Friday, August 24, 2012

Time may be free.... but it's priceless.

I love my little man.
And he'll always be my little man... no matter how big he gets.

Fill-In-The-Blank Friday 08.24.12

1.  My favorite thing to do on Friday is stay up late with my husband and son.  We'll either go to the movies, rent a movie, go to Chuck E Cheese's, go out to eat dinner really late, or just build a fort.  No matter what, we're doing it together and we're doing it until about 11:00PM.  Then, we sleep in on Saturdays, which gets the weekend off to a great start!

2.   This Friday I am planning on renting The Lorax.  Robert and Maddox went to see it while I was studying (either for finals or the Bar, I can't remember) and I really want to see it.  Earlier today Robert and I ate lunch with Maddox at school and agreed that being lazy and watching The Lorax was going to make up our Friday night.  I'm perfectly okay with all the snuggles I'm going to get!

3.  The best thing about a weekend is that I can actually enjoy it now.  I've only been out of law school for three months now, but it's been less than a month since I've been finished with the Bar.  So really these past three weekends are the first completely FREE weekends I've had in the last four years.  It feels AMAZING.  Just knowing that I don't have to study is the best part of everday, but especially the weekends.

4. Now that summer is almost over, I'm feeling a lot of things.  I'm excited that the weather will be cooling off.  We've had a record hot and dry summer this year that was no fun.  But, I am sad that I had to spend the entire summer studying for the Bar.  I wish I would have had that time to spend with Maddox.  But, fall is my favorite season and there's so much to look forward to including Halloween, my son's birthday, and Thanksgiving, that it's impossible not to be excited.

5. The best thing I did this summer was manage to live through studying and taking the Bar Exam while keeping my sanity.  Granted, my sanity did leave for a while, but it's back now--so that counts as "keeping" it.  Taking the Bar was something I've known I was going to have to do for at least 10 years and so to have it behind me (and HOPEFULLY to have passed--no results yet) is a fantastic feeling.  Even if I didn't pass (gulp) at least I accomplished something monumental in my life that I've waited a long time for.  I just hope I never have to take that dang thing again.

6. The thing I'm looking forward to about fall is Arkansas football!  We love our Razorbacks and I can't wait to watch what our new coach is going to do this year.  And of course, I'm looking forward to the weather, THE FAIR (we LOVE the fair!!), being able to spend time outside without feeling like you're going to melt, all of the family time, all of the holiday crafts, the spirit of giving that starts to ignite around this time of year.  I'm looking forward to it all!

7.  If I had to be stuck in one season for the rest of my life, I would choose fall.  My allergies are at their mildest during the season.  The weather is fantastic here.  And there's always an excuse to get together with friends and family.  Yes, definitely fall.

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday is from the little things we do
Fill in your blanks and stop by there to link up!

Fashion Friday: In Between Summer & Fall

It has been so hot outside.  And I mean,  HOT.  As in, 111ยบ hot.  (No, that's not an exaggeration.)  

But this past week, we've gotten a preview of fall.  The weather has finally dropped out of the 100s and into the mid to high 90s.  Ah... the 90s.  Yes, yes... I know, by no means is that fall weather, but it's just enough to remind me that it's on its way.  

And I think this little outfit is perfect for the weather that will be headed our way over the next month or two.  Oh how I wish this were in my closet.  

Fashion Friday 08.23.12

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My First Grader

First Day of First Grade Picture!

My sweet, sweet little baby started 1st grade yesterday.  Don't ask me how that's possible.  I'm just giving you the facts.  I can't believe it's been one year since I posted on his first day of kindergarten.

I'm happy to report that he had a great day yesterday and that we've been blessed with the same teacher that he had in kindergarten thanks to her decision to move up to first grade this year.  She has essentially kept her entire class from last year, so for Maddox starting the first grade probably feels more like going back to kindergarten after having a break for the summer.

I managed not to cry yesterday morning and I'm very proud of that.  I try my best not to see him growing up as a "bad thing."  Rather, I just try to think of how blessed I am that we're both here, healthy, and happy enough to watch his life unfold.  I'm not good at always seeing it this way, but I really try hard to keep those blessings at the front of my mind when I feel myself getting sad about him getting older.

My baby is growing up more quickly than I'd like, but I'm so thankful to have a front row seat to his life.  The things he learned during kindergarten blew my mind and made me so very proud of him.  I can't wait to see all of the things he'll do this year that will amaze me even more.

Monday, August 13, 2012

"What's for Dinner?" Just Got Easier To Answer: DIY Menu Board

My latest project was so simple and cheep that I'd considered not counting it as a project at all.  But, since I technically think that it is one, I have now crossed off number 11 of 20 DIY crafts/projects on my 30 before 30 list.  (Holla!)

While I was searching for free printables for my Home Management Binder (which I've almost completed--more on that in another post) I came across some amazing menu board ideas.  I especially loved the variety of menu boards that Home Life Simplified has shown here (toward the bottom of the page.)

Although they're all awesome, many of them looked very time consuming and considering I'm beginning to plan my son's birthday party and the holidays will be coming up soon, I just can't see myself making any of them a reality anytime soon.

So, I stuck with the simplest (and in my opinion, one of the cutest) ideas I found:  putting a weekly menu in a picture frame and writing the weekly menu in dry erase markers so that it can easily be erased when it's time to write on it again.

Here's the one I found at Home Life Simplified that gave me the inspiration to create my own:


I had already found this ADORABLE weekly menu plan free printable at The Nest Effect* that I was going to use in my Home Management Binder, but decided it would be perfect for a menu board:


So, I grabbed a frame that wasn't being used, made a few trial and error prints before I got the correct size and viola, dinner menu plan in a frame was born:

I must admit, I got a little giddy once I added this week's dinner plans with the dry erase marker.  I mean, who doesn't like to write with a dry erase marker?  (Am I the only one who never outgrew that phase?)

So, tada!  Easy as pie!  It now sits in our kitchen window sill beside the herbs we're attempting to grow (no luck with the lavender thus far.  sad day.)  The black frame looks great in the window and it's very functional.  No more thinking about what we have in the cabinets and what to make for dinner that night. It's right there on the board.  And, if we decide to go out on Tuesday night to eat with friends, no big deal--erase Tacos and add it to Saturday.  Done deal.

Oh yes, I'm loving the functionality of such a simple project.  This thing will definitely make our lives easier.  

* BTW:  The Nest Effect has several other awesome free printables on her site and an Etsy store with even more printables, so be sure to take a look!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Free Aquafresh Toothpaste: Link to Printable Coupon

One of my new favorite websites is  It organizes deals by store and coupon and even has a star rating that lets you know how awesome the deal is at a glance.  Seriously, you need to check it out.

Today I knew I was making a trip to Wal-Mart and after a quick check of this site I was able to grab two travel-sized bottles of Aquafresh toothpaste for free.  Well, actually there was a 06¢ overage, so Wal-Mart technically paid me to "buy" them.  ;)

Grocery Smarts gave me all of the information I needed.  Wal-Mart has travel-sized Aquafresh Extreme Clean for 97¢ each.  And, right now Aquafresh has printable $1 off coupons for any size.

You're allowed to print the coupon twice, so after you print once, hit the back arrow on your browser and print again.  (Be sure to have your printer hooked up first.)  If you use your coupons on the travel size you should have an overage of 06¢ before tax.

Not much to it and a nice way to add to your little stockpile.  After all, you can't beat free.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thrift Stores Make Me Go YAY!!

So, I just graduated from law school and finished taking the Bar Exam.  Now, I find myself with free time again for the first time EVER.

Before I started law school my son was so little that he was a full time job.  I started law school when he was two years old.  So, it's safe to say that I haven't had time to really discover new hobbies or invest time in them like I'd like to since before I became a mother almost seven years ago.  But now, I do.  My son is more independent now and I don't have constant homework.

Free time.... those are two new words for me.

And, I must admit, having all of this free time all of a sudden is a little crazy.  I don't quite know what to do with all of it.  But, I'm enjoying it nonetheless.

Today I went to a thrift store.  I forgot how much I love them.  I love everything about them.

I love to waste time in them.  I could walk around in a thrift store for hours.  There's always so much to see and you never know what you're going to find.

I love how cheap everything is!  You can always find a great deal.

I love how you can find great projects and let your creativity go crazy in a thrift store.  You can just see the finished product of an old chest or bench or frame as soon as you lay eyes on it.

I love old things.  I love old books.  I love old phones.  I love old record players.  I love old furniture.  I love it all!

And also, I love that you never know what you're going to come home with.  Each trip is different and you never know when you'll happen upon that perfect item you just can't leave without.  ;)

So, like I said.... today I went to a thrift store.  My husband and son went along too.  We had a great time just wasting time, walking around and looking at everything and of course, I had to share what we came home with.

oversized costume jewelry ring $6 (new)
small sized peace earrings $1.75 (new)
The Hunger Games (which I now have time to read) $1
And my little man found these:  two Star Wars figures $9 total

Needless to say, we came home happy.  And, I've rediscovered my love for thrift stores.  I can't wait to hit up another one and see what goodies we come home with next.