Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! We are about to close out the month of October, can you believe it?? There will be no trick or treating over here. It stinks, because we finally live in a neighborhood where we can enjoy it, but Covid has ruined all the social fun this year. I am planning an egg hunt for Zoe in our yard, and I will let her pick which of the many costumes she already has to wear that day. We dropped off three treat buckets this past week to her three besties from school so that she felt included in those festivities. We have had two sweet friends return the favor for Zoe, and I could just see the joy and gratefulness on her face when she got them. My sister also dropped a very nice Halloween bag full of goodies last weekend for her.

There will be lots of football to watch this weekend, cleaning and decorating to do. And I am hoping to get the dining room in order to be painted!!! This is something I have wanted to do since we moved in! I picked up the paint last weekend, and have been slowly clearing the room out this week between working and the usual things.

Favorite Purchase: Since we moved into a new house last year, I knew that I wanted to get a new Christmas tree this year. We have 22 foot ceilings in our living room, so I wanted something taller. My dream tree is a flocked one with traditional white lights. Chris and Zoe wanted colored light show fun that Chris can play with the app on his phone. They won. I am in love. The tree arrived last week, and we put it up last Friday to make sure we wanted to keep it. I spent 2 hours fluffing the branches, so I wasn’t going to take it down just to put it back up a week later!

We will start decorating it and the rest of our house on Sunday. Christmas Wonderland is happening early this year, y’all! Anything that brings joy, because it is 2020 and I will not deprive. We have an inflatable turkey that will be in our front yard for the month of November, ok?! But just look at her and all her glory. LOVE LOVE LOVE. We ordered a pre-lit tree, but you can buy these lights on Amazon for any tree. They are seriously the coolest, and you can make them all white, all any color, all different colors, or have them go to music or a pre-determined light show.

Favorite Aldi Finds: I am obsessed with anything toffee or butterscotch. Basically, I am a 70 year old grandpa. When I saw these chocolate covered toffee pretzels, I immediately put 2 in my cart. I probably should have bought the whole box. They will be gone before our next order if I had to guess. The Rose all day cheese is good. I liked the cranberry cheddar and cheddar with parmesan notes from last week better. I haven’t tried the white chocolate coffee yet, I will report back.

Favorite Recipe: I made Keto Crack Chicken the other night and posted the picture to Stories. I had a few people message me asking for a recipe, and this is the one I used. It comes together quick and doesn’t require a ton of ingredients. Easily adaptable to whatever you like or want to add.

Favorite Funnies:

#ninasflyingneedle #motherhood #momlife #lifewithkids #sickdays #whohastime #notime #momboss
Story of my life
26 Funny Quotes That Are Likely Relatable   #funnyQuotes #snarkyQuotes #funnysayings #sarcasticQuotes #sarcasm

Empties – The Fails

I like to share the good and the bad here. Maybe I can help keep some money in your pocket by providing my thoughts on things that just didn’t work for me. I know we are all different, and some of the items pictured above might be something you love. Let me know if you have a different opinion on any of them!

Bosley Hair Care My hair stylist recommended Bosley to me last year when I went for a color and cut. Who knew that would be my last color, right??? I went to Ulta and they were having a Buy 2 Get 1 sale and I was all in. She has never steered me wrong before. Bosley  is supposed formulated for those who want to help restore visibly thinning hair. They claim that it “works with Niacin to help revitalize the hair and reduce shedding while Biotin and Panthenol help strengthen hair strands. Hair appears fuller and nourished with more volume.” My hair girl uses it, and so does the guy who cuts next to her. I actually could see a difference in his hair from the time I had been there previously.

My experience was different. I didn’t notice any difference in the amount of shedding in the shower. Also, my hair became so dry and brittle while I used this product. I am not saying it is the products fault, but I will say that I have noticed most products that are for “volume” leave a lot to be desired for my hair. They are always so drying!! So while I know 2 people this works for, sadly, it is a no for me. So much a no, I wont even finish the bottle because my hair has improved greatly since stopping it. What shampoo has been working for less shedding? Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Shampoo. This stuff, paired with a few other things has done wonders and really brought my hair back to life!

The Healthy Deodorant – I have decided that no natural deodorant will work for me. I have given up and actually switched to mens and have had zero issue since. Of all the ones I have tried, The Healthy Deodorant has worked the best. It smelled great for a few hours and caused the least amount of irritation. However, it only lasted a few hours and even then, it was subpar. I used this up, but have given up the fight.

Secret Aluminum Free Deodorant – Of all the aluminum free deodorants I tried, this was the absolute worst. It doesn’t smell that great straight out of the bottle, it caused horrible itchy irritation and did no work in the least bit. Stay far away from this shit!

Jergens Natural Glow – I know better. I know better. Yet, I was still a streaky, smelly mess last summer when I attempted to get some color on my legs! This stuff is about as bad as it was back in college when it first came out. There are higher end products out there that actually work great. I was at Target, back when I went places and strolled through there without a care in the world buying all the things, and picked this up due to the happy air vibes they pump into that place. Just dont. Go to Ulta and Get Loving Tan, or Tan Luxe and look like the bronzed goddess you are trying to be.

Pacifica Lip Oil – I cant find this anywhere to link, so maybe it was discontinued. I think I know why, it sucked! It felt really slippery and weird on my lips, didn’t feel nourishing at all, and was just a mess in the tube. It had a weird smell too. All around a bad product. I actually think my lips felt even dryer after applying. Not sure how that can happen. Another one I wont even finish and just tossing.



Heading straight into the last week of October! It is overcast this morning, and definitely looking like fall out there! We had a good weekend, did some fall things and I didn’t think about work once.

Friday evening we drove through a local neighborhood that goes all out for Halloween. One of Zoe’s besties lives there, so we dropped off a Halloween goodie bucket for her while we were over that way. Chris did what he does best and ordered a ton of pizza for dinner from Ironstone. We ate on it all weekend and still have some left!

Saturday morning we got breakfast going. It pretty much rained all day Saturday, so we hung out in our jammies and did some Halloween crafts.

I think I am going to buy one of those black acrylic trees for Halloween next year, and hang all her crafts that she has done this year on them! She had so much fun doing them!!!

My sister stopped by to drop off a Halloween treat bag for Zoe. Then we headed over to Sherman Williams to pick up some paint for our dining room!!! I hope to tackle that this week, or next weekend at the latest!

We came back and made the best charcuterie board and enjoyed football the rest of the evening. I also made Zoe some Nice Cream out of some old bananas I wanted to use up. It was so easy!!! You literally cut up 2 frozen bananas and freeze them for a few hours, then run them in the food processor. It was the creamiest most delicious guilt free treat! I let her throw some sprinkles on it. Next time we might try a vanilla or chocolate flavor.

Sunday morning, we made pumpkin pancakes and got ready for another car ride. Zoe and I took a Halloween bucket to another friend who had one waiting outside for Zoe as well! So sweet! She stuck so many crafts in there, we have one to do every day this week!

We drove by Chris’s parents house, and his mom was outside…so we stopped by and talked to them for a little bit. They play golf with Zoe in the front yard, and she had so much fun running around. When we got home, we made homemade enchiladas with homemade sauce for a late lunch.

We then settled in for some Halloween movies and smores in the living room! We introduced Zoe to Double Double Toil and Trouble and watched Hocus Pocus again.

And just like that, we wrapped up another weekend of 2020. While this year has brought on a lot of anxiety, worry, and unknown…..I definitely have come to enjoy the slow down of life and making the most of it.


Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! We still have another full week of October. Where do you stand on Christmas this year? Are you still going to wait til after Thanksgiving or December, or are you like us and we are turning this place into Christmas Wonderland starting November 1st?! If 2020 has taught me anything, it is to find the joy wherever you can. Make any reason a reason to celebrate. Christmas is my favorite time of year, so why wait to bring the joy and cheer?

Yesterday, Zoe asked me if I could find some different outfits for her smaller barbie doll. I remember that I had a small doll like that set aside for her from when I was little. I decided to go through that box and give her some stuff that I know she can take care of now. I have been waiting my whole life to pass on my Barbie stuff to her, honestly. She literally played with the things I gave her for hours yesterday. She was upset she had to go to bed last night because she was still playing. It was nostalgic and pretty cool to see her loving them so much. NKOTB for life!!!!

Favorite Purchase: I ordered Kristin Cavallari’s new cookbook, True Roots after seeing a talk show she guest starred on a few weeks ago. She mentioned that she never eats anything white. No white rice, pasta, sugar, flour, etc. Since I have added carbs back in my diet and trying to find a healthy lifestyle balance with it, and I am sick and over all the recipes, I thought this would be the perfect inspiration to reinvigorate me in the kitchen. There are some super delicious looking things in here, and nothing that is too crazy. There is a little bit of everything with main dishes, salads, snacks, desserts, cocktails. So many things I cant wait to try!

True Roots: A Mindful Kitchen with More Than 100 Recipes Free of Gluten,  Dairy, and Refined Sugar by Kristin Cavallari, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

I have been using this hand cream for about a month now, and it has become my absolute favorite. I have a problem with dry, cracked skin all year on my hands. Add in all the excessive washing, and its a disaster. This formula is so good because it instantly sinks into the skin, and doesn’t leave that greasy feeling at all. The perfect one to keep at your desk! I LOVE the scent of it too.

I also ordered her hair mask and am obsessed with it as well! Unfortunately, it is out of stock right now. The site says it should be back in late October. There is a reason it is out of stock!!! I am planning a post soon on my hair care routine that has seriously changed my hair for the better.

Favorite Aldi Finds: I was all about the cheese and crackers at Aldi this week. They have so many amazing cheeses out right now!!!! Do yourself a favor and get a bag of the dark chocolate covered pomegranate as well. Or maybe not, because they are seriously addicting.

Favorite Recipe: I made SkinnyTaste Stuffed Pepper Soup this week. It is one of our favorites. I especially love it over some brown rice. Even Zoe was loving this soup and ate it two nights for dinner. She isn’t huge on soups, so I was shocked.

Favorite Workout: I did this full body strength workout this week. I feel like for the length of the workout, you really hit all the major muscle groups. You do each move 4 times so you want to grab a lighter weight for the arm ones! I took a quick 15 minute walk after and felt great!

Favorite Funnies:

26 Funny and Snarky Quotes A pretty good combination, you have to say. I’m pretty resourceful and I think of all of my options. Alcohol is one of them. I’m going to be fine but…. There’s no crying with MAC mascara! I’ll take $50 too. Please don’t test my threats. And loving it!  My …

This one was funny to me because we shopped at Giant Eagle all the time when we lived in PA.

Just not stainless please. Hate it.

Holy Grail Skin Empties

I don’t know why I always wait until my empties bin is overflowing with products to do these posts! I have so many products to share with you all! I am going to keep this one to just skincare today. Most of my absolute favorites are included here.

LaRoche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser – This and my CeraVe Hydrating Gentle Cleansers are the two that I use all the time, and have for over a year exclusively. I keep this LoRoche one in my shower and use it in the mornings. The CeraVe stays on my counter and is used at night. Both were recommended by my dermatologist. They do the job without drying or irritating my skin, or breaking the bank. I would rather spend my money on serums and moisturizers that stay on my skin. You know?

Repurchased: Yes. Many times.

Old Spice in Captain – My tenth quest for natural deodorant has come to an end. None of them work consistently. I have basically tried them all. When I switched back to the dark side, I went with mens. For whatever reason, Secret and Degree would make me itchy. And to be honest, if I didn’t rotate them, even those weren’t working all that well. This Old Spice smells amazing and it has never irritated my skin. I am on my third container of it now and it is safe to say I don’t plan to switch anytime soon. It holds up through an Alabama summer and my workouts.

Repurchased: Yes. Many times.

Curology – I started using Curology at the beginning of quarantine. I was intrigued by the fact that each person’s bottle is tailored specifically for them by a dermatologist. You basically go to the website, answer some questions, take some close up pictures of your skin and you are on your way to your very own formulation! I do the every other month subscription, and I think I pay $39? The bottle lasts the entire two months, and I have definitely noticed a different in the texture of my skin since using it! I received my fourth bottle a week or two ago. When I first started using it, I had some dry patchy areas, but I think my skin has gotten used to the prescription strength grade of the product. I love it and definitely recommend giving it a try. (My link for this one is not an affiliate link, just sharing the product.)

Repurchased: On every other month subscription.

Elta MD PM Therapy – This was the nighttime moisturizer that my dermatologist recommended to me over a year ago. I purchased my first bottle from her, and have been getting it on my own since. I love this stuff. It feels so good at night when I finish my skincare routine with this. After following her suggestions, I haven’t really had any major breakouts, irritation, or issues with my face. I have also noticed improvements of quality and texture.

Repurchased: Yes. Many times.

Revision Intellishade – This is the daytime moisturizer that my dermatologist recommended. I love that this is not only a tinted moisturizer (perfect for no makeup days) but it also has SPF. Again, the combination of these products has my skin looking better than ever.

Repurchased: Yes. Many times.

Lancome Bi-Facial Eye Makeup Remover – I get these a lot when I get free gift with purchase from Lancome. It is by far my favorite eye makeup remover ever. I have used it for years and it simply works the best.

Repurchased: I haven’t been wearing makeup enough to need this. Will definitely repurchase or get as a gift with a different purchase when needed.

I am going to do a bonus kid skincare empties in this post! I will make this quick. Zoe has super sensitive skin. When she was a baby, we basically went through a ton of products trying to figure out what would work for her. Now that she is a little older, her skin isn’t as sensitive as it was but we still keep the basics that we used when she was an infant in our daily routines. All three of these are holy grail Zoe items that we have repurchased over and over again.

Eucerin Eczema Relief – This is definitely a cream versus the Aquaphor below. We used this in the mornings before school because it was faster to dry trying to get out the door. We also kept a bottle of this at school for her when her eczema flared up.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment – This is a miracle product in a bottle. Zoe’s pediatrician recommended it to us, and this has cleared up all eczema, dry patches, irritations, you name it, this solved the problem. We use this on her every night before bed. It is almost like a Vaseline consistency, so I recommend giving yourself a little time to dry if you are trying to get out the door. This stuff is so amazing, we buy the big tubs of it and I keep one in my skincare drawer too for when I have dry patches that need cleared up. These smaller bottles are great for travel and diaper bags.

Thinkbaby – This is the only sunscreen I have ever used on Zoe. We started it around 6 months on our beach trip, and when she was at daycare we applied it daily for the playground. It has always done the job and never broke her out. I even use it on myself when I am out of my sunscreen. Love it.

Have you tried any of these products? What is your holy grail.