns and hey always hold up so well.  So hard to believe he's heading to pre-school!


St. Louis Cardinals

Last weekend we had a great trip to the Cardinal game where Mason got to run the bases!  Although he claims to be a Cubs fan, he wore a STL hat, cheered loud and proud for Yadi and ran the bases like a pro.  After crossing home plate, he did ask me if I remembered when the Cubs won the World Series.  I blame his father... :)

I hope you have lots of fun and relaxation planned for this weekend!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Favorites!


 Friday is here and I'm linking up with fellow bloggers ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!

As with every first full week back to school, this one kicked my tail.  This girl is ready for some rest and relaxation this weekend!  My favorites this week are total randomness...


This top coat from Essie is magic.  Your at-home manicure will last a week if you use Essie polish as well.  Love this!


Meal Prep

Dan and I decided to meal prep for lunches this year and we are loving  THESE CONTAINERS.  We grilled meat, roasted vegetables and made rice last Sunday and thanked ourselves every day this week when we grabbed one from the fridge! :)  They are microwave and dishwasher safe, too!


I am very late to the game, but I can finally curl my hair with my Chi flat iron.  Some weeks it's the little things we appreciate the most!


I am still loving my office redo and got my "skylight" installed as well.  It really is amazing how changing your environment can change the way you feel!


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I just finished watching Young and Hungry on Netflix and recommend it if you are looking for something light and funny.  I'd love your Netflix suggestions as well in the comments below.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  I am headed to St. Louis to watch my Cardinals play, so I know mine will be great!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Home Plate {Pampered Chef Taco Ring}

This Pampered Chef recipe was such a HUGE hit with my family last week  for "Mexican Monday" that I knew I had to share it with all of you!  If you want to see perfect pictures of this meal, head to Pinterest.  If, like me, your kids sometimes need your attention while you are cooking, settle for my pictures that show a finished product that was left in the oven a few minutes too long.  :)

No harm was still super yummy!

My niece recently began selling Pampered Chef products and I had a party to help her kick off her new adventure.  It had been a few years since I had been to a party, but I have always loved their products.  I got a ton of new items from my party and love using them!  

For this recipe, I used the Rockcrok Grill Stone and the Mix and Chop.  I do not know how I ever browned ground meat without a Mix and Chop.  I have had mine for years and it still looks and works great!  Like everything in most of my recipes, you can buy almost all of the ingredients at Aldi.


2 pkgs. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (sorry, Aldi, not a fan of yours) :(
1.5 lbs Ground Beef
Taco Seasoning
2 tbs. water
Shredded Mexican or Cheddar Cheese
Lettuce, Tomatoes, Black Olives for garnish
1 pepper, any color (optional)
Salsa and Sour Cream for topping


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Separate crescent rolls into triangles and lay in a circular pattern on the Rockcrok Grill Stone with large edge on the inside and each one overlapping.  You should have about a 4-5 inch open circle in the middle of the pan.

Brown the ground beef and mix in the taco seasoning, water, and about a cup of cheese.

Spoon the ground, seasoned beef onto the crescent rolls.  Lift the small triangular edge over the beef and tuck it under the other side.  Top with shredded cheese.  Since making this recipe, I received the Pampered Chef Course Grater and cannot wait to make this again using freshly grated cheddar cheese.

Pop into the oven for 20 minutes.

Cut the top off of a pepper and clean out the inside.  Fill with salsa and set on the middle of the pan.  Fill the rest of the open circle with lettuce, tomatoes and black olives.   Top with sour cream after serving, if desired.

So simple and so good!  Love Pampered Chef products and their recipes!

If you are interested in purchasing any of the products listed, click HERE.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Favorites!

It's Friday and you know what that means!  I'm linking up with fellow bloggers ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!


Although I've been back at work for two days now, I'm still thinking about all the fun I had with my family this summer.  We couldn't take a family vacation this year due to everyone's crazy schedules, but we were able to cram a lot of family fun into our days at home.  Last weekend, we "camped" with the yard!  You'll notice that the tent is also inside the trampoline because...coyotes...

We had such a great time.


Going back to school has me thinking about all things fall, including this book.  It is the coziest book I have ever that even a book category?!  I will seriously make you want to make a pot of soup and eat warm bread with your favorite people.  I will be pulling out my copy in the next few weeks to put me in the fall mood...which doesn't take much!

In case you missed it, my July Books and Beans post has a lot of good book recommendations too.  I also have a good jump start on August!


Did you all know that Nordstrom has been having an Anniversary Sale?  Kidding.  This weekend is your last chance to shop the sale prices for fall merchandise.  You can see my top picks HERE, including this Women's Mural Structured Blazer.  Order one size up.


I am loving my new office decor.  If you missed my office tour post, you can see it HERE.


Since I am back to work, that means our routines are back in full effect.  We are trying a new strategy for cleaning and grocery shopping this year, because I want to avoid doing those things on the weekend as much as possible.  Last school year, we did all of our cleaning on Thursday night and, while it worked, Thursdays were super busy.  This year, we are trying the method laid out in THIS BOOK.

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You can also see the cleaning routine on her website HERE.  So far, it seems to be working for our family.

As for grocery shopping, I will be utilizing grocery pickup options and hopefully doing that on the way home from work on Friday.  I am still loving all of the money I am saving from using my Ibotta app.  If you haven't downloaded this app yet, do it now.  In fact if you use THIS LINK, they will give you a $10 bonus as soon as you redeem your first rebate!  I am saving up my rebate money and will cash it in for gift cards at Christmas.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  We have no plans, so I'm hoping to get outside with the family and squeeze a little more fun out of this summer!


**This post contains affiliate links**

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Back to School~Office Tour

This school year marks the beginning of my twentieth year in education.  Twenty. Years.  It does not even seem possible.  Especially since I'm only 27. ;)

I am a 9-12 counselor at a school with approximately 1300 students.  There are 4 counselors in our office, so my caseload is around 325-350 in any given year.  Before I was a school counselor, I taught middle school special education, high school special education and reading intervention to middle and high school students.  This is my eleventh year as a school counselor and every year I like to freshen up my office much like I used to do to my classroom.  I think our environments affect us so much and during the school year, I'm at my office more than I'm at home!

My office is on the small side and does not have any natural light.  Why is it so rare for a school counselor to have a window?!  The overhead fluorescents bother me, so I opt for lamp lighting instead.  Not pictured is the fluorescent filter I purchased on Amazon HERE for one of my lights.  I plan to try to have one of the overhead lights on this year with the filter which looks like a blue sky with white clouds. 

Our school colors are orange and black, so I opted for a black, white and gold color scheme in order to work around the orange chairs.

My office design for this school year started with this sign I purchased at Hobby Lobby...

I removed everything from my bulletin board, hung the sign in the middle and strung these outdoor lights from Target around the perimeter.  I am going to hang all my student photos on this board.

Then when I found these beauties at Marshall's, I knew my theme of "Kindness Confetti" was set!

I got super brave this year and purchased peel and stick wallpaper from Target to cover my back wall.  Although not as easy to apply as advertised, I love the way it turned out!

I also found these peel and stick gold polka dots at Target and scattered them on the wall above my desk.  Love that it looks like confetti!

Isn't this sign the cutest?  A fellow school counselor I found online sells them on her website HERE.  They are vinyl, very good quality, and only $15!

Here is the view walking into my office...

And a white board for the door for student messages and quotes...

The harsh lighting really doesn't do this space justice, but I wanted to make sure you could see the details.

On a typical school day, I like my office to have lower lighting to make the space feel relaxing and more like a living room than an office.

I am going to be diffusing doTERRA essential oils this year in my office because I love them so much!  I think it will be a nice addition to the space.  I also invested in an air filter HERE to freshen up the windowless space.

I love a good find from the Target dollar spot...

The students typically sit in this chair next to my desk, so all of my stress toys, coloring books, hand sanitizer and mirror go here.  The only thing I will add before school will be Kleenex. :)  A mirror is a very important addition to a high school counseling office; the girls always ask me to check their makeup if they've been upset.  

There is nothing I love more than helping students grow into the best version of themselves.  Whether that means helping them choose classes or problem solving a personal issue, working as a counselor at the high school level is inspiring, humbling, stressful, and the best job I could ever imagine.

The only thing left to do is choose my first day of school outfit! :) (Oh, and double check 350 schedules, enroll new students, balance classes, plan my groups...)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Books and Beans {July 2017}

In true July form, I killed it with my reading this month.  I have so many recommendations for you! Remember, you can click on the book title or book picture to be taken straight to Amazon.

But first, let's grab a drink...


The Rosemary Lavender Latte from a local coffeehouse is all. the. things.  Obsessed.


by: Jen Sincero
5 out of 5 Stars

This book is so good.  If you are looking for motivation for business or just life in general, this book is for you.  I loved her writing style because it is humorous and different than others I have read on this same topic.   I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading her others.

by: Nancy Thayer
4 out of 5 Stars

Nancy Thayer is one of my favorite summer beach read authors.  This book did not disappoint.  The main character lives year-round on Nantucket in a house left to her by her grandmother.  Working as a librarian and in a relationship with a local carpenter named Nash, this book is a great escape for summer reading.  

by: Toni Hammersley
5 out of 5 Stars

Ahhhh, be still my nerdy (but organized) heart.  I loved this book by fellow blogger Toni Hammersley.  Her suggestions and approach to organization are easy to implement and the pictures are great as well.  This book is full of tips broken down by area in the home and will get you motivated to get your ducks in a row.

by: Taylor Jenkins Reid
3 out of 5 Stars

You all know my love affair with anything written by Tayor Jenkins Reid, so I wanted to love this book...but I didn't.  There are elements to love, but it drags and I found it extremely sad.  The love affairs of Evelyn Hugo rival even the raciest of Hollywood elite and the typical Taylor twist at the end did not disappoint.  However, I could not give this book more than three stars. :(

by: Dorothea Benton Frank
3 out of 5 Stars

Dorothea Benton Frank is another author I like to read in the summer.  Although I enjoyed this book about two families who meet at the same beach each year, parts of it drug on for me.  Their lives intertwine in interesting ways but everything is a bit predictable.  Overall, beach read high on family drama.

by: Bunmi Laditan
3 out of 5 Stars

Fans of the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella will love this book.  Despite the best of intentions, the main character just can't streamline her role as a new mom.  This book is very funny and over the top.  Although I found parts of it to be unbelievable, that is kind of the point of the book.

by: Elin Hilderbrand
4 out of 5 Stars

Elin Hilderbrand is my absolute favorite author for summer beach reads.  I have loved all of her books and this one is just as good.  The main characters are identical twins who could not be more different.  In true Hilderbrand form, this book involves family dynamics, relatable characters and will have you curled up for an entire afternoon to see what happens.

I'd love to know what you've been reading and any suggestions you can send my way.  Happy reading!

**This post contains affiliate links.**

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's officially my last Friday of summer break.  Cue the ugly cry...

Is there a feeling for being so very excited about the new school year but so very sad that break is over?  If so, that's exactly what I'm feeling right now.

I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!


I have blogged before about my love of Stitch Fix, but I received a new subscription box this month and it is so fun!  FabFitFun includes beauty, fashion, food and jewelry in their boxes and it is well worth the money.  This box is delivered four times per year; one for each season.  If you love subscription boxes as much as I do, click HERE for $20 off your first one!


Summer Reading

My July reading list was so good!  Check back on Monday for the reviews.  For now, you can read my June reviews HERE.


Yes, I am still finding things at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  These t-shirts are the best! 

I bought white and navy, and wish I would have gotten a few more.  They are excellent quality, look cute and are less than $16!  I have worn mine with jeans for a super cute and casual look.


I am anticipating the new school year and starting it off right by giving my office a refresh.  It all started with this cute sign from Hobby Lobby...

and it has turned into a full on overhaul.  Yesterday I hung removable wall paper on one wall and gold decals on the others.  I love the way it looks!  I will do a post on my counseling office decor when I am finished.

Enjoy the weekend with your favorite people...that's my plan!