Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February's What's Up Wednesday

I'm linking up with Shay and Mel!

1. What we're eating this week.....
Monday: We ate at Chick Fil A for Spirit Night, a fundraiser for our school.  No cooking for me!
Tuesday: I made homeade spaghetti sauce (found here) so we had spaghetti, salad, and bread
Wednesday: Tonight, I am making Shay's Chicken Tacos with a side of guacamole.  I am fairly confident my last meal will be queso and guac!
Thursday: Thursdays are crazy for us.  Pal Barger will be providing dinner for the McMurray family! For those of you unfamiliar with Pal's- think In and Out Burgers- though I've never had In and Out but I think it is probably similar. 

Friday: Weight Watchers Potato Soup.  This is so easy.  Get a bag of frozen hash brown potatoes, southern style, 5 cans of chicken broth, and two packets of chicken gravy.  Throw it all in a pot and cook it.  Dinner is done.
Saturday: Barbaritos!
Sunday:  French Dip Subs

One of my goals during Lent was to try one new recipe a week.  Last week, I made No Bake Energy Bites (Holy moly, these are so good!) and crock pot mashed potatoes and this week was the spaghetti sauce and chicken tacos.

2.  What I'm reminiscing about....
I love TimeHop.  Today, I was reminded that I was at Opryland Hotel at a special education conference.  This is one aspect of working that I miss.  

3.  What I'm loving....
My Yeti cup that my Valentine bought for me!  He came through and got me the bigger one.  Now I have one for coffee and one for cold drinks!

4.  What I've been up to....
I am {very} slowly working on cleaning and organizing our basement.  Holy cow.  I am convinced the more space you have to store stuff, the more you keep.  I worked down there last weekend and made some progress.

5.  What I'm dreading....
It's not that I am DREADING baseball season, but I am a little apprehensive about our weekends being spoken for.  I got an email as I was typing the blog post of the finalized tournament schedule.   I  hope that Carson gets to show what he has learned in his private lessons in a game situation.  I also hope that we can keep parent drama away (long story there) and everyone can keep the focus that it is just a game. 

6.  What I'm working on....
Basement Purge of 2016!  See above

7.  What I am excited about......
Well, I thought I could get excited about the possibility of Chad and I flying to California for a super quick trip in May.....  BUT... it isn't going to happen.  He is up for some kind of award for a bridge he designed/built/whatever.  If he and his team wins, the award ceremony is in California.... the same day as Carson's fifth grade promotion.  WOMP WOMP WOMP. 

8.  What I am watching/reading....
I just finished The Beach Club.
I am looking forward to watching Fuller House this Friday!  

9.  What I'm listening to....
This....  So, so, so amazingly awesome.  He sang this at Farm Tour and to be honest, my brain was on Luke that I let this gem slip by me.  

10.  What I'm wearing...
Workout clothes.  I went to the gym this morning for the first time in forever.  Go Me!

11. What I'm doing this weekend....
Working in the basement.  We really don't have any other plans and I am ok with that!

12.  What I'm looking forward to next month....
Even though I do have apprehensions about baseball, I am looking forward to seeing Carson doing what he enjoys doing. 

13.  What else is new....
Chad and I made the decision to join a church this weekend.  There is a long story behind how we got where we are but we left our church last year and had been looking for a place that suited all of our needs and we found it.  

14. What is a favorite Easter tradition.....
My favorite Easter tradition is watching the kids hunt Easter eggs at my parent's house.  My dad hides money in the plastic eggs.  I am talking cold, hard cash too!  He never did this for me growing up!  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Five: Things I Would Purchase Again (and things I would not)

Greetings Friends!  We made it to another Friday.  I can't believe we are already half way through February.  We got our baseball schedule this past week- so there's that.  It is going to be a busy spring.  I am happy to report that I seeing a big, yellow ball in the sky!  I had forgotten what the sunshine looked like! I am happy to see it!

Our week started out with more snow.  Another 6 inches to be exact.  Luckily, the kids only missed one day of school and the rain quickly melted it away.  I am so over the snow!

For my Friday Five, I am linking up with April and Erika for five things I would purchase again and five things I would not.

Let me preface this by saying I am not good at graphics and bloggy stuff.  I basically grouped my five together and took a pic with my iPhone and will link the products to Amazon.

First up, things I would definitely buy again!

Colgate Optic White Toothpaste I have been a Crest girl for quite some time but I felt like it wasn't working for me anymore.  I do drink coffee and tea so I needed a good whitening toothpaste.  So far, I am loving it!  It doesn't get as "sudsy" (is that a word?) as the Crest but I do feel like I get my pearly whites good and clean.

Proactiv+ Deep Cleansing Wash I have been a Proactiv User for a couple of years.  I love it but felt like my face was still oily and dirty after using the regular soap.  I added the micellar water (more on that in a minute) thinking that would help but it didn't.  I got on my proactiv page and read some discussions about the deep cleansing wash.  It is supposed to be a body wash but it has been a game changer for my face!  I use it only at night after I take my makeup off.  My face finally feels clean!

Redken Diamond Oil I think I have found the holy grail for my hair!  This stuff is the!  I REALLY wanted to try the Moroccan oil that everyone raves about but the last time  Jamie colored my hair she used this stuff and I was HOOKED. This is the lightest oil on the market.  I need a light oil since my hair tends to be on the oily side (and I am not washing it daily). Can we just talk about the beautiful glass bottle? I hope I don't break it!  This stuff is pricey.  I bought a travel size bottle to start with to make sure I still loved it and went to Ulta yesterday and stocked up on some things and this ended up in my bag.  Redken products were buy two get one free so I got shampoo and conditioner and the Diamond Oil.  My hairdresser said this stuff would probably last me a year- a total justification for spending $32 on it!

Loreal Sleek It Heatspray I have used several different heat protectants and have decided I like this best.  I do love the Chi heat protectant but it is pricey for no more than you get.  The only thing I don't like about this stuff is the trigger spray.  The first day I used it, I dropped the bottle and broke the trigger so I had to buy another bottle.  Oops!

Sally Hanson Miracle Gel Top Coat  I polish my nails frequently in the winter.  My hands get so dry and I had read online that if you polish your nails, you trap moisture in under the nail bed.  I can tell a difference.  The Sally Hanson stuff is a game changer because it doesn't chip the polish.  Before I used this, my at home mani MIGHT last a day- now I can go four or five days!

And five things I wouldn't purchase again....

I am not saying these products aren't good products- they just weren't for me.

The Wet Comb Santa left these in mine and Caylee's stockings and within a week, both combs were broken.  It was poorly designed.  I emailed the company and told them I wasn't happy and they sent me two new ones!  I must admit, I don't use it daily but I have learned to be super careful when I do use it.

Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer Spray This stuff feels super heavy for my hair.  I love the concept of it, but it is too much for my hair.

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Shampoo  Again, I wish I could love it, but I don't.  I talked about this in another post.  It doesn't make suds well (I don't think it is supposed to).  I just didn't feel like I got my hair clean.  I am going to keep it and use it on Caylee's hair.

Micellar Cleansing Water The jury is still out on this one.  Again, I love the concept- just not sure it is for me.  I use it and my face feels oily even though it says it is oil free.  Nothing stands up to coconut oil for taking off eye makeup!  I will keep using it for eye makeup removal but not for the rest of my face.

Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Hair Cream  This stuff is HEAVY for my hair.  I wanted something to lock in my beach waves after using my hair wand (which I FINALLY mastered) but this isn't it.  It feels like glue in my hair.  No thank you.  Again, I wish I could love it, but don't.

What have you bought lately that you loved?  Or not loved?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Five: The Love Edition

You know what today is and you know what I am going to do!

Linking up with Erika and April!

Unless you have been living under a rock (or haven't stepped foot into a grocery store this AM like I did), you know this weekend is Valentine's Day.  I have said it before and I will say it again: Valentine's Day is overrated.    I mean, why do we have to have a holiday to tell people we love them?  We should say AND SHOW IT daily {speaking to myself here}.  When I think of Valentine's Day, I am reminded of two of my high school classmates who were killed in a car wreck on Valentine's night our Junior year.  My mind drifts back to the hours and days following their wreck.  Our community came together and showed lots of love to the family and to us as a class.  

As far as how we celebrate now, we don't really make a big deal of it.  Most years, I will get the kids something small, and something small for Chad.  This year, I am behind and have purchased NOTHING.  I need to get busy.  

Chad has been gone all week and is supposed to be home tonight; however, he is bringing snow with him.  There is a snowstorm coming and he will be driving into it.  I am ready for him to be home so that I can get a good night's rest.  I don't sleep well when he isn't home (most nights) and Elmer was my alarm clock at 4:30AM this morning.  

I am getting better with the whole solo parent thing but this week was crazy!  On Monday, Tank had to go back to the vet.

We interrupt this blog post for a Tank update!!!!!!!
Tank had been having some sinus congestion again so I took him back to the vet on Monday for a recheck.  Dr. Cherry took a look at the tumor in his mouth AND IT IS ALMOST GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Praise the Lord!  We still don't know if it is cancer or not but we will take the good news!  Before Christmas, the tumor was so big that Dr. Cherry could have stuck his thumb in it; and now, he has shrunk significantly!  He is being treated with a different antibiotic for the sinus infection and is doing much better!
The kids were out of school on Tuesday for snow.  Caylee had a dentist appointment that I ended up keeping.  She had been complaining about a place in her gums.  I am not one to rush to the doctor/dentist at every complaint but when I looked at the place, it looked like a tooth was trying to come through with nowhere to go.  My assessment was right and they ended up pulling two teeth.  Wednesday, Elmer had to go to the vet (I need our own room there), I had a doctor's appointment, and Carson fought World War III with his contacts!  Needless to say, I am ready for some downtime!

Hopping back on the Valentine's topic, one overachieving child had Valentine's ready a week ago AND her box crafted, one waited until 8PM to do Valentine's and asked his sister to make his box!  These are accurate descriptions of the personalities of my kiddos!  Caylee chose to handout StarWars tattoos and Carson bought FunDip (sorry, teachers).  Caylee and Chad's mom got a kit at Michael's several weeks ago and made hers together.  I thought it turned out super cute!

Caylee loves to bake so this was perfect!  How cute are the dishtowels hanging on the side?!

My oldest child will hand out Valentine's for the last time, and I am ok with that because the next time he gives Valentine's, it will be to one girl. (Ella Kate, maybe?  I hope Andrea is ok with that!)  ;)  I got a cup yesterday from St. Jude and it came in a white box so Carson asked Caylee to turn the box into a baseball.  This is what my eight year old came up with....
If I were the Pinterest Mother of the Year, I really could have gussied it up, but I am not.  Caylee, on the other hand, will be THAT MOM when she is grown, and I am ok with that.  ;) It was a little odd walking into school and seeing all types of boxes- some CLEARLY done by someone else and some done by the student.  We were on both ends of the spectrum.  HA!

I had the pleasure of meeting a representative from St. Jude yesterday for lunch.  After the half last year and asking Sarah alot of questions about their time there, God placed in on my heart to get involved on a deeper level with St. Jude- both fundraising and volunteering.  I was able to get connected with my new friend Rebecca and I am going to be helping to plan the St. Jude Run/Walk in September for my area!!  So exciting!  She also gave me ideas on raising money as a St. Jude Hero too.  St. Jude forever has a special place in my heart!

Three of the four of us were happy after the Super Bowl!  I am afraid Carson is turning into a bandwagon fan- he likes whoever is popular.  I must say that I am not impressed with Cam Newton's behavior at the press conference.  I know I shouldn't judge because I wasn't there and didn't hear the questions and comments being thrown out at him, but I don't think a Peyton or Eli Manning would leave a presser.  I hope Peyton retires and comes back to Tennessee in some capacity!  

The kids were dismissed from early for snow today so we are all basically being lazy, and I am ok with that!

Have a wonderful love filled weekend!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Five on Friday!

Yup, it's Friday!  The day I look forward to all week!

Linking up!


Lent begins next week.  Even though I am not Catholic, I participate in Lent (some years).  At dance this week, Caylee's teacher and I were chatting about it and she gave me some good ideas and motivation.  This year, for lent, I am

(1) Turning off my Facebook and Twitter. 

I have done this before and I keep saying I am getting rid of my Facebook for good but I never do.  Social media can really suck you in and take the life out of you!  I constantly compare myself  and my life to what others post even though I know darn well that they only post the good stuff!  It's past time for a break from it!  I don't use Twitter except to follow celebrities so I will not miss it.

(2) I am going to fix one new recipe per week.  I am so bad about fixing the same stuff over and over and over.  I have some great cookbooks and I need to be using them!

(3) I am going to drink at least 32 ounces of water daily.  I did this when I was losing my weight and I need to get back into the habit.

Last week, I posted about switching makeup.    Well, I had to take the Clinique back that I purchased because I thought it made me oily.  Turns out, they matched me up with the wrong formula! UGH!  They did allow me to return it and I am now wearing the Beyond Perfecting Powder Foundation.  Granted, I have only worn it one day but I can tell a difference.  I also bought their primer because the powder needs something to stick to.  I was a little upset with the first clinique specialist that matched me up wrong- not only did she mismatch me, she never bothered to mention a primer.  Luckily, I already knew I needed a primer and I had some at home I used from a sample.  Oh, and the Micellar water to remove makeup is great.  I will still pull out my coconut oil to remove stubborn eye makeup but I finally feel like my face is makeup free when I do my proactiv regimen.

The kids were out of school today for parent/teacher conference.  We are blessed with great teachers (and great kids).  With Carson going to middle school next year (insert ugly cry), Chad and I wanted to meet with 5th grade teachers to address our concerns.  While our concerns are legit, they were very reassuring that Carson will be fine and that he is  making improvements.  Maybe one day, I will do a blog post on our concerns- nothing major!

Chad wanted to sign up for another 100 mile race, which caused some friction at Casa Mac this week.  It is bad enough that he travels quite a bit for work but to add training for an endurance race makes for an unhappy mama/wife.  It was a struggle for our marriage the last time he did a 100 miler.  I was a runner's widow- I rarely saw him.  I am all about setting and reaching goals but I also think you need to be reasonable.  Chad is short on time as it is and with endurance training, your time is given to your training and not your family.  In the end, he didn't sign up for it, which I am sure he wasn't happy with.  Touchy topic around these parts

There is a little football game this weekend!  We are cheering on our Peyton; although, Carson is a Cam and Peyton fan so I think he will be happy either way!

Happy Weekend!

Carson's room is Broncos theme!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Hey! It's Friday!

This week has been the longest week!  We are back to our normal routine after the snow.  I'm linking up!

Erika and Andrea


I thought I would spotlight some of my favorite recent purchases with a little bit of baseball thrown in!

My friend Haley posted this on twitter and I knew I had to try it.  This combo is amazing!  It is the elf lip scrub and bath and body works gloss.   Sorry I couldn't find my original picture.

Last night was our first night back at baseball.  Actually for Carson, it wasn't, as he has been meeting with his hitting/pitching coach every week since August.  It was the first time back with teammates at our practice facility so we had to document the ride over.  It is thirty four minutes to the field.  Even though the ride is long, it is nice for some time with Carson.
During the snow, I sent the picture to our coach, and he said he was up for a snow practice!
I was interesten in trying a new shampoo on my hair. It is still a work in progress. I have ALMOST mastered the not wash daily.  I can go every other day or every two days depending on what all is going on.  The stylist at Ulta suggested the Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Shampoo since my hair is color treated and damaged.  I used it yesterday and so far, so good.  I had good hair day (as evidence in the pic with Carson) and I used it on Caylee and she had a good hair day!  Win, win! I couldn't get used to the fact that it doesn't suds up but my hair felt clean despite the no suds!
I saw a commercial for this stuff and I knew I needed to try it too!  I use coconut oil to take off eye makeup, and it is great but I feel like my Proactive+ doesn't always get my makeup off.  I haven't tried it yet but will report back when I do!
Weight Watchers changed their program recently to Smart Points and basically count sugars now.  It has been a difficult adjustment for me.  I loved greek yogurt and the brand i liked was 3 points but it went up to 5 points.  One of the members suggested this brand because it was sweetened with Stevia. I am a fan!
That's all for now!  Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday?

What's up?  The temperatures here in Big Orange Country- that is for sure!  We had 8 inches of snow last week and it is starting to melt.  I hate the days following a snow- everything is so nasty!

I'm linking up with Shay and Mel!

1. What we're eating this week.....
Monday: popcorn shrimp, red potatoes, salad (AKA: needed to go to grocery store and we ate whatever we can find!)
Tuesday: Crock Pot Chicken Tacos- a FAVORITE!
Wednesday: Left over chicken tacos
Thursday: eat out- first baseball practice and dance class.  We will not be home until 8ish!
Friday: spaghetti, salad, bread
Saturday: Barbaritos!
Sunday: leftovers

2.  What I'm reminiscing about....
Going tubing with my people.  We hope to do that again this year!

3.  What I'm loving....
My Yeti cup!  I use it daily.  I pour my coffee in it before taking the kids to school and sip on it all morning.  Maybe my Valentine will get the larger size for me!

4.  What I've been up to....
We woke up last Wednesday morning to snow.  What was originally predicted as 1-3 inches turned into 7-8 inches by Friday!  It was fun but I was ready to be back to a routine!

We fought over who would get the prime real estate in front of the fire.  You can see who clearly won that battle!

"Mom, my sled is a shield from snow falling in my face while I rest!"- Carson

Overtime it snows, we lose power (and our lines are underground).  It was quite peaceful.  Bonus: Chad's hotspot in the basement that still had juice!  

5.  What I'm dreading....
The kids take the TN Ready test for the first time next month.  It is a statewide standardized test that all TN kids will take on the computer.  I hate standardized testing!

6.  What I'm working on....
This blog post!  ;)

7.  What I am excited about......
Next month, I am meeting a representative from St. Jude to talk about getting involved in fundraising and volunteer work at the local affiliate.  I am excited to get more involved with this amazing organization!

8.  What I am watching/reading....
I just finished Suddenly One Summer by Julie James. It was a good book- a little more sexual content that I want to read, but overall a good book.  If you want to follow me on GoodReads, shoot me an email at!

I don't really watch TV (I do indulge in Young and the Restless sometimes!  HA!)I am looking forward to Fuller House on Netflix and Grease! Live this weekend!

9.  What I'm listening to....
Currently, I am listening to the sound of my Roomba vacuuming my hardwood while the Bobby Bones show plays from my iPad.

10.  What I'm wearing...
Since it snowed last week, I wore ALL of my warm fleece pants and leggings!  I did purchase this top from Target and I LOVE IT!

11. What I'm doing this weekend....
We have to travel to Roanoke for a funeral this weekend.  Chad's sister in law's father passed away.

12.  What I'm looking forward to next month....
We don't really have anything exciting next month- except watching the Super Bowl and our boy Peyton!  I am not a big Valentine's Day person.  Personally, I think it is overrated.  We just don't make a big deal out of it.  We will get something small for the kids, but other than that, it is a normal day.

13.  What else is new....
I think I broke my nose!  Long story....  Elmer got out on Sunday (big surprise there) and Carson, a friend of his, and I were driving to take the friend to meet his parents and we saw Elmer walking up our street.  I put the Wrangler in park and got out to open the back tailgate to let Elmer in.  Elmer came BOLTING to jump in and when he did, he hit the glass window that flips up and the glass window hit the bridge of my nose.  I have a nice gash on it and it is swollen.  There is nothing a doctor can do, so I am just living with it.

14. What is a favorite Valentine treat.....
A coffee from Starbucks or a Sonic Coke Zero is good for me! Even better- a Yeti cup for my coke zeros!  ;)

Happy Wednesday!

Let's Talk..... New Year

Today, I am linking up with Andrea and Erika  for a little virtual chit chat!

Earlier in the month, I did a post of "goals" for 2016.  The word I chose for the year as a springboard for my goals is "BE".  Almost one month in, I am doing ok!  My biggest struggle is being present.  I am still finding myself distracted by my "idiot box"- my iPhone.  Our friend, Sid, calls it the idiot box.  ;)  The best thing I have found is to put it in another room and not touch it.  Now that I have an Apple Watch, I get notifications of texts and phone calls so I will not miss a call or text.

What I am looking forward to in 2016:
This guy will finish elementary school.  He will also play one or two (or fifty) baseball games.

This girl will finish third grade.  She will tell you she is most looking forward to getting rid of her booster seat in the car- a sure sign of being a big girl!

Note: She doesn't wear makeup...  This was Nutcracker!

We will head to Peachtree City at least twice- one to host a baby shower for Beth and then will return to party it up the 4th of July.

We MMMMAAAAAYYY travel to Boston to see the RedSox take on the Angels at Fenway!!!!!

We hope to schedule a trip to the beach too!

This doesn't include the craziness of Chad's travel, baseball practice, dance classes, school events, volunteering for me, and housework and laundry!  WHEW!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Finally Friday!

Happy Friday loves!  I'm back with a Five on Friday linkup!

Last weekend, Chad ran his 5th 50 mile trail race.  You read that right.  He has completed FIVE fifty mile trail races.  This doesn't include that Crazy 100 Miler he did last year, the countless marathons, and 50ks.  The kids and I drove down to Chattanooga on Saturday morning (SUPER EARLY) to watch.  It was a cold and wet day (much like today).

This is how Caylee crews a race!  We took the new car and I made them take their shoes off and attempted to keep the plastic floormats clean (didn't work!).
 Here he comes to the "finish".  These trail races are no frills.  The finish line wasn't marked.  The race director was standing near me and I asked him where the official finish line was and he said, "eh, around here somewhere!".

 Chad and his running husband, Sid.  I swear, he spends more time with Sid than he does me!  Good dude, that Sid is.

My boy got contacts this week.  We knew we would have to move to contacts for baseball and after meeting once with our pitching coach, we decided to go ahead and talk with our optometrist.  Carson did great pitching with his glasses but couldn't hit anything.  He can't wear his glasses and his batting helmet so contacts it is.  We spent over an hour in the contact room of the eye doctor's office (side note: they need wine in there! MERCY).  Carson had trouble getting them in and out and he had to do it himself.  I can't help.  It was hard for me not to intervene.  It was stressful for the both of us.  The lady that taught him how to put them in wasn't the best teacher in the world but he is starting to get the hang of it.  He is getting a little better at it but it will take practice.  Chad reassured me that it will get easier.  I don't have to wear glasses or contacts but Chad does.
I got my hair colored last week and after convos with my wonderful hairdresser and friends, I have decided I am gun ho on the whole #dirtyhair thing.  I come from the "wash your hair everyday religiously camp" but I know that isn't always healthy.  Right now, I am on day four hair and even though it is feeling gross, I am forcing myself to make it through one more day and wash tomorrow.  I don't have plans outside of the house tonight so I am good with the grease! ;)  This stuff has been a lifesaver! I am open to product suggestions and dry hair style suggestions!  I am rocking a messy bun and bangs pinned back right now!

I spent four hours this morning cleaning out my pantry. Three huge trash bags later, it is finished.  Geez!  I need to do a better job at eating what we have and not impluse buying!

I haven't mentioned Weight Watchers much lately.  I am still attending meetings and somewhat following the plan.  I am within my goal weight according to WW, but I would like to be a little lighter.  WW changed their program and I hate to admit it, but I am not really digging it.  I need to roll up my sleeves and get 100% back on track and see what happens.  

I hope you guys have a lovely weekend!  We are out of school Monday.  Our weekend plans consist of cleaning out and organizing the playroom and cleaning out Caylee's closet.  Fun times! (insert eye roll here)