Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Favorites!

It's my absolute favorite Friday of the year because it's the first day of fall!

Never mind that it has been in the 90's this week...seriously...go home summer, no one wants you around anymore.

I didn't post last week because it's been a bit chaotic around here. Nothing serious, just a series of things that make you feel blah...sickness, work stress, long to do lists and short on time, helping other people through tough times, things needing repaired, dealing with people or situations that you've prayed about but it still feels pretty hopeless, world news... you know, just yuck.  Sometimes life is just hard and I know all of you can relate. However, I can't stay down for long because there is so much more to be joyful about. Just saying, some days I feel like this...

(Look at Mason's face! Ha ha!)

So after a week of the blahs, I thought is would be appropriate to post about some of my favorite things that lift my spirits. 

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

I love to take baths. Although I love bath bombs, I also love adding these to my baths:

This makes your bath a detox bath and it is so wonderful!  
If I have plain Epsom Salts, I add Lavender essential oils and I only buy those HERE.
I also love diffusing this at night.  Love my essential oils!


Of course, spending time with my family also lifts my spirits. On this past Sunday, we went with my parents to our church picnic where Mason won a cake on the cake walk! We then went on a hike as a family. Love this time with my people!


You all know I love reading, but reading something that speaks straight to my soul is a great way to recharge. This book did just that...

Check back for my September book review at the end of the month to win your own copy!


Is there anything better than friends you've known forever and can't imagine doing life without?


Changing out our pictures on our family gallery wall or simply enjoying the ones we have up always makes me feel extremely blessed for these people I get to do life with.


And nothing lifts your blah mood quite like a Pumpkin Spice Latte! I am drinking mine with the air conditioning cranked because, you know, summer won't leave.

Even my coffee is showing me love! I'm looking forward to sharing all things fall in the weeks to come and who wouldn't be happy about that?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and know that if you are feeling overwhelmed or discouraged, you are not alone. Look for the good all around you!


Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday Favorites!

Why are four day weeks sooooo long??  I feel like I cram five days worth of work into four days.  We are ready for the weekend around here!
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I'm linking up with fellow bloggers ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!


I am loving this blueberry green tea!  As the evenings get cooler, I am reaching for this more and more.  What tea flavors are your favorites?  I'm always looking to try new ones.


We pulled the old school Mario Bros. out of the attic a few weeks ago and taught Mason how to play.  The other night, I beat world 8-4.  I am my 4-year-old's hero.  We partied like it was 1985 when this happened...


I mean...have you ever seen anything so cute?!  All ready for his first soccer game where he managed to avoid all contact with the ball for the entire hour. :)


It makes me so happy when all of my library books come in at the same time, but it feels a little like homework!  There are so many good ones in this stack!  This month's book review is going to be awesome!  In case you need a book suggestion now, check out any of my Books and Beans posts or see August's HERE.


Speaking of homework, I'm back in school!  I started an online program through the University of Missouri in Positive Psychology.  I am loving it so far!


We love Halloween at our house so it's never too early to start planning costumes!  Mason is smiling under this mask. :) Whenever we are in a store, he has to check out all of the Halloween items.  So funny!

It's September, ya'll!  Go enjoy a fabulous fall weekend with your tribe!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Home Plate {Italian Sausage Soup}

Is there anything better than soup for dinner when the weather cools off?  We have several family favorites, but my aunt's recipe for Italian Sausage Soup is on the top of that list!


1 1/2 lbs. Italian Sausage (if using links, remove the casing)
olive oil
1 large onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
4 lbs. fresh tomatoes peeled and cut in wedges or 2 28oz cans dices tomatoes
2 cups tomato juice (add more at the end to get desired consistency)
1 1/2 lbs. zucchini (diced)
2 green peppers (diced)
1 cup celery (diced)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
shredded mozzarella to garnish

Brown the sausage and onion in a bit of olive oil, then drain off the grease.

Chop the zucchini, green pepper and celery.  The Pampered Chef handheld food processor makes this step so easy!

Chop your tomatoes or rinse from the cans.  I like to dice my tomatoes super small, but some people prefer them chopped.

Combine veggies in a large soup pot.

Add seasonings and browned sausage.  I topped this batch with a little fresh basil from the garden.  I like to let this soup simmer for a few hours to distribute the flavors.

Ladle into bowls, top with mozzarella cheese and enjoy!  Add a salad and garlic bread and you've got a meal!

I know your family will love this as much as we do!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday Favorites!

It's Friday before a three-day weekend.  And all the teachers say, AMEN!

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


How is it possible that I get more excited about my book lists each month?  If you missed my August Books and Beans Post, you can read it HERE.

I have already started THIS BOOK for September and absolutely love it!


This could be a picture of me waiting for a spa treatment...but it's not.

I debated whether or not to share this here, but I'm hoping that at least one of you will be inspired to get a mammogram as a result.  I have been called back twice this year for an abnormal mammogram and nothing makes a woman more anxious.  Last week I got the all clear and I am so incredibly grateful.  You should have a baseline mammogram at age 35 and then yearly from age 40 on.  Taking preventative measures with your health is so important!  Whatever appointment you've been postponing, make the call today.


This kid...

started preschool!  And with it, came the need for his first round of antibiotics of his life due to a cold that turned into an ear infection.  Sigh.  He is loving his school and learning to wash his hands more often.  :) We are so proud of this sweet, brave little guy!


Friday Night Lights!

Or in our sophomore's case, Saturday morning and Monday evening lights!  Love watching our middle play football. 


Remember that Nordstrom Anniversary Sale that I talked about once a billion times?  Well, I received my Nordstrom Notes (Rewards) from the sale and cannot wait for this sweater to be back in stock so I can spend them!

  Women's Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Lite Circle Cardigan

I tried it on in the store and was instantly sold.  I did not think the price was justified until I put it on.  As soon as my size is in stock, it's going in my cart!


Fall soups!

Yes, it's still 80+ degrees here, but I made one of my family's favorite soups this week.  This is my aunt's Italian Sausage Soup recipe and it is sooooo good!  Check back on Monday for the full post and recipe.


I am absolutely loving the cooler temps at night and the amazing sunsets.  There is nothing like a gorgeous sky or the ocean to make me feel close to God.  

I hope you and your family enjoy the long weekend.  Remember to count your blessings and keep the people of Houston, Texas, in your prayers.  If you are looking for ways to give, check out THIS POST from a fellow blogger for a few ideas.

Happy Labor Day!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Books and Beans {August 2017}

I saw this on Sally Hepworth's Instagram and it made me LOL. #truth


I know it's early and not exactly health food, but this has been in my coffee for the past two weeks...

So until Starbucks releases the PSL, it's this creamer all way for me!


I read five books this month, loved three of them and liked two!  I am so excited about many books coming out this fall so make sure to check out all of my upcoming Books and Beans posts!

The Choices We Make
by: Karma Brown
4 out of 5 Stars

This is one of the absolute best books I have ever read about friendship, motherhood and the female bond.  I will warn you that the ending will wreck you, but this book is so good.  Definitely not a light read, but so so good.

by: Jane Green
3 out of 5 Stars

I typically rate Jane Green books higher than three stars, but this one was just okay.  The main character entertains infidelity and deals with the consequences.  I enjoyed the book but found a lot of the characters and outcomes to be unrealistic.  

by: Elisabeth Egan
4 out of 5 Stars

This book is a realistic portrayal of a woman in the "sandwich generation" trying to wear many hats and feeling like she's not doing any of them justice.  The main character is trying to be everything to her husband, kids, parents, friends and her new job at a tech savvy millennial company.  Alice questions that even if she can have it all, does she want to?  This was my first read by this author, and I will read her again.

by:  Mary Alice Monroe
4 out of 5 Stars

Oh how I love me a beach house book!  I discovered this author last summer and just love reading her books.  The two female characters in this book do not disappoint.  Each working through their own stage in life, their relationship and influence on each other makes for a really good story line.  Throw in a summer romance and you've got yourself a beach read!

by:  Laura Dave
3 out of 5 Stars

I was so excited to get my hands on this, New York City, sunshine!  In the end, I liked it, but did not love it.  The turning point of the story happened before I was invested in the characters, so I felt like I was behind the entire time.  I'm not sure if that makes sense, but it's hard to relate to a character's journey before getting to know who they are.  Overall, though, this book was good and the ending was not predictable.  It is also a very quick read.

I hope you've enjoyed some good books this month as well!  Remember, I'm always looking for suggestions for my next great read!  

**All images from**
**This post contains affiliate links.**

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!