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.

DIY | ‘UNDER THE STARS’ DATE NIGHT

It is so easy to get caught up in daily life, sucked into the daily routines, and become exhausted by the continuous to-do lists that we make ourselves. What I’ve learned in my life, is that when you find your person, that one-in-a-million type of love, celebrate it. Not just on special dates or at certain celebrations; every day.


People listen, this is going to sound sappy. I love my other half. We make a great team and try to show each other how much we care for them as much as possible. We have weekly date nights; we make that time for each other through the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, often times than not it’s just ordering in food and catching up on our weekly shows. It’s that time together to celebrate “us” is what I enjoy most.

One of my favorite recent date nights was at home, spent “under the stars”. Cheesy? Yes. But would I do it again a million times over? Also, yes. We set a blowup mattress up downstairs in front of the tv; loaded it with tons of comfy blankets and pillows and threw on some campfire screensavers up on the tv. Around the entertainment stand and the mattress flameless tea lights were lined to really set the “camping” ambiance.


I found this really neat star projector light on amazon and this thing has easily been one of my favorite purchases. So much so, that we now have it in our bedroom. It projects stars and the night sky on to the ceiling and really makes you feel like you’re outside. It can be controlled with the included remote to change the light settings, or you can download an app on your phone to use with it. It also has the option to be able to sync music with it. Check it out here; it’s definitely worth something looking into. We love it!


We even had our own little ‘s’more station, diy’ed. (Thank you Pinterest!) All it took was a terracotta pot, tin foil, gel chafing fuel, and all the goodies for s’mores. It was so neat being able to roast marshmallows over a flame at the house and definitely something we will be doing with the kids soon. They’ll definitely enjoy it too!


So if you’re looking for a fun DIY date night at home, try this! Always make time for each other and celebrate the love you share, you deserve it!

january 2021, in photos.

we are somehow a whole month into the new year. a lot has changed and a lot hasn’t, but i still have more hope for 2021 than I did for 2020.

with few words, here’s our month in photos.

we got a new bed! we’ve been keeping an eye out for a bed we both liked and for a good deal. wayfair had some great deals after the new year and we both really liked this one. now to work on some artwork ideas we had for above the bed.

john and i went on a small getaway to madison. we explored the city a bit and went iceskating on the lake. for not being regular iceskaters, neither of us fell and i was pretty impressed. the views were beautiful at the edgewater and a place i can see us visiting every year.

my momma turned the big 5-0 this month and kayla, dad, and i surprised her with a birthday card “shower.” if you haven’t heard what that is, you can read a little bit more about it here. she was so surprised! i’m glad that we found a way to still make her feel special since covid didn’t make it an ideal time to throw her a big party.

i’ve always wanted to go into trader joe’s and explore all that they have, but unfortunately the closest one to us is over an hour drive. one day we just decided to make a quick day trip out of it and went prepared with a list of items we wanted to try. i may have found a new found love; i just wish there was one closer! interested in seeing what we picked up? i’m debating on doing a “haul” soon, so keep an eye out for that.

the last few photos are just some of my favorites from the month; capturing our everyday moments around the house as a family of 6.

cheers to another great month!

march memories | family diary

i think we can all agree that march 2020 was one for the books. it was a strange month for all of us. it started off promising, but then covid-19 ran rampant and ended with people being ordered to stay home.

amid everything, we were still able to do a few things this month and are making the very best of the situation. the silver lining throughout it all is the extra time that we’re getting to spend with our family. that is something that i’ll never complain about.

here’s just a little peek into our march…

mahkena’s birthday party

mahkena turned 8 and we spent the weekend celebrating with friends and family. mahkena’s friends and family spoiled her so much; she was grinning from ear to ear the entire time.  i still can’t believe our spunky, free-spirited little girl is already 8.

quarantining / working from home

in the middle of march we were ordered to begin working from home. it’s definitely a change, but one i’m quite enjoying. the days seem to go by a lot faster and the plus side, my new co-workers are pretty cute.

date adventures

luckily john and i were able to get in a few date weekends before all the chaos began. we spent a few nights away, tried out some new restaurants, and enjoyed a pool suite within the area. looking forward to more adventures as soon as everything goes back to normal.

lots of family time

one thing is certain, all the extra family time has been wonderful. the kids are enjoying e-learning and not having to go to school everyday, and with the decent weather lately they have gotten lots of time to play outdoors. i have a feeling it’s going to be quite tough for them when they actually have to return to school.

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as much as i hope things will all go back to normal soon, i’m afraid that’s not going to be the case. in the mean time, stay healthy out there and hug your family a little tighter.

ten date night ideas.

one of my favorite things about john and i is that way we always make time for date nights, for each other.

sometimes it’s hard with our busy schedules, and our herd of small children running around, but the fact that we always make time to spend quality time together, alone, is my favorite.

so try it; forget about your schedules, the kids, the person who annoyed you earlier in the day and devote your time and attention to the one you love. i wrangled up some fun ideas; check ’em out:

have a picnic, inside or out.

turn your outdoor patio into a dining experience…music, tablecloth, candles, and all.

kayak down the river together.

attend a sporting event together.

get out of the house and just rent a hotel for the night. order take-out, watch movies, and don’t leave the room until morning.

lay on a blanket outside and stargaze.

have a cozy night in. make popcorn, snuggle under some blankets on the couch, and binge watch some of your favorite movies.

get fancy. get all dolled up and pick a hotel lobby to meet up at. reserve a table at a fancy restaurant and finish the night at a show or bar.

take a class…cooking, painting, etc.

recreate your first date, always a favorite to recreate those memories.

choose to always date your person. xoxoxo

february fun | slumber parties, valentine’s day, and the everyday adventures

the month of january seemed like it lasted half a dang year, and now february seems to be just FLYING by. as much as i’m looking forward to warmer weather, i wish it would slow down a bit just so i could enjoy each of these moments a little bit longer.

this month is only a little over halfway through, but i’d thought i’d share some of what we’ve been up to.

you guys, we adulted and got a costco membership. we’ve only just got it and have explored the store three times already. what are some of your must-haves from there? thus far, the street tacos are a must!

we had some family over for the superbowl. good food, drinks, and even better company. i was glad the chiefs won, but honestly, i would have been happy if anyone won that wasn’t the packers.

mahkena has always had such high envisions for her school’s valentine’s day party box, and this year was no different. she found an idea she liked online and we made it come to life. i enjoyed getting crafty with my little one.

kaylei had some family and friends over for a slumber party. based off all the photos, i’d say she had quite a lot of fun. there was lots of pizza, dancing, and even donuts in the morning for breakfast.

by far, this valentine’s day was my favorite. i spent it with my better half and we made a day out of it. we checked out new cars at the chicago auto show, stopped at one of my favorite spots for dinner, and just enjoyed the alone time. everyday, i’m thankful to be sharing my life with this guy.

just a little january.

this month has been a little quiet here on the blog, so i’m breaking up that silence a bit.

how are you all feeling about this month? i’ve been feeling really GOOD about 2020 – a fresh month, a fresh year, a fresh decade.

take a look at what we’ve been up to…

we rang in the new year at home, surrounded with family and friends, some new and some old. good food, drinks, music, and watching the ball drop…no better way to celebrate starting a new decade.

a new year, and i’m still using ways to document our months. groovebook is still my go to. so simple – just an app that lets you put all your photos in a monthly book for $3.99 a month with free shipping. want to try it? use my code: GOODWIN5000 for a free book!

i’ve been adding books to my list that i’d like to read in 2020, and a friend recommended the website thriftbooks. used books for a great bargain with fast shipping…i’d check it out if you also enjoy reading. what is on your reading list for 2020?

we’ve made time at least once a month to just get out of the house and enjoy a fun date night. we’ve been enjoying being able to spend some alone time together. got any ideas for fun date nights? we’d love to add some to our date-night bucket list.

i’ve really been enjoying cooking lately; i like trying and making new recipes for the family. what are some of your favorite recipes that your family enjoys? i recently shared my chicken parmesan recipe here. if you try it, let me know what you think!

last week, our little one came down with the flu and strep. poor thing had to miss school for almost a full week. and as much as i enjoyed the extra snuggles with her , it’s awful seeing your child sick and feeling helpless. luckily she’s on the mend after lots of bubble baths, naps, and medicine.

my favorite part about this month is all the time we’ve been able to spend with family. we celebrated my mom’s birthday and met up for lunch, and then our usual football hangouts. i’ll never take this time we get together for granted.

how’s your january been? hope you’re avoiding the cold and making the best out of your new year.

till next time!