AUGUST 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

August was full of more birthdays, mini getaways, and football games. Here’s a peek at our month and the life I’ve thankful for.

32 THINGS IVE LEARNED IN MY 32 YEARS

32 years old today, and there has been quite a few things that I’ve learned through the years. I’ve made good choices, stupid choices, and learned that sometimes the only explanation for your actions is, “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” But through it all, I’ve learned.

And firsthand, from my own experience these are some of things that I’ve learned:

Seafood is still disgusting.

Your children pay attention to EVERYTHING that you do. Literally EVERYTHING. Don’t say anything in front of a 3-year old you don’t want repeated.

Soul mates do exist; believe me. I’m one of the lucky ones that found mine.

Having a big family is such a blessing. A benefit too; more kids to pay for a fancier nursing home when you’re older.

Life is much better with a golden retriever.

Work at a place where you actually like your boss and co-workers. Life is way too short to deal with Karens.

No matter how old you get, shots still suck.

Record your life. Have those memories to look back and smile at later.

Friends change and that’s okay. Sometimes the unlikely friends are the best friends.

Grey hairs come a whole lot sooner than you expect.

“One more episode” actually means four more episodes.

Hanger, it’s real.

Kitchens are made for dancing.

I will never be as happy as my two dogs.

McDonald’s Coke taste better than any other coke.

The person who invented Grocery Pick-up is a genius and all we mothers appreciate you.

At this age, you can pull a muscle in your sleep.

Costco is a very glorious place.

Airfryers are the bee’s knees.

Have date nights weekly with your significant other; make that time for each other.

Don’t get drunk and order food on Doordash; you will probably end up with $70+ of Chipotle on your front doorstep. Oops.

Spend as much time as you can with your grandparents. That time is so valuable.

Even if it scares you, still do it. Try those new opportunities.

It is possible to wrongly cook macaroni & cheese…sorry kids.

Sometimes those college degrees aren’t worth it.

Chips and salsa are the best snack.

Dad jokes are actually funny.

Never turn down the opportunity to take a good nap.

Caffeine is your friend.

You don’t need to buy every single houseplant you see.

Getting forehead kisses will never get old.

You can never say “I love you” too much.

a peek into my new craft room | DIY craft desk

i have been SO SO excited to write this blog post for you all! john and i have been doing a lot of redecorating within our home and during the process, we made one of our rooms into my dream craft space and studio!

i knew that i wanted to go with the color scheme of teal, white, and gray, with pops of pink so the first thing i did was use a whole lot of spray paint. it’s crazy how easy spray paint was to use and now i want to use it on everything!

the dogs even enjoyed the process with a whole lot of watching and making sure things were done right!

when we started the craft room i had a vision of exactly what i wanted the main desk to look like and john made it come to life! after a few trips to home depot, lots of paint, and patience the result was better than i could have asked for!

interested in the building plans for it? shoot me over an email and i’d love to share them with you!

as you can see there is a whole lot of organization going on this room. ikea was definitely my friend during looking for new furniture and i scored a great washi shelf while scrolling through fb marketplace.

it took a few weeks to complete, but was SO worth it! i can’t wait for all the memories i’m going to make in here!

i’m sure you can expect a more thorough craft room tour from me soon!

things bringing me joy during lockdown.

lockdown; a word we’re all hearing a lot lately. five weeks in and i think we’re slowly becoming used to this new “normal”. everyday is different; some days i have a hard time wanting to turn off netflix and get off of the couch, other days i’m beyond productive and feel like i can take on the world.

this whole thing has certainly taught me to find joy in the little things. so what joys have i been finding?

no make up / no bra

with no where to go or no one to see wearing makeup and a bra has been a thing of the past. i still find myself occasionally throwing on some mascara and lipstick just to feel more human, but it feels so good to not spend so much of my time in the morning getting ready.

working from home

i didn’t think i would adjust so well to working from home, but its been glorious! my favorite part has been just being able to roll out of bed three minutes before work starts and tossing open my laptop. again, really enjoying the aspect of not having to spend so much time in the morning to get ready.

working on things that were put off on the to-do list

i’m certainly not complaining about all the extra time we’re getting to knock things off on our to-do list that we’ve been wanting to get done. we’re really doing our best to take advantage of this weird period of time.

ozark

netflix in general, but holy crap. we started ozark and it’s been soooo good. what shows have you been binging during quarantine?

walmart grocery pickup

it’s a lifesaver during this time. seriously, if you haven’t taken advantage of walmart grocery pick-up, you’re missing out. the contact is so minimal which is perfect for quarantine and much more convenient then dealing with the chaos of going in to the store.

interested in trying? use the following referral code to save $10: http://r.wmt.co/v/Shayla_1

extra time with john and family

with no where to run off to and no events to attend, we have become a more relaxed family. we have more time to enjoy just being together. quarantining has forced me to slow down and appreciate the moments; the memories that we’re all making together.

nice weather

truthfully, i don’t think lockdown could have come at a better time. the weather is becoming warmer and we’re seeing a lot more sunshine. i’m super thankful for that; it means we don’t all have to always be cooped up inside. we’ve been taking advantage of it with lots of cookouts, lunch picnics, and family walks.

all the money were saving…gas, no trips to the craft store, etc

i swear our gas tank has lasted nearly a month. with no where to go and no where to spend money, i’m really liking watching my bank account increase. but don’t let me fool you…i’m severely missing my tj maxx and homegood hauls.

more time to be creative

i’m also finding a lot more time to be creative, which i thoroughly enjoy. i’ve done some painting, some writing, and even planting. lockdown has reminded me of how much i enjoy these hobbies of mine.

what have you been finding joy in during lockdown?

stuck at home and need ideas of what to do?

self-quarantined and bored already?

with being encouraged to stay home with everything that has been going on in our world lately, it’s easy to spend hours upon hours on our phones and computers. but that can only be entertaining for so long.

today, i brainstormed a few ideas to get you through the boredom and hopefully keep you from going a little stir-crazy.

go for a drive. a perfect way to get out of the house, but still keep away from others. right now is the perfect time: traffic is light and gas is cheap! even bring the family with and make a fun adventure out if it with a classic game of i-spy.

make something. no better time than now to make something you’ve wanted to, whether that be a painting, a video, or a construction project. you’ve got this!

relax and pamper yourself. even get the kids included if you wanted to. do some face masks, give yourself a pedicure, take a bubble bath. treat yourself!

take an online course. learn something new that you’ve always wanted to or freshen up and improve your skills.

workout. a lot of gyms are closing, but don’t let that stop you from being active. go for a run or walk, inside or out, or try out a new online workout class. youtube is even a great resource for a lot of free online workout routines, or create your own!

cook. have that new recipe that you’ve been wanting to try? now’s the time! or scroll the internet and find something that looks yummy! even give baking a try!

read a book. i have countless books that i’ve had sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, but the time just hasn’t been there. pick up a good read, relax, and get lost in another world – that’s corona free!

need some more ideas that are’t so fun? use this gift of extra time at home to knock things off your to-do list that you’ve been putting off or haven’t had time for:

  • deep clean the house
  • clean out the fridge and reorganize the pantry
  • do some yard work
  • clean out old files on your computer
  • rearrange the furniture in your house
  • purge your closet and donate what you no longer wear

most importantly…relax, s l o w d o w n, and STAY HEALTHY!

a recap of our year – 2019.

2019 started off challenging, but has ended being one of the very best years. i’m taking this year as something that i will look back to, and be grateful for where it took me.

and in 2020, i’m ready for more, more of this happy life.

i took a few minutes to look through my year in photographs, and wanted to share some of my favorite moments with you.

little miss mahkena turned 7; it’s so hard to believe she’s already that old. we celebrated with a disneyland-themed birthday with some of our friends and family, and that girl sure got spoiled.

the girls and i moved into our own little place in town. we knew it was only temporary so we weren’t too picky when looking for a place to rent, but it sure turned into quite the perfect little home for us three, and mazi girl.

i had a work conference in austin, texas that i had the opportunity to attend. john was able to join; we went down a few days early and made a vacation out of it. it was so nice to get away together and enjoy some texas sunshine.

welp, it was inevitable. this was the year i turned 30. and as much as i dreaded it, it turned out to be the best birthday ever. we spent it in chicago and attended a cubbies game.

every five years, my family has our family reunion and this june it was held near st. louis. we drove up the wednesday before to spend a bit more time with family. we rented this little cabin and spent our days swimming, at the zoo, and just catching up with everyone. we’re already looking forward to the next one.

and just like that kaylei turned 11. before we know it we’re going to have a teenager and i’m so not ready! we rented the community room in town and had an art-themed birthday party. i loved that some of her friends from school were able to join us.

the girls and i moved up to roscoe, in with john and the kids. we were super exited about the move and as a little nervous as they were, i think the girls were excited to start new schools.

i got to attend my first nfl game, and even though it wasn’t the chicago bears, i thorougly enjoyed watching the vikings play. i’m already looking forward to going to another one, and hopefully soon!

we were excited about trick-or-treating this year. with 6 of us and everyone being a good sport about the entire family dressing up, we had some fun. we went as minions for trick-or-treating at the campground and went with grinch, dr. suess, and winnie the pooh characters for the night of halloween.

with the holidays coming up and needing photos for our christmas card and wanting new canvases to hang up within our home, we had leigh photography take our family photos this fall. she did such an amazing job at capturing us all.

we spent thanksgiving together with our families and made sure to continue with our tradition of shopping with all the crazies on black friday. needing anything or not, i love that we still continue to go every year and enjoy all the people watching.

we ended the year with lots of family time for christmas. we made sure to take part of all the holiday festivities from cookie-baking to wearing matching pajamas. there is nothing better as a parent than watching the joy on your kids faces on christmas morning. having us all together is my favorite.

2020, this is our year.

finding ME time in motherhood.

if you’re a mom, you know EXACTLY what i’m referring to. there is no denying that motherhood is the best job in the world, but it can be TOUGH. there is absolutely nothing like it; you will never feel so much love, guilt, stress, or anxiety from any job aside from that of a being a mother.

with all the hustle and bustle, and losing your mind a few times here and there, let’s talk about what this post is all about…you time! it’s absolutely a must, and as guilty as you may feel taking that time for yourself, it’s so important to do so. moms…you’ve got to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of anybody else.

so here, i thought i’d share a few ways that i enjoy sneaking off for some me time:

relax in a bubble bath

this is my go to. even if i have to wait until my girls are in bed, i look forward to it so much. a bath bomb, a good-smelling candle, and some music. give me twenty minutes and i get out feeling so calm and refueled.

journal

i really enjoy writing. it lets me get all my thoughts out of my head and on to paper. simply just a way for me to decompress and de-stress.

drive time

i have a pretty decent commute to and from work every day so i’ve learned to quite enjoy that time alone, especially when i can have the windows down and blast some of my favorite music.

errands

yes. i said it…errands. “going out” for me now is running errands. alone.

the summer of 2019: my bucket list.

fall is and will always be my favorite season, but after some long cold months, summer comes in as a close second. i love what summer brings…sunshine, cookouts, adventure.

this summer is going to be different. it’s going to be better because i’m spending it with people who make me feel alive, and that’s the way life should be. it may include a whole lot of netflixing and just being at home, but that’s what i look forward to the most. a care-free summer with my favorite people.

so cheers, cheers to the best summer yet!

a few of these things are planned, and some are just some realistic, manageable ideas that i’ve put down on my summer bucket list that i’d like to do:

  • be creative – i haven’t spent a lot of time this year doing what i love most: creating. i hope to get some time in this summer to paint.
  • visit a zoo – always one of my girl’s favorites.
  • go camping – tenting, campfires, and stargazing. that’s been on my list for years! i want to make it happen this summer.
  • have a picnic – pack a lunch and go enjoy the sun. i’ve never experienced this. i want to.
  • messy twister – paint and some summer cocktails. why not?
  • the obvious: go to a cubs game – and lots of them.
  • go to a drive-in movie – something that has always been on my bucket list and still have yet to cross off.
  • hit up the madison farmer’s market one saturday morning – always a favorite of mine!

what about you? what do you have planned this summer?

september favorites.

crazy to believe that september has almost come and gone already. september is easily my favorite month, and for so many reasons…the summer heat is transitioning into cool, autumn days and finally a reason to wear all my over-sized, comfy clothes.

it was a slightly busier month for me as i spent time with some friends, volunteered with work for the day of caring, and ended the month with a trip down south to visit my grandma for her birthday.

i’ve rounded up a few things that i love from this month to share with you; a few new, a few old:

joggers

joggers

where have these been all my life? they’re insanely soft and so comfortable! my husband bought me these ones from jane.com in the charcoal gray color and now I want them in every. single. color.

milk and honey

milk and honey

i’ve really enjoyed reading poetry this month, and when looking for new poets, i stumbled across rupi kaur and found her best-selling book.  i purchased it on amazon and it was perfect reading for my long road trip to missouri.

apple pencil case

Case

i carry my ipad and apple pencil with me everywhere. i wanted something slim to keep my pencil in so it didn’t get damaged being tossed in my bag. i tried this case out from amazon and am in love with it. it’s small, has multiple storage spaces, and is big enough to store my head phones in as well.

liam and company 

liam

i order a lot from jane.com, and i mean a lot. a lot. most recently i’ve been ordering a lot of my wardrobe from there and noticed that a lot of the clothes that i liked were from the same boutique…liam and co. their clothes are all super adorable, comfortable, and very affordable!