our christmas tree.

i’ve been so excited to decorate our christmas tree this year. i find that it always sets the tone; i love waking up in the morning and turning on the lights and immediately the house feels warm and cozy.

if it were up to me we would have christmas trees up for more than just a month or two out of the year, and that’s probably why this year we didn’t make it out of november before putting our’s up.

our plan is to hopefully get another tree or two for our front room and family room downstairs, but wanted to get our main tree up while we had our kids for the weekend. so saturday morning we woke up and hauled all the christmas decor upstairs.

we got the tree up and fluffed and immediately let the kids start hanging ornaments. this is always one of my favorite parts about getting ready for the holidays; just watching the littles make these memories; seeing them smile as they hang the ornaments one-by-one on the tree.

while i love the tree during the day, i love how magical it feels at night. the warm glow makes me want to cozy up and snuggle under a blanket and turn on a christmas movie.

i’ll be sharing more of our holiday photos, but in the meantime, wishing you all a happy thanksgiving; and happy tree decorating!

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a photo journal – halloween 2019

along with my favorite season, comes one of my favorite holidays. it’s a great kick-off for the rest of the year’s festivities and as an adult, it’s a fun excuse for us adults to get dressed up.

this year we all took part in two separate trick-or-treating events, so we went with two different family costumes.

a few weeks before halloween, we took the kids to the campground that i grew up at and walked them around for trick-or-treating. finding costumes for the six of us was a bit tricky, but once they were all on, it was absolutely worth it. i must say so myself, we make a pretty cute minion family.

the weather was less than cooperative, and even though we all got soaked and muddy from all the rain, the kids got spoiled with lots of candy.

halloween, take two. this one was the real deal. and again, the weather wasn’t very cooperative, but this time with snow.

kaylei had already decided to dress up as winnie the pooh, which made it super easy and i just grabbed her a onesie at walmart; perfect for the cold weather.

the two little gals were set on being cindy lou who and the grinch, so once that was decided, i tried finding something relatable and went with the dr. suess theme and ordered john, mason, and i thing costumes.

the family came over and we rounded all the kids up for trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. the snow and cold definitely didn’t stop them from getting loaded up with lots more candy.

i feel that before we know it, our kids are going to strongly resist wanting to join us with family costumes, so until then, i’m going to enjoy every moment of it.

halloween 2019, less than ideal weather and all, was my favorite one yet.

why i love fall.

there is no denying that i love fall. everything about it from the crisp autumn breeze flowing in through the open windows, cuddles under the cozy blankets, and football. how can you not love this season?

before we know it, we will be flipping our calendars and the cold winter months will be upon us. in the mean time, i wanted to share a peak into my fall and some of my favorite activities that made it so memorable.

trips to the farmer’s market

i love everything about farmer’s markets. the atmosphere, the fresh flowers, the food trucks. this year i got to take my oldest for a bit of one-on-one time and we enjoyed that time together with some delicious tacos and picking out a pumpkin for our front porch.

family halloween costumes

yes, i’m that cheesy mom and have always wanted to be that family that dresses up together. for this year’s trick-or-treating at the campground we dressed up as minions and the kids got spoiled with tons of candy.

pumpkin carving

you can’t have fall without some cute pumpkins sitting on your front porch. as messy as the process is, carving them is all the fun, especially when you’re doing it with your favorites.

adult trick-or-treating

yup. if you haven’t experienced adult trick-or-treating yet, you’re missing out. i look forward to this event every year with my parents at a campground that they visit, but this year was extra special and definitely going to be hard to beat.

decorating for fall

i love all that fall has to bring, especially the home decor. we decorated the front porch with our carved pumpkins and a few things that have been picked up from craft fairs. our table was also festive with the fresh bouquet of flowers we brought home from the farmers market.

now that i’ve shared some of my favorite memories from this fall, what have been some of yours?

september favorites.

autumn has arrived and october is basically here. spooky season is well upon us.

that means it’s time to get all cozy under some fuzzy blankets and leave the windows open.

but first, let’s take a step back and reflect on what i’ve been loving these past couple of months…

groovebook

i’ve used groovebook’s app for well over a year now and still have yet to be disappointed by it’s service.

simply put, it’s an app that allows you to choose up to 100 photos a month from your phone and print them in a book. they’re shipped directly to you and for only $3.99 a month.

interested in trying it out? you can find more about it here. you can use my code: GOODWIN5000 for a free book!

walmart grocery pickup

one word…genius. a mother must have invented the idea of grocery pickup service; one that was exhausted of dragging their kids though the stores and long lines.

i honestly haven’t stepped into a grocery store to do my bi-weekly grocery haul in months. what’s easier than ordering what you need online throughout the week, driving up to the store when it’s your time for pick-up, and someone loading your car with all your groceries? and for FREE!

seriously. do it. and while you’re at it, use my code: http://r.wmt.co/v/Shayla_1 to save $10 your first order.

magnetic eyeline & eyelashes

i wanted to try them out and see what the hype was all about. i’ve worn them for a few days now and have zero complaints. they stay on all day, they don’t irritate my skin, and they’re super affordable.

i found mine here on amazon and love them!

ellen tracy lipstick

need some new lipstick that is super pigmented and great for fall. get these!

a set of four for under $10, you can’t beat that!

fall favorites 2019.

the day the calendar flipped to september, i was ready to decorate for fall. this season is my absolute favorite…the crisp autumn breeze, cozy sweaters, football; how can you not love it?!

i decided to celebrate the beginning of my favorite season by sharing some of my favorite fall items with you that can all be found on amazon.

this hat has fall written all over it. it’s adjustable and comes in multiple colors. these are one of my favorite fall staples.

a chunky blanket scarf is a fall closet necessity. this one is super affordable and comes in multiple color combinations.

you can’t go wrong with fall-scented soaps and this bundle of 5 from bath and body works on amazon is a steal. the marshmallow pumpkin latte scented is one of my girls and i’s favorites.

i love fall decor, especially when you can tie in some fun buffalo check patterns. this cute table runner is a must and the best part is it’s under $10!

what’s fall without a cute blanket to snuggle into? this one’s plaid pattern will match all decor and keep you nice and warm.

what are some of your favorite fall items?

a photo journal – summer 19

the summer of 2019 is officially over for me as my girls have started back up with school. this summer had its lows, it’s highs. and everything in between. but looking back at all the pictures that i’ll be sharing in this post, it was the best summer of my life.

so many life changes occurred, so many new adventures, but i smiled more than i ever have before. this summer is one i’m definitely going to miss.

throughout this post i’m going to be sharing lots of photos from this summer and telling you all about the things i did.

that being said, this was my summer of 2019.

i brought in the very beginning of summer by turning 30. i struggled with the idea of turning thirty so much, but it truly has been the best year of my life thus far. being thirty, i see a woman who has grown and changed so significantly. i can see a shift in my confidence, my purpose, my passions. most importantly i see a woman who has learned the importance of patience, kindness, an open heart, and love. i love this chapter of thirty so much.

i got to celebrate my thirtieth at one of my favorite places with one of my favorite people. cubbies, beer, and dancing; truly my best birthday yet.

my girls got to come to my work for “bring your child to work day”. they got to see a day in the life of what i do and enjoyed it so much. i love working for a company that offers so much to their employees and their families.

i got the opportunity to travel to austin for work and made a little getaway out of it. the whole experience was amazing and if you haven’t been to austin, i’d highly recommend it. i can’t wait to go back!

i’ve never been kayak fishing and jumped at the chance to go one day this summer with my dad. we didn’t catch anything, but it surely was relaxing and memories that i’ll have forever with him.

our family reunion took place this summer in missouri. we only get together for it every five years, so it was something we were all really looking forward to. i’m already looking forward to the next one and seeing everyone together again.

we celebrated kaylei turning 11 with our closest friends and family. she enjoyed her ‘art’ party and sure got spoiled.

we spent a weekend up in minneapolis to catch a preseason game of the vikings. if you’ve never been to an nfl game, go! the whole experience was so surreal and something i already want to do again. and to set the record straight…i’m still a bear’s fan.

and lastly, i moved. new town, new adventures. and boy, am i sure excited to write this chapter.

first day of school interviews (2019).

just like every august, we’ve done everything we need to do: gathered new school supplies, spiffed up the school wardrobe… however, this year was a little different for my girls as they both started new schools in a new district. this year we ventured to roscoe; a new elementary school and dare i say it…middle school.

i think i was more nervous than they were…but they were so ready, so confident. this momma was proud of them, pulling back their hair, laughing their crazy laughs, and most importantly just being themselves on their first day at their new schools. i am so looking forward to watching more of them and the lessons that they learn – both in school and in life. Roscoe, we’re ready for you!

my girls started sixth and second grade this year. we kicked off the new year with some of our typical “first day of school photos”.

and just like previous years, we made sure to do our first day of school “interviews”.

i asked both of my girls these questions and i thought i’d share with all of you:

Kaylei

  1. name: kaylei
  2. age: 11
  3. grade and teacher: 6th – mr. lovgren
  4. what i want to be when i grow up: recruiter
  5. favorite color: yellow
  6. favorite movie: san andreas
  7. favorite place to be: at starbucks
  8. favorite food: frozen yogurt
  9. favorite subject in school: math
  10. what do you love: my family

Mahkena

  1. name: mahkena
  2. age: 7
  3. grade and teacher: 2nd – mrs. binning
  4. what i want to be when i grow up: a starbucks employee
  5. favorite color: pink
  6. favorite movie: home alone
  7. favorite place to be: at target
  8. favorite food: candy
  9. favorite subject in school: art
  10. what do you love: dogs

“say yes to one more book, one more hug, one more kiss goodnight, tuck them in and snuggle them tight. one day you will tuck them in and they’ll be grown. they will smile and tell you they can do it on their own.”