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!

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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.”

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?

celebrating us on mother’s day.

raising kids is hard. the thought of raising a child to have confidence, curiosity, knowledge, manners, purpose and empathy sounds both terrifying and exhausting, but i’d like to think i’m doing an okay job at it. like so many moms, i can’t count how many times i have doubted my ability to be successful and to have all the answers.

but kaylei and mahkena, seeing your smiles, your joy, and your big hearts is all the proof i need to know that i’m doing something right.

i’ve realized that mother’s day is not about me at all; it is a day to celebrate us, together.

i owe you girls a thank you for making me a better person, for giving me greater purpose and for showing me what life is all about. i cannot wait to experience all the wonderful things you’ll do in the world, but please… take your time my loves, let’s not rush this beautiful journey.

there’s nothing stronger than a mother’s love, baby girls. i’ll love you forever, to the moon and back.

love, your perfectly imperfect mother

*a huge thank you to my dear friend chelsea from chelsea marie photography for capturing these photos that i’ll forever cherish