Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Favorites

After being sick with the worst virus last week, I'm finally healthy and linking up with fellow bloggers ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!



I drank the Kool-Aid last weekend and it was awesome! I took Mason to this movie and loved every minute of it. In fact, I had the entire album downloaded from iTunes before we got back to the car. Such a great movie!


I'm so grateful to have a wonderful mom and husband who kept everything together in our house while I was falling apart last week. I was able to rest and recuperate, which is not always easy for me to do! A few Medicine Ball Teas from Starbucks helped me feel better too. Feeling better is my Friday Favorite!


One plus of being sick was having time to read. THIS. BOOK. I will be reviewing it in my Monday Books and Beans post, but I had to include it here too.  It is so good!


Parker turned 16 and passed his driving class with flying the snow! He is loving his new wheels and freedom. 

Could my Valentine be any cuter?!


Whenever I find a new beauty product, you know I love to share. I typically buy expensive mascara, but have been having issues with it ending up under my eyes at the end of the day. I recently ordered this drugstore mascara HERE and I am loving it! I love the price even more. If you are searching for a great mascara, maybe you'll like this one as much as I do!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How We Wednesdays ~ Take Care of Ourselves

I am linking-up with fellow bloggers Shay and Erika for their "How We Wednesdays" on the second Wednesday of every month! 

This month we are talking about how we take care of ourselves.

Back in July, I wrote a post about my self-care during the summer. You can read that HERE. I am also currently writing a research paper for my grad class on self-care for educators, so this post comes at the perfect time. Self-care is all I'm thinking about! I'm working on consistently practicing what I preach. I seem to have a history of binging on self-care and then ignoring it for too long.

As women, I think the best thing we can do for everyone in our lives is take care of ourselves. Women typically care for everyone around them and I know I can tell a difference in my mood, behavior and overall well-being when I am taking care of myself and when I'm not. I like to break self-care into three groups: Mind, Body and Soul.


I love to learn and always have. This is one of the main reasons I read so much. I am always looking for new ideas or stories to expand my understanding of the world. I love to take classes for work and hobbies. Learning and growing are an important way I care for myself. That is also why I enjoy listening to a variety of podcasts


Exercise is another way that I care for myself, but one I struggle to incorporate. It is a work in progress. I am motivated to do so because of the way I feel when I am consistently working out. I also find that choosing high quality, healthy food is a way to feel my best. Beyond that, I am so regimented when it comes to making appointments to monitor my health. I make a yearly appointment with my primary physician, my yearly woman well-check, a mammogram and my dermatologist. Every 6 months I see my cardiologist (more on that in a later post) and dentist. I actually make my next appointment for the following time before I leave the office and I like to stack these appointments, if possible, and take the day off. I am then able to squeeze in some coffee and a nail appointment while I'm out! I am in very good health, and keeping these appointments is a reason for that. I also like to include my beauty appointments in this category. Harcuts, color, massages, get the point. Keeping regular appointments for these makes a huge difference in my overall well-being. 


I have mentioned my morning routine several times, but it truly is wonderful for caring for my soul. Beginning my day with quiet and prayer makes all the difference. I actually look forward to waking up to have that focused time. I am keeping a journal of who/what I am praying for each month and I can already see where God is working. Attending mass weekly is another way I care for my soul. I especially love when my family can attend together. Spending time with my family and close friends keeps my soul in great shape as well. 

Here is a top ten list of some of my favorite ways to take care of myself:

1. Pray.
2. Read.
3. Take a bath.
4. Shop.
5. Watch Netflix or DVR shows.
6. Get my nails done.
7. Go for a walk.
8. Organize.
9. Drink coffee or tea.
10. Enjoy a good meal and a glass of wine.

I would love to hear how you practice self-care! Help me with my research. :)

Join us every month as we talk about...

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday Favorites

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



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I am looking forward to making these cookies this weekend. Mason has an egg allergy, so anytime I can find an egg-free baking project, we bake it!



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We are also going to make Mason's Valentine Cards this weekend. I found this cute download on Etsy, bought some glow stick bracelet packs at Dollar Tree and done!



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This made me laugh! We love watching the Winter Olympics; especially the stories about the athletes before their performances. We usually have it on in the background while we're doing other things.

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Speaking of reading, this book came out this week and my copy should be here today. How great is this title? So excited to read this!

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My sweet husband sent me these flowers and a card for National School Counseling Week. I love celebrating this week each year where we can educate people about what a school counselor does.  I love being a school counselor for many reasons, but the number one reason is that every teenager needs someone in their corner at some point during high school. As a school counselor, I get to help kids with academics, plans after high school, or any personal/social or mental health issue that keeps them from being their best selves. Although it can be extremely stressful, it truly is the best job and no two days are the same!

Have a wonderful weekend recharging your batteries!



Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday Favorites! ~ Ten Winter Essentials

I'm linking up with fellow bloggers ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites! Today I'm sharing ten of my favorite winter essentials.

This is the best dry shampoo on the market...because momma doesn't have time to wash her hair everyday. #reallife I love the way this smells and unlike some dry shampoos, this brand actually cleans your hair as well. 


Vitamin D

I shared in a previous post that I had been diagnosed with low vitamin D in the early Fall. I can't even tell you what a difference knowing this and supplementing has made in my overall energy level.


Rose Hip Oil

I started using this in the fall on my face and it is the best! I heard about it on a podcast and gave it a try. It's cheap, lasts forever, and I have really noticed a difference in my skin.


Breathe and On Guard Essential Oils

I diffuse Breathe and On Guard for our entire family to combat allergies and to keep everyone well. These oils are staples in our house.



I love drinking tea at night, especially chamomile or anything made by The Republic of Tea.


Hunter Boots

I wear my Ugg Boots and Hunter Boots on rotation all winter. I especially like my Hunter ones when the snow begins to melt and it's sloppy outside. Nothing brightens a winter day like a cute red boot!


Cozy Sweaters

I think we all know my feelings about the Barefoot Dreams cardigans. The one I've linked is on sale!


Love Your Melon Hat

Again with the hat. I love buying from a company that is both stylish and gives back. I love wearing my and have recently purchased one for a gift.



You all know my love of books from my monthly Books and Beans Posts, and I have read a few on the Danish concept of Hygge. This is the next one on my list. Hygge is the celebration of the small things in life and making your home cozy. #mylovelanguage

The Little Book of Hygge

I read this book every winter. It will make you want to invite your friends over to drink wine, eat delicious food and savor life.

Bread and Wine



I love burning candles year-round, but there is something extra cozy about candles in the winter. I like the Bath and Body Works ones, but my all time favorite candle is this one...

Volcano Candle
Enjoy your weekend doing something fun with the ones you love!


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What's Up Wednesday!

Today I'm linking up with fellow bloggers MelSheaffer and Shay to talk about what's up!

What We're Eating This Week

I made The Pioneer Woman's Spaghetti Sauce Recipe on Sunday...yum! Thankfully it made enough to stock my freezer.

What I'm Reminiscing About

Christmas Break

What I'm Loving

What We've Been Up To

Work, work, work and keeping up with our new year goals...

and keeping up with Miss Zoe...

What I'm Dreading

The long stretch from Valentine's Day to Spring Break.

What I'm Working On

Finishing my final project for grad school.

What I'm Excited About

Parker's 16th birthday!

What I'm Watching/Reading

The Crown

What I'm Listening To

Podcasts. Updated podcast post coming soon!

What I'm Wearing

Anything warm and cozy!

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Celebrating a 16 year-old!

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

Parker's birthday, the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day!

What Else Is New

I'm continuing to love working on this little blog of mine and connecting with so many people in the process. 

Bonus Question: What is your favorite soup recipe?

We love our soups around here during the winter! Our all time favorite is HERE.

Have a great day!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Books and Beans~January 2018

It's a new year and there are so many great books to read. I read four books this month, two fiction and two non-fiction, and gave them all 4 out of 5 stars. This month was full of great reads!

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My Starbucks drink of choice is currently the Black and White Mocha. I was reluctant to try it at first, but it is delicious! It is a mix of regular mocha and white mocha. Yum! Whatever your warm drink of choice is for this cold January weather, grab it now and settle in for some great books!


by: Jenna Bush Hagar and Barbara Pierce Bush
4 out of 5 stars

I love watching Jenna Bush Hagar on the Today Show, so I was excited to read this book. She just seems like such a genuinely nice person. I loved the stories of these sweet sisters and life from their point of view as members of one of America's first families. The book toggles back and forth with each chapter written by the other sister and their mom wrote the introduction. Although the book describes what it was like being the daughters of the governor and then the president, it is ultimately about their bond of sisterhood and how they love doing life together on their own terms. Such a good book!

by: Candace Cameron Bure
4 out of 5 stars

If you have read my reviews for awhile now, you know that I am a sucker for a style book written by any celebrity! I love Candace Cameron Bure from Full House, Fuller House and Hallmark Movies! Ha! This book was fun to read and has good photography. I'm always up for a book that will make me want to shop for new additions for my closet! ;)

by: R.J. Palacio
4 out of 5 stars

You know it takes a lot for me to give a book five stars and I was so prepared to give it to this one. It is a fantastic read and one you should read with your kids or class. If I was still teaching middle school special education, this book would be in my curriculum in a heartbeat. I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie, and I am so glad I did. The book is about a 5th grade boy who was born with a combination of genetic diseases that have left his face deformed. He attends school for the first time in his life and has to deal with the varied reactions of the other students. The book is engaging but the end was a little to pretty for me. After working with students in similar situations, I feel the message of kindness is fantastic, but the way everything was wrapped in a bow at the end is a little unrealistic. Overall, I loved this book and the purpose it intended.

by: Jane Harper
4 out of 5 stars

I love nothing more than finding a new author and loving her debut novel! This mystery takes place in Australia (where the author is from), and hooks you from the very beginning. The main character is a detective named Adam Falk and I see a series of books featuring him following this one. Throw in a secret from his past and a murder that sends him back to his hometown and you have a great book that has you guessing the particulars of two deaths set years apart. I thought I had this mystery solved until the last thirty pages proved me very wrong. Great book if you love mysteries!

I've already started my first February book and can't wait to share it with you next month. Happy reading!